- Third-round playoff predictions
Thursday, November 29th, 2012
We’re two weeks into the playoffs and we’ve had a lot of good performances and a couple upsets.
What we haven’t had is one of those memorable classics.
Like a Munday-Windthorst from last season. Or Graham-Snyder in OT two years ago.
The 2009 playoffs might have been the most exciting in recent memory as far as amazing games go.
Just off the top of my head, there were Holliday-Cisco (Eagles come back, lose in OT), Henrietta-Comanche (Comanche wouldn’t die), Munday-Bronte (Kenyin Thompson scored from 45 yards out on game’s last play) and Graham-Carthage in the 3A title game (missed 2-point conversion at end).
Some of these matchups this week on paper at least don’t look as competitive as you’d think a third-round playoff game would be. Wake me up when an El Paso team plays Rider close. Quanah-Stamford and Munday-Hamlin probably won’t go down to the wire.
If we’re going to have a classic this week, I think it’ll come from Denton’s Collins Stadium. Nocona-Gunter has the makings of being a real slugfest.
These teams are a lot alike. They’re both going to line up and overpower you. Nocona had lots of success pushing Edgewood around, but Gunter will be different. Indians coach Brad Keck said Gunter’s offensive line is at least as good as Nocona’s if not better.
But Nocona’s defense is stout and has fared well against power teams like Holliday. Expect a lot of running and whoever runs the ball most effectively will win.
Obviously, turnovers could come into play and make this game not as competitive as I think it should be.
I just can’t pick against Nocona after seeing how impressive the Indians were last week. They make enough plays to come out ahead, 21-20. In a classic.
Here are the area’s other playoff games going on this week:
Rider vs. El Paso Burges: Rider is coming off a pretty good win over FW Southwest in which it didn’t probably play its best game but powered through.
I don’t expect the Raiders to face as much opposition this week. Rider’s defense is playing really well for the most part and Chase London being healthy has helped the passing game.
Rider has too much speed with guys like Domanic Thrasher and Davon Allison. Raiders win by 20.
Graham vs. Midland Greenwood: Obviously Graham will have to play well this week to win. But I expect the Steers to do just that.
Greenwood has a quarterback named Kam Williams who does about everything – he has passed for 2,554 yards and 1,271 yards. Combine his rushing and passing TDs and you get 46.
But I think to beat Graham, you’ve got to have a lot of weapons like Graham does. Make the defense worry about many guys.
And as far as the offense goes, the Steers are executing about as well as they have at any point this year. To its credit, Greenwood is one of those rare third-place teams still alive right now. Graham wins by at least 10.
Quanah vs. Stamford: This game will get a lot of attention because it’s the only Thursday game in the state this week.
I think if Quanah plays its best game of the year, it has the potential to make this one competitive going into the fourth quarter. That hasn’t been done much against the Bulldogs this year.
The Indians run the same offense and have some playmakers like Stamford does. But I give the edge on defense to the Bulldogs and they have the best player in the game in QB Hagen Hutchinson.
I think when it’s all said and done, Stamford wins by at least 20-25. Just too much experience on a veteran bunch that I feel will win the Class A Division I state title. But Quanah can do some things to hang in the game for a long while if it plays well.
Munday vs. Hamlin: Can’t see the Pied Pipers keeping this close. I saw Hamlin beat Electra in the playoffs a couple weeks ago, and they do some good things. Munday hasn’t seen a team that throws it 20 times a game since Holliday.
But to me, all that means is the Moguls have a chance to unleash a dominant defensive line on the QB. I think we’ll see a couple INTs and a few sacks. And also a lot of big plays from an offense that should score a lot of points again. My pick is Munday by 35 (and probably more unless Hamlin scores some late on backups like Wink did last week).Share
- Lots of impressive wins over weekend
Monday, November 26th, 2012
While there were a couple causalities, several area teams made it through the second round of the playoffs unscathed this weekend.
There were a lot of impressive wins. It’s hard to figure out who had the most impressive.
Was it Graham, which scored touchdowns on its first six possessions (often with long drives) against a Glen Rose team that was among the region’s favorites?
Or Nocona, which put on a rushing clinic against a dangerous Edgewood team? The Indians rushed for about 400 yards and gained 510 total, completed all but one pass and didn’t commit a turnover.
I figured Throckmorton would beat undefeated Water Valley by a touchdown or two in one of those down-to-the-wire six-man games. Instead, the Greyhounds mercy-ruled them in the third quarter.
And don’t forget Newcastle, which started off rather poorly this season before coming on strong. The Bobcats, like Throckmorton, knocked off an unbeaten team in Aspermont.
Whichever team you choose as most impressive, you can’t go wrong. And this doesn’t include Rider, Quanah, Munday and Notre Dame – all of which advanced to the next round.
Some more quick thoughts from this weekend:
* Vernon and Jacksboro had great turnarounds, going from 2-8 to 9-3. That much improvement takes a lot of hard work and perseverance.
So it was no surprise to me that neither quit once they trailed in the second half of their playoff games Friday. Vernon was down 17-0 at half but scored 28 in the second half and lost by 12.
And Jacksboro, which was tied at 7-7 versus Clarksville, gave up 29 straight points to start the third quarter. But the Tigers played hard to the final buzzer and lost 43-31 after winning the fourth quarter 24-7.
* I haven’t talked to Seymour coach Keith Ivy yet, but by looking at stats and turnover ratio, it looked like the Panthers didn’t play very well and were out of sync against Panhandle.
And I bet not playing for basically three weeks is partially to blame. While you go into it healthy, it’s tough to simulate the intensity and emotions of a game in practice. Tough way for the Panthers’ season to end.
* Speaking of Seymour, Friday afternoon’s loss also ended an era in the radio booth. For the past 10 years, Jeff Gregg and Curtis Priddy have called almost every Seymour radio game together (I think Gregg has missed the occasional one for out-of-town work).
But with Gregg’s youngest daughter graduating this year, he decided it was time to step down. He had been calling Seymour games for 22 years total. It sounds like Priddy may also step aside. These guys were really entertaining, and if you never listened to their broadcasts, you missed out.
* Oh, the numbers Dee Paul and Roddrick Taylor would put up if only they got 10-12 carries per game. That doesn’t happen now since those guys score so quickly and get up by so much. Both are averaging seven carries per game.
Those guys have a combined 153 carries for 2,357 yards and 45 touchdowns. And Taylor has scored touchdowns on all four catches this season.
* Memorial Stadium will be a busy spot this weekend with Stamford-Quanah (Thursday), Abilene Wylie-Stephenville (Friday) and Birdville-Lubbock Monterey (Saturday).
The Friday game is the best of the bunch. It’s one of the most talked about games in the state regardless of any classification and should draw a huge crowd. If I didn’t have a dog in the hunt, I’d try to get out there if I were you.
* I know it’s purely coincidental and not because I lobbied coaches all week about it, but it’s nice not to have all of our area teams playing on one day like we had last week.
Because of it, I’ll get to cover Quanah, Nocona and Munday all in the same week. And Andy will be heading out west for the Rider-Graham roadswing.
I’m sure teams will go back to Fridays next week. Munday, especially, doesn’t want to get stuck on Saturdays since the Class A Div. II title game is at 12 p.m. Thursday.
* Haven’t talked to many coaches yet, but I think Nocona-Gunter will be best game of the weekend. Rider shouldn’t have much problem with EP Burges, and Munday will have its way against Hamlin.
Quanah could put a scare into Stamford, but I like the Bulldogs to come out ahead by double digits. Graham-Greenwood also could be a pretty decent game, but I think the Indians have the most competitive matchup on paper.Share
- Latest Wichita Falls area pairings
Saturday, November 24th, 2012
We’ve still got a couple six-man teams playing Saturday and Munday’s next game needs a time.
Plus, there’s a heck of a matchup involving No. 2 Abilene Wylie and No. 3 Stephenville next Friday night in Wichita Falls. Wish I could see that myself.
CLASS 4A DIVISION II AREA
Rider 31, Fort Worth Southwest 21
CLASS 3A DIVISION II AREA
Gatesville 40, Vernon 28
Graham 42, Glen Rose 28
CLASS 2A DIVISION II AREA
Nocona 40, Edgewood 23
Clarksville 43, Jacksboro 31
CLASS A DIVISION I
Panhandle 33, Seymour 16
Quanah 34, Sundown 21
CLASS A DIVISION II AREA
Munday 63, Wink 34
SIX-MAN DIVISION I REGIONALS
Throckmorton (9-1) vs. Water Valley (11-0), 6 p.m. today, Early
SIX-MAN DIVISION II REGIONALS
Newcastle 50, Aspermont 38
Notre Dame (9-0) vs. Heath Fulton (9-2), 2 p.m. today, Mineral Wells’ Miller Stadium
Class 2A Quarterfinals
Frederick 42, Commerce 40
Class C Semifinals
Tipton 28, Sharon-Mutual 20
CLASS 4A DIVISION II REGIONALS
Rider (10-2) vs. El Paso Burges (10-2), 7 p.m. Saturday, Midland’s Grande Communications Stadium
CLASS 3A DIVISION II REGIONALS
Graham (11-1) vs. Midland Greenwood (9-3), 7 p.m. Friday, Sweetwater
CLASS 2A DIVISION II REGIONALS
Nocona (11-0) vs. Gunter (10-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Denton’s Collins Stadium
CLASS A DIVISION I REGIONALS
Quanah (9-3) vs. Stamford (10-1), 7 p.m. Thursday, Memorial Stadium
CLASS A DIVISION II REGIONALS
Munday (11-0) vs. Hamlin (9-3), TBD Saturday, Abilene Wylie
SIX-MAN DIV. II QUARTERFINALS
Newcastle (8-4) vs. Strawn (11-1), TBD
- Carter: Mark It Eight
Friday, November 23rd, 2012
“Mark it Eight”
Had things gone better, some of us would be preparing to see Morrissey this week. Alas, we had to “settle” for Jimmie Dale Gilmore last Thursday and Friday at the Museum of Art at Midwestern State University.
Needless to say, it was an interesting turn of events. Gilmore is an absolutely gracious person, and he seemed to really enjoy himself talking about the old days of Texas music, along with former MSU graduate and writer Jan Reid. Both men have seen a lot in Texas music along the way, and it was fun to listen to them chatting about growing up in a state that has surely changed a great deal over the last forty years.
A friend of mine, not originally from Texas, was talking to me earlier in the week about going to Austin for the first time and how that she was completely enchanted with the city’s music scene. She said that on any given night you could pretty much hear about anything you wanted to hear, and it was generally pretty great music.
I cannot imagine what Austin would have been like in the ‘60s. There would have been less live music, but it surely would have all been good. I was lucky enough to see two shows at the historical Armadillo World Headquarters (1970 to 1980) before it shut down, and those were pretty amazing shows in a pretty amazing setting.
One of those shows I saw at the ‘Dillo was Iggy Pop. It turns out that Gilmore played in a band that opened the venue up in 1970. Absolutely amazing. Gilmore also addressed his short movie past and was rather humble describing how he came to play Smokey in the Coen’s “The Big Lebowski,” surely one of the great indie film characters of all time.
I heard from Ali Holder, now in Austin, that her Kickstarter.com program to raise money to record her new album was closing in several days. I love the idea of this program to raise money to record music by offering copies, shows and such for that support. Check it out to support her or another project that might suit your musical tastes.
I got to hear Cody Magana’s new musical project the other day and was impressed. Magana is singing and playing rhythm guitar, while James Ogden, formerly of Blue Light Special, is playing lead guitar. The rhythm section is formerly of Chiva. The band is working on covers and has a few originals already and is probably about a month or two from playing its first show. It’s a good, solid band that should really come together the longer they play together. Some mad talent also, by the way.
As Christmas music becomes more and more the tune for the times this month, I suggest that you should make every attempt to enjoy it as much as you possibly can. But when it all gets to be too much, and trust me you will appreciate time away from it, just remember than your smartphone has headphones and a way to listen to your own music—even if its different Christmas music that every restaurant, retail store and everywhere else seems to be playing at this point. At McCarty Music, we used to bring in world Christmas tunes, if that gives you some idea of possibilities.
Finally, I am looking forward to hearing The Affiliation play Saturday night at The Pub along with Radio Republic. Both bands are good and prove that the whole all-ages scene had a lot more to offer than some people thought. I think the Affiliation will have copies of their CD for sale, and it’s great. Also, I think that Radio Republic is not that far away from having its own CD for sale.Share
- Second-round playoff predictions
Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
In working on playoff preview capsules for the newspaper, I get to spend 10-15 minutes with every area coach discussing the opposition and keys to the game.
While this is mostly good, it can also be a little bad. The good: I get sound insight and find out some strategies and opponent weaknesses.
The only downside is that every coach thinks they are going to win, which they absolutely should. No problem with that. Only sometimes I can get persuaded about how “good” an area team’s chances can be when in reality they aren’t as strong.
So when I make these predictions, I have to balance all the insight and maybe exclude some of the optimism, no matter how well-intended it is.
Having said that, I think of our four 3A/2A schools left – Graham, Vernon, Nocona and Jacksboro – all could win or lose. Nothing there would surprise me either way.
However it plays out, we should have more competitive games this week. Have a good Thanksgiving, and I hope these predictions can get you through the turkey until the football playoffs return on Friday:
FW Southwest at Rider – Southwest has a WR in Robbie Rhodes who is a Baylor commit and could cause the Raiders a little trouble.
And while this is a game Rider can lose if it doesn’t play well, I just don’t see the Raiders falling at home. I think Rider will be able to run the ball on Southwest, which like Rider has had some injuries at quarterback.
This Rider team has done a terrific job of overcoming adversity all year and I don’t think its season will end on Friday at Memorial. Rider by 10-14.
Graham vs. Glen Rose – If you look at a bunch of regional/state publications, a lot of people have Glen Rose winning Region I-3A. And the Tigers just might. These teams are a combined 20-2 (with losses to Abilene Wylie and Brownwood) and one really good team is going home Friday.
Graham should get to know QB Colton Bretton, RB Cody Burtscher and WR Justin Weatherly, because those guys sound like studs. But Graham’s defense is really strong and at least it knows who it has to stop.
If you’re Glen Rose, who do you key on? Obviously Bryce Reeves and Dillon Gonzales come to mind, but the Steers have so many weapons. Hunter Jones had five catches for 84 yards and a TD last week. Hagen Hughes offers another dimension in the backfield. Ben Davis has a ton of options.
I’m not putting a lot of stock in Graham beating Brownwood more than Glen Rose did last week. But I am putting a lot of stock in the Steers, who can definitely win this game. In a little bit of an upset, Graham by 3.
Vernon vs. Gatesville – These teams have a couple things in common. First, they’re playing really well and had solid bi-district wins. Second, it’s a little bit of a surprise they are here.
Last year, they went a combined 6-14. Now they are 20-2. Both play a lot of seniors. Neither team has one of those D-I studs, but both have lots of weapons.
This is a game Vernon can win – and I was dead wrong picking against them last week. But I think Gatesville will make it tougher for the Lions to run the ball and squeeze out a victory.
Nocona vs. Edgewood – Edgewood scored 75 points last week, and all of those were on offensive touchdowns. The Nocona coaches were scouting the game and know what they are up against – a fast East Texas team that can make plays.
But I think the Indians’ defense will be up to the task. They are one of the most physical defenses I’ve seen this year. Nocona isn’t slow by any means, and I think it’ll be able to disrupt some of Edgewood’s timing.
I think Nocona will be able to move the ball well enough with Tate Fenoglio and Hayden Hill to score some points. If the Indians hit a couple big pass plays, then all the better.
Edgewood is capable of some big plays. If it gets only 2-3 40+ yard gains, Nocona will win. More than that, and I think Edgewood comes out on top. But I’ll pick the Indians in a potential high-scoring game.
Jacksboro vs. Clarksville – While any playoff win is a good win, it sounded like Jacksboro didn’t play its best game last week versus Blooming Grove.
That will have to change this week. Clarksville, which won the Class A hoops title last year and beat Munday in the 4×100 relay at state, has an abundance of speed and a 6-6 receiver who can cause some problems.
After a 1-3 start, Clarksville has won six in a row and has been in a lot of close games. Jacksboro is going to try to be real physical with them, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more running than usual from the Tigers.
Again, I think Jacksboro will have chances to win this one. But I’ll trust my gut and choose Clarksville.
Quanah vs. Sundown – Now we’re down to the Class A games, which I don’t believe will be as competitive. Although if there’s one that could be, it’s this one.
The Indians lost by 43 points to Sundown a year ago, but they are a lot different now with a tougher run defense and Craig Miles in the backfield. And Sundown’s stud power RB is gone, too.
I can see Quanah striking early and putting Sundown, a team that only throws the ball six times a game, in a spot it doesn’t like being in. If the Indians don’t play well, they could lose, but I think they’ll get the job done.
Seymour vs. Panhandle – Seymour may be a little rusty in this one, but I don’t think that will matter. Panhandle is allowing 28 points per game on defense and Seymour should have some success moving the ball, whether it’s John Mitchelle running or Zach Barton hitting Cody Adams for big plays.
And Seymour’s defense is pretty good. Panhandle throws a bunch, but the Panthers are strong in the secondary. A couple picks wouldn’t surprise me at all. Seymour by 14.
Munday vs. Wink – Not too much to write here. Munday will win this one by as many as they want. Anything less than 40 will be real surprising. Wake me up in two weeks when the Moguls face Albany or Muenster – and even then, those games shouldn’t be close. Just more competitive.Share
- First week of playoffs in books
Monday, November 19th, 2012
I’m pretty glad the first week of the playoffs is done with.
With everybody and their dog qualifying for the postseason – and it’s only getting worse next year in 3A and 2A – there are some bad teams who advance.
Really, our area usually represents itself well. We lost all four of our area No. 3 district seeds, but there’s no shame in how Windthorst and Holliday went out. And Electra would have had more of a chance if not for a couple suspensions.
Burkburnett did what it needed to get in, but honestly the Bulldogs weren’t a playoff-caliber squad. 5-3A was pretty weak after Graham and Vernon. Still, getting an extra week of practice and losing by 68 is better than calling it a season after 10 games.
The blowouts should mostly end this week (unless you’re facing Munday). A lot – not all – but most of the bad teams didn’t last the first week.
It seems like there are more really exciting matchups this round than usual. In fact, if some of our teams get by Friday, the third round offers what looks like an easier matchup.
Look at Rider, for example. The Raiders should be tested some against FW Southwest, but the next opponent would be an El Paso team (yawn) or Hereford, which was 4-6 before shocking 9-1 Canyon Randall.
If Graham gets by Glen Rose, the third-round games looks easier on paper. Then again, you know how far paper goes. Ask Highland Park, which was upset in the 4A playoffs by Frisco.
Some other thoughts from the first postseason weekend:
* This was a pretty weird year for Holliday. The Eagles finished 6-5, but that’s about as bad a record as they could have had.
Two OT losses, another by 1 point and a 3-point loss against Vernon. The only game they got torched was against Munday.
So realistically the Eagles could have been 8-2 into the playoffs. And if Jacob Cole doesn’t get hurt early against Tolar, the Eagles would have had a better chance of winning.
Ultimately, Holliday’s defense played pretty well but not well enough to make up for an offense that struggled at times finding a rhythm.
* I knew Lake Worth had been affected by injuries pretty good, but I didn’t know the extent until I saw the Fort Worth paper’s story online. Their QB was the third-stringer (and was really a RB) and they had another RB out.
That makes me feel a bit better. Still, the Steers are playing well enough right now that a healthy Lake Worth wouldn’t have mattered.
* There weren’t a lot of exciting first-round matchups. And Vernon jumped on Springtown early to seize that game quickly. I picked against the Lions, but they proved me wrong, especially by forcing so many turnovers.
I think that will change this week. We have four 3A/2A teams this week – Graham, Vernon, Jacksboro and Nocona. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they combined to go 4-0 or 0-4. It’s just that type of week.
Vernon may have the toughest matchup, but Graham is going against someone who many believe is the regional favorite (Glen Rose). And I expect down-to-the-wire showdowns with Nocona-Edgewood and Jacksboro-Clarksville, too.
* I know Valley and Ira are still out there too, but I’m getting a feeling the Throckmorton-Water Valley winner will be the Six-Man Division I state champ.
* Tough break for Windthorst, which played Anson well even though it lost QB Chandler King. Trojans were bitten a little too much by injury bug this year.
* I’m begging coaches to play on Saturdays. I know why the small schools aren’t doing it — because our area 2A/A title games are on Thursday, Dec. 20. But I’d love to catch more than one game this weekend and unfortunately won’t be able to. Looks like I’ll be at Nocona-Edgewood.
And if your team is already done but you want to see some football, we’ve got Rider at Memorial on Friday. Or you could see both Vernon and Graham play. Lions are at 2 p.m. and Steers are at 5 p.m., and it’s a real short drive from Weatherford to Springtown.Share
- Latest second-round playoff pairings
Saturday, November 17th, 2012
Here are this week’s playoff results and almost all of next week’s second-round pairings:
CLASS 4A DIVISION II BI-DISTRICT
Rider 44, FW Dunbar 26
CLASS 3A DIVISION I BI-DISTRICT
Kennedale 68, Burkburnett 0
CLASS 3A DIVISION II BI-DISTRICT
Vernon 55, Springtown 28
Graham 44, Lake Worth 7
CLASS 2A DIVISION II BI-DISTRICT
Tolar 23, Holliday 20 (OT)
Jacksboro 28, Blooming Grove 13
CLASS A DIVISION I BI-DISTRICT
Quanah 41, Forsan 6
Anson 35, Windthorst 28
CLASS A DIVISION II BI-DISTRICT
Hamlin 40, Electra 13
SIX-MAN DIVISION I BI-DISTRICT
Throckmorton 64, Rotan 16
Ira 52, Crowell 43
SIX-MAN DIVISION II BI-DISTRICT
Jayton 77, Chillicothe 58
Aspermont 51, Northside 6
Newcastle 94, Sidney 48
Notre Dame 1, Plainview Christian 0 (forfeit)
Class 2A SECOND ROUND
Frederick 49, Alva 13
Class C SECOND ROUND
Tipton 46, Wesleyan Christian 0
CLASS 4A DIVISION II AREA
Rider (9-2) at Fort Worth Southwest (9-2), 7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium
CLASS 3A DIVISION II AREA
Vernon (9-2) vs. Gatesville (11-0), 2 p.m. Friday, Weatherford
Graham (10-1) vs. Glen Rose (10-1), 5 p.m. Friday, Springtown
CLASS 2A DIVISION II AREA
Nocona (10-0) vs. Edgewood (10-1), 6 p.m. Friday, Lewisville’s Max Goldsmith Stadium
Jacksboro (9-2) vs. Clarksville (7-3), 6 p.m. Friday, McKinney ISD Stadium
CLASS A DIVISION I
Seymour (8-2) vs. Panhandle (7-4), 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sundown
Quanah (8-3) vs. Sundown (8-2), 3 p.m. Friday, Amarillo’s Dick Bivins Stadium
CLASS A DIVISION II AREA
Munday (10-0) vs. Wink-Miles winner
SIX-MAN DIVISION I REGIONALS
Throckmorton (9-1) vs. Water Valley (11-0), 6 p.m. Saturday, Early
SIX-MAN DIVISION II REGIONALS
Newcastle (7-4) vs. Aspermont (11-0), TBD
Notre Dame (8-0) vs. Heath Fulton, TBD
- Playoff predicton time
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
I’ve spent the better part of the past couple days talking to 15 area coaches about their playoff matchups. I could be very wrong about this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a whole lot of blowouts this week.
Of course, it’s always hard to tell when examining a team that hasn’t played anyone within a 100-mile radius of here. And a team may look fast on paper, but maybe the video lies if it’s against a really poor opponent.
You’ll always have one of those unbelievable upsets across the state that makes the playoffs so much fun (and makes every favored coach repeatedly preach to their kids about the importance of focusing on the task at hand).
But for every one of those huge upsets, there are about 25 games that go as planned, especially in the early rounds.
Here are my short playoff predictions with this week’s 11-man matchups:
4A DIVISION II
Rider-Dunbar – Dunbar has been able to run the ball against lesser opponents, but it hasn’t faced a defense like Rider’s. The Raiders are really starting to come into their own on the defensive end, and that should continue against a team competing with 3A numbers. Without J.T. Barrett, Rider’s offense isn’t as explosive but it can still score a lot of points against the Dunbars of the world.
3A DIVISION I
Burkburnett-Kennedale – If the Bulldogs can make this one look respectable, I think that’s a win in itself. Kennedale averages more than 400 rushing yards per game and they will be able to move the ball against the Bulldogs enough to score a lot of points. Kennedale would have been tough for any 5-3A team to beat. If Burkburnett can string together some long drives and not turn the ball over, maybe it’s not too bad. But these teams are in whole other leagues.
3A DIVISION II
Graham-Lake Worth – This game should get out of hand quickly in favor of our area team. The Bullfrogs allowed 112 points to Springtown and Kennedale, teams comparable to Graham. And Lake Worth, which has rotated quarterbacks because of injuries, doesn’t have the firepower to turn this one into a shootout. Graham has taken care of business in these types of games this year, and I think QB Ben Davis and company will have a field day.
Vernon-Springtown – Finally, a competitive matchup. This is the best area game we’ve got, and it will be played out at Memorial Stadium. It’s a contrast of styles as Vernon will run the ball with the Wing-T and Springtown will be fast-paced and throwing it a ton. I bet the Lions move the ball well enough to score a bunch of points. I’m just not sure if they can outscore Springtown. Vernon’s defense allowed more points to Hirschi and Burkburnett than they probably should have. Suffice it to say, Springtown is more dangerous compared to those two. Either the Lions will win a close one or lose a tight one. But I’m siding with the Porcupines, knowing I could very well be wrong.
2A DIVISION II
Jacksboro-Blooming Grove – I feel real good about Rider and Graham rolling to blowouts. Add Jacksboro to that list. Why? Because Blooming Grove has size but won’t be able to handle Jacksboro’s speed up front. And because while it has a pretty good QB, Blooming Grove’s defense doesn’t make me think it can slow down QB Kirk Weldon and company at all. The Lions gave up 40 points to 1-9 Dallas Life Oak. Another 30 to 4-6 Rio Vista. In all, Blooming Grove averaged 36 points allowed in district. Expect the Tigers to put up a big number.
Holliday-Tolar – This is a game the Eagles can lose. Holliday coach Cody Patton said so himself. But I think they’d have to not play very well. The Eagles are more battle-tested not only in recent playoffs, but also this year. Plus, although it lost, Holliday has been in a playoff-type atmosphere, and I’m sure the Eagles have been stewing over the OT loss to Jacksboro all week. This is also a good matchup up front for Holliday, which I think will be able to bottle up Cory Solomon (1,473 yards, 22 TDs). Holliday by 10-14.
A DIVISION I
Anson-Windthorst – Maybe if I had seen last week’s narrow loss to Quanah and not blowouts at the hands of Munday and Seymour, I’d pick the Trojans. And Windthorst has proven to be a tough postseason out during these type of seasons (beating Gorman/Goldthwaite in 2007, almost upsetting Albany in 2008). But I think Anson has too many offensive weapons for Windthorst to stop. If the Trojans can shorten the game and finish off drives without turning the ball over, then they very well could see another week.
Quanah-Forsan – Hard for me to think this one won’t be a Quanah rout. Forsan is only averaging 16 points per game and lost to Sundown (comparable to Quanah) 43-0. In fact, the Buffaloes weren’t competitive in any of their four losses. The Indians are starting to run the ball well, and if they can limit turnovers, I think they can go a couple rounds.
A DIVISION II
Electra-Hamlin – I’m going with Hamlin (Electra won 61-41 in last year’s playoffs) because when things have gone wrong for the Tigers, games get away quickly. They have been outscored 192-7 in their three losses. This game should stay close with Hamlin RB Darius Lee and Electra’s Michael Bishop/Tyler Nelson swapping big plays on the ground. But the Pied Pipers have been more consistent this year.Share
- WF area playoff pairings
Saturday, November 10th, 2012
CLASS 4A DIVISION II
Rider (8-2) at Fort Worth Dunbar (5-5), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Clark Stadium
CLASS 3A DIVISION I
Burkburnett (2-8) vs. Kennedale (8-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Denton’s Collins Stadium
CLASS 3A DIVISION II
Vernon (8-2) vs. Springtown (6-4), 7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium
Graham (9-1) vs. Lake Worth (5-5), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mineral Wells
CLASS 2A DIVISION II
Nocona (10-0), bye
Holliday (6-4) vs. Tolar (8-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Springtown
Jacksboro (8-2) vs. Blooming Grove (7-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Burleson
CLASS A DIVISION I
Seymour (8-2), bye
Quanah (7-3) vs. Forsan (6-4), 7 p.m. Friday, Clyde
Windthorst (5-4) vs. Anson (9-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Seymour
CLASS A DIVISION II
Munday (10-0), bye
Electra (7-3) vs. Hamlin (7-3), 7 p.m. Thursday, Graham
SIX-MAN DIVISION I
Throckmorton (8-1) at Rotan (2-8), 7 p.m. Friday
Crowell (7-3) vs. Ira (10-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Haskell
SIX-MAN DIVISION II
Chillicothe (5-5) vs. Jayton (9-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Rule
Northside (7-2) vs. Aspermont (10-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Knox City
Newcastle (6-4) vs. Sidney (9-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday, StrawnShare
- Carter: Texas Singer Songwriters
Friday, November 9th, 2012
Texas Singer Songwriters
If you are into the Texas singer songwriter thing, and you really should be if you are not, I can recommend a free program next Thursday and Friday. Both start at the Museum of Art and Midwestern State University. The first show at 7 p.m. Thursday is a roundtable discussion featuring two major Texas music writers, Jan Reid and Kathleen Hudson; Abby Abernathy who started the Lazy Boy Late Week Supper Club in Archer City, Texas that brought pretty much every major Texas singer songwriter to town with the exception of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Also featured in the guest performer, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, one third of the Flatlanders and also Smokey in The Coen Brothers’ great film “The Big Lebowski.”
The next night, Gilmore will play a solo acoustic show at the Museum of Art, and it should be amazing. It’s rare that you can bring together this kind of talent, and if this were Dallas they would probably charge $25 or so. Here, in Wichita Falls, this next weekend, it will cost nothing. What a deal.
For all of the talk about fall shows, the next best thing to check out for live music locally is open mics. Yes, you might have already heard, but the Morrissey show, which was paused a week or so ago to be rescheduled for another date, will not be rescheduled. I am not really sure what happened, because it was my impression that he wanted to play the area, due to his ongoing fascination with “The Last Picture Show,” and it’s not like Archer City has gone away or anything. It’s still there, and I guess he’s still not coming. Anywho, that would have been one show to lord over your friends in other cities for years. Imagine getting to see “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” at the cinema, and during the same year getting to see Morrissey play live at the Kay Yeager. Easy come/easy go.
Anywho, I went to watch the first Cody Magana open mic at the Iron Horse Pub last night. The first one for me to see anyhow, and I was very impressed at how many people attended the open mic, and how attentive the crowd appeared to be for the music. It’s not like they were talking over the other bands, and finally I thought there was a good diversity of talent there. Sometimes, the genre of the music is pretty much determined by the person running the open mic. If you play folk and the guys is disrespecting you, for example, it’s unlikely that you will return. Nothing at all like that was happening last night and that’s a great thing for this area.
Because there are such few places to play in town, it’s hard for young people to develop or find good places to play out live. And there was some good young performers playing at the open mic. One of my favorites was a young lady named Ashley Doby who has one of those voices that just seems about capable of anything. She let fly and it was impressive. I would like to see her do a full set. The guy who followed her was also pretty interesting. (Obviously I am awful at names). Again, it’s always a great deal when people are not talking over the performer. Consider there is no drums or bass in an open mic and it’s pretty easy to do that. I even saw Cody Shaw there but I am not sure if he ended up playing or not.Share
- We’ve got one more week to go
Monday, November 5th, 2012
My calculator has been tucked away in my drawer. I haven’t had to scribble out in-depth playoff scenarios or call district chairs to get official tiebreaker rules.
Heading into Week 10, every single 11-man school we cover at the newspaper is either in the playoffs or out. It’s pretty crazy. Don’t remember having a tamer final weekend before.
Everyone pretty much took care of business. And a couple teams like Bowie or Iowa Park – who needed to win last Friday to have hope – were defeated.
That’s not to say there isn’t anything at stake this weekend. Quanah-Windthorst and Holliday-Jacksboro will determine the Nos. 2/3 seeds in their district.
And it’s not going to happen, but Burkburnett (which would have to beat Graham) and Electra (which would have to beat Munday) still have theoretical shots at split district titles.
Don’t forget it’s WFHS-Rider weekend as well. That game always draws a big crowd and has a fun atmosphere.
But I’m looking forward more to the first couple rounds of the playoffs than I am Week 10. Hopefully, teams that have clinched can carry momentum into the playoffs and stay healthy.
Here are more thoughts after Week 9:
* They probably won’t last long, but you’ve got to give Burkburnett credit for making the playoffs. Nothing the Bulldogs did during non-district made you think they could do it.
Coach Boswell and staff did an excellent job making those kids believe and pulling the right strings. Going to the Wing-T to surprise Hirschi… Brilliant. Going to the spread against Iowa Park facing a 14-point deficit, hoping your QB who has been injured has a rally in him… Brilliant.
* Iowa Park is headed for its second straight 1-9 season. Hard to imagine. I know Coach Ponder has some young talent coming up. The final record will be misleading, too. This was one of those years the Hawks could have gone 5-5 and made the playoffs. They just couldn’t win a close game at all. And to not score a TD from the 2-yard line when your season depends on it has to be really tough to stomach.
* Rider is locked in as the 4A Division II top seed and will play FW Dunbar first round. Have heard they’ll flip home-and-home. Makes sense because there is nothing neutral that’s very accommodating. Still waiting on Decatur to build a really nice stadium – then it might get some of these games.
* Your 99-percent probable first-round matchups in 3A: Kennedale-Burkburnett (big edge to Kennedale), Graham-Lake Worth (big edge to Steers) and Vernon-Springtown (toss-up). Almost guaranteed we’ll have at least one 3A team make it out of bi-district, which hasn’t happened the past two seasons.
* Even though Jacksboro couldn’t slow Nocona down in the second half, I like the Tigers, especially on offense. They do a lot of different things and are pretty versatile. Kirk Weldon is a player, and he has a great supporting cast. I think Nocona coach Brad Keck was right when he said 5-2A Div. II will fare well during the playoffs.
* Speaking of Nocona, impressed again with the Indians on defense. Besides a long run by Reid Spiller and a long catch-and-run by David Stretcher, the Indians did a fine job not letting Jacksboro WRs get loose after catches. They picked Weldon off once (for only second time all year) and could have had 2-3 more.
* They play in a very hard 2A district, but Bowie will have to go down as one of the area’s disappointments. After making the 3A playoffs, a lot of people (me included) thought the Jackrabbits would be a shoo-in for a 2A playoff spot. But Bowie couldn’t get over the hump against good 5-2A Div. I teams. That opening loss to Boyd was a killer. Now all Bowie can do is play spoiler at Callisburg.
* Munday might have scored 82, but I can almost guarantee the Moguls weren’t trying to run it up like that. When you have three non-offensive TDs (punt, fumble and INT returns), it’s hard. For the record, Roddrick Taylor and Dee Paul combined for only six carries. Six!
* Combine Paul/Taylor’s yearlong stats into one person – with 138 carries, that’s not a ton (15.3 per game) – and you have these numbers: 1,858 rushing yards and 37 TDs. That’s insane.
* It’s kind of odd, but I’ve covered every area 11-man team that has qualified for the playoffs. That never happens. The list (with times seen in parenthesis): Burkburnett (1), Graham (1), Vernon (1), Nocona (2), Holliday (4), Jacksboro (1), Quanah (1), Windthorst (3), Seymour (2), Electra (1) and Munday (2).
* Potential games I’m looking forward to these playoffs: Graham-Glen Rose; Nocona-Gunter; Holliday-Corsicana Mildred; Seymour-Stratford; Quanah-Stamford; Munday-Anybody who can play them within 40.
* Look for my column in Tuesday’s paper breaking down the regions for all of our playoff teams.Share
- We’ve got a new overall “Sack Zach” leader
Monday, November 5th, 2012
For the last few weeks, I’ve held a slim lead in the overall chase for the “Sack Zach” title. Although I’m not eligible to win the $100 Parkway Grill prize that goes to the grand champion, I still would rather finish atop my own challenge. I’ve got to preserve my dignity somehow.
But Ryan Cannedy is just too hot. Like he should be heading to Vegas right now. For the third straight week, he’s been the weekly winner of “Sack Zach.” For those who don’t know, that’s $30 worth of Parkway gift cards each week.
And after finishing with the most points this week, Ryan has overtaken me in the overall category. He’s at 160 points, while I’m at 156. The margin of error is small these days – I almost hit on my Iowa Park and Perrin-Whitt picks, which would have been huge.
We’ve got this week’s picks still to go, plus the playoffs. I will be setting up the playoff games next weekend after all of them get set – so don’t worry, they will get up in a timely manner.
If you haven’t played “Sack Zach” yet, go to this link – http://www.1standtrn.com/sack-zach/ — and sign up. You obviously won’t be in the hunt for the overall title, but you could easily win a week – and a bunch of good food from Parkway.
And common guys, let’s have someone knock off Ryan next week.Share
- Week 9 predictions
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
It’s not the best schedule this week for the three WFISD teams in regards to competitive matchups.
Rider should whip Denton pretty good. Denton Guyer should do the same to WFHS. And while Hirschi is playing better of late, I think the Huskies will be in over their heads against Graham.
It’s not just me, either. Pigskinprep.com is predicting the three favorites will each win by at least 40 points.
But fear not, fans of games that have intrigue heading into the fourth quarter. There are four area matchups that not only should be close, but they each have serious playoff implications.
Here are my predictions on how each of the four will turn out:
* Burkburnett at Iowa Park – The fact of the matter is Burkburnett is playing better right now than Iowa Park. The Bulldogs’ offense change to the Wing-T has helped multiple ways: It’s been more effective at ball control, which keeps the defense (which is allowing 46 ppg) off the field. Negative plays like sacks are also limited.
The Bulldogs enter this with more momentum, but I’m picking Iowa Park, which has lost its last seven games. I haven’t seen IP play in person this year, but my gut says the Hawks are due for a win. And due to have a game where turnovers are limited. They had a couple chances in non-district and were in the Hirschi game until the end.
One thing worth mentioning here. This win does IP absolutely no good if it loses to Vernon next week. But did you know Burkburnett has only two INTS this year? Not exactly ball-hawking. I think this one is close late, but I like the Hawks in a fairly high-scoring game.
* Jacksboro at Nocona – Nocona played a great game last week to beat Holliday. One of those emotionally sapping games. And Indians coach Brad Keck has told me it seems like his team plays a little better on the road.
Having said that, I think the Indians win another close game. Jacksboro is playing at a high level and took care of business against the lesser district teams the past three weeks. But the Tigers haven’t been in a fourth-quarter fight since Sept. 28 vs. Lindsay.
I expect this to go down to the wire. I think Nocona will have success running the ball, but I think the Tigers will score some points, too. Nocona by 7 as it takes a district title.
* Pilot Point at Bowie – The Jackrabbits have a couple advantages here. First, they are at home. Second, they are coming off a bye while Pilot Point is playing its 10th straight game. And third, the Jackrabbits are getting practically everybody back that they had out in a loss two weeks ago against Whitesboro.
When it comes down to a toss-up game, I like to side with the better defense. And Bowie’s is better. Whitesboro was the only team to score more than 22 on Bowie this year, and that was a game where the Jackrabbits had their entire DL out. Pilot Point just gave up 46 to Whitesboro. Bowie could lose, but I the Jackrabbits’ postseason chances to stay alive in one of those 21-14 games Bowie has been good at winning this year.
* Electra at Perrin-Whitt – I really didn’t think Electra’s spot as the third-best team in 8-A Division II was in danger until the last couple weeks.
Sure, the Tigers lost badly to Seymour (61-7). And sure they opened district with a real clunker against Muenster (58-0). But then two weeks ago, Era was beating Electra at halftime and Perrin-Whitt had a more respectable score against Muenster. Then last week, Electra was losing late in the second quarter to Petrolia. I also noticed Michael Bishop had 0 yards rushing in that game on 21 attempts.
To Electra’s credit, the Tigers have played solid second halves to pull away from both Era and Petrolia. And I’m going to pick them because I’ve been saying all year Electra is a playoff team. Might as well stand behind it now. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Perrin-Whitt, which is pretty physical up front, comes out with a win.
Rider d. Denton
Guyer d. WFHS
Graham d. Hirschi
5-2A Div. II
Holliday d. City View
Alvord d. Henrietta
3-A Div. I
Seymour d. Archer City
Quanah d. Olney
8-A Div. IIShare
Munday d. Era
Muenster d. Petrolia