— Weatherford vs. North Crowley
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Kangaroo Stadium
Type: District 3-5A contest (Homecoming Night)
Last year: North Crowley 20, Weatherford 17
North Crowley Panthers (1-6, 0-4)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 3-4 in District 3-5A
Last week: Lost to Arlington Martin, 45-8
Players to watch: QB Given Tippens-Hill (6-1, 160, 4.7); RB Kris Barnes; RB Tony Tunstall (5-10, 165, 4.5); DB James Battley (5-9, 160, 4.5); LB Darren Giles (5-10, 175, 4.5); DL Robert Brown (6-2, 300, 5.0).
Weatherford Kangaroos (0-7, 0-4)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 3-5A
Last week: Lost to FW Paschal, 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: North Crowley will continue to depend on its run game this week, as the passing game (3 TDs, 9 INTs) has been a liability in giving up field position and points. Running back Kris Barnes comprises nearly half of the Panthers’ offensive output, which should allow the Roo defense to populate the box most of the night. But despite the dubious passing numbers, NC has sufficient speed in its receiver corps to keep Roo defensive backs from cheating up too close to the line.
Giving up 42 points per game, the Panther defense has been as harried as Weatherford’s this season. Winning the turnover battle could be the pendulum swing that decides who will get their first district win, as crunching the numbers on paper results in a virtual wash.
If a close game does ensue, the Roos look to depend on the leg of placekicker Trey Rich, who has been very consistent in splitting the uprights and is the second highest scorer for WHS despite a lone field goal on the season. Weatherford has had to forego several logical field goal attempts this season to try to get back into games by going for first downs instead of settling for three points.
Aledo at FW Southwest
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Herman Clark Stadium
SE Loop 820 at Wichita Street, Fort Worth
Type: District 7-4A contest
Last year: Aledo 24, Southwest 8
FW Southwest Raiders (5-2, 3-1)
Last season: 9-3 overall, 6-1 in District 7-4A
Class 4A, DII Area finalist
Last week: Lost to Granbury, 49-40
Players to watch: RB Jameion Williams (5-9, 205, 4.4); WR Isaiah Holmes (6-2, 200, 4.5); LB Kenneth Mayfield (5-11. 195, 4.7); CB Jalen Malbrough (6-1, 175, 4.6); OG Alan Johnson (6-1, 315);
QB Devin Williams (6-0, 175, 4.6).
Aledo Bearcats (7-0, 4-0)
Last season: 10-2 overall, 7-0 in District 7-4A ,
Class 4A, DI area finalist.
Last week: Beat FW Western Hills, 91-0
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: Along with Granbury, who won the offensive battle against Southwest by nine points last Friday with a 16-0 fourth quarter rally, the Raiders comprise the second tier (quality-wise) of District 7-4A. Sophomore QB Devin Williams threw for 260 yards, including a pair of TD tosses, while RB Jameion Williams topped 200 yards on the ground in the losing effort.
Southwest undoubtedly has the best crop of athletes from the Fort Worth contingent, and its defense held Aledo to a modest 28 points in their last meeting.
But the number of Bearcats’ offensive weapons has taken a sharp upturn this season, sending opposing defenders into a virtual tizzy as they try to keep up with the deep cast of yardage producers.
Even though the passing game has netted more than 1,500 yards thus far, with senior wideout Taco Anderson (28 catches, 365 yards) heading up a corps of five receivers all topping 200 yards each, the run game has gotten most of the reps, and yardage, due to second-half offensive conservatism. Even with its self-imposed governance, Aledo is averaging 575 total yards per contest.
Springtown vs. Lake Worth
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Porcupine Stadium
Type: District 6-3A contest (HoF Night)
Last year: Springtown 60 Lake Worth 13
Lake Worth Bullfrogs (5-2, 2-0)
Last season: 5-6 overall, 3-2 in District 6-3A
Class 3A, Div.II Bi-district finalist
Last week: Beat Mineral Wells, 16-6
Players to watch: QB Kelton Versey (6-1, 185, 4.5); OL Juan Maza (6-2, 250, 5.2); LB/RB Tim Woods (5-9, 235, 5.2); LB Luis Gutierrez (6-0, 240, 5.0); WR Mario Rios.
Springtown Porcupines (2-5, 1-1)
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: Lake Worth QB Kelton Versey had a tough passing night against the Rams last week, but more than made up for aerial inequities with his running, finishing the night with 161 yards on 19 attempts. But the game was not atypical for a Bullfrog offense that depends upon its run game two-thirds of the time (or more). Versey gets run help from RBs Tim Woods and Cris Pringle, but shoulders most of the load himself, and has the attributes to do so at 185 pounds and purported 4.5 (40-yard dash) speed.
While Springtown can afford to concentrate most of its efforts to stop Versey, LW has scored eight TDs through the air and has a few capable receivers. In the district scheme of things, Lake Worth is probably the most serious threat left in the slate to upend the Porcupines’ plans to capture the runner-up crown.
Barring a significant anomaly (e.g., interceptions and/or fumbles), Pojo should have no trouble scoring on the Bullfrogs. In the weeks remaining in district play, while tuning up for the postseason, Springtown will be working hard to defend the run more effectively, led by linebacker Josh White, who recorded 15 tackles against Castleberry last week. Lake Worth should provide a good test for that progress.
As for the offense, keeping the passing touchdowns on the current pace (three per game) will suit the Porcs just fine, but they will also aspire to be much stingier with the air ball (15 INTs on the season).
Millsap at Life Oak Cliff
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Lion’s Den
4400 So. R.L. Thornton Fwy, Dallas
Type: District 6-2A-Div II contest
Last year’s result: Life Oak Cliff 49, Millsap 0
Life Oak Cliff Lions (1-6, 1-3)
Last season: 1-9 overall, 1-6 in District 6-2A. Div. II
Last week: Beat Rio Vista, 31-22
Players to watch: LB/RB Brandon Jackson (5-11, 185); WR Justin Holden (6-1, 185); QB Chris Fellows; RB Hector Alfredo (5-10, 170).
Millsap Bulldogs (2-5, 1-3)
Last season: 0-10 overall, 0-7 in District 6-2A, Div. II
Last week: Lost to Tolar, 48-7
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: Since putting up three touchdowns per contest in its two wins earlier in the season, the Millsap offense has swooned a bit over the past three outings. Against Rice, the Bulldogs were held to 107 rushing yards, its lowest output of the year. Though the passing game produced very modest numbers, there was still improvement, with QB Nick Lucia connecting six times while distributing tosses to Timothy Newberry, Jaxon Martin and WR/DB Aaron Peninger.
Despite its sketchy success through the air, Life Oak Cliff persists in throwing the ball 20 times per game, even though its interceptions outnumber the TD count. Sophomore QB Chris Fellows had a big turnaround last week though, throwing for three scores and no picks against Rio Vista. But given its history, the Millsap DBs could pick up a couple of game changers in what figures to be a battle to get back into the middle of the district mix.
Every snap from the Millsap offense offers a step closer to familiarity with the new scheme and potential effectivity of the system. With three games left in district play, the Bulldogs hope they can win the race before the end of the slate.
Brock vs. Tornillo (at Sweetwater)
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Mustang Bowl
1205 Ragland, Sweetwater
Type: Regular season game
Last year’s result: N/A
Tornillo Coyotes (4-4)
Last season:2-7 overall (No UIL schedule)
Last week: Lost to Dexter (NM), 40-2
Players to watch: QB/DB Ivan Rodriguez; RB/DL Hector Escalante;
RB Abraham Iglesia; LB Adrian Elias; RB/DL Victor Garcia.
Brock Eagles (5-2)
Last season: 2-0 varsity record
Last week: Idle
Players to watch: QB Seth Boleman; QB/RB Slaten 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 week off has given the Eagles a chance to heal the bumps and bruises, as well as any ego rehab after suffering just its second loss of the season against a savvy Fort Worth Christian team that put up 28 points in the first quarter. Brock composed itself during the remainder of the contest, with the Eagles defense pitching a second-half shutout and the offense getting into the end zone twice.
After stringing together four wins, the defeat, however distasteful to the Eagles, could pay dividends as they prepare for the final two games of its varsity-orientation season.
The run game was the most inhibited last week, but QB Seth Boleman completed 7-of-10 passes, close to the normal fare for Brock’s aerial attack. The Eagles continue to involve multiple players in the mix on offense, with Kolbin Mills contributing in the FWC game running as well as catching the ball, while also handling duties at defensive end.
Tornillo has a run-based offense and will introduce at least a half-dozen platooning ball carriers at the Eagles during the course of the contest. Brock should be able to keep its 10-1 defense mostly in the box this week, while hoping its own offense will be able to return to its high-volume production.