By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – The 2016 football season hit the midpoint for area football teams last week with several of the local teams on a bye week before the district part of the season ramps up and the push for the postseason begins.

In Houston County, the Crockett Bulldogs enjoyed a bye week. The Dawgs are ranked #2 in the state in the most recent poll by Lone Star Gridiron, have a record of 5-0 and open district play this week against the Newton Eagles in Newton. Newton is ranked number one in the state and the winner of this contest will have the inside track towards the District 10-3A DII crown.

The Grapeland Sandies showcased their high powered offense once again on Friday night against the Maud Cardinals. Grapeland scored on their third play from scrimmage and seemed to be able to move the ball effectively, both on the ground and through the air, as they hammered Maud by a final score of 45-13.

The Sandies open district play on Friday, Oct. 7 against the Overton Mustangs. Overton is coming off a bye week and has a record of 3-1, while the Sandies have a season record of 3-2.

The Lovelady Lions are also coming off of a bye week and open their district season with a homecoming game against the West Sabine Tigers. The Lions are currently ranked number six in the state in Class 2A DI.

Anderson County teams had a rough week. The Palestine Wildcats and Center Roughriders squared off in Wildcat Stadium last Friday night and the game came down to a fourth quarter field goal by Center before it was decided as the Wildcats dropped a heartbreaker 20-17.

After opening the season 3-0, Palestine has now lost three straight to even their record at 3-3. Two of those losses, unfortunately, were in district play. Palestine is on the road this week against the Bullard Panthers in a game with huge potential playoff implications.

The Elkhart Elks were also involved in a one score game that didn’t go their way. The Elks took on the West Trojans and had the lead going into the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold it as they fell to West by a final score of 23-16.

The loss moves the Elks to 1-1 in district play and 3-2 on the season. Elkhart travels to Teague this Friday for a game against the Lions. Teague comes into the game with a mark of 2-0 in district and 4-1 overall.

After opening the season with a huge 61-22 win against the Frankston Indians, the Westwood Panthers have dropped four straight following their Friday night loss at home to the Whitney Wildcats. The loss drops the Panthers to 0-2 in district and 1-4 overall.

The Panthers will be seeking to bounce back and keep their playoff hopes alive this Friday at home when they take on the Groesbeck Goats. The Goats are 1-1 in district and 2-3 on the season.

With the Cayuga Wildcats on a bye week, the lone bright spot for Anderson County football came from the Frankston Indians. The Indians throttled the Cushing Bearkats by a final score of 50-6. The win gives the Indians a season record of 3-2. Frankston opens district play against the Garrison Bulldogs in Garrison this Friday. It is also the district opener for the Bulldogs who have a record of 4-1 on the season.

In other area games the Trinity Tigers defeated the Kountze Lions by a score of 33-14, the Madisonville Mustangs fell to the Rusk Eagles by a score of 35-24 and the Oakwood Panthers would just as soon forget about their game with the Abbott Panthers as they lost by a final score of 78-28.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.