Red Oak (1-0) at Lake Dallas (1-0)
7:30 p.m., Friday, at Falcon Stadium
Red Oak lost only one non-district game last year, falling by eight points to a Lake Dallas team that ended up going three rounds deep in the playoffs.
The Hawks are hoping to reverse their fortunes this week as they travel to Lake Dallas in hopes of running their record to 5-1 in non-district games over the last two years.
“Lake Dallas is a team that went three rounds deep last year so their confidence is way up,” Red Oak head coach Mike Shields said. “They still have a good team and expect to be back this year.”
Red Oak is coming off a 34-5 win over Denton Guyer in last week’s season opener.
The Hawks got three touchdown runs and a touchdown catch from running back Nic Boyd and used a dominating defense to keep Guyer out of the end zone.
“We’re pleased with what we did last week,” Shields said. “We’ve still got plenty of work to do, but last week was a game we expected to win.”
Lake Dallas beat Terrell 10-6 last week in its season opener. Though the Falcons offense struggled in accumulating just 179 yards and turning the ball over three times, the defense was stifling.
A.J. Byers intercepted two passes, including one that he ran back to the 11-yard line to set up a field goal late in the first half.
Offensively, the Falcons got 69 yards from Jared Beggs, 42 of which came on one run. New quarterback Zach Waggoner never did get into a rhythm with receiver Alvin Blackmon, who was expected to be the Falcons’ playmaker after catching 33 passes for 791 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Between rushing and receiving yards, Blackmon had just 57 yards last week.
Shields believes the key to the Hawks’ success this week depends on their ability to control the line of scrimmage.
Lake Dallas’ stingy defense begins with defensive tackle Isaac Tauaefa, who is 6-0, 265 pounds and wreaked havoc on Terrell’s offense last week.
“We have to control the defensive line,” Shields said. “We need to protect the quarterback when we throw and we have to be able to run in order to keep the ball out of their offense’s hands.”
Dallas Hillcrest (0-1) at Midlothian (0-1)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Midlothian ISD Stadium
Hillcrest began this season with a 32-13 loss to Sherman last week. The Panthers gave up big plays to the Bearcats, including an 84-yard touchdown run, a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and a 33-yard touchdown pass. Sherman amassed 223 yards on the ground and another 137 through the air against the Hillcrest defense.
Hillcrest did manage to gain 167-yards through the air. Hillcrest quarterback Willie Taylor connected on 10 of 17 passes with two interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown. The other Hillcrest score came on a 38-yard pass reception by Stetson Edwards from Michael Harrison.
Midlothian is coming off a tough 18-14 loss to Mesquite Poteet and the Panthers also remember that Hillcrest took a 15-3 win over the Blue Crew last year. The Panthers fell prey to miscues in the loss to Poteet. Other than giving up a couple of big plays Midlothian dominated the Pirates. Running back Caleb McEachern racked up over 160 yards rushing and quarterback Bryce Petty had an 18-yard touchdown run.
Hillcrest’s offense rides on the shoulders of Taylor. The quick quarterback was the team’s leading rusher last season and threw for 1,634 yards. Michael Harrison is the go to receiver as Hillcrest figures to be even better than last year’s 7-5 squad.
“We will need to contain the Hillcrest quarterback,” Midlothian coach Robby Clark said. “He is a lot like the quarterback that we faced last week from Poteet (Andrew Maddox who had 168 yards rushing and all three Poteet touchdowns). Our job will be to keep (Taylor) in front of us. With the exception of a couple of big plays last week our defense played well.”
Hillcrest will need to stop the Midlothian running game and then find a way to shut down tight end Caleb Russell and receivers Dillon Fowler, Eddie Johnson and Vince Frawley. The Midlothian defense is quicker and more solid than last season. Look for this one to be a real battle.
Alvarado (0-1) at Springtown (0-1)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Pojo Stadium
Springtown began its season with a 31-14 loss to Mineral Wells. The “Porkys” were 4-6 last year and return six starters on offense and defense.
Kyle Wilson steps in as quarterback after transferring over from Weatherford. Raphael Kubrak returns as the starting running back. The offensive line is strong for the Porcupines with Casey Callaway, D. J. Correll, Josh Mattix and J. D. Mattix. The defense is led by superstar Al Owens (6-2, 195, 4.4)
Alvarado lost to Birdville 25-22, to begin the season. Ty Raby finished the game connecting on 8 on 15 passes for 71 yards. Thomas Head ran for 98 yards and Broam Hart ran for 70. Head caught a 6-yard touchdown pass and Kyle Kirkland added a 7-yard touchdown reception and a 17-yard run for a score. The Alvarado defense gave up 224 yards in the air and allowed three rushing touchdowns against Birdville.
Life Oak Cliff (1-0) vs. Ferris (1-0)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Billy Goodloe Stadium
Ferris went through many emotions last week as they got their first win of the season in coach Randy Barnes’ debut and they did not allow a point. However, the Yellowjackets did lose their starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
The Yellowjackets’ opening weekend of games, freshmen through varsity, was as successful an opening weekend as can be remembered in Ferris.
“No one can remember the last time Ferris swept every game,” Barnes said. “It’s always easier to have a good week of practice after a win.”
Ferris, which scored the game’s only touchdown one play after Matthew Garcia’s injury, will turn to sophomore Jeremy Masterson at quarterback. Masterson started the season as a linebacker and tight end, but Barnes made the switch due to his athletic ability.
“Jeremy’s a great athlete and he’s catching on fast,” he said. “We might be a little behind right now, but we’ll catch up. We’re going to be fine.”
This week’s opponent, Life Oak Cliff, is also coming off a season-opening win that came via a shutout. The Lions shutout Rice 13-0 last week and were led by a 79-yard effort by Karl Hodge.
“They are very talented,” Barnes said of the Lions. “They have a lot of speed and athletes all over the field. We’ll have to play sound defense or they will put a lot of points on the board. They will make you pay for any mistakes.”
Barnes’ greatest obstacle this week may be getting his team to come down from its big win last week. His formula for moving on includes enjoying the victory, but only for 24 hours.
“We want to make sure we are done with Friday night’s game by Saturday,” he said. “We want everything to be corrected and done with so we can get back to business on Monday.”
Venus (0-0) at FW Castleberry (1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Barnes Memorial Stadium
Last year it took Venus three weeks to score its first points of the season. If the Bulldogs are going to have a chance Friday in their season-opener they’re going to have to start scoring a lot earlier.
Castleberry is coming off a 26-23 win over Kemp and amassed 353 yards of total offense. The Lions were led by quarterback Chris Thompson, who ran for 250 yards on 20 carries.
The Bulldogs have yet to start their season, but are under the direction of new coach Coby Tyson.
Maypearl (0-0) at Kerens (1-0)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Bobcat Stadium
Kerens played in Zero Week posting a 42-18 win over Jewitt Leon. Kerens returns 13 starters off a team that went 8-3 last year and won District 20-2A with a perfect 7-0 record.
Pat Faulk, a sophomore, returns at running back for the Bobcats and is all set to spearhead the Kerens offensive attack. Last year, Faulk ran for 878 yards and crossed the goal line 16 times. Faulk also recorded 11 interceptions and a pair of touchdowns for the Kerens defense.
The visit to Kerens will open the season for Maypearl under second year head coach Bill Hughes. Hughes is excited about Maypearl football this year as he has 16 returning starters from last season’s 2-8 team. The Panthers were young last season and now look to establish themselves as a team to beat in District 12-2A.
Blake Salter returns at quarterback to lead the Panther attack. In the trenches the Panthers are big with Blake Hodge (6-3, 280), Jake Pruitt (6-3, 235), Austin Weatherford (6-3, 250) along with guards Jacob Cooper and Ty Ripley as well as tackle Corey Marshall. Linebackers Robbie DuBose and Patrick Hughes are very active. Jesse Davison, wide receiver, and Matt Leaf, running back, provide experience at the skill positions.
Kerens will get the nod going into the game, but this will be the first chance for the Maypearl Panthers to show how far they have come in the last year.
Axtell (0-0) at Italy (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Willis Stadium
After dropping their season opener last year, the Gladiators went to Axtell and fell flat, giving up a pair of special teams touchdowns and a defensive score on their way to a 42-6 loss.
If last week’s game against Hearne, a team that went three rounds deep in the playoffs last week, is any indication the combined score may not reach 42.
Italy’s defense shut down at potent Hearne offense that returned most of its skill people from a year ago. The Eagles managed just 149 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times.
The Gladiators offense will be paced by Detrick Green and Dontavious Clemons, who combined for 72 of the team’s 118 total yards last week.
Axtell returns six offensive and eight defensive starters from last year, including quarterback Michael Stranacher and running back Weston Popham.
Milford (1-0) at Bobcats (0-1)
7:30 p.m, Friday, Bobcat Stadium
Even though Milford and Blum are no longer in the same district or even the same division the matchup between the Bulldogs and Bobcats is always one of the area’s premiere six-man games.
Milford's head coach Tom McVey is a former head coach at Blum and is very aware of the Bobcat prowess.
Blum began the season as the state’s No. 8 ranked team, but fell to No. 23 after being blown out 56-6 by Fredricksburg Heritage last week. The Bobcats are the pre-season pick to win the Six-man Division I District 12 title.
Blum returns only four starters from its most successful team in school histor —, 13-1 state semi-finalists. Quarterback Matt Reid and running back Levi Hardcastle are the players to watch in the Bobcat backfield. Corey Wartham is a big and very quick receiver.
Defensively the Bobcats return linebackers Steven McPherson and Britton Hardcastle.
Milford, now in Division II District 12, is picked to take the title as well. Milford blasted Cranfills Gap 45-0 to open its season.
Although a Division II school, Milford is loaded with 10 starters returning off a 8-3 playoff team. Adrian Pendleton is back at quarterback, as is split back Malcom Wadley, a double threat who threw for 1,078 yards and ran for 1,236 yards last season. Derek Williamson is back at running back as is receiver Avery Love.
Last week the Dawgs had no problem defeating Cranfills Gap taking the mercy rule win with 5:10 left to play in the third quarter.
A big motivator for the Bulldogs this year will be remembering last year’s 58-0 loss to Blum.
Temple Central Christian (1-0) at Avalon (1-0)
7 p.m., Saturday, Eagle Field
Both teams won their season openers last week with Central Christian downing Tomball Rosehill 32-16 and Avalon defeating Oglesby 28-6.
Central Christian made the TAPPS playoffs last season, losing in the first round. The Lions are led by quarterback Taylor Truitt. The top returning rusher is Tyler Beechem. He is also the leading returning pass catcher and leads the team in tackles. Other players of note are Taylor Mitchell, Caleb Milne and Brian Browder.
Avalon, in its second season of football, is focused on making the playoffs for the first time ever. Head coach Cody Davis hopes weather won’t be a factor this week. “It was a sloppy game and we played in a downpour,” Davis said. “We couldn’t get our rhythm in the first half.” Avalon led 6-0 at the intermission, but saw that lead expand to 28-0 in the fourth quarter.
Dallas Gateway (0-1) at Eagle Advantage (0-0)
7 p.m., Friday, Waxahachie Sports Complex
While most schools began their season last week, Eagle Advantage had an extra week of practice, opting not to play a Zero Week game.
Their opponent Friday, Dallas Gateway, on the other hand took a tough 72-30 loss to Fort Worth Glenview.
Eagle Advantage head coach Chad Trinkle expects to see Gateway spread the ball around.
“They’re pretty fast,” he said. “They run a lot of stuff out of the spread and we’ll probably be doing a lot of pass coverage this week - more than we will at any other time this season.”
Eagle quarterback Zack Bozeman will be counted on to make an impact in his first game at the position. Trinkle expects the converted center to take charge of an offense that could potentially score a lot of points this season.
“It’s his first game at the position so we want him to make sure everything on the offensive side of the ball is taken care of,” Trinkle said. “It’s also the first game for our center Ryan Landis. He won’t be looked at as a big receiver, but we’ll need him for some dump-offs in our passing game.” Although Friday’s game against Gateway is the Eagles’ first of the season, Trinkle expects the team to be executing at a high level — offensively and defensively.
“We want to keep our intensity level up all four quarters,” he said. “We want to play fast, meaning when we’re on defense we want to go to the ball as quickly as we can. When we’re running with the ball, run as fast as your can. Whether the game is tied, we’re losing or we’re winning, we’re going to play fast.”