— Millsap vs. Windthorst
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Bulldog Stadium
Last year’s result: Windthorst 55, Millsap 6
Windthorst Trojans (1-2)
Last season: 5-5 overall, 2-2 in District 3-1A, Div. I
Last week: Lost to WF City View, 42-6
Players to watch: QB Chandler King (6-1, 177); WR Hayden Hoffman (5-11, 161); LB Kaleb Gresham (6-3, 197); OL Heath Berand (6-2, 229); RB Jonathan Chambers (6-0, 182); LB Cody Green (5-10, 141).
Millsap Bulldogs (0-2)
Last season: 0-10 overall, 0-7 in District 6-2A, Div. II
Last week: Idle.
Players to watch: LB Timothy Newberry (6-1,195, 4.8) RB/LB Dylan Burton, OL/DL Tre Newby, OL/DL Mitchell Coker, RB/DB Coleman Hutchison, WR/DB Kaden King, OL Clint Holloway.
Game notes: Despite Windthorst’s 12 returning starters (five offense/seven defense), the Trojans are still characterized as a young team. After more than a decade as a perennial playoff team, including deep postseason runs in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the Trojans are trying to return to that form after a first-round exit last season and a couple of losses the past two weeks to less-than-powerhouse squads.
As goes quarterback Chandler King so goes the Trojan offense, as the junior is thus far responsible for more than 85 percent of the yardage production. Opposing defenses would do well to pay extra attention to the signal caller, if not assign a permanent spy to follow his every move.
Windthorst has a balanced attack overall in terms of rushing attempts vs. passes, but have been prone to errant aerials, with five interceptions vs. a lone TD pass through three contests. The Class 1A team has decent size, not only in its line but at some of the skill positions, as well.
Though the offense struggled against Dublin a couple of weeks ago, the defense had a relatively good outing, and the staff is hopeful the Millsap defenders will continue to warm to the 4-2-5 scheme the Bulldogs adopted in the offseason.
With some pressure on its quarterback, Millsap may be able to exploit Windthorst’s passing attack, having a pair of picks to its credit against Dublin.
Millsap would love to experience a breakout game with its (also new for this season) slot-T scheme, as well. It has been a while since the Bulldogs have not been relegated to playing catch-up football, and would enjoy the prospect of protecting a lead rather than trying to erase one.
The week off has helped provide some dedicated coaching up to reinforce knowledge and confidence in Millsap’s new schemes on both sides of the ball. And as always, the bye week allows healing time for the bumps and bruises. Coach Coker reports there a trio of players still questionable for Friday’s home tilt, and the option of go-or-no could be game day decisions.
Brock vs. Chico
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Dragon Stadium
1205 W. Sherman, Chico
Type: Regular season game
Last year’s result: N/A
Chico Dragons (3-0)
Last season: 6-4 overall, 2-3 in District 7-1A, Div. I.
Last week: Beat Coram Deo Academy, 47-18
Players to watch: WR Matt Carter (5-11, 165, 4.6); QB Jericoe McGuire (5-8, 155); MLB/OL Hagen Davis (6-1, 230); OL Tyler Melton (6-0, 255, 5.2); K/LB Ivan Segura (5-10, 170); DL/OL J.D. Parketon (6-0, 210).
Brock Eagles (2-1)
Last season: 2-0 varsity record
Last week: Beat Booker, 28-22
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: A resurgent Chico team looks to continue its fast start after several seasons of underachievement. A talented receiver corps led by senior Matt Carter has dominated the scoring for the Dragons, with a dozen TD connections from QB McGuire, compared to just a handful of rushing touchdowns.
Chico has set a pace of more than 41 points per contest to remain undefeated through three games, while its defense has surrendered an average of 10 points. Its defense has helped the offense with favorable field position, as well, creating a total of 10 turnovers (two INTs & eight fumble recoveries).
The Dragons are apt to be bolstered with home field advantage for the first time this season, compiling their record with one away game and two neutral sites. Their match with Brock will be the first of four consecutive games at Dragon Stadium.
The Eagles have displayed usual ‘Brock-like’ tendencies thus far in the season, showing a good amount of resilience late in contests. After holding the lead for most of the contest against Booker last week in Sweetwater, Brock fell behind only to regain the advantage on a final drive that ate away most of the clock. Leddy French crossed the goal line from the two with less than a minute left. French is among a growing group of offensive contributors for the Eagles, with more than a half dozen of its players recording points this season. Point production has been decent for the Eagles, putting up the equivalent of four TDs per game.
The Brock 10-1 defense should face a good test in this match with the numbers Chico has been cranking out the first three weeks of play. Avoiding the big play and forcing the Dragons to grind it out with a bunch of snaps should help keep the score close, with an edge to the Eagles’ finishing capability.
Brock is entering three more weeks of “road-warrioring” before returning to the confines of Eagle Stadium at Brock Jr. High for a rare home match — this time against Fort Worth Christian on Oct. 11. The experience will likely pay dividends for the underclassmen who will be traveling in the next few years.