Class 3A-2A-1A preview: Can Sealy, Celina stay unbeaten?
By Dennis Hall / Texas Football
La Grange (2-1) at Sealy (3-0)
Back when Sealy was rolling to state titles in the 1990s, the Tigers rarely played close games because they were so dominant on both sides of the ball. That’s the way this year’s team is starting to look after their third blowout in as many weeks. So far, Sealy has outscored the opposition, 139-12. RB Jowan Davis has rushed for 412 yards on only 43 carries (9.6 yards per carry). La Grange has a prolific offense that can score points with anyone, led by standout WR Brandon Wilkerson, who had eight catches last week for 205 yards and four TDs. The problem for La Grange is a leaky defense that gave up 51 points to Columbus in that same game, a 51-41 loss.
DCTF Prediction: Sealy 45, La Grange 27.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Sealy by 29.
Celina (3-0) at (2A) Melissa (2-1)
Celina’s past history is much like Sealy’s. When Celina was winning state titles, the Bobcats usually blew out the opposition and scored a bunch of points in the process. So far this year, Celina has posted 62, 56 and 56 points, and looks once again like a state title contender. Celina likes to spread the wealth offensively and has done that so far with three RBs sharing the burden: Jamarick Simmons (313 rushing yards), Daniel Mendoza (218 yards) and Jose Romero (203 yards). Melissa relies on the talents of QB Wes McQueen (657 passing yards), but he’ll have to improve on his 6-5 touchdown-interception ratio if the Cardinals are going to pull off the upset.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Celina by 29.
Wimberley (3-0) at La Vernia (1-2)
These two teams have played monstrous schedules, and La Vernia has the bumps to show for it. La Vernia opened with losses against Abilene Wylie and Fischer Canyon Lake but then came up with an impressive 21-20 win over Giddings last week. La Vernia made a tough stop on a two-point conversion at the end of the game to preserve the victory. Wimberley also has a memorable victory against Cuero in its season opener. Wimberley has one of the state’s best RBs in Dennis Smith.
DCTF Prediction: Wimberley 34, La Vernia 30.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Wimberley by 19.
Prosper (2-1) at Bridgeport (3-0)
Prosper rolled out to a 2-0 start before hitting a speed bump last week in a 15-14 loss to Alvarado. Led by RB Juan Williams, Prosper is supposed to have an explosive offense, but that was the second time they’ve been held to two touchdowns in a game. Bridgeport has had no such concerns. Led by QB Cody Henson, Bridgeport has scored 133 points in three games and seems capable of lighting up the scoreboard against anybody. Last week’s 34-21 win against Springtown was Bridgeport’s closest game so far this season.
DCTF Prediction: Bridgeport 35, Prosper 28.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Bridgeport by 7.
Abilene Wylie (1-2) at (4A) Waco (1-2)
I can’t imagine what the travel budgets must look like for the Abilene schools. Abilene High has already played in San Antonio and Florida, while Cooper played in Austin. Now Wylie makes a trip to Waco. I know it’s hard to find non-district competition in West Texas, but this seems a bit extravagant. Wylie has paid the price for its tough non-district schedule. The Bulldogs have lost back-to-back games against Stephenville and Graham, but those experiences should help them in district play. The same is true for Waco, which has lost to Copperas Cove and Killeen Ellison but still looks like a good team. They can prove it here by handling business against a 3A foe.
DCTF Prediction: Waco 31, Wylie 27.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Wylie by 6.
Lorena (3-0) at Kennedale (2-1)
I mentioned a few weeks ago that schools with female names (i.e. Lorena and Melissa, above) seem to have an inordinate amount of success. Lorena keeps making me look smart by rolling through its non-district competition. The Leopards have beaten West, Grandview and Lampasas, and all by double digits. This will be their toughest test to date, as Kennedale is a 3A power and already has a blowout win over Denison on its resume. Both teams have tough ground games, so whoever can control the ball and avoid turnovers should win.
DCTF Prediction: Kennedale 38, Lorena 32.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Kennedale by 8.
Center (2-1) at Henderson (3-0)
The Center Roughriders are the latest test for Henderson, which has aced its early-season exams so far. Henderson has beaten three of its East Texas brethren, including an impressive 10-point win over Kilgore last week. Center won’t be a pushover. The Roughriders have won two games in blowout fashion and suffered a single loss to state-ranked Linden-Kildare. But Henderson has looked impenetrable so far and should be able to keep its unbeaten record intact.
DCTF Prediction: Henderson 35, Center 21.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Henderson by 10.
Monahans (3-0) at Big Spring (2-1)
These teams are located only about 100 miles apart, yet they haven’t played in a decade. Tonight’s game will be a contrast in styles. Monahans likes to run the ball out of the wing-T attack, and that plan has worked well as Monahans has rolled to a 3-0 start, including a thrilling 43-42 win over Snyder in Week Zero. Big Spring has a more balanced spread offense attack, and the Steers are coming off an impressive 42-14 win over Plainview.
DCTF Prediction: Monahans 38, Big Spring 31.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Monahans by 5.
Cameron Yoe (3-0) at Navasota (2-1)
The Yoemen have started off red hot, and now they travel for a rematch against Navasota. Yoe’s win over the Rattlers last season was arguably the Yoemen’s biggest win of the season. Yoe already has had one monumental win this season when the Yoemen beat Rockdale last week in the “Battle of the Bell.” Yoe has been beating its opponents by an average score of 40-14. Navasota is 2-1 but is coming off a disappointing shutout loss to Bryan Rudder, 17-0.
DCTF Prediction: Cameron Yoe 39, Navasota 33.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Yoe by 10.
Silsbee (2-1) at Newton (1-1)
Newton bounced back strong from a blowout loss to Kirbyville, stomping Corrigan-Camden 40-6 last week. RB Kelvin Bennett leads Newton’s powerful rushing attack, which will be challenged by Silsbee’s stout defense. Silsbee has only allowed 37 points in three games.
DCTF Prediction: Newton 28, Silsbee 23.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Newton by 11.
Jefferson (2-1) at West Rusk (2-1)
DCTF Prediction: West Rusk and Jefferson are a pair of strong East Texas teams trying to prove that they can be consistent winners. Both are off to solid starts. Jefferson is coming off an impressive win over Omaha Paul Pewitt, while West Rusk blew out New Diana last week.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Pick ‘em.
(3A) Geronimo Navarro (3-0) at Lexington (3-0)
Navarro is coming off back-to-back wins over private schools and now faces a big test from a Lexington team that is loaded with talent. Lexington is not only unbeaten, the Eagles have posted two shutouts and won their three games by an average score of 39-5. Lexington’s biggest win was a 23-14 victory over Blanco in Week 1
DCTF Prediction: Lexington 27, Navarro 23.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Lexington by 15.
Paul Pewitt (1-2) at Hughes Springs (3-0)
Paul Pewitt continues its tough non-district run with a game against unbeaten Hughes Springs. Paul Pewitt already has played three nail-biters, including losses to Liberty-Eylau and Jefferson and a three-point win over Arp. Hughes Springs has a stout defense that has allowed only 39 points in three opening victories, including a shutout win over Hooks in Week 1.
DCTF Prediction: Paul Pewitt 27, Hughes Springs 20.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Paul Pewitt by 4.
New Waverly (2-1) at Franklin (3-0)
New Waverly opened the season with an impressive blowout win over Lovelady and added another win last week against Jewett Leon, sandwiched around a loss to Hearne. Franklin beat that same Hearne squad and is unbeaten, so give the edge to Franklin.
DCTF Prediction: Franklin 27, New Waverly 21.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Franklin by 14.
New Boston (3-0) at (3A) Longview Spring Hill (1-2)
Spring Hill only has one win but won’t be a pushover, as evidenced by its 40-35 win over White Oak last week. Spring Hill has a strong offense, led by QB Dylan Brown. New Boston has quietly put together an unbeaten record with three consecutive blowout wins against weaker opponents. Spring Hill will give New Boston its first big test of the season
DCTF Prediction: New Boston 35, Spring Hill 31.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: New Boston by 12.
Mart (3-0) at (2A) Rogers (3-0)
Both teams are unbeaten, but Mart has looked much better so far this season. The Panthers have won all three games in blowout fashion, posting two shutouts while scoring 148 points in three games. That includes a 50-0 pasting of Chilton in the Zero Week that avenged a 2009 loss to the same team. Meanwhile, Rogers is also 3-0 but has struggled with penalties and turnovers so far. If Rogers is going to knock off the best team in 1A, the Eagles will need to cut down on mistakes and get a big rushing performance from an offense that averages more than 400 rushing yards per game.
DCTF Prediction: Mart 42, Rogers 24.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Mart by 22.
Seymour (3-0) at Windthorst (2-1)
Seymour has ridden the arm of QB Aaron Barton to a perfect 3-0 start. Barton already has 864 passing yards and nine TDs in three games. Seymour has scored 148 points in three games. Windthorst can’t match that total, but the Trojans did score 70 points last week in a blowout win against Olney.
DCTF Prediction: Seymour 45, Windthorst 38.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Seymour by 3.
Cayuga (3-0) at Dawson (1-2)
Cayuga wasn’t expected to be as good this year with the departure of coach Tommy Allison and star players Traylon Shead (Texas) and Malcome Kennedy (Texas A&M). But what do you know: The Wildcats are 3-0 and have won each game by double digits. Dawson should provide a sturdy test despite its losing record. The Bulldogs beat Moody last week after opening with losses to Axtell and Kerens. This is Dawson’s first home game.
DCTF Prediction: Cayuga 28, Dawson 27.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Cayuga by 13.
Garrison (3-0) at Tenaha (2-1)
This might be a bad week to face Tenaha, which should be angry and ready to prove itself after a disappointing 47-6 loss to Alto. Tenaha has lots of speed, and will countered by the power of Garrison. Garrison has picked up three hard-fought victories but hasn’t faced a challenge as big as it will this week. Tenaha has state title aspirations in 1A Division II and will look to prove that last week’s loss to Alto said more about Alto’s strength than it did about Tenaha’s deficiencies.
DCTF Prediction: Tenaha 35, Garrison 31.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Tenaha by 10.
Haskell (2-1) at Munday (2-1)
Munday has posted back-to-back wins after a disappointing blowout loss to Stamford to start the season. The Moguls will count on QB Kyler Urbanczyk to lead the offense. Haskell also has won two in a row after losing to Archer City in its opener.
DCTF Prediction: Munday 31, Haskell 21.
Jerry’s Forrest’s pick: Munday by 13.