Iowa Colony (2-0) at Brookshire Royal (2-0): Most expected Iowa Colony to be greatly improved this season and the Pioneers through two weeks have delivered with blowout wins against over-matched opponents. They’ll face their biggest test of the young season this week against unbeaten Brookshire-Royal.
Last week Iowa Colony drubbed Houston KIPP Sunnyside, 65-0, in a game that really didn’t tell us much about Ray Garza’s squad. The Pioneers dominated in every phase of the game and played backups most of the second half.
After a close win over Houston Worthing to open the season, Brookshire Royal had a much easier time last week as the Falcons blasted Houston Furr, 40-7.
Iowa Colony will be Royal’s toughest opponent by a factor of about 10 this week and that step up in competition will take some time to adapt to. In the meantime, Iowa Colony should start fast and cruise to a 3-0 start in year two of varsity football.
Stepp’s Pick: Iowa Colony by 15
Yoakum (2-0) at Cuero (2-0): It’s the Dewitt County rivalry and for the first time in several years both teams come into this one state ranked as 3A Yoakum visits big brother Cuero in what should be a fantastic matchup.
Yoakum comes in flying high after the Bulldogs made a statement in their 41-20 win over Cameron Yoe a week ago. QB Zachary Taylor, an Army commit who transferred in from Del Rio, has been a revelation for YHS as he tossed three touchdowns and ran for another leading the Bulldogs attack.
Cuero has dominated through two weeks as the Gobblers have outscored two opponents, 76-14. Last week CHS blew past Geronimo Navarro, 35-7. QB Mason Notaro is one of the state’s most underrated signal callers and Cuero’s defense has a monster in LB Brandt Patek, who tallied 21 tackles a week ago.
Yoakum has the playmakers at the skill spots to matchup and challenge Cuero, but up front is where Cuero typically has the edge and where they’ve taken care of Yoakum.
Stepp’s Pick: Cuero by 13
Cameron Yoe (1-1) at Waco Connally (2-0): Cameron Yoe took one on the chin last week as the Yoemen were drilled by Yoakum to the tune of 41-20. QB Braylan Drake threw for 199 yards and three touchdowns, but he was also intercepted three times.
WR Ja’Quirious Hardman brought in four receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns to lead Yoe, but the turnovers and inability to contain Yoakum’s big plays did Yoe in.
Speaking of big plays, Waco Connally was full of them last week as RB Kiefer Sibley led the way in the Cadets 48-40 win over Waco La Vega. The senior back had a monster night with 356 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
This was a high-scoring shootout a year ago and I expect the same this week with both teams featuring a bevy of explosive playmakers. Connally’s just got a little bit too much on offense and they’ll make a play or two more on the defensive side of the ball and get the win.
Stepp’s Pick: Waco Connally by 9
Bushland (1-1) at Childress (2-0): Bushland went to Canadian last week and simply couldn’t keep up with the Wildcats in a 55-35 defeat. The Falcons offense clicked once again as QB Dawson Jaco threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns in the loss, but Bushland’s defense has some concerns allowing 96 points in two games.
Childress went on the road last week and won a tough one against a solid 3A-D1 squad in Breckenridge 24-21. QB Drake Rabe led the way for Childress with 223 yards passing and a touchdown and he ran for another touchdown as well.
Childress’ offense has had some struggles early on averaging just 19 points per game through two weeks, so is Bushland’s defense the remedy for its struggles or is Childress’ offense the remedy for the Bushland struggles on defense?
The edge goes to Bushland, larger school and tougher non-district slate.
Stepp’s Pick: Bushland by 11
Wall (2-0) at Tuscola Jim Ned (2-0): It’s a battle of state ranked teams in Class 3A out west as fourth ranked in Division II Wall comes to the Big Country to take on ninth ranked Jim Ned in Division I.
Wall was solid in a 27-10 win over Cisco last week. The Hawks used nine different ball carriers to roll up 327 yards on the ground. Nathan Pepper led the way with 91 yards and a touchdown, while Hagyn Barbee chipped in 49 yards rushing and two scores.
Jim Ned rolled past Holliday, 40-22, a week ago as the Indians two-headed monster running the ball was key. Brayden Shipman ran for 111 yards, while QB Gary Beasley added 94 yards and two scores; he added a passing touchdown as well.
Jim Ned’s ability up front gives them a big advantage over Wall. If the Indians can remain disciplined against Wall’s option offense, they should wear Wall down.
Stepp’s Pick: Tuscola Jim Ned by 12
Daingerfield (2-0) at Timpson (2-0): If you like offense this may be the game for you out in East Texas this week as both teams are averaging well over 40 points per game; Timpson’s closer to 50 points per game after two weeks.
Daingerfield’s offense continued to cook last week in a 34-17 win over 3A-Division I Tatum on Thursday night. QB Chase Johnson had a hand in all five Tigers touchdowns as he threw for four scores and ran for another touchdown in the win.
Timpson’s hasn’t missed a beat without Mr. Texas Football Terry Bussey through two weeks, the Bears last week pulled away in the second half for a 48-29 win. THS rode QB JJ Garner and ATH Voskey Howard in the win, Howard ran for 184 yards on just ten carries all in the second half for Timpson. Howard took over in the second half of the game last week and they’ll need that type of effort once again this week from Howard if they want to take down Daingerfield without their star player, but I think this is the week that Timpson feels Bussey’s absence. Stepp’s Pick: Daingerfield by 7
Gilmer Harmony (1-1) at Beckville (1-1): Harmony bounced back nicely from iits Week 1 loss to Hooks with a dominant offensive performance in a 73-32 win. QB Boston Seahorn had a monster game throwing for 356 yards and four touchdowns and adding a touchdown on the ground.
Beckville also bounced back from its Week 1 loss nicely as the Bearcats ripped past Joaquin, 60-28, behind J’Koby Williams, who moved to QB and sparked Beckville.
Williams threw for 126 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 172 yards and a touchdown and returned a punt return for a touchdown.
Harmony’s offense is as dynamic as any in East Texas. The Eagles will zero in on slowing Williams down and it’ll be tougher since he’s got the ball in his hands on every play at QB.
Expect a shootout, but Harmony has a few more weapons at its disposal.
Stepp’s Pick: Gilmer Harmony by 16
Stratford (2-0) at Gruver (2-0): Stratford, fresh off a hard-fought win over Sunray a week ago, will take on unbeaten Gruver in another big Panhandle test this week.
The Elks escaped Sunray’s upset bid with a 23-20 win after jumping out to a 15-0 lead early in the game. Sunray rattled off 20 straight points to take the lead. Sunray was looking to extend the lead to two scores, but Stratford’s defense made a key fourth down stop to spark the offense on its game-winning scoring drive where Trey Smith scored the game winning touchdown on a one-yard run.
QB Brice Braden ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and added 58 yards through the air to lead the Elks offense.
Gruver knocked off Texhoma, OK, 39-20, thanks to Pratt McLain, who rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns, while adding nine tackles on defense.
Gruver’s going to be outmanned up front against a big and physical Stratford squad and that edge for the Elks in the trenches is the difference.
Stepp’s Pick: Stratford by 14
Canyon (2-0) vs Canyon West Plains (1-1) Stepp’s Pick: Canyon by 7
Frisco Emerson (2-0) vs Frisco Panther Creek (2-0) Stepp’s Pick: Frisco Emerson by 11
Gilmer (0-2) at Paris (1-1) Stepp’s Pick: Gilmer by 13
San Antonio Piper (1-1) at San Antonio Davenport (1-1) Stepp’s Pick: San Antonio Davenport by 10
Glen Rose (1-1) at Graham (2-0) Stepp’s Pick: Graham by 9
Sinton (1-1) at Port Lavaca Calhoun (1-1) Stepp’s Pick: Port Lavaca Calhoun by 7
Winnsboro (2-0) at Hooks (2-0) Stepp’s Pick: Winnsboro by 3
Palestine Westwood (2-0) at Palmer (2-0) Stepp’s Pick: Winnsboro by 3
Edna (2-0) at Refugio (1-1) Stepp’s Pick: Refugio by 3
Hale Center (1-1) at New Home (2-0) Stepp’s Pick: New Home by 21
Last Week Record: 13-7 65.0%
Season Record: 13-7 65.0%
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