As the playoff picture begins to show a little of what to expect when October comes around, several teams in the county are fighting for the district title.
Empire comes into the game 5-1, riding off a four-game win streak as they hosted the Snyder Cyclones Friday as one and two in the district go toe-to-toe.
Empire took the win in a big game by the large margin of 40-14.
Things got off hot for Empire from the jump, as Mitchell Monteith connected to Santos Benetiez over the middle for a 12-yard passing play.
Ensuing play, Clayton Nunez made the carry from the 22-yard line to take it to the end zone, striking first and very early in the contest.
Gabe Diaz then rushed it in for the two-point play, and the score quickly was in the favor of Empire, 8-0.
The Empire defense dominated all quarter long as the Cyclones could not mount any offense. Snyder was able to get down to the five-yard line, but a fumble recovery by the Bulldogs killed all the momentum.
The defense, anchored by Mcray Weber and Landon Burton, shutout Snyder in the first quarter, leaving it 8-0 as the second quarter began.
Gabe Diaz got his first carry of the night, and it was a big run. The freshman broke some tackles on the way to a 45-yard touchdown run.
The two-point play was no good, but Diaz was not done there yet.
Diaz added another score, this time taking it 65-yards to house, slipping and diving in for his second touchdown of the night.
Monteith found his receiver in the end zone, and the successful two-point play put Empire up on a commanding 22-0 lead.
Snyder answered back finally with an ensuing drive as Kyle Finn found end zone.
With the unsuccessful two-point play, the Bulldogs controlled the Cyclones 22-6.
Following a trade of fumbles between the schools, Snyder called on Finn again, who punched it from 5-yards out to quickly make it a close game.
Finn also converted the two-point conversion, making it 22-14 in the early stages of the second half.
The Bulldogs just went right back to work, as the Monteith-Daniel Alavrez connect found a 20-yard passing play deep in Cyclone territory.
Monteith continued to let it fly, this time finding Clayton Nunez for a 26-yard passing touchdown.
With the two-point play no good, Empire took another and jabbed another heavyweight punch to the Cyclones, scoring at 28-14.
That carried the Bulldogs into the very important fourth quarter with the game still in the balance.
The fourth quarter showed the Bulldogs pulling away, and maybe even the district title with it, as everything continued to flow in the momentum of Empire.
Nunez got things going for the Bulldogs, rumbling for a huge 30-yard gain.
Ensuing play, Monteith punched it from eight-yards out, taking total control of the game.
Even with no two-point play, Empire controlled the game 34-14.
As the Cyclones prepared to strike back on the Bulldogs, a fumble ended any hopes of a comeback for the Cyclones.
To add more salt the wound, the fumble led to a scoop-and-score by Nunez, which put the final nail in the coffin.
Even with the unsuccessful two-point conversion, Empire cruised easily to victory and also to sole possession of first place in District 3, Class B.
Empire extended their win streak to five, and now look to capture their first district title in eight years.
Empire will look to keep it going, making it to win number six as they travel to rival Waurika to take on the Eagles with a 7 p.m. kickoff time.
Final stats for the game:
Monteith: 4-9, 81 yards, 1 TD
Gabe Diaz: 109 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Clayton Nunez: 86 rushing yards, 1 TD
Mitchell Monteith: 37 rushing yards, 1 TD