3A/2A/1A/6M/PVT Preview: Week 3
An expansive look at the best small-school action this weekend.
Fox Football Friday Powered by DCTF
LIVE Tonight, 7-11 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest!
LIVE FROM ELGIN AT GEORGETOWN!
Dave Campbell's Texas Football has again teamed up with Fox Sports Southwest to bring you Fox Football Friday Powered by DCTF, a four-hour live high school football show coming to you from the site of one of the biggest games of the week. Join Jeff Power and DCTF associate editor Greg Tepper as they bring you unprecedented Texas high school coverage, with highlights, score updates, analysis and more from all across Texas. It all starts on Friday, and it all starts on Fox Sports Southwest!
It's Friday night in Texas, which means tonight belongs to high school Football! DCTF's Greg Tepper previews the biggest games across Class 3A, Class 2A, Class 1A, Six-Man and the private school ranks. You won't want to miss these games!
Mount Pleasant (3-0) at Kilgore (2-0)
Oh, now this is a tantalizing strength-on-strength matchup. Kilgore’s defense has always been the star, and this year is no different, especially up front with DT LaDarrin Anthony and LB Kris Hayes. But Mount Pleasant’s offense is off-the-charts crazypants good. WR K.D. Cannon gets the headlines (and rightfully so; he caught 10 passes for 268 yards and five touchdowns last week), but RB T.L. Taylor and QB Cullen Grubbs have been fantastic as well. Yes, Kilgore’s got an offense (led by QB Benny Colbert and a bruising run game) and yes, Mount Pleasant has a defense (anchored by the underrated DE T’Nehous Smith), but we all know the matchup we want to see.
Tepper’s pick: Kilgore 35, Mount Pleasant 28
Nacogdoches (2-0) at Carthage (3-0)
Let’s take a moment and recognize Nacogdoches. Last week, they beat Lufkin for the first time since 1992. I was five years old the last time Nac beat Lufkin. And they did it thanks to big defensive plays, specifically Brandon Jones’ 95-yard INT return for a TD to give them the lead. QB Hunter McLellan’s been great…but this seems like too much for them to handle right now. Carthage is rolling behind QB Blake Bogenschutz, the running game of Tevin Pipkin and Bryan Bolton, and the all-around awesomeness of WR/DB Tee Goree…they’re No. 1 in 3A for a reason.
Tepper’s pick: Carthage 32, Nacogdoches 20
West Orange-Stark (2-1) at Jasper (1-2)
Jasper was a hard-luck loser last week, falling just short of Kirbyville, but I really like the way this team is built. It all starts with the Cuney Bros. – OL Terrell, RB Terence and LB DeAnthony – and they, along with QB Steve Walker, help to provide the Bulldogs with balance. Can they handle West Orange-Stark? The’ve been outstanding this year in their same way: defense (with DB Deionte Thompson) and running game (with RB Chris James). Expect more of the same this week.
Tepper’s pick: West Orange-Stark 28, Jasper 14
Shallowater (3-0) at Dalhart (3-0)
Out West, this game’s got me really excited. You may not be familiar with Dalhart, but here’s what you should know: their offense is as consistent as the day is long. They’ll grind out about 28-34 points with RB Guillermo Davila and QB Ben Allen, then sit back and let their defense of DB Justice Thelander and DE Obed Jujan do the rest. So the real question is: can the Dalhart defense slow down Shallowater superstar RB Jarek Black and QB Jace Robertson?
Tepper’s pick: Shallowater 36, Dalhart 32
Daingerfield (1-2) at Gilmer (3-0)
Ah, a clash of perennial powers out in east Texas. Gilmer has been everything you could possibly want and more so far this season – the offense has hummed behind two-way star Josh Walker, RB Kris Boyd and QB Tanner Barr, and the defense has been relentless thanks to LB Demarco Boyd and DB Devondrick Dixon. For Daingerfield, it’s been more of a struggle. QB Keris Alexander hasn’t found his groove yet, and neither has RB Cordarious Anderson. The defense has still been strong thanks to LB Calvin Bryant, but it’s been up and down. Can they right the ship in time for Gilmer? Worth noting: Gilmer has won 10 of the last 13 meetings between these two.
Tepper’s pick: Gilmer 47, Daingerfield 27
Other 3A Games to Watch…
Liberty-Eylau (1-2) at Celina (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Celina 42, Liberty-Eylau 25
Wichita Falls Hirschi (3-0) at Decatur (2-1)
Tepper’s pick: Wichita Falls Hirschi 32, Decatur 30
Luling (3-0) at Devine (2-1)
Tepper’s pick: Luling 29, Devine 26
Rio Hondo (2-1) at Rio Grande City Grulla (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: RGC Grulla 28, Rio Hondo 21
Aransas Pass (3-0) at Orange Grove (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Orange Grove 44, Aransas Pass 24
Somerset (2-1) at Cuero (2-1)
Tepper’s pick: Cuero 24, Somerset 23
Wall (3-0) at Sweetwater (2-1)
Tepper’s pick: Wall 35, Sweetwater 21
Arp (1-2) at Troup (2-1)
These two teams do not care for one another. Separated by just eight miles, this is a longstanding rivalry. And boy, there could be some fireworks tonight. Arp has the outstanding running back Marcaslas Johnson, who has already rumbled for six touchdowns, and the defense led by LB Kalik Hines Jr. appears to be rounding into form. Is that enough to slow down the great Blake Lynch, the incredible junior signal-caller for the (Troup) Tigers? What’s more, the defense has been solid thanks to Hitachi Lyida and Marquis Davis. This game will have twists and turns, but ultimately, it looks like Troup has the best player on the field in Lynch. Can the Arp defense match up?
Tepper’s pick: Arp 31, Troup 28
Mathis (3-0) at Goliad (2-1)
Fun fact: did you know that the Texas revolutionaries weren’t actually yelling “Remember the Alamo”? No, they were yelling “Remember Goliad”, the site of a slaughter at the hands of Mexican troops that is one of the more underreported parts of the Texas Revolution. Well, you should remember Goliad again, because the Tigers look solid. Even despite last week’s loss to Edna, the offense has been flying behind QB Dalton Sturm. The defense has been sound as well, but that’ll be tested at home tonight against a tough Mathis squad. The offense has been insane for the Pirates – 54.3 points per game of insanity – but against lackluster competition. What happens to WR Jason Gonzales’ big play ability takes on Goliad?
Tepper’s pick: Mathis 42, Goliad 40
Lorena (3-0) at Grandview (2-1)
So who, exactly, is Grandview? Two weeks ago, they were the toast of Texas after smothering Lago Vista in a 21-7 victory. And then they gave up 76 points to Eastland in a 76-64 loss. The offense looks fantastic behind RB Jordan Martinez, but which defense is going to show up? The good one had better come, because Lorena and the Central Texas Crusher (copyright Greg Tepper 2013) Harris Coleman, the Leopards’ QB, is coming and he ain’t stopping. This should be a game where we find out a lot about both teams.
Tepper’s pick: Lorena 42, Grandview 41
Canadian (2-1) at Abernathy (2-0)
For as long as we can remember, Abernathy has been about running the ball. Ground and pound, baby. But this year, they’ve found their wings and taken to the air in the form of QB Garrett Royal, who was fabulous in last week’s win over Sundown. The defense, too, has been swell, thanks to LBs Dru Lust and Baylor Smith. How do they match up against Air Canada? QB Ben Arbuckle and WRs Boston Hudson and Braiden Galla are averaging 319 yards through the air per game. But can the defense led by LB Jose Virgil match up with Royal? This could play out in so many different ways depending on which units show up strongest.
Tepper’s pick: Canadian 43, Abernathy 30
Geronimo Navarro (3-0) at Marion (2-1)
I think I’m developing a little football crush on Geronimo Navarro. What can I say? I love the way they play. They run the ball with Luke Jaroszewski and Evan Deleon, they play sound, bend-don’t-break defense with Ty Durham and Desmond Smith, and they just win. Now, this will be the first public school they’ve played so far, and Marion’s quite the public school – the Bulldogs have found a groove behind dual-threat QB Jourden Stanley. Can Navarro’s defense get enough stops to let the running game’s Novocain take effect?
Tepper’s pick: Geronimo Navarro 36, Marion 27
Other 2A Games to Watch…
Melissa (2-1) at Farmersville (2-1)
Tepper’s pick: Melissa 29, Farmersville 21
Madisonville (1-2) at Crockett (2-1)
Tepper’s pick: Madisonville 38, Crockett 27
Hardin-Jefferson (3-0) at East Chambers (1-1)
Tepper’s pick: East Chambers 31, Hardin-Jefferson 23
Pecos (2-1) at Crane (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Crane 43, Pecos 20
Godley (2-1) at Cisco (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Cisco 41, Godley 27
Tenaha (2-1) at Pineland West Sabine (3-0)
Yesterday, I Tweeted on the DCTF account that if you’re a fan of small-school football – and you should be – this is a great weekend for you. This is what we’re talking about. Two elite-level teams squaring off in a fun non-district game. Tenaha is coming off its most impressive win of the year, a drubbing of highly-ranked Alto, and it was a complete team effort – the running game dominated with RBs Cobe Caraway and Chavis Gregory; QB J.R. Hill was solid; and the defense, led by LB Denzelle Williams, was stellar. Now they face one of 1A’s most explosive offenses in West Sabine. How explosive? How about one hundered and sixty three points in three games?! Yeah. That’s some serious firepower. It’s RB Nick Williams, QB Reshod Williams and WR Joshua Duffey who are in complete control of this offense. But the defense really hasn’t been tested; can it get enough stops to make its explosive offense matter?
Tepper’s pick: Tenaha 41, Pineland West Sabine 38
Rogers (3-0) at Mart (2-1)
See what I mean about a loaded schedule in small-schools? Rogers has a crazy-big offense, but not in the normal way: they run the ball so effectively with RB Carson Skala and FB Brady Malovets that they don’t need to air it out. The defense probably isn’t as strong as it was last year, but it’s still pretty good with LBs Jackson Sodek and Enrique Godino. Mart has been exactly as good as we thought they’d be, which is to say “very.” QB DeNerian Thomas and RB D’Marcus Cosby lead the show, but the addition of QB Austin Rauls means they can move Thomas around to use his versatility all over the field. Couple that with a tenacious defense led by LB Collin Nail, and you have a state title contender. Which makes two state title contenders in this game. This will be the toughest game for both of these teams until the state semifinals, which makes it so hard to call.
Tepper’s pick: Mart 32, Rogers 27
Bosqueville (3-0) at Chilton (3-0)
Central Texas this week, y’all. There’s a delicious matchup brewing here between Bosqueville’s front seven defensively, anchored by all-everything DL Trent Andrews and LB Tyree Carpenter, against Chilton’s grind-you-down-to-dust rushing game with RB Charles Simpson and QB Javarius Young. That’s the headline. But the game will be determined by how well Chilton’s defense, like Simpson and DB Jake Giles, defend Bosqueville QB CJ Collins. Chilton’s probably just a little bit better, but this is a battle-tested Bosqueville team – remember, they outlasted Hubbard in overtime. Truly tough to call.
Tepper’s pick: Chilton 27, Bosqueville 24
Christoval (3-0) at Mason (2-1)
Mason’s loss last week to Comfort was stunning, but momentum is the next week’s game, and this game is…tough. Christoval’s been one of the more surprising teams this year, and it’s been a complete team effort. The defense has been fantastic, Tanner wells and Dusty Pruitt leading the way; and sophomore QB Jakob Whitworth has been a real emerging star. Can Mason and that grinding run game bounce back? Surely they can, right? Right?
Tepper’s pick: Mason 36, Christoval 28
Other 1A Games to Watch…
Reagan County (2-1) at Iraan (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Iraan 32, Reagan County 17
Price Carlisle (1-1) at Wolfe City (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Wolfe City 36, Price Carlisle 34
Kenedy (2-1) at Woodsboro (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Woodsboro 35, Kenedy 24
Italy (1-2) at Hubbard (2-1)
Tepper’s pick: Hubbard 41, Italy 24
Stanton (2-1) at McCamey (1-2)
Tepper’s pick: McCamey 17, Stanton 14
Littlefield (2-1) at Stratford (3-0)
Tepper’s pick: Stratford 38, Littlefield 27
Be sure to check out Ken Capps’ six-man blog for even more six-man coverage!
Ira (3-0) at Garden City (3-0)
It’s not often that we can say this, but something quite literally has to give in this one. Both Ira and Garden City are 3-0, and both are 3-0 on the strength of three mercy-rule wins (in six-man, if a team is up 45 or more at or after halftime, the game is over). So who blinks first? Will LB Juan bustos and QB Austin Odom continue their reign for Garden City? Or can QB Tyler Goodwin and DB Logan Morris keep on truckin’ for Ira?
Tepper’s pick: Ira 36, Garden City 30
Crowell (3-0) at Turkey Valley (3-0)
Most teams in six-man football are just offensive machines, but that’s not how Valley plays. The defense is the star here, as they’ve held opponents to just 36 points in their first three games, an absurdly low number for the six-man game. The reason: NG Gustavo Santos and LB Dustin Crump forming a fearsome front seven. Can they tackle Crowell’s high-powered attack, led by star QB Ethan Swearingen and do-it-all super-utility Lex Bond?
Tepper’s pick: Turkey Valley 44, Crowell 38
Abilene Christian (2-1) at Water Valley (3-0)
One of the very best private school six-man teams tangles with one of the very best public school six-man teams. Water Valley is rolling right now, having not given up a point since its Week Zero win over Grandfalls-Royalty, and it’s because of DB Trae Hannon and DB Connor Copley locking it down. Factor in QB Kellan Kirkland, and you see why the Wildcats are so fearsome. But Abilene Christian isn’t afraid of anyone – they nearly just beat Newcastle – and with playmakers like SB Zach Jennings and RB J.D. Dos Santos, why should they? This is a tough test for Water Valley, perhaps their toughest since their opener.
Tepper’s pick: Water Valley 52, Abilene Christian 40
Fort Worth All Saints (3-0) at Dallas St. Mark’s (2-0)
Have you seen what St. Mark’s has been doing? It’s not just downing 1A title contender Mart; it’s how they’re winning. QB John Webb and WR John Caldwell have already hooked up 19 times for 403 yards and five scores…in two games! And the defense isn’t half-bad either. But can they slow down Foster Sawyer, Blaze Moorehead and the blistering All Saints attack? This one could turn into a shootout, and that would be a lot of fun to watch.
Tepper’s pick: Fort Worth All Saints 49, Dallas St. Mark’s 42
Houston Christian (1-2) at Houston St. John’s (3-0)
Who needs to throw the ball to be exciting? Certainly not St. John’s, who have racked up a whopping 1,018 rushing yards in three games, thanks to QB Wes Wallace and RB Preston Neal. They’ve thrown the ball 13 times. Thirteen! All season! It’ll be up to Houston Christian, with DB John Clarke and LB Kyle Fronckiewicz, to slow down that attack. Easier said than done.
Tepper’s pick: Houston St. John’s 38, Houston Christian 20
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.