The Weatherford Kangaroos (4-0) proved they could win in a variety of manners throughout non-district play this season, putting together a pair of come-from-behind wins in weeks two and three (North Crowley and Birdville) as well as routing week one and four opponents Granbury and Fort Worth Southwest, respectively.

Now, Weatherford will look to sustain that momentum when the team travels to face the San Angelo Central Bobcats (2-2) in the teams’ District 3-6A opener at 7 p.m. Friday at San Angelo Stadium. 

Roughly a three-hour drive to San Angelo, Weatherford Head Coach Billy Mathis said his team will make a point to reach its destination well ahead of game time to help negate the possiblity of a slow start.

“It’s always a fear with the long car ride  that you’re gonna get off the bus and have a sluggish start, so we’re gonna try to make sure we get there early enough where we get time to run around and get our blood flowing and get our minds right,” Mathis said.

 “I expect our guys to be 100 percent focused and ready to go.”

Shutting down SAC junior quarterback Malachi Brown stands as one of the Roos’ top priorities, Mathis said.

“Their quarterback, Malachi Brown is as good of a quarterback as we face,” Mathis said.

“He throws the ball well, he runs really well.”

In the teams’ 2018 district tilt, Brown proved the focal point of the Bobcats’ offense, accounting for all four of the team’s touchdowns (two passing and two rushing) while putting up 223 of his team’s 261 yards of offense.

With that said, Weatherford’s defense is coming off arguably its strongest performance of the year, allowing season lows in passing yardage (58) as well as rushing yardage (169) against Fort Worth Southwest last Friday, making this week’s matchup between the unit and Brown a key battle. 

Offensively, the Kangaroos head into Friday averaging a stout 52 points per game, double that of 2018 after four weeks (26 points per game) while also having put up 300-plus yards of offense once (341), 400-plus twice (454, 473) and 600-plus once (628).

Even more, those numbers have come from a largely balanced effort, with Weatherford averaging 268 yards passing per game and 207 yards rushing per game.

While both sides of the ball have played well for the Kangaroos, Mathis stressed the team will need another strong outing to come out on top of a thouroughly talented Bobcats’ squad.

“Their O-line is big and strong,” Mathis said.

“Their D-line and linebackers [as well], they’re just good all the way around. Coach [Brent] Davis has done an unbelievable job over there of establishing a solid program. 

“They had a big game last week, they drove out to El Paso, got down early by four touchdowns against Pebble Hills, came back and won the football game, so they’re battle tested. We’ve gotta go out and play a great game.”

With that, Mathis stressed the Kangaroos are eager and highly motivated for a chance to avenge the team’s 2018 loss to the Bobcats.

“They came to our house and I really feel like we gave them the game last year,” Mathis said.

“I know our guys want a little bit of redemption, so we’re excited about this opportunity. We’re gonna go up there, San Angelo is gonna have ten thousand fans because it’s their homecoming. That’s a little bit of motivation in itself, go and be a homecoming spoiler.”

Mathis added that while Weatherford heads into Friday with confidence, the team is not hung up on its earlier achievements this season and is not taking the upcoming matchup lightly.

“Our guys are excited,” Mathis said.

“They feel like we’re still not hitting on all cylinders yet, but they’re excited about what we’ve done. At the same time, they know just because we’re 4-0, that means nothing. Right now, we’re looking to be 1-0 this week. Our practices have been crisp. The guys know we have a chance to be really good, so confidence is high. 

“We definitely don’t ever underestimate anybody, especially San Angelo Central. The guys know we have to go out and execute offensively, defensively and on special teams.”

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