Playoff Implications on the Horizon

By Chris Boothe
Messenger Sports

It’s one of those good news, bad news types of weeks for several area teams. A few suffered a setback or two, while others picked up some impressive wins. Regardless, there is still plenty of football left to be played this year, and quite a few games with some playoff implications. Here is a look at this week’s action.

Grapeland Sandies (4-2, 1-0) vs. Timpson Bears (5-1, 1-0)
Friday, October 20, 7:00 pm
John Herbert Eakin Stadium, Timpson, TX

The good news? The Grapeland Sandies are 1-0 in district play. Better news? The Sandies are in a three-way tie atop the district standings. Now the Sandies will look to make it a two-way tie, or take the outright lead after Fridays huge showdown against the Timpson Bears.

The hot start to the season has not cooled off in Timpson, as the Bears sit at 5-1 on the season and are riding a four-game winning streak. The latest two include a 36-6 thumping of Wortham in the Bears district opener, and a 20-14 edging of Lovelady in a non-district thriller.

Defense leads the way for the Bears, who are allowing just 13 points a game. Only once this year has an opponent scored more than 14 points, and that was a 30-6 loss to a very talented Carlisle squad. On the flip side, the Bears have been very active offensively, putting up 29.3 points a game this year. This game will play huge into the playoff standings, as both teams look to keep pace with Tenaha atop the standings.

Crockett Bulldogs (1-5, 0-1) vs. Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs (2-3, 0-1)
Friday, October 20, 7:30 pm
Monte Jack Driskell Stadium, Crockett, TX

Bad news first. The Crockett Bulldogs lost to Newton 71-8 last week. One of the worst losses in school history. The good news? It gets much easier from here. Newton was ranked #1 in the state of Texas, and has state championship aspirations. The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs on the other hand, are on life support, needing a win to stay in the playoff hunt.

Corrigan has had a weird run to start the year. After opening the season with back-to-back losses to Centerville and Shepherd, the Bulldogs bounced back with consecutive wins against Kountze and Shelbyville. To continue their bipolar run, Corrigan lost their last game, a 22-13 decision to Hemphill in their district opener.

In their two wins, the Bulldogs are averaging 36.5 points per game. In their three losses, they have only been able to scrounge up just 11 points a game. On the flip side, when the defense shows up, Corrigan has picked up wins. When the defense is MIA, the Bulldogs lose, giving up 30 points a game.

Lovelady Lions (3-3, 1-0) vs. Deweyville Pirates (3-2, 0-1)
Friday, October 20, 7:00 pm
Lion Field, Lovelady, TX

Just like that, the Lovelady Lions are back on top of things. After a resounding win over West Sabin

e, the Lions sit atop the throne in district play, and have the chance to send a quality opponent into a dreaded 0-2 hole. That opponent, a 3-2 Deweyville team that took one on the chin last week against Groveton.

After a strong 3-1 start to the year where the Pirates opened the season with a 63-0 shellacking of Burkeville, the Pirates were cooled off last week. Deweyville was unable to slip past the Groveton Indians, falling in a nail biter by the score of 22-15. It was a Friday the 13th type of score, as the Pirates were coming off a 22-16 win over Hull Daisetta the week before.

Still, the Pirates use a physical ground attack and strong defense to defeat their opponents. Only twice this year has Deweyville topped the 30-point mark. Once in their opener against Burkeville, and two weeks later in a 32-8 win over Galveston O’Connell. Defensively the Pirates have been as good as anyone, allowing no more than 20 points in all but one game this year. In fact, the Pirates have held their opponents to less than 14 points in three games alone.

Elkhart Elks (3-3, 1-2) vs. Eustace Bulldogs (3-3, 0-3)
Friday, October 20, 7:30 pm
Jerry Ives Memorial Stadium, Elkhart, TX

The Elkhart Elks suffered a bit of a setback last week against the Teague Lions. The Lions roared to life in a 44-7 win over the Elks. Now it is time for Elkhart to go on the rebound and get a much needed win to stay aead in the playoff hunt. That win must come against a Eustace team that has lost three straight to open district play.

After wins over Scurry-Rosser, Quitman, and Palmer to open the year, the Bulldogs have suffere

 

d at the hands of Groesbeck, Teague, and Malakoff. All arguably the top three teams in the district. Now the Bulldogs must likely win out to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot.

Eustace is built much like Elkhart, leaning heavily on the run game with over 300 yards per gam

e on the ground. There are two feature backs for the Bulldogs. Junior Alejandro Sanchez leads the team with 734 yards rushing this year and five touchdowns, while senior Clifton Johnson adds 549 yards and a team best nine touchdowns. No other Bulldog has more than 100 yards rushing this year, but that duo is as dynamic as any in east Texas.

Palestine Wildcats (3-4, 1-2) vs. Bye

After a big win over Center, the Palestine Wildcats suffered a stunning upset at the hands of the Bullard Panthers. Now the Wildcats will go into the Bye week preparing for their final stretch which includes Chapel Hill, Carthage, and Henderson.

Westwood Panthers (1-5, 0-3) vs. Malakoff Tigers (6-0, 3-0)
Friday, October 20, 7:30 pm
Panther Stadium, Palestine, TX

The road isn’t getting any easier for the Westwood Panthers. After a 50-0 loss to Groesbeck a w

eek ago, the Panthers will now try to rebound against the district leading Malakoff Tigers. Malakoff is undefeated this year, sporting a perfect 6-0 record and 3-0 in district play after taking down Eustace a week ago.

The Tigers are explosive offensively, and stingy defensively. To this point, the Tigers are averaging a more than modest 46 points a game, while holding their opponents to just 25.6 points a game. Only once have the Tigers been held under 30 points this season, and that was in a thrilling 29-27 win over a good Rusk team in the second week of play. On the flip side of things, only once in district play has an opponent managed more than 14 points, and that was last week when the Eustace Bulldogs fell by a score of 66-25.

Trinity Tigers (1-6, 1-2) vs. Coldspring Trojans (3-2, 2-0)
Friday, October 20, 7:30 pm
Tiger Stadium, Trinity, TX

While the Trinity Tigers weren’t able to stretch their first win into a winning streak, the Tigers did put up a fight against the district leading Woodville Eagles. Next up is a big one for the Tigers playoff hopes, as they face off against a surging Coldspring Trojan team.

Coldspring has run off three straight wins since losing their first two games of the year, starting with a 22-16 overtime win over Crockett almost a month ago. Since then, the Trojans trounced Warren 65-6 before slipping past Kirbyville 30-17 a week ago.

The man to watch is freshman Tay Parker Hayden. Hayden leads the team with 910 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns. The freshman is a bull that wears down opposing defenses, and breaks through for some big runs. David Fulcher is another weapon out of the backfield with 471 yards and three touchdowns.

Groveton Indians (3-2, 1-0) vs. West Hardin Oilers (1-5, 0-1)
Friday, October 20, 7:30 pmOiler Stadium, Saratoga, TX

A win over Deweyville and the Groveton Indians are atop the district standings with Lovelady and Centerville. A win over West Hardin will keep the Indians in a race for the district title, and all but cement their playoff spot with three games remaining on the schedule.

West Hardin sputtered out of the gates to start the year, losing their first four games of the year before finally slipping into the win column with a 57-18 win over Acadiana Christian (LA). Unfortunately, the Oilers ran into a buzz saw named Centerville a week ago, falling 50-0 to the Tigers. None of the Oilers games have been close this year, with their closest being a 24-14 loss to Hull Daisetta in their season opener. Since then the average scoring difference has been 34.2 points per game.

Alto Yellowjackets (1-5, 0-1) vs. Carlisle Indians (6-0, 1-0)
Friday, October 20, 7:30 pm
Arrowhead Stadium, Price, TX

An uncharacteristic fourth straight loss has the Alto Yellowjackets reeling just a week into district play. Despite their best efforts, Alto fell to Joaquin 35-20 in their district opener, and must now get up and ready for another big opponent. Now it is the undefeated Carlisle Indians awaiting their shot at a beaten Alto squad.

While the quality of opponents hasn’t been great, the Indians have shut out three of their six opponents this year, and held two others to seven points or less. Last week’s 57-33 win over Cushing was the first time an opponent has reached double digits on the Indians all year. That said, offense hasn’t been an issue as only once has Carlisle been held to less than 40 points this year, and three times they have scored at least 50 points.