Looking at the Home Stretch 

By Chris Boothe
Messenger Sports

We have hit the midway post of the season, and for several teams it means a much needed break before kicking off district play. For most of the others, the district grind continues with several teams looking to build upon wins, while others look to bounce back from tough losses. Here is a quick look at this week’s action.

Grapeland Sandies (2-2, 0-0) vs. Maud Cardinals (1-4, 0-0)

Friday, October 6, 7:30 pm
George Frost Field, Maud, TX

After a week off the Sandies will get the chance to knock off some rust in a non-district tilt on Friday night. The Sandies will return to action against a Maud Cardinal team that has seem their fair share of struggles to start the season.

Maud is just two weeks removed from their first and only win of the season, a 47-14 decision over the Simms Bowie Pirates. Last week the Cardinals fell 39-21 to the Linden Kildare Tigers, dropping Maud’s record to a tough 1-4 overall.

The Cardinals are a balanced team, but feature a dual threat weapon in the backfield in senior running back Brooks Minter. Minter leads Maud in rushing with 205 yards and 4 touchdowns and is the Cardinals second leading receiver with 244 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Creutz has been the Cardinals only other rushing threat with 147 yards and no touchdowns through four games. Quarterback Gage Jones has proven to be a reliable arm, completing 57.9 percent of his passes for 722 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

Crockett Bulldogs (1-4, 0-0) vs. Bye

After a heartbreaking loss to Coldspring on Friday night, and the tragic passing of senior Ty Anderson, the Bulldogs will have the week off for their scheduled bye. Crockett will kick off district play next week at home against the Newton Eagles.

Lovelady Lions (2-2, 0-0) vs. Bye

Coming off a tough loss to the Timpson Bears in an emotional showdown, the Lovelady Lions will have the week off before kicking off district play next week against the West Sabine Tigers.

Elkhart Elks (3-1, 1-0) vs. West Trojans (3-1, 1-0)

Friday, October 6, 7:30 pm
Trojan Stadium, West, TX

It took more than four quarters, but the Elkhart Elks picked up a huge win over the Westwood Panthers on Friday night to get an early leg up in the playoff race. Things ramp up in difficulty this week, as they hit the road to face a tough West Trojan team coming off a big win of their own.

The Trojans rolled past a highly touted Teague squad 42-26 in their opener on Friday night for their third win in four games. West uses a physical ground attack, much like the Elks to prove their point. The Trojans average 207 yards per game. Senior Paeton McFarlin leads the way with 448 yards on 68 carries with two touchdowns. Senior Jacob Bates leads the team in touchdowns with six.

Junior quarterback Nathan Gerik is a dual threat. Gerik has 359 yards passing with six touchdowns and two interceptions, but adds with a ground attack featuring 174 yards and three scores. Romeo Hernandez is Gerik’s favorite target with 13 catches for 157 yards and three touchdowns.

Palestine Wildcats (2-3, 0-1) vs. Center Roughriders (1-4, 1-0)

Friday, October 6, 7:30 pm
Roughrider Stadium, Center, TX

After a rough week for the Palestine Wildcats, the team was able to battle back from an early deficit and give the Kilgore Bulldogs all they could handle. Unfortunately, there is no rest in this district, as they face another team that has playoff aspirations this week in the Center Roughriders.

The Roughriders have had a tough start to the year, losing their first four games before finally getting in the win column last week after taking down Bullard. Center does feature a balanced offense that averages 163 yards passing and 110 rushing. Not strong numbers, but still very balanced.

Sophomore quarterback Jayden Hicks leads the team in both passing and rushing this year. Hicks has completed 53.7 percent of his passes for 818 yard and eight touchdowns with three interceptions. Passing isn’t the only strength of Hicks, as the sophomore has rushed for a team best 302 yards with two scores. Junior Katavious Evans is second on the team with 98 yards rushing through four games this year.

Westwood Panthers (1-3, 0-1) vs. Whitney Wildcats (3-1, 0-1)

Friday, October 6, 7:30 pm
Panther Stadium, Palestine, TX

Despite their best efforts, the Westwood Panthers came up just short in their district opener against neighbor and rival Elkhart. There is no time to rest, as the Panthers must bounce back with the Whitney Wildcats coming into town on Friday night.

Whitney entered district play as a top contender, and remains that way, but fell to powerhouse Malakoff to open district play. The Wildcats are a very young team. Starting quarterback Devin Wilson is a sophomore. The top two rushers are also sophomores. Wide receiver is the only position that is senior heavy.

Wilson leads the team with 95 yards passing and eight touchdowns, while completing 57.8 percent of his passes. Wilson also leads the team in rushing with 395 yards and three touchdowns. Dez Garner adds 338 yards on the ground with three touchdowns of his own.

Whitney has four receivers with at least 100 yards receiving this year. Clay Richters leads the way with 382 yards and three scores. Hunter Watson adds 251 yards and three scores for the Wildcats. To say the Wildcats are balance, and spread out would be an understatement.

Trinity Tigers (0-5, 0-1) vs. Kountze Lions (1-2, 0-1)

Friday, October 6, 7:30 pm
Tiger Stadium, Trinity, TX

It was a tough night on Friday for the Trinity Tigers. The Tigers came up just short against Buna in their district opener, but all is not lost. Trinity will return home on Friday night for homecoming against the Kountze Lions, with their playoff hopes still alive.

Kountze has had a rough start to the year. After missing their first two games of the year due to Hurricane Harvey, the Lions finally got on the field and picked up an emotional win over Hull Daisetta 35-6. Since then the Lions are winless, falling to Corrigan-Camden 47-32 and Kirbyville 36-32. The winne

r of this game finds themselves in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot while the other will be clawing their way back into the playoff picture.

Groveton Indians (2-2, 0-0) vs. Bye

The Groveton Indians were able to bounce back and pick up a big win on Friday night over the Normangee Panthers. That win gives the Indians momentum going into the bye week, as they will rest up before opening district play against the Deweyville Pirates.

 

Alto Yellowjackets (1-4, 0-0) vs. Bye

The Alto Yellowjackets put up a fight, but came up just short against their 4A neighbors from Rusk. Now the Yellowjackets will have the week off before kicking off district play next week against the Joaquin Rams.