— Weatherford at Burleson
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Burleson Stadium
100 Elk Drive, Burleson
Type: Pre-district finale
Last year: Weatherford 21, Burleson 7
Burleson Elks (0-2)
Last season: 0-10 overall, 0-7 in District 8-4A
Last week: Lost to Haltom, 35-7
Players to watch: QB Isaiah Hall (6-2, 205, 4.6), WR Austin Murrell (6-3, 210, 4.7), DL Gerald Hatch (5-11, 250, 4.9), LB Trey Gloecker (6-1, 195, 4.6), LB Blaine McRay (6-0, 200, 4.8).
Weatherford Kangaroos (0-2)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 3-5A
Last week: Lost to Cleburne, 54-35.
Players to watch: OL Jace Ford (6-2, 310, 5.6), OL Keegan Dement (6-4, 265, 5.1), QB Grant Werts (6-2, 205, 4.6) SR Chris Whitling (5-9, 165, 4.6), SR Fred Brownlee (5-8, 165, 4.4), DL James Robinson (6-4, 260, 5.3), RB Jeuqwan Brownlee (5.9, 185, 4.5).
Game notes: Thus far in the 2013 season, the Burleson Elks’ 10 returning defensive starters have yet to gel as a unit, giving up an average of 43 points in their first two ball games. The run-happy Haltom Buffalos traversed a total of 430 yards from the line of scrimmage against the Elks last weekend, every inch via the ground game. Burleson has also proved vulnerable to the pass, giving up 250 yards to Azle’s aerial show in the season opener.
Offensively, quarterback Isaiah Hall remains Burleson’s primary threat, as apt to leg out yardage as throw the ball to his favorite target, Austin Murrell. The two have hooked up on 10 passes for 165 yards in two games, three of those for TDs.
Like Weatherford, Burleson heads into its final non-district tilt with a bye week ahead, anxious to savor a win before its district opener against Everman. Unlike Weatherford, Burleson will be on its own turf, with the extra incentive that can be prevalent in a homecoming game.
After showing a significant improvement on the offensive side of the ball from its season opener (week 0) to its home opener (week 1), Weatherford could be tempted to turn a few more pages in the playbook after showing better command of the condensed version, which yielded 35 points.
There is little doubt the Roos have weapons to deploy, and with another week of reps behind them, Burleson’s (thus-far) shaky defense could be a god-send for the Roos to build more confidence in its overall attack. The skill-position players, with running back Jeuqwan Brownlee perhaps brewing for a break-out game, should be prepared to take up more of the slack if their starting quarterback is still feeling the effects of dings from the Cleburne game.
Perhaps the biggest help for the Roo offense will come from the WHS defense, who have been plagued with ‘big-playitis’ in its first two starts, in part the result of a banged-up corps forced to put its younger defenders in the mix. The defense has allowed six touchdowns from 30 yards or further in the first two contests, but has been, for the most part, less susceptible to sustained drives.
Burleson represented Weatherford’s first win last season. A repeat will remove the ‘oh-fer’ start currently hanging over the Roos, and provide a healing period to prepare for a district-opening engagement against much-vaunted Arlington Bowie on Sept. 26, which falls on a Thursday.
Aledo vs. Prepa Tec
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Bearcat Stadium
Type: Home opener, non-district
Last year: Aledo 45, Prepa Tec 6
Monterrey Prepa Tec Rams (0-2)
Last season: 2-3 (Texas schedule)
Last week: Lost to Highland Park, 42-21
Players to watch: QB Julio Vazquez, RBs Marcelo Gonzalez and Fernando Villanueva, WRs Juan Gonzalez Jr, Jose Guajardo, Adrian Najera and Gabriel Villarreal.
Aledo Bearcats (2-0)
Last season: 10-2 overall, 7-0 in District 7-4A ,
Class 4A, DI area finalist.
Last week: Beat Stephenville, 56-14.
Players to watch: LB Jordan Mittie (6-2, 210, 4.8), OT Cory Stitle (6-2, 265, 5.0), QB Luke Bishop (5-10, 170, 4.7), ATH Ryan Newsome (5-8, 168, 4.5), FB Daythan Davis (6-2. 218, 4.7)
Game notes: Referring to any successful start of a season by the Aledo Bearcats as a surprise may seem practically inappropriate, but even head coach Tim Buchanan has expressed not-so-subtle hints of “wow” factor regarding the quality opponents AHS has decidedly dominated in its first two games — on both sides of the ball.
The Jordan Mittie-led Bearcat defense has ceded less than 300 yards per game to a pair of purportedly high-powered offenses, while being even more successful at denying the end zone, with just 17 total points given up thus far.
The aggressive Aledo defense has produced a handful of takeaways and its fair share of three-and-outs, relegating opposing offenses to plenty of sideline observer time — and not scoring time.
Indicative of the apparent breadth and depth of the Aledo unit, defensive coordinator Steve Wood is normally given personnel priority to fill his chart, and had enough confidence in the raw material at hand to “give up” last-year starting linebacker Daythan Davis to the offense ... does not seem to be a problem, thus far, and the offense is enjoying yet another dimension in its incessant weekly attack.
Buchanan’s preseason concern about the offensive line may be fading, with the daunting skill sets Aledo possesses sideline-to-sideline. Each game helps the O-line mature and with coinciding health, should be more than workable by the start of district play.
The Borregos (of Monterrey’s Prepa Tec) perpetual road show throughout Texas again gave Stephenville all it wanted, very nearly hanging another season-opening loss on the Class 3A title-bearing Yellowjackets (17-16).
Despite the international flavor and built-in mystique the Rams carry with them in their trek around the state, they will need a flawless performance during the two or three hours they will spend at Bearcat Stadium.
The match-up problems Prepa Tec imposed on Stephenville, along with some timely turnovers, will likely not exist against Aledo, and if the visitors get in trouble early, they will likely be facing fresh legs off the Bearcat bench throughout the evening.
Springtown vs Trimble Tech
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Porcupine Stadium
Last year: Springtown 43, Trimble Tech 0
FW Trimble Tech Bulldogs (1-1)
Last season: 1-9 overall, 0-7 in District 7-4A
Last week: Beat Dallas White, 29-27.
Players to watch: QB Austin Davis (5-11, 185, 4.8), FS Carsen Medlin (5-10, 160, 4.6); OL Dakota Williams (6-0, 260, 5.2), RB/LB Daylon Tarkington, RB Reggie Powell.
Springtown Porcupines (0-2)
Last season: 6-5 overall, 4-1 in District 6-3A
Class 3A, Div. II, bi-district finalist.
Last week: Lost to Decatur, 35-28.
Players to watch: LB Kolyn Waldrop (6-1, 225, 4.7), WR Ryan Hester (6-0, 190, 4.8), DB Collin Rector (5-7, 160, 4.7), RB Ryan Snow (6-1, 170, 4.6), WR Dillon Springfield (6-1, 160, 4.4), QB Landry Turner (5-10, 165), WR Dylan Ray (5-11, 160, 4.8).
Game notes: Fort Worth Trimble Tech eked out another win last week over the only team to contribute to its win column last season. With just seven total starters returning for 2013, the Bulldogs will be hard-pressed to significantly change its fortunes, but hope to spoil Springtown’s home opener on Friday.
One of Tech’s best bets for an ambush of the Porcupines would likely be senior Daylon Tarkington, a 2-way player (running back/linebacker) who should lead the team’s categories for the season in rushing yards and tackles if his endurance holds up.
The Bulldogs are probably a couple of years from making noise at the district level, but are determined to change the culture of the program now by grabbing some ‘sleeper’ wins. After the way Tech was mistreated by Pojo last year, slipping up on Springtown, and in their own yard, would be a nice confidence boost going into a bye week.
Speaking of confidence boosts, the Porcupine defense is still looking for complete-game effectiveness after digging another early hole against an opponent last week by ceding four touchdowns to Decatur in the opening half. Pojo’s second-half performance was much stronger, but gave up a 4th-quarter TD that proved to be the difference in the game.
Springtown’s productive offense cannot always offset the difference in a high-scoring affair, and the Pojo comeback was hindered last week by three interceptions. The Porcupines’ offense took 94 snaps and totalled nearly 500 yards. Despite the three interceptions, which was countered with two Springtown fumble recoveries, that kind of production should suffice to carve another notch in the win column.
After four engagements on the road (including two scrimmages), Springtown is hoping home cooking will provide the nourishment its defenders need to muster stubborn and consistent resistance to opposing offenses.
Brock vs. Booker
(Sammy Baugh Classic)
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Mustang Bowl
1205 Ragland, Sweetwater
Type: Regular season game
Last year’s result: N/A
Booker Kiowas (2-0)
Last season: 9-4 overall, 2-1 in District 1-1A, Div. II
Class 1A, Div. II regional semifinalist
Last week: Beat Claude, 61-13
Players to watch: QB Hunter Lile (5-9, 170, 4.6), WR Jared Reagan (5-10, 175, 4.8), DE Daniel Guerrero (5-10, 195, 4.8), LB Christian DeSantiago (5-9, 202, 4.9), DB Tristan Guzman.
Brock Eagles (1-1)
Last season: 2-0 varsity record
Last week: Lost to Dallas Episcopal, 43-21.
Players to watch: QB Seth Boleman; QB/RB Travis Gough; RBs Leddy French, Kolbin Mills; O-linemen Jake Earl, Cooper Gore, Tyler Collier; D-line Hunter Pittman, Billy Tedford, Titus Gossett.
Game notes: Brock, in a season filled with firsts, adds another to the list on Saturday as a participant in a featured game in the Sammy Baugh Classic, to be held at Sweetwater’s Mustang Bowl. The Eagles’ opponent, Booker, is also making its debut at the showcase.
The Kiowas appear to be another quality team Brock has included in its outlaw schedule, albeit Class 1A. A regional semifinalist in 2012, Booker returns seven offensive starters and eight more starters on defense. After a close opening win over Spearman, Booker flexed its offensive muscle last week with a 61-13 thrashing of Claude.
Junior quarterback Hunter Lile is the Kiowa spark plug, sporting a .700 completion percentage over the two games, and producing the lion’s share of the offense through the air. Jared Regan is a favored target, with 21 catches for more than 300 yards and four TDs. Lile also reigns as Booker’s leading rusher.
Brock’s defense will look to solve the Kiowa attack early on, and avoid the middle-quarters lapse it had against Dallas Episcopal last week, surrendering five touchdowns during the span.
The Eagles’ tight end and D-lineman Titus Gossett has figured heavily in the first two matches on both sides of the ball, and has the most receptions of Brock’s receivers.
Slaten Gough is Brock’s most prolific rusher, but the Eagles continue to deploy as many players in the offensive assault as possible.
The Saturday contest is the first of two appearances the Eagles will make at the Mustang Bowl this season, slated to return on Oct. 25 to take on Tornillo.