Getting Ready for District
By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – It’s hard to believe but the regular season is a third of the way over. Everyone has a win but only the Elkhart Elks are a perfect 3-0 on the year. It’s also hard to believe this is the last week before district play begins for the majority of the area teams.
This week’s games should serve bolster the confidence of a lot of teams and may well determine how they do when the games really count.
Kirbyville Wildcats (1-1) vs. Grapeland Sandies (2-1) – The Sandies have shown they can run the ball with Cadarian Wiley this year as the senior has amassed nearly 800 yards on the ground in only three games.
The Wildcats know this and will be geared up to stop Wiley. The key to this game is to see what other players step up, especially in the passing game. Wiley will still get his yardage but if Riley Murchison, Johnny Lamb, Omarian Wiley and Zandrick Anderson start to click, watch out.
The Wildcats lost a lot from last year’s squad and are still reeling from a 54-0 loss at the hands of the Newton Eagles last week. Don’t expect the Eagles to bounce back quite yet as Grapeland wins a close one at home.
Garrison Bulldogs (0-2) vs. Crockett Bulldogs (1-2) – The Crockett Bulldogs picked up their first win last week and are looking to build on that as they welcome the Garrison Bulldogs to Monte Jack Driskell Stadium.
It has been an up-and-down year so far for Crockett as they adjust to a new coaching staff. It looks like they may have found the answer last week, however.
Garrison, on the other hand, is still smarting from a 33-7 loss to Arp and a 45-0 loss to Waskom. In between, their game with Brook Hill was cancelled because of COVID-19. Look for the Bulldogs in blue to continue making life miserable for the Bulldogs in maroon.
Normangee Panthers (2-1) vs. Lovelady Lions (2-1) – The Lions won a slugfest with the Iola Bulldogs last week, 15-6. This week, the Normangee Panthers come calling and this should be a good measuring stick game for Lovelady.
The Lions return a tremendous amount of talent from last year’s Area finalist team and with the growth of Slade Murray at QB and Shaun Easterling at the RB position, they can give anyone fits.
Normangee also returns a sizable chunk of their team from last year’s team that went three rounds deep in the postseason. The Panthers are big up front and like to pound the ball, but still throw enough to keep the opposition off balance.
It’s tough to beat the Lions at home but don’t be surprised if Normangee pulls out the win in Lovelady in a close one.
Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs (2-1) vs. Elkhart Elks (3-0) – The Elkhart Elks are starting to make a little noise after starting 3-0. It’s also Homecoming this week as the Elks welcome the Corrigan Camden Bulldogs to town.
Corrigan got off to a strong start as they defeated Crockett and Centerville to open the season before losing to Woodville last week.
Expect the Elks to start fast in this one and hold off a Bulldog comeback to pick up the homecoming win.
Centerville Tigers (2-1) vs. Westwood Panthers (1-2) – After winning the season opener, the Panthers have lost two in a row. Don’t be surprised if it’s three.
The Tigers like to line up and pound the ball. If Westwood can contain the Centerville running game, the Panthers have a real shot at winning. If they don’t, it will be a long night in Panther country.
Connally Cadets (1-1) vs. Palestine Wildcats (1-2) – The Palestine Wildcats are looking to rebound after a tough loss to the Rusk Eagles last week. Rusk is an explosive offensive team but Palestine held them to only 21 points and had a chance to win in it in the game’s closing moments.
Connally very easily could be 2-0 but lost a heartbreaker last week by one. Expect a close game with the Wildcats pulling away in the end for a win.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.