Tepper's Take: Still Rolling
Tepper's Take honors the overlooked, predicts the big games and listens to Chicago/Detroit hip-hop.
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Editor’s note: This is Tepper’s Take, the weekly column from managing editor Greg Tepper. It’s a blend of football and non-football topics. All opinions are Greg Tepper’s alone. Enjoy.
It’s the September 4 edition of Tepper’s Take, ain't no blood pumpin' no fear, I got hope inside of my bones.
Working for “the bible of Texas football” can be a lot of pressure, if only because we cover such a huge swath of teams. Between 12 FBS colleges, eight FCS colleges, six Division II colleges, nine Division III colleges, three NAIA colleges, six community colleges and, oh yeah, 1,400 high schools, there’s a lot of football to cover.
And inevitably, some stories will slip through the cracks every week. There’s no way around it. It happens.
Consider this an attempt to clean up some of those oversights, in a section I’ll lovingly call Things You Might Have Missed.
-Congratulations to Houston St. Pius X, who toppled Fort Worth All Saints, 35-32 on Saturday. Why is this significant? Because it snapped All Saints’ 22-game winning streak.
-Speaking of streak-snappers, congratulations to Carrollton R.L. Turner, which snapped its 27-game losing streak with a 61-0 win over Dallas Molina.
-Congratulations to La Marque head coach Mike Jackson, who notched his 150th career win by beating rival Galveston Ball, 12-6.
-And how about the work of the Teague offense? So much offense, be it from QB Austin Skinner (439 yards, 8 TDs passing), RB John Love (210 yards, 3 TDs rushing) or WRs Aaron Mitchell and Mikkail Shepherd (combined 14 catches for 325 yards and 5 TDs) in the win over Lexington.
-Finally, let’s be sure to tip the cap to Texas Southern, who scored a thrilling 37-35 win over Prairie View A&M as they continue to come back from the sanctions that crippled them in 2010.
Games I’d TiVo If The UIL Would Let Me (And College Games I Will, In Fact, TiVo)
Cisco at Wall, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hawk Stadium
Game of the week? I say yes! It’s the defending champion Loboes (Cisco fans: is it with or without the ‘e’? Please advise) visiting the defending runner-up Hawks in a clash of hard-charging running games and terrific defenses. Cisco’s got RB Landen Lewis, do-it-all athlete Kotie Hoover and LB Cody Gibson; Wall’s got the running combo of Kris Gutierrez and Clint Masters, plus NG Lane Oliver and LB Tate Schwartz. It may come down to (gasp!) which quarterback plays better, be it Cisco’s Trevor Massey or Wall’s Bryce Dierschke. Either way, this is as good as West Texas football (or, really, football in general) gets. Expect everyone who plays in this one to be sore on Saturday morning.
Tepper’s pick: Cisco 24, Wall 21
Texas Tech at UTEP, 10 p.m. Saturday at the Sun Bowl
A week ago, if you’d asked me how this game would go, I wouldn’t have thought about it. “Tech in a romp,” I would’ve said before putting my feet on my desk to congratulate myself on another outstanding analysis job. Now, based on last week’s results? I’m not so sure it’s clear-cut. UTEP’s running game looked exactly like Sean Kugler’s offense is supposed to look against New Mexico, with Aaron Jones slicing up the Lobos. Meanwhile, Tech played with its food and squeaked by Central Arkansas at home. It’s also worth considering that the last two times Tech has traveled to El Paso, it’s won by a combined seven points…and the time before that, the Miners won. I don’t want to overreact to a small sample size, but could this game be closer than we originally expected? Maybe. But I still like the Red Raiders.
Tepper’s pick: Texas Tech 42, UTEP 27
Port Lavaca Calhoun at La Vernia, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bear Stadium
This game is flying so far under the statewide radar that it’s kind of unbelievable. Is it because it’s a 5A vs. 4A? Is it because most people don’t know how good La Vernia is? Whatever it is, this could be a slobberknocker, with LV’s Noah McMeans-led defense going up against Port Lavaca Calhoun’s always steady running game, with QB Raheem Jones and RB JC Garcia. The difference should be whether or not Calhoun (which gave up 41 points to Somerset) can slow down LV’s QB Colby Skelton and RB Ethan Dennis. This game will be awesome, mark my words.
Tepper’s pick: Port Lavaca Calhoun 30, La Vernia 29
Three Bold, Sure-To-Be-Wrong Predictions
Ouch: starting off 1-for-3, with San Antonio Brennan’s win over Rouse preventing getting skunked. I’m 1-for-3 on the year.
-Manvel edges out Galena Park North Shore in the other game that has a claim to being the game of the week.
-North Texas finds some offense and outduels SMU to get its first win of the season.
-John Tyler takes down Longview as CUJO looks more and more like a state title contender.
Each week, I’ll identify one player to watch across the state who could be poised for a breakout game. If he does, in fact, have a breakout game (we’ll define the stakes each week), he’ll get the honorary title of Manster — half-man, half-monster — and a place in this column for the entire season. Also: a 2005 Pontiac Aztek. OK, just the title.
Last week, the Manster Watch took a look at Richmond George Ranch ATH Xavian Marks. The challenge: 150 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. And guess what? HE DID IT! With 184 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-17 win over Pearland Dawson, Xavian Marks gets to spend an entire season in this column. Congratulations, Xavian, and thank you for making me sound like I know what I’m talking about.
This week, the Manster Watch will focus on Chilton RB Demarcus Simpson. The Pirates’ main weapon got off to a slow start in Week 1 against Milano but blew it open in the second half, running for four touchdowns. He’s one of Central Texas’ best-kept secrets, but I think he’s got superstar written all over him.
So here’s the deal, Mr. Simpson: we need 100 yards and two touchdowns against a tough Burton defense in order to make the Manster list. You should ask Xavian Marks: it’s pretty awesome.
2014 Mansters: George Ranch ATH Xavian Marks.
Song Sure to Get You Fired Up for Football
“Gold and a Pager,” by The Cool Kids. This Detroit/Chicago duo came on the scene in the mid-2000s, and while they haven’t had major commercial success, they’ve continually put out strong music, most recently their album “Shark Week,” which dropped earlier this year. But my favorite of their tracks is this one, off their 2008 album “The Bake Sale.” This is a perfect illustration of what the Detroit and Chicago style of rap can be yet so often is not — heavy hooks, thoughtful lyrics and measured flows. I haven’t had a chance to listen to their latest album, but it’s on my To-Do list.
Personal Rankings Apropos of Nothing
Top 5 Ways to Drink Coffee:
2) Not at all
3) Not at all
4) Not at all
5) With anything in it
Pre-Game Meal of the Week
Slow cooker Teriyaki chicken! Apparently, y’all are really into Crock Pot recipes. I heard from no fewer than a dozen of who you shared my love of the Crock Pot, so why stop with just one? This week’s recipe is for Teryaki chicken, which sounds tough but isn’t. Grab about a pound of frozen chicken and a pack of frozen pineapple chunks; toss ‘em in the Crock Pot. Then, make a sauce of ½ a cup of soy sauce, a quarter-cup of brown sugar and two cloves of garlic (minced). Mix it up, pour it on top of the chicken and pineapples. Cook for 6-8 hours on low, and when you’re about an hour away from it being done, toss in two sliced bell peppers. I promise, you’ll have a killer Chinese dinner, and your significant other/roommate/stranger you invited in for a nice meal will be very impressed.
Bye Week Distraction
No game for your team this week? Not a problem. We’ll get you through the weekend.
Longtime fans of Tepper’s Take know that I’m really into anything that helps you find new music. So, behold: MusicRoamer.com. Plug in an artist you like (or even just a genre), and hit “Go”. It’ll find dozens if not hundreds of similar artists for you to try out. WARNING: you will get lost in this site for hours and hours. I cannot be held responsible for diminished productivity. The Tepper’s Take lawyers said so.
Yell At Me
Impressive (and True!) Trivia of the Week
Did you know that the Queen of England is the de facto owner of every swan in England and Wales? Yep: any unmarked swan (that is: not legally owned by a person) is under the rule of the Queen, who has prerogative over every one of them. Once again: it’s good to be Queen.
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