By Chris Boothe
Messenger Sports

For some teams, week one was a[success, while many other found themselves battling something much bigger than a football game. Week two of the season has many more teams across the state taking the field, some for the first time, and many in some big time rivalry showdowns. Here is a look at this week’s matchups.

Grapeland Sandies (1-0, 0-0) vs. Groveton Indians (0-0, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Indian Stadium, Groveton, TX

For the Sandies, a season opening win over in-county rival Lovelady was a huge way to start the season. More impressive was the final drive where junior quarterback Rick Frauenberger connected with Tyrin Wiley for a 43-yard touchdown strike, lifting the Sandies to a 26-22 victory. Now the Sandies will face a Groveton Indian squad that is hungry for action after their season opener against New Waverly was cancelled.

The Sandies had a monster game offensively led by a 401-yard effort by Frauenberger through the air. The breakout star of the night though was freshman BJ Howard. The young receiver hauled in eight receptions for

253 yards and two touchdowns. Both Frauenberger and Howard set new school records for yardage in a single game.

Now the Sandies will gameplan for a Groveton team that lost key contributors from a year ago. Look for Hayden Terry to step in at quarterback after sitting behind the record setting Glenn Thornton. Terry finished 2017 with 869 yards passing and 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Terry also added 247 yards rushing with five scores to his resume.

There will be plenty of targets for Terry to choose from, as the Indians return six of their leading seven receivers from a year ago, losing only Dawson Chumley. Saul Chavez will assume the role of lead receiver now, as he finished last season with 59 receptions for 1262 yards and a team-best 15 touchdowns. Eli Stewart and Ethan Cathey are also capable receivers that can pose a threat on the outside. Cathey is also a strong runner, finishing 2017 with 647 yards on the ground, averaging 8.1 yards per carry, and punching in 11 touchdowns.

Crockett Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0) vs. Diboll Lumberjacks (0-0, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Lumberjack Stadium, Diboll, TX

Much like the Grapeland Sandies, Crockett opened the season with a win over a longtime rival, defeating Trinity 30-22. Now they too will face a familiar foe in Diboll, who also saw their season opener cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey.

The Bulldogs looked strong offensively in their opener, piling up yardage on their way to a win over Trinity. The Tigers on the other hand looked much sharper, pushing the ball down the field with a veteran squad.

Now Crockett will see a fresh Diboll team that did manage to sneak in a last minute scrimmage against Groveton on Saturday afternoon. Diboll features a roster of veteran playmakers like Ty’Darius Hamilton, who was a key playmaker for the Lumberjacks a year ago, and Jemarcus White, another strong running back that looks to have a big game in 2017. Diboll will need a big game from this duo if they hope to improve upon a 27-14 loss from a year ago.

Lovelady Lions (0-1, 0-0) vs. Anderson-Shiro Owls (0-0, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Owl Stadium, Anderson, TX

For Lovelady, their season opening loss was a heartbreaker. The Lions rallied from an early deficit to ta

ke a 22-20 lead with less than a minute remaining in the game. The win was snatched from their hands, as they started the season with a tough loss. Now the Lions will have the chance to rebound against an Anderson-Shiro school, that like many, saw their first game of the year cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey.

Much like last season, the Owls find themselves retooling after seeing their best offensive weapon graduate for the second consecutive year. This year the Owls will be much younger and inexperienced across the board with sophomores and freshman picking up the slack throughout the roster.

Not being able to get that first game in could play a big role for the Owls as they look to avenge a 48-20 loss from last year and break two-game skid to the Lions.

Elkhart Elks (1-0, 0-0) vs. Leon Cougars (0-1, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Jerry Ives Memorial Stadium, Elkhart, TX

Elkhart got off to the start they wanted Friday night, rolling past the undermanned Shelbyville Dragons 40-23.

Jonathan Simmons led the charge with 243 yards rushing and 70 yards receiving on top of five touchdowns. Not a bad day at all for the senior running back. Now it is up to the 0-1 Leon Cougars to stop the dynamic back.

Leon fell in a 42-0 co

ntest against the Kerens Bobcats. A tough loss to say the least for the Cougars, who must now bounce back and take on a very confident Elkhart squad.

Harris Sherrod had a strong game for the Cougars in their season opener, as the safety seems to be all over the field. Sherrod will now have the task of taking on Simmons and an Elkhart offense that moved the ball extremely well in their opening win.

Palestine Wildcats (1-0, 0-0) vs. Jacksonville Indians (1-0, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Wildcat Stadium, Palestine, TX

It’s rivalry time in Palestine as the Wildcats and Jacksonville Indians renew their feud for one mo

re week. Palestine rolled to a 57-20 win over Mabank, while the Indians picked up a tight 21-12 win over Pine Tree. Palestine will look to extend their winning streak over the Indians, as the Wildcats took home a 49-40 win a year ago.

Junior quarterback Tyler Gray had a strong start to the season, throwing for 98 yards and a score, while rushing for a team best 188 yards and three touchdowns in the Wildcats season opening win. Sophomore Jeremiah Davis added 97 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well, as Palestine used a physical attack to wear down Mabank. Now they will look to grind it out against a tough Jacksonville team.

Westwood Panthers (1-0, 0-0) vs. Kirbyville Wildcats (0-0, 0-0)
Friday, September 8,7:30 pm
Panther Stadium, Palestine, TX

To say Westwood won their season opener would be an understatement. The Panthers strolled to a 31-13 win over their Anderson County rivals from Frankston. Now the Panthers will face an emotional Kirbyville team that saw severe flooding last week.

Kirbyville earned a 26-14 win over the Panthers last year, and will look to build upon that with a roster chalked full of experienced playmakers. Among those playmakers are quarterback Tadarius Smith and running back Cam Smith. The duo in the backfield were a threat all last year and look to pick up right where they left off.

 

Trinity Tigers (0-1, 0-0) vs. Hearne Eagles (0-1, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Eagle Stadium, Hearne, TX

The start to their 2017 campaign wasn’t exactly what they had envisioned as the Trinity Tigers fell 30-22 in their season opener to Crockett. Now the Tigers must rebound quickly as they prepare for a Hearne Eagle squad that also saw themselves on their wrong end of the scoreboard in their season opener.

Grisham Vaught and Nolan Hughes put up strong efforts in the Tigers season opener, as the quarterback/wide receiver duo were able to hook up on several occasions throughout the night. How the Tigers will have to prepare for an athletic secondary from Hearne.

The Eagles feature more depth than they have had in a few years. With players like wide receiver Dave Castilleja (6-5) and quarterback Derek Gibson, the Eagles will also have playmakers to test the Tigers defense for the second week in a row.

Madisonville Mustangs (1-0, 0-0) vs. Woodville Eagles (0-0, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Eagle Stadium, Woodville, TX

Madisonville pulled no punches in an impressive 24-0 shutout of Teague in their season opener. Now they must face a Woodville squad that saw their season opener cancelled, and is reeling from the effects of Hurricane Harry.

A season ago, it was Woodville on the uptick, as the Eagles slipped past Madisonville 28-14. That would be the start to an impressive season for the Eagles under Head Coach Markham Walker. Now the Eagles will have to regroup after the effects from Hurricane Harvey and prepare for a very talented Madisonville team.

Madisonville pounded the ball for 236 yards rushing, despite not having any rusher with over 80 yards. Uriel Willis led the way with 77 yards on eight carries. Kendell Moffett led the team with three touchdowns on eight carries for 56 yards. Senior quarterback Ben Phillips wasn’t called upon to pass much, but completed 10 of 14 passes for 83 yards.

Alto Yellowjackets (0-1, 0-0) vs. Big Sandy Wildcats (1-0, 0-0)
Friday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Wildcat Stadium, Big Sandy, TX

Things didn’t go quite the way the Alto Yellowjackets expected in their season opener. Nursing

a 22-6 lead at the half, the Jackets looked well on their way to taking down a strong Winona team in their season opener. Instead the Wildcats charged back and stunned Alto 35-34. Now the Jackets must regroup as they face one of the most dangerous teams in east Texas, the Big Sandy Wildcats.

Big Sandy rolled to a 58-24 win over Quitman in their season opener. Big Sandy is chalked full of experienced playmakers across the field. From quarterback Brayden Jewell, to running back Decorian Menefee, to Khameron Pippins, to the list goes on and on. Offensively and defensively the Wildcats have the pieces and depth to hang with many teams across the state and will provide a strong test for the Jackets in their first road game of the year.