Weatherford Democrat

September 5, 2013

Parker County football game capsules — Week 1

Weatherford Democrat

— Weatherford vs. Cleburne

Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Site: Kangaroo Stadium

Type: Home opener, non-district

Last year: Cleburne 52, Weatherford 30


Cleburne Yellowjackets (0-1)

Last season: 7-4 overall, 6-1 in District 8-4A

                    Class 4A, DI bi-district finalist

Last week: Lost to FW Southwest, 48-26

Players to watch: DL Tevin Boone (6-2, 300, 5.2); WR Kameron Pickett (6-1, 109, 4.6); WR Al Baylor (5-10, 170, 4.6); LB Brezuan Miller (6-1, 200, 4.7).


Weatherford Kangaroos (0-1)

Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 3-5A

Last week: Lost to Richland, 46-14

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 teams in this non-district clash have likely revisited tackling drills in the past week of practice, with both defenses surrendering more than 45 points in respective openers last week.

  Cleburne’s offense was fairly prolific in their loss to FW Southwest, but had a couple of scores negated by penalties. QB Brian Baca is new at the helm of a Yellowjackets offense returning just three starters from 2012, but used his top receivers well last week, finding Al Baylor  seven times, and at a pace of nearly 20 yards per catch.

   Though returning a walloping nine starters on defense this year, Cleburne’s unit was touched for more than 600 total yards by Southwest, with most of the yardage gained up top.

The Roo defense also suffered some abuse from Richland last week, and head coach Weldon Nelms vowed a return to fundamentals in preparation for Weatherford’s home opener, which will no doubt include plans to plug some secondary holes with another passing offense in the offing on Friday.

Showing sparks early, then later on in the Richland tilt, the offense will look for more consistency. A bright spot in the attack was senior receiver Chris Whitling, who had four catches for more than 80 yards as QB Grant Werts most productive target.

A win for the Roos, at home, could do wonders to erase a sour start and ratchet up confidence going forward.     


Aledo vs. Stephenville

Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Site: Bearcat Stadium

Type: Home opener, non-district

Last year: Stephenville 41, Aledo 28


Stephenville (1-0)

Last season: 13-1 overall, 4-0 in District 7-3A,

    Class 3A, Div.I Champion

Last week: Beat Prepa Tec (Monterrey), 17-16

Players to watch: QB Jarrett Stidham (6-4, 190, 4.6); FS Mookie Carlile (6-2, 195, 4,6); DE Jonah Noah (6-2, 225, 4.8); TE Brock Morrison (6-1, 200, 4.8).


Aledo Bearcats (1-0)

Last season: 10-2 overall, 7-0 in District 7-4A ,

    Class 4A, DI area finalist.

Last week: Beat Highland Park, 44-3

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: If Aledo earned some early respect in last year’s win over the Scots in the Tom Landry Classic, the Bearcats may have dropped some jaws in this year’s performance, completely dominating a Highland Park program that, like Aledo, re-arms perennially.

But as usual in its non-district schedule, Aledo’s celebration time is limited, with Stephenville looming in Week 1 (football-speak for the second week of the season). Quickly becoming one of the state’s most revered rivalries, the Yellowjackets bring a little extra attitude with a 2012 Class 3A state title trophy adorning its halls.

For whatever reason, the ‘Jackets again had trouble with Prepa Tec, the travelling gridders from Monterrey, last week. The Borregos beat Stephenville last year, while Aledo trounced Tec. Then Stephenville beats Aledo ... go figure. But that’s why the rivalry is so delicious.

By its own standards, Stephenville did not put up particularly impressive numbers in its win last week. Starting QB Jarrett Stidham passed for 160 yards with a TD and a pick, working five different receivers into the mix. Tec held the ‘Jackets run game to under 150 yards, but Stephenville’s saving grace was their defense.

Aledo launched a “new” weapon from its ever-deepening arsenal on the Scots last week. Moving over to the “glory-side” of the ball after playing defense last season, fullback/running back/the-guy-by-the-quarterback Daythan Davis big-bodied his way to 110 yards on 17 carries, while scoring three touchdowns. The scores were not just three yards and a cloud of turf pellets either, with jaunts of 5, 21 and 11 yards into the end zone.

With its wealth of skilled players, Davis presents another dimension in the broad scope of Aledo’s offense, even just within the running game itself.


Springtown at Decatur

Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Site: Eagle Stadium

S. College Ave. at E Carpenter St. — Decatur 

Type: Non-district.

Last year: Springtown 37, Decatur 30


Decatur Eagles (0-1)

Last season: 4-6 overall, 1-3 in District 9-3A

Last week: Lost to Trinity Christian, 49-13.

Players to watch: QB Grayson Muehlstein (6-4, 205, 4.4); FS Carsen Medlin (5-10, 160, 4.6); OL Dakota Williams (6-0, 260, 5.2).


Springtown Porcupines (0-1)

Last season: 6-5 overall, 4-1 in District 6-3A

    Class 3A, Div. II, bi-district finalist.

Last week: Lost to Liberty Christian, 44-41

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: Decatur probably ranks near the top in what many would consider a dubious category at the varsity level. Returning just five (total) starters from last year’s (4-6 overall) squad, the Eagles will look for an extra boost of emotion as they host Springtown on Friday, still smarting from a whippin’ by Addison’s Trinity Christian Academy. 

Add to the mix the growing suspicion that Springtown and Decatur do not particularly care much for each other, and you may have another rivalry brewing. Especially if the teams decide to keep scheduling each other for a non-district match, or if the UIL decides they belong in a district together with the next reclassification/realignment. It is almost a surety both will wind up in Class 4A’s Division I.

Chances are, not many opposing defenses will completely shut down the Springtown offense this season unless they can spend the night in QB Landry Turner’s hip pocket, so Decatur will need to find several routes to the goal line, and several times, in this game. The Pojo defense gave up 44 points in last week’s barn burner with LCA-Argyle, and are still looking for the turning point on that side of the ball to join the 3A elite.

In addition to Turner’s leather-slinging prowess (more than 300 yards to six different targets last week), the Porcupines offense also received a boost in its ground attack, with junior RB Ryan Snow toting the ball 31 times while topping 210 yards rushing on the night. Another facet of Springtown’s attack defenses will have to defend.     


Millsap at Dublin

Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Site: Memorial Stadium

        700 N. Post Oak — Dublin

Type: Non-district. 

Last year’s result: Dublin 23, Millsap 0


Dublin Lions (0-1)

Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-3 in District 5-2A, DII

Last week: Lost to Hico, 48-23

Players to watch: WR/DB Dirk DeVries (6-0, 170, 4.7); FB/DE Rudy Rodriguez (5.9, 205, 4.9); WR Devin Thompson (6-2, 185, 4.7); QB Brady Holloman (Jr).


Millsap Bulldogs (0-1)

Last season: 0-10 overall, 0-7 in District 6-2A, Div. II

Last week: Lost to Alvord, 31-7

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: Despite the seemingly lop-sided result of its opener on Friday against Alvord, Millsap head coach Kyle Coker was upbeat — and for good reason.

It’s defense had two takeaways and the Millsap offense fit the definition of ‘protecting the ball,’ with no turnovers. Alvord owned the first quarter, no doubt about it, but Millsap settled in to produce a competitive performance in the final three quarters.  

Repetition in the Slot-T can only help the Bulldogs be more prolific, and with the installation of a new defense, as well, Millsap should be in a much better position to embrace both systems with a decent-sized senior class and “veteran” juniors who endured last year’s varsity trials.

Dublin returns nearly the full compliment of last season’s starters, and despite a sound beating at the hands of Hico in its inaugural contest, may have a some misplaced confidence in thinking Millsap will be a walk-over.

The Bulldogs backfield spread out the touches in the rushing game last week, with Andrew Tyson the most productive, averaging five yards a carry.

Millsap is thirsting for a win, and would love to use Dublin as a pivot point for its 2013 fortunes.


Brock vs. Dallas Episcopal

Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Site: Jones Stadium

        4100 Merrell Rd — Dallas

Type: Regular season game

Last year’s result: N/A


Dallas Episcopal Eagles (1-0)

Last season: 3-6 overall, 2-5 in SPC North Div.

Last week: Beat John Paul II (Plano), 41-7

Players to watch: LB Nigel Naulls (5-11, 245, 4.8); DL Jeff Patton (6-4, 260, 5.2); WR Grant Matzen (5-10, 165, 4.5); QB Thomas Fitts (6.1, 175, 4.9).


Brock Eagles (1-0)

Last season: 2-0 varsity record

Last week: Beat Gateway Charter, 34-0

Players to watch: QBs Joseph Earl, Seth Boleman, RBs Leddy French, Matthew McCartney, Kolbin Mills, O-line Jake Earl, Cooper Gore, Tyler Collier, D-line Hunter Pittman, Billy Tedford, Titus Gossett.


Game notes: Running, passing and receiving, QB/RB Slaten Gough, one of Brock’s three seniors, accounted for more than 250 yards of the Eagles’ 411 yards of total offense last week. 

Gough shared time at quarterback with Seth Boleman, staying extremely busy even when not taking snaps. Brock dominated on both sides of the ball with proficiency in its win over Dallas Gateway. About the only downside to Brock’s attack was losing the ball via fumbles three times.

Boleman did not throw often, but had a high completion rate, connecting on six of his eight attempts.

Brock hopes to victimize another Dallas school this week. This time, one from the private sector who plays in the Southwest Preparatory Conference.

The Episcopal School of Dallas returns all 11 of its offensive starters and managed to put up 41 points in its first outing, which should provide a worthy test in this encounter of the Eagles.

The Brock defense was active and efficient in its opener, yielding just 147 total yards, while snatching away three Gateway fumbles and earning a pick.