4A/3A/2A/Pvt. Preview: Week 2
Analyzing the weekend's best small-school action across Texas
It's Friday night in Texas, which means tonight belongs to high school football! DCTF's EJ Holland previews the biggest games across Class 4A, Class 3A and Class 2A while Greg Tepper takes a closer look at the private school ranks. You won't want to miss these games!
Abilene Wylie (0-1) at Burnet (1-0), Friday 7:30
Forget the fact that Abilene Wylie has a checkmark in the loss column. The Bulldogs outplayed Argyle, last year’s 3A Division II state champs, for the majority of the game last week. In fact, Abilene Wylie outgained Argyle, 428-123, but five turnovers were the deciding factor in a close 34-28 loss. If the Bulldogs can fix those mistakes, there is no reason they won’t bounce back against a tough Burnet team. But Burnet will have something to say about that. Bulldogs quarterback Austin Moore threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 51-45 shootout win over Marble Falls and the dangerous pass-catching duo of Cody Jones and Brock Foster will pose mismatches. The key for Abilene Wylie is getting a pass rush from outside linebacker Clay Johnston and defensive end Baylen Baker.
EJ’s pick: Abilene Wylie 37, Burnet 31
Big Spring (1-0) at Monahans (1-0), Friday 7:30
Big Spring has been the talk of the state over the past week after Tobyn Tannehill connected with Hunter Hill on a controversial 40-yard Hail Mary to knock off Kerrville Tivy, 58-56. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen the video of the play yet, you need to check is out ASAP. But even if you take away the controversy, Big Spring had an impressive showing against a solid Kerrville Tivy team that had an advantage in numbers. Tannehill was phenomenal, passing for 280 yards, rushing for 241 yards and scoring six total touchdowns. Monahans was just as explosive offensively in its 71-21 romp over Alpine. The Loboes run the old Wing T and feature two top-notch ball carriers in running backs Jacob Lair and Nicko Jasso. This one will come down to who can make the last stop.
EJ’s pick: Big Spring 59, Monahans 55
Kilgore (0-1) vs. CC Flour Bluff (1-0), at Galena Park Saturday 2
A huge East Texas vs. Coastal Bend battle is flying under the radar. But mark our words, this one will be a game you don’t want to miss. CC Flour Bluff is the larger school and has more experience offensively. With 10 returning starters including star wide receiver Aaron Dilworth, the Hornets are littered with savvy veterans, so don’t expect to see them make any mistakes in key situations. And that’s what it might come down to. Kilgore lost numerous key pieces from last year’s state finalist team and showed some growing pains in its Week 1 loss to Nacogdoches. But you can bet running back Kevrin Justice, a Houston commit, is ready to put the team on his back.
EJ’s pick: CC Flour Bluff 37, Kilgore 28
Port Lavaca Calhoun (1-0) at La Vernia (1-0), Friday 7:30
We’re hyped up about this one in the DCTF office. Not only is it an intriguing cross-classification matchup, but it pits two teams with very contrasting strengths. La Vernia is all about its hardnosed defense led by stalwart outside linebacker Noah McMeans. As Wimberley found out in last week’s 28-0 shutout, the Bears bring the wood — and boy, do they bring it. You know that awesome sound of helmets popping? Yeah, you’ll hear that often tonight. When it comes to Port Lavaca Calhoun, it’s all about the running game, with quarterback Raheem Jones and running back JC Garcia. The Sandcrabs put up 60 on Somerset last week and racked up a ridiculous 439 yards on the ground. But they also gave up 41. Will the La Vernia offense or the Port Lavaca Calhoun defense rise to the occasion? That will determine the game.
EJ’s pick: La Vernia 24, Port Lavaca Calhoun 23
Kennedale (1-0) at Gainesville (1-0), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Kennedale 24, Gainesville 10
Kaufman (0-1) at Fairfield (1-0), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Fairfield 31, Kaufman 20
Tyler Chapel Hill (1-0) vs. Whitehouse (1-0), Friday at Tyler Rose Stadium 7:30
EJ’s pick: Whitehouse 49, Tyler Chapel Hill 38
Coldspring-Oakhurst (0-1) at Silsbee (0-1), Friday at 7:30
EJ’s pick: Coldspring-Oakhurst 28, Silsbee 10
Cisco (1-0) at Wall (1-0), Friday 7:30
Here is a guest preview from our own Greg Tepper. If you haven’t read his column, Tepper’s Take, what the heck are you waiting for!? — 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 Jorge Alanis. It may come down to (gasp!) which quarterback plays better, be it Cisco’s Taylor Massey or Wall’s Bryce Dierschke.
EJ’s pick: Cisco 34, Wall 30
Daingerfield (0-1) at Malakoff (1-0), Friday 7:30
Ok, enough Tepper. Back to the star of the DCTF staff — me. Now, let’s talk about one of the biggest small-school contests that #bEASTtexas has to offer this weekend and a potential future playoff game. As in most cases, Daingerfield comes in as the favorite. The Tigers, along with New Boston, run region three in Class 3A and have a proud tradition of pummeling opponents. While Daingerfield fell to Gladewater and the Daylon Mack show last week, the Tigers are now battle tested and showed they could keep up with one of the top teams at the 4A level. The offense still has some kinks to work out, but there wont be much time to make adjustments against a Malakoff squad that destroyed Corsicana Mildred, 50-6, and looked impressive on both sides of the ball — running back Marcus Dowell is a powerful runner and linebacker Omar Gonzaelez specializes in big hits.
EJ’s pick: Daingerfield 31, Malakoff 27
Hallettsville (0-1) at Yoakum (1-0), Friday 7:30
When we first heard the news that quarterback Nate Kowalik was transferring from Hallettsville to Goliad, we had a big decision to make here at DCTF: keep the Brahmas as our preseason No. 1 or drop them. We kept them, but Hallettsville is no longer the top team after falling to West Columbia, 31-20, in Week 1. Maybe we were wrong about the Brahamas, or maybe they really miss Kowalik or maybe we’re overreacting to a small sample size. Whatever the case may be, Hallettsville has the chance to right the ship against a tough Yoakum squad that is coming off a 54-0 beat down of Marion. Led by do it-all-athlete Tre’Vontae Hights, a TCU pledge, Yoakum is poised to surprise this season and possibly pull the upset here.
EJ’s pick: Hallettsville 26, Yoakum 24
Goliad (1-0) at Odem (1-0), Friday 7:30
Oh looky here! It’s Kowalik’s new team — Goliad, which is all of a sudden being considered by an array of pundits as a potential state title contender. Kowalik was extremely impressive in his debut, completing 16-of-19 passes for 303 yards… in the first half! Goliad absolutely blew St. Joseph out of the water and could be even stronger in coming weeks with Aransas Pass transfer Kiki Hill. The UIL denied eligibility for Hill, but the Tigers will appeal, so he won’t suit up against Odem. Speaking of Odem, the Owls will give Kowalik and the gang their first true test of the season. Odem was my pick for 'team to keep an eye on' and for good reason —wide receiver Hunter Rodriguez is a mismatch nightmare and defensive tackle Daniel Longoria is a man among boys.
EJ’s pick: Goliad 42, Odem 31
Cameron Yoe (0-1) at Lexington (0-1), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Cameron Yoe 52, Lexington 35
Waskom (0-1) at Paul Pewitt (0-1), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Waskom 42, Paul Pewitt 20
Schulenburg (0-1) at Van Vleck (0-1), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Schulenburg 30, Van Vleck 21
Gunter (1-0) at Pottsboro (1-0), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Pottsboro 21, Gunter 16
Albany (1-0) at Dublin (1-0), Friday 7:30
Dublin made huge waves last week with its surprising 23-20 upset victory over Hico. Can Dublin do it again? Albany is ranked No. 2 in 2A DII, but Dublin might be catching them at the right time. Albany struggled in Week 1 and squeaked out a two-point victory over Colorado City. Yes, Albany got the win and that’s all that matters, but it does raise some questions. In the end, we think Albany will fine — wide receiver Alex Faith is one of the top pass catchers in the state and linebacker Stevie Phillips is a tackling machine. Dublin, however, has all the momentum in the world and a senior-laden offense led by wide receiver Zoey Kendall.
EJ’s pick: Albany 28, Dublin 24
Hico (0-1) at Crawford (1-0), Friday 7:30
We’re in for a Texas sized treat in this battle of top 10 teams. Think large chocolate extreme blizzard at Dairy Queen but even sweeter. Hico enters the game at No. 7 after the aforementioned loss to Dublin. Some might say that puts the Tigers under pressure. But we disagree. We think this just makes them angrier and hungrier — trust us, opposing defenders won’t want to get in running back Duane Hyles’ way. Meanwhile, No. 9 Crawford, our Class 2A Team of the Week, is still on Cloud 9 after an epic 42-41 overtime victory over Tolar. If there is one player we think can take on Hyles one-on-one, it’s imposing linebacker Braeden Murphy. Oh and by the way, Murphy rushed for 1,665 yards in 2013.
EJ’s pick: Crawford 32, Hico 29
Chilton (1-0) at Burton (0-1), Friday 7:30
It’s a tale of two teams coming off very different results in Week 1. Let’s start with Chilton. The Pirates opened the floodgates in the second half and cruised to a win over Milano behind a strong performance from their defense. Chilton held the Milano offense scoreless, with their only touchdown coming off an interception return for a touchdown, which by the way, was pretty much Chilton’s only error of the game. On the other side, Burton looked to be in total control with a 16-0 halftime lead against Thorndale but collapsed in the second half, falling 20-16. If Burton wants to beat this machine that is Chilton, it must put that loss behind them and focus on scoring more points.
EJ’s pick: Chilton 23, Burton 17
Falls City (1-0) at Poth (1-0), Friday 7:30
We never get tired of 3A vs. 2A non-district matchups. While there may be a difference in school population, games always seem to be ultracompetitive. And you should expect no different here. Poth is representing 3A and just missed out on cracking our 3A DII top 10 after a convincing 32-12 win over Randolph. There is a lot to like on both sides of the ball for Poth — quarterback Thomas Krawietz and linebacker/fullback Koby Pruski both earned District MVP honors a year ago and look to be even better in 2014. So how does Falls City plan to stop them? Well, our No. 4 team in 2A DII features a salty defensive front led by Conner Jendrusch, which helped Falls City limit D’Hanis to just six points last week.
EJ’s pick: Falls City 24, Poth 21
Booker (1-0) at Texoma, OK (0-0), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Booker 49, Texoma, OK 21
Bosqueville (1-0) at Hubbard (1-0), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Hubbard 27, Bosqueville 14
Bremond (1-0) at Thorndale (1-0), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Bremond 37, Thorndale 25
Trinity (1-0) at Centerville (0-1), Friday 7:30
EJ’s pick: Centerville 42, Trinity 27
Fort Worth All Saints (0-1) at Trinity Christian-Addison (0-0), Friday 7:30
All Saints finds itself in a place it hasn’t been in nearly three full years: coming off a loss. Last week’s 35-32 loss to Houston St. Pius X snapped their 22-game winning streak, and a big reason was defense: the Saints gave up 428 yards of offense, including 295 through the air. Now, they’ll face off against a TCA-Addison squad that’s got its own questions to answer, specifically how the defense will look. The offense should hum with QB Christian Hutzler and RB Nahshon Ellerbe, but who will slow down Saints QB Eric Getz? This has a chance to be a high-scoring shootout.
Tepper’s pick: Trinity Christian-Addison 44, Fort Worth All Saints 35
Abilene Christian (0-1) at Boerne Geneva (1-0), Friday 7:30
A big-time six-man showdown in the private school ranks, don’t be misled by Abilene Christian’s winless record — that loss came to Crowell, the defending public school champion. These are two of the very best six-man teams in the state, and it’s because of the clash in styles. Abilene Christian has weapons galore, with WRs Jonathan Gressett and Trey Hampton, while Geneva’s calling card is its defense, led by LB Cinco Watson and DL Hunter Hamon. The problem facing Abilene Christian is on its own defense, which must find a way to contain Geneva’s Bryce Hartis. And on a personal note, this is a game that features both Geneva LB Cinco Watson and Abilene Christian DE Champ Mongkonotasan. That’s just awesome.
Tepper’s pick: Boerne Geneva 58, Abilene Christian 44
Sealy (1-0) at Houston St. Pius X (1-0), Friday 7:30
We already mentioned St. Pius’ big win over FW All Saints last week, and it was truly a team effort offensively. QB Clayton Roberts was masterful, RB Micah Massey grinder it out, and WR Sam Vitulli (5 catches, 238 yards, 4 TDs) was other-worldly. Now, they must find some answers on defense, especially with dual-threat extraordinaire Holten Einkauf rolling into town with his Sealy squad. This is a well-balanced, dangerous Sealy offense that overpowered Brookshire Royal last week and has all the firepower to do it to Pius, too. But if the Panthers find some defense, they’re definitely good enough to win this one.
Tepper’s pick: Houston St. Pius 45, Sealy 35
Fredericksburg Heritage (1-0) at Austin Hill Country (0-1), Friday 7:30
Tepper’s pick: Fredericksburg Heritage 68, Austin Hill Country 54
Dallas Christian (0-1) at Dallas First Baptist (1-0), Friday 7:30
Tepper’s pick: Dallas Christian 38, Dallas First Baptist 30
East Bernard (0-1) at Houston Christian (1-0), Friday 7:30
Tepper’s pick: Houston Christian 48, East Bernard 30
EJ Holland is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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