— Weatherford at Arlington Lamar
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Cravens Field
1400 W. Lamar Drive, Arlington
Type: District 3-5A contest
Last year: Lamar 41, Weatherford 14
Arlington Lamar Vikings (6-2, 4-1)
Last season: 6-6 overall, 4-3 in District 3-5A
Class 5A, Div II Area finalist
Last week: Beat Arlington Martin, 44-36
Players to watch: WR Jaries King (6-4, 200, 4.7); RB Cameron Smith (5-8, 165, 4.5); QB Shane Buechele (6-0, 170, 4.7); OL Deonte McCrady (6-4, 295, 5.5); DB Marquise McClinton (5-8, 180, 4.7).
Weatherford Kangaroos (1-7, 1-4)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 3-5A
Last week: Beat North Crowley, 14-6
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); QB Bryce Burks.
Game notes: The pecking order of the recent past for the Arlington contingent was altered last week when Lamar beat Martin for the first time since 2007. The Vikings’ offense, led (up until last week) by sophomore quarterback Shane Buechelle, is high output (400 yds/game) and highly balanced (52/48 percent run/pass). Junior Andy Guinn proved to be a suitable fill for the injured Buechelle last week, helped out by RBs Cameron Smith and Jamal Kemp, who have rushed for 585 and 409 yards, respectively, through eight games. Guinn’s favored target against Martin was Jaries King (nine catches for 185 yards and a TD).
Weatherford broke into the win column last week, venting a good deal of the pressure to put a good outing together on both sides of the ball. The Roo defense surrendered less than 50 yards on the ground, and though much of North Crowley’s passing woes were self-inflicted, the Weatherford secondary displayed its best coverage of the season.
The Brownlee brothers had a notable outing, with Jeuqwan racking up 200 yards of rushing, while Fred not only sealed the Roo victory with an interception in the waning seconds of the game, but was also named Homecoming king during halftime festivities.
Two emotional elements could aid Weatherford’s aspirations to upset the Vikes on Friday — If Lamar is still celebrating its big win over Martin, while the Roos perpetuate the confidence gleaned from their first victory. It’s a tall order for WHS as they try to prevail for a second week.
Aledo vs. Granbury
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Bearcat Stadium
Type: District 7-4A contest; Senior/Parents Night
Last year: Aledo 63, Granbury 0
Granbury Pirates (8-0, 5-0)
Last season: 7-4 overall, 5-2 in District 7-4A
Class 4A, DI Bi-district finalist
Last week: Beat Trimble Tech, 35-12
Players to watch: QB Ryan Suitt; RB Malik Allen; WR Nick Doughty;
K Jacob Rose; DB Kevin Hennard; DE Tristan Gilmore.
Aledo Bearcats (8-0, 5-0)
Last season: 10-2 overall, 7-0 in District 7-4A ,
Class 4A, DI area finalist.
Last week: Beat FW Southwest. 59-13
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: At least some of the comparative numbers are compelling as two undefeated teams are set to meet to decide the 1-2 finishing order (in all likelihood) for District 7-4A.
Granbury junior QB Ryan Suitt has accounted for more than 2,100 yards of Granbury’s offense while illustrating good decision-making ability (15 TD tosses with just three picks). Late heroics in the final quarter against Fort Worth Southwest (coupled with a fourth-quarter shutout by the Pirate defense) propelled Granbury past the Raiders in a comeback win.
But, while keeping this initial analysis on paper, a closer look at the numbers reveals a comparison of good numbers for Granbury crunched against really, really good numbers for Aledo.
Delving even deeper uncovers the probable clincher in this matchup. The Bearcat defense cedes a mere eight points per game while surrendering less than 220 yards of total offense, and is equally as depriving through the air as it is against ground assaults. With Jordan Mittie and Matthew Hawkins, safety Tyson Mauser completes the trio of defenders who lead the Aledo defense in tackles per game.
Granbury is a much-improved football team, and should chalk up this encounter with Aledo as a learning tool in preparing for a postseason run, because despite their efforts, the Pirates will not likely be able to chalk this one up as a win.
Springtown at Mineral Wells
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Ram Stadium
3801 Ram Blvd., Mineral Wells
Type: District 6-3A contest
Last year: Springtown 47 Mineral Wells 6
Mineral Wells Rams (1-7, 1-2)
Last season: 5-5 overall, 2-3 in District 6-3A
Last week: Beat FW Diamond Hill-Jarvis, 58-0
Players to watch: QB Caleb Acosta (6-1, 190, 4.8); LB Josh Hardee (5-11, 190, 4.7); RB Dashawn Hicks; WR Colby Kissinger.
Springtown Porcupines (3-5, 2-1)
Last season: 6-5 overall, 4-1 in District 6-3A
Class 3A, Div. II, bi-district finalist.
Last week: Beat Castleberry, 56-8
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’s Diamond Hill-Jarvis was the right team at the right time for Mineral Wells last week, as the Rams were staring at the business end of an “oh-fer” season until they met up with the Eagles. The competition gets stiffer again on Friday, and though a daunting prospect considering the Porcupines’ gun-slinging offense, the Rams are hoping to turn back the clock to turn the tables on Springtown.
During its lean years of Class 4A, the Rams had trouble winning in a tough district slate, but apparently had Springtown’s number, topping Pojo three years running.
Whatever the magic spell was then, Mineral Wells will try to cast it again this year, just a few hours removed from the mystique of Halloween Night.
With its offensive output showing few signs of letting up through the balance of the district schedule, Springtown’s defense hopes it has found a foothold with its performances over the past two weeks, yielding a lone touchdown in each game.
Linebackers Kolyn Waldrop and Josh White have led the charge, defensively. Waldrop figured in seven tackles against Lake Worth, three of those for losses, while White is the top tackler for the season. The Pojo defense has the opportunity to gain another confidence boost this week against a struggling Rams’ passing game (4 TDs, 13 INTs), which should allow Springtown defenders in the secondary to fudge a bit closer to the box to stop the Rams running attack.
Millsap vs. Scurry-Rosser
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Bulldog Stadium
Type: District 6-2A-Div II contest; Senior Night
Last year’s result: Scurry-Rosser 75, Millsap 7
Scurry Rosser Wildcats (8-0, 5-0)
Last season: 5-5 overall, 4-3 in District 6-2A. Div. II
Last week: Beat Rio Vista, 40-8
Players to watch: LB/RB Collan Jasien (5-10, 200, 4.9); WR Jalen Blanton (6-1,165, 4.9); QB/FS Paten Snell (6-2, 185, 4.8); WR/ATH Dylan Foster (5-10, 165, 4.6).
Millsap Bulldogs (2-6, 1-4)
Last season: 0-10 overall, 0-7 in District 6-2A, Div. II
Last week: Lost to Life Oak Cliff, 51-28
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: After failing to make the playoffs last season, S-C is back in 2013 with a vengeance, already securing a postseason berth and undefeated through its eight contests. With a solid core of talent playing on both sides of the ball, the Wildcats look to close out the district slate the same way its has begun. Sophomore QB Snell and ATH Foster are forces on both sides of the ball.
Although preseason district-champ favorite Corsicana Mildred has faltered already with a loss to Tolar and may not prove as daunting as in previous seasons, Scurry-Rosser still looks to Mildred as its last big obstacle to an undisputed district title and could be prone to look past the Bulldogs.
The Millsap offense rekindled its running game last week, topping 325 yards on the ground alone. The Bulldogs did not go up top very often, but QB Nick Lucia completed four of six tosses to supplement the run.
The Bulldogs offensive scheme continues to add contributors to the mix. In addition to the primary ground gainers Morgen DePriest and Dylan Burton, sophomore Jordan Richardson added to the mix in the Life Oak Cliff contest. Richardson only had six carries, but he conjured 55 yards with his touches.
The Bulldog defense will need to step up against Scurry-Rosser who has averaged 50 points per game. Millsap’s Slot-T, while effective as a methodical, sustained-drive offense, is not conducive to come-from-behind ball, especially if the deficit is formidable. The Bulldogs hope its final home game and Senior Night will drum up good mojo.