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District Play Gets Underway

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Week Four Preview

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – This is probably not the way you want to start district play as five of the six area teams lost last week. All six teams were on the road but this week, three return home and hope to pick up a in.

Burkeville Mustangs (1-2) vs. Grapeland Sandies (3-1) – The Sandies are coming off of their first loss of the season and are hoping to get back to their winning ways. In their loss, Grapeland did without a couple of key players but Cadarian Wiley still managed to show off his skills as he picked up 120 yards and scored a TD. Expect more of the same from the Sandies as they should rely heavily on Wiley and the run game so they can get healthy before district.

The Mustangs picked up their first win of the season last week with a strong second half surge over Mount Enterprise. Burkeville likes to run the ball, but their overall team speed will not be able to contain the Sandies offensive attack.

Crockett Bulldogs (2-2) vs. Huntington Red Devils (2-1) – The Bulldogs stay on the road this week as they open District 9-3A DI play. Crockett needs to eliminate the mental mistakes that cost them in the game against Buffalo and nearly derailed their win over Garrison last week.

The Red Devils are better than they were last year but still have a long ways to go before they can beat the Bulldogs. Their two wins came against Shelbyville by seven and Frankston by 13, both 2A schools.

Lovelady Lions (1-3) vs. Tenaha Tigers (1-2) – The Lions are back on the road this week as they travel to Tenaha to take on the Tigers. Lovelady is still trying to figure out how they stack up against the competition this year.

Tenaha is not the place to do it, but the Tigers aren’t near what they used to be in days of yore. They missed the playoffs last year and are not off to a good start so far this season.

It’s the district opener for both teams, so the action should be a little crisper in this game. The Lions have a real shot at the district title this year so look for Lovelady to pull out all the stops to take down the Tigers in Tenaha.

Westwood Panthers (2-2) vs. Elkhart Elks (0-4) – This is a must win for both teams. If the Elks want to salvage their season, a win over their rivals from Anderson County will go a long way. A loss will all but finish the Elks.

The Panthers also have something to prove. They come into the game with a 2-2 record are positively looking at a playoff berth. This game will help determine if they are for real in 2020.

Kilgore Bulldogs (2-2) vs. Palestine Wildcats (2-2) – The Wildcats will need to produce a lot more offense this week if they want to defeat the Kilgore Bulldogs. The Cats should be able to run with the Dogs but don’t be surprised if this gets ugly towards the end of the game.

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

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