— Weatherford at FW Paschal
Time: 2:30 p.m., Saturday
Site: Farrington Field
1501 University, Fort Worth
Type: District 3-5A contest
Last year: Weatherford 31. Paschal 28
Paschal Panthers (3-3, 0-3)
Last season: 2-8 overall, 0-7 in District 3-5A
Last week: Lost to Arlington Martin, 66-20
Players to watch: WR Darrell James (6-0, 178, 4.5); RB Justin Woodard (5-10, 188, 4.5); QB Dylon Thomas (6-2, 190, 4.6); TE Josh Widger (6-2, 200, 4.9); OT Raj Dhillon (6-3, 240, 5.2).
Weatherford Kangaroos(0-6, 0-3)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 3-5A
Last week: Lost to Arlington High, 63-0
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: The past nine years Paschal and Weatherford have butted heads the Roos have come out on top, so one would be tempted to believe Saturday will represent the best opportunity for WHS to break the streak it is currently experiencing. Like the Kangaroos, Paschal is looking for its first district win of the season, and with venue advantage, at least on one of its home fields (and on Homecoming Night, to boot), may consider the Roos its best chance to reap a ‘W.’
Paschal has three non-district wins, and although those victories were against teams with a current combined mark of 2-16, the Panthers offensive production has been legitimately prolific (38 points per contest). Arlington Martin held Paschal’s run game to less than 55 yards last week, but the Fort Worth school compensated with more than 250 yards passing (mostly Dylan Thomas to Darrell James, 7-147). Thomas is deft at moving around the pocket, and is also Paschal’s leading rusher on the year, averaging just a scoach under 100 yards per contest.
Weatherford will have the opportunity to break away from its three points per district game average this week. And it likely will do so against the Panther defenders, especially after the frustrating offensive outing last week against Arlington High yielded less than its average output.
Paschal has been susceptible to passing and rushing attacks, so Weatherford should be able to deploy many of its skill players. The Roo psyche could truly benefit from a blowout win over the Panthers.
It would be more than just a ‘moral victory’ for Weatherford fans to see backup QB Bryce Burks enter a game late for starter Grant Werts in a mop-up role after the offense has had a productive night. But any win would be a major boost for the team, coaches and fans, regardless of the winning score.
Aledo vs. FW Western Hills
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Bearcat Stadium
Type: District 7-4A contest
Last year: Aledo 56, Wyatt 0
Western Hills Cougars (1-4, 0-2)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 7-4A
Last week: Lost to Granbury, 49-30
Players to watch: RB Raekwon Neal (5-10, 180, 4.5);; QB A.J. Daniels (6-2, 185, 4.7); FS/WR Jacoby Powell (5-9, 170, 4.5).
Aledo Bearcats (4-0, 1-0)
Last season: 10-2 overall, 7-0 in District 7-4A ,
Class 4A, DI area finalist.
Last week: Beat FW Wyatt, 84-7
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: Friday’s contest at Bearcat Stadium pits a struggling 0-6 team against a good — a very good 6-0 squad. Even a 10,000-foot view of the impending match does not bode well for the Cougars.
While Western Hills has above-average speed at running back and wide receiver positions, and a good-sized quarterback, the offense has yet to develop into a consistently capable unit. The 30 points it scored against Granbury last week is by far the most productive game the Cougar offense has put together, albeit with two touchdowns coming late in the contest.
Less than 225 yards in total offense per game is hardly daunting by today’s spread-offense standards, and Hills’ attack is further challenged because 70 percent of its yardage is ground-based, offering more-than-needed predictability. RB Raekwon Neal is the workhorse for the Cougs, while Alazai Goodlow has been a pleasant surprise addition to the running game, averaging more than 12 yards per carry.
But despite its capable runners, Western Hills will be hard put to make a dent in the Aledo defense. The Bearcats’ linebacking corps continues to dole out absolute dominance through the district slate. ‘Mike’ linebacker Jordan Mittie has a plethora of co-stars in the mix, one of those being Matthew Hawkins. Listed on the early roster as a running back, the senior OLB has tallied 37 tackles (20 solo) and has two picks thus far in the season.
With the offensive weapons Aledo seems to add to an already-lethal arsenal on a weekly basis, the Bearcats success seems assured for another contest.
Springtown at Castleberry
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: W.O. Barnes Memorial Stadium
215 Churchill Road, River Oaks
Type: District 6-3A contest
Last year: Springtown 59, Castleberry 7
Castleberry Lions (3-3, 1-0)
Last season: 3-7 overall, 1-4 in District 6-3A
Last week: Beat Mineral Wells, 24-21
Players to watch: RB Alex Scallion (5-9, 180, 4.6); RB/DB Christian Cardona (5-8, 160, 4.4); DL Chris Robles (6-2, 250, 4.9).
Springtown Porcupines (1-5, 0-1)
Last season: 6-5 overall, 4-1 in District 6-3A
Class 3A, Div. II, bi-district finalist.
Last week: Lost to Kennedale, 56-28
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: The Lions added to the incessant woes Mineral Wells has been suffering this season, taking advantage of one too many turnovers by the Rams. Run-happy Castleberry topped 320 yards, which provided all but eight yards of the offense. The usual high-yardage suspect for the Lions was running back Alex Scallion who, with fellow running back Christian Cardona, accounts for 80 percent of the rushing yardage.
The Lions have a new offense for 2013, like so many other teams, fitting scheme to personnel. Unable to compete with teams like Mineral Wells in the past, the change appears to be a good fit for a team who has already equalled the number of victories of last season’s squad.
Springtown lost its bid for the leg up on the district title against Kennedale last week, unable to hold off the Wildcats running attack in the second half, while also granting some giveaways. Pojo meets up with another run-based offense this week, though probably not as potent. Still, the Springtown defense needs to develop some stubbornness as it tries to nail down the runner-up spot in the standings (and beyond), because chances are Kennedale will not stub its toe.
Barring turnovers, the Porcupines still have the most high-powered offense in the district, and should hold serve through the rest of the slate. Last week revealed a nice throw-and-catch game between sophomore quarterback Landry Turner and classmate Mateo Herrera. The wideout was on the receiving end of five Turner tosses totalling 145 yards that also netted a TD.
Millsap vs. Rice
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Bulldog Stadium
Type: District 6-2A-Div II contest
Last year’s result: Rice 42, Millsap 9
Rice Bulldogs (2-4, 1-2)
Last season: 4-6 overall, 3-4 in District 6-2A, Div. II
Last week: Beat Rio Vista 34-22
Players to watch: RB/LB Chris Atchley (5-9, 180); LB Raven Huffman (6-0, 175; QB Austin Peppers; OL Justin Smith; DT Jon Ortiz.
Millsap Bulldogs (2-4, 1-2)
Last season: 0-10 overall, 0-7 in District 6-2A, Div. II
Last week: Lost to Mildred, 70-14
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: Poring over the stats of the two Bulldog squads who will meet on Friday, the game looks to be a potentially close contest on paper. The identical records are of little evidence, but their meeting with a common opponent (Rio Vista) suggests a dogfight may be brewing as Millsap and Rice try to even respective districts marks.
Despite the sobering matches Millsap has been through the past couple of weeks, the offense has continued to show signs of resilience, a marked difference in this season’s squad over the previous one. Millsap has been able to diversify a bit more this season, personnel-wise, bringing more skill players into the mix to share the burden. Millsap had scores against Mildred by senior Jaxon Martin (1-yard run) and Morgen DePriest (37-yard run).
Like Millsap, Rice prefers the ground game and has experienced some success, rolling up more than 350 yards in its contest against Cross Roads in pre-district play. But other than a relatively easy jaunt past winless Rio Vista, Rice has had tough going.
With solid play from the Millsap defense, this contest could be a close one, ultimately decided by a turnover or a good break at the right time. Millsap has a had a taste of winning this year after doing without, and are in hopes the nectar will return.