Home | Sports | Football | No. 5 Red Oak improves to 11-0, faces Amarillo in 5A area championship down QB1
Courtesy ROISD Athletics

No. 5 Red Oak improves to 11-0, faces Amarillo in 5A area championship down QB1

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

RED OAK — Magic. Or chemistry. Either way, one or both of those two in some sort of scientific formula combined Friday evening at Billy Goodloe Stadium. 

The Red Oak Hawks are 11-0 for the first time in program history following a 35-32 victory against Burleson Centennial in a 5A Division I bi-district championship. The state’s fifth-ranked team in 5A will square off against (6-5) Amarillo at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Amarillo defeated El Pase Bel Air 49-0 in the Sandies’ bi-district victory after finishing third in District 2-5A DI. 

The Sandies are not particularly potent on offense but will be led by senior quarterback Will Flaming (70-143, 49.0%, 1,091yds, 9TD) and senior running back Pius Vokes (146car, 993yds, 11TDs). 

Saturday will mark the second consecutive 5A area championship appearance against a west Texas team at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls. And, just like in 2022, the Hawks will be without the (full) services of their QB1. 

In 2022, Red Oak entered the area championship with quarterback Jaylon Robinson dealing with a couple nagging injuries, most notably a lower leg injury that hampered his movement and escapability. The Hawks had defeated Denton Ryan in an overtime and upset fashion, 29-28, to reach round two against Abilene.

Robinson finished 3-of-15 passing for 22 yards after throwing for 1,743 yards and 22 touchdowns to 6 INTs on 107-of-200 passing during the previous 11 games. 

Red Oak fell to Abilene, 35-0, and finished the 2022 season 9-3. 

Fast forward approximately one calendar year.

Senior quarterback Reggie Moody Jr. had thrown for 2,529 yards and 28 touchdowns to 8 interceptions through the Hawks’ first 9-plus games. He had completed 176-of-his-252 passes (69.6%). 

Moody Jr. then exited Red Oak’s week 11 district championship victory against Midlothian with a right ankle injury. Barring a medical miracle, he will likely not take another snap as a Hawk.

Moody Jr. did verbally commit to continue his football career at East Texas Baptist University this past week. Quite a bit of good news for the Hawks’ QB1.

So, who did the Red Oak coaching staff turn to to take snaps behind center during the most crucial portion of the season? 

None other than senior running back Chris Martinez Jr.

Martinez Jr. has stepped up to complete 16-of-his-24 passes over the past two weeks for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. 

Prior to stepping in late in the final regular-season win against Midlothian, Martinez Jr. had attempted 4 passes on the season. He completed three of those, one going for a touchdown against Waco on Oct. 6. 

With a full week as QB1 under his belt, the 6-foot, 200-pound Martinez Jr. threw for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns to 1 interception in Friday’s bi-district win. He also completed 14-of-his-20 passes (70.0%). 

Underclassmen Taz Williams Jr. (6-144, TD) and Brayden Robinson (6-125, TD) were uncoverable with Martinez Jr. behind center. 

The quarterback also added to his impressive season-long rushing total with 12 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. Martinez Jr. has rushed 192 times for 1,122 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season. He has crossed the 100-yard plateau five times. 

Martinez Jr. completed his only pass for a 73-yard touchdown in 2022. He did rush 112 times for 677 yards and 6 touchdowns that season. 

An opportunity for redemption and validation comes Saturday.

HISTORY AND WHO’S GOT NEXT

For a program once void of victories or reasons to celebrate, Friday’s win marked the seventh playoff win in the program’s fifth appearance since 2018.

• 2022: 9-3 (area championship loss to Abilene 35-0, defeated Denton Ryan 29-28 in overtime)

• 2021: 2-8. No playoff berth.

• 2020: 9-3 (Regional Championship loss to Mansfield Summit, 41-38. Defeated Justin Northwest (62-7), De Valle (55-6) and Lubbock Coronado (42-41/OT). 

• 2019: 11-2 (Regional Semifinal loss to Aledo 34-14. Defeated Everman 55-24 and Denton Braswell 35-30). 

• 2018: 9-2 (bi-district loss to Midlothian 42-13)

Saturday’s Red Oak and Amarillo winner will face either Aledo or Lubbock Cooper in the regional semifinals. It’s then likely the victor of Justin Northwest and Denton Ryan in the regional finals.

Whichever program escapes the Region II portion of the bracket will be the favorite to win the state title — Frisco Lone Star, Longview, Lancaster and Richland are all still in play. 

_____

Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

tsmith@elliscosports.com

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

Check Also

Red Oak climbs 5A AP football poll ahead of regular-season battle for 4-5A crown

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports Red Oak weathered the literal storms to …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *