Monahans (1-0) at Andrews (1-0): It’s an old school West Texas showdown as Monahans visits old rival Andrews, which has ditched the spread offense and joined the Slot-T mafia. Monahans, fresh off a trip to the regional finals in 4A-Division II a year ago, rolled past Shallowater, 48-7, as QB Cheno Navarette accounted for five touchdowns (two passing and three rushing). Andrews pulled off a bit of an upset defeating Canyon Randall, 32-21. RB JaeSean DeBouse ran for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns to pace the Mustangs in the upset win. Andrews ran for 391 yards on the night and picked off three passes on the defensive end, which spurred the upset. Monahans is a veteran team with a dynamic playmaker at QB who won’t make mistakes. This will be a shootout as I’m not certain Monahans is ready for the challenges the Andrews offense will present. In a shootout, I’ll go with the team who has the best gunslinger and that’s Monahans. Stepp’s Pick: Monahans by 6
Bay City (1-0) at Edna (1-0): Edna proved just how dangerous they were at the 3A-Division I level last season when it stepped up two divisions and knocked off Bay City. The Cowboys will try and do it again, but they’ll need to be sharper than they were last week as they struggled to put away East Bernard in a 41-27 win. QB Jaiden Clay and RB Kade Rodas led the way for the Cowboys in the win. Bay City got a tough test from a much-improved Sweeny squad, but the Blackcats pulled away for a 40-27 win as QB Alex Estrada had a big night with four touchdown passes. Bay City’s overall speed will exceed what Edna brings to the table and its not often Edna faces a team that can present those types of challenges. Add in the fact that BCHS has Baylor commit Carlon Jones on the interior defensive line. As long as it doesn’t make mistakes like last season, Bay City should come away with the win, but it’ll be a well-earned victory. Stepp’s Pick: Bay City by 7
Wimberley (1-0) at San Antonio Pieper (1-0): In what may be the best game of the night in the San Antonio area Class 4A-Division II Wimberley steps up two divisions to take on a much-improved Pieper squad, both teams opened their 2023 campaigns with emphatic wins. Wimberley drilled Canyon Lake 60-6 last week extending their regular season winning streak to sixteen games. Piper, who won just a pair of games in their debut season a year ago, but the Warriors are clearly improved as they blasted Leander Glenn 62-0. QB Jake South led a dynamic Pieper attack, while the Warriors defense absolutely stymied Leander Glenn’s ground oriented offensive attack. Pieper is much improved and a probable playoff team, but these high-leverage big games are where a program like Wimberley thrives. The Texans make the plays down the stretch to win a close one. Stepp’s Pick: Wimberley by 6
Bushland (1-0) at Canadian (1-0): It’s a big week for non-district action for the small schools in the Texas Panhandle and this is just one of the marquee showdowns as 3A-Division I Bushland visits the state’s top ranked team in 3A-Division II Canadian. Bushland held off a tough Canyon West Plains squad, 47-41. QB Dawson Jaco picked up right where he left off the Falcons a year ago with another monster game throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another touchdown as the Falcons won a back-and-forth affair. Canadian left the state last week and came back with an emphatic 55-0 win over Seminole, OK. QB Camren Cavalier threw for 282 yards and five touchdowns in just one half of action as Canadian’s reserves played the second half. Canadian’s defense was just as stout holding Seminole to just 73 yards of total offense on the evening. This could be a track meet, but Canadian’s defense is a difference making unit and they’ll get a couple of stops and pull away from Bushland at home. Stepp’s Pick: Canadian by 10
Timpson (1-0) at Jefferson (1-0): If you thought Timpson was a one-man show going into last week’s 2A-Division I showdown with state-ranked Beckville, then you were gravely mistaken. The Bears made a big statement with a dominant 50-13 win without the reigning Mr. Texas Football Terry Bussey. J.J. Garner, who filled in for Bussey at QB, showed he’s more than capable of leading the attack as the junior had a monster night rushing for 207 yards and five touchdowns, while adding in 133 yards through the air. If there was a negative for Timpson, it’s that the score potentially could have been even more lopsided had the Bears not been plagued by penalties for much of the evening. Jefferson was equally dominant last week in a 41-0 win over New Boston. Kamran Williams carried 18 times for 338 yards and four touchdowns to lead the JHS attack, while DB Daniel Smith picked off a pair of passes in a total team victory. Jefferson’s defense allowed just 145 yards and forced six New Boston turnovers. Expect Jefferson to zero in on Garner this week and see if Timpson has a Plan B to beat them as it’s likely Bussey won’t make his debut for another couple of weeks. Jefferson is a full two divisions larger than Timpson, so can the Bulldogs depth wear down THS? Timpson drilled Jefferson a year ago and even without Bussey, I think the Bears have enough to get it done, although it’ll be a tight one. Stepp’s Pick: Timpson by 6
Coahoma (1-0) at Sonora (1-0): It’s an intriguing matchup out in the Concho Valley on Friday as Coahoma visits powerful Sonora. Coahoma’s offense was sharp last week as the Bulldogs took down rival Forsan in a shootout 50-34. The Bulldogs’ passing game was on fire as WR Austin Perkins hauled in six passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns to lead the way. Sonora ripped past Ballinger last week, 46-12. Despite being the smaller school, Sonora dominated Ballinger in the second half, 19-0, to turn a competitive game into a rout in the second half. Coahoma’s offensive firepower will present Jaime Buitron and Sonora some challenges, but Sonora has experience in bunches as its a bona fide contender in 2A-Division I Region I. Stepp’s Pick: Sonora by 12
Sunray (1-0) at Stratford (1-0): There’s a lot of hype at the 2A-Division II level around Sunray this year, and for good reason. The Bobcats have one of the state’s most dynamic offensive attacks. If they want to prove they are more than just a good team and ready to take the next step, a good showing against perennial power Stratford will change a lot of minds. Sunray took out Hooker, OK, 49-23, behind a strong performance from QB Armando Lujan, who threw for 388 yards and four touchdowns and added a touchdown on the ground. Stratford looked to be in mid-season form last week as the Elks cruised past Class 3A Spearman, 37-0. Stratford’s defense was lights out holding Spearman’s ground-oriented offense to just 67 yards and three first downs on the night. QB/LB Bryce Braden got it done on both sides of the ball throwing for 94 yards while adding 77 yards and two rushing TDs; just for grins he had 14 tackles as well. Sunray’s aerial circus offense will be a challenge for Stratford, but the Elks’ size and physicality is just too much for a small, but quick Sunray squad. Stratford makes a statement that it is still the top dog when it comes to 2A football in the Texas Panhandle. Stepp’s Pick: Stratford by 17
Decatur (0-1) at Wichita Falls Rider (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Decatur by 8
Dallas Carter (1-0) vs Dallas Kimball (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Dallas Carter by 3
Palestine (0-1) at Jasper (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Jasper by 10
Kingsville (1-0) at San Diego (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Kingsville by 4
Cameron Yoe (1-0) at Yoakum (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Cameron Yoe by 10
Merkel (1-0) at Stanton (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Merkel by 15
Hooks (1-0) at Cooper (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Hooks by 8
Woodville (0-1) at Newton (0-0) Stepp’s Pick: Woodville by 10
London (1-0) at Refugio (0-1) Stepp’s Pick: Refugio by 21
Muenster (0-1) at Paradise (1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Paradise by 27
Last Week Record: 15-5 75.0%
Season Record: 15-5 75.0%
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