- Playoff thoughts from last week
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Sorry these are a little late. I’m sure most people are already setting their sights on this week’s action. Been a busy week at work — which is a good thing because that means a lot of teams are still playing.
Factor that in with Nocona making it to state volleyball (they play at 3 p.m. today) and there’s a lot to be excited about.
Here are some quick thoughts on the opening weekend of the playoffs:
* Obviously Frenship was a pretty weak 10-0. Thought that might be the case, but you never know. I thought Frenship would lose to Rider in 2006 and it didn’t. The Raiders are set up for a nice run now.
* The 6-3A sweep came as no surprise. I thought Burkburnett did the best of the three. Bowie played poorly and Graham was outmatched. But Burk hung around and was in the game until the end. And if RB Devin Chafin is healthy, then who knows?
* Pretty huge wins for Nocona and Electra. I didn’t see them going three rounds deep, but both will certainly have chances to do so this weekend.
* Sounded like Henrietta QB Kolten Booher tried to give it a go but didn’t play much against Hamilton. I thought the injured ankle might really hurt the Bearcats’ chances of winning. Hamilton now has shut out Henrietta for eight playoff quarters and has won twice despite scoring a total of 16 points.
* Lots of possible all-area rematches next week: Windthorst-Electra; Nocona-Holliday; Throckmorton-Knox City and Bryson-Newcastle. How exciting would those be.
* I hate to say this, but for long-term possibilities, only Quanah and Seymour’s games against 10-0 teams are really intriguing. Wake me up for the Rider-Ryan, Windthorst-Munday and Idalou-Holliday state quarterfinals.
* Will make full predictions on Friday morning, but I’ll go ahead and pick the Electra game since it’s tonight. I’ve seen Bronte play more than respectably in playoff losses the last two years. But I can’t tell how much they’ve been tested. The Longhorns are the favorites and are the smart choice, but I’ll stay with the Tigers in a high-scoring game. 35-28.Share
- Week 10 predictions
Friday, November 4th, 2011
The final week of the regular season is here and there are a bunch of big games on the horizon.
Because of that, we’ll preview those a little bit more today and not worry as much about such games like Iowa Park-Vernon or Windthorst-Perrin-Whitt.
Start from the biggest and working the way down:
* Rider at WFHS: The TRN football roundtable between Andy, Nick and I talked a bunch about this one, but my biggest point in this one is Rider will win by multiple touchdowns if it can get pressure by not having to blitz. The fewer guys they rush at Dylan Sheffield, the better for the Raiders. With a couple injuries in the secondary, Rider will probably want to drop LBs into coverage to take away the short WFHS routes. But if Sheffield has time, well we’ve seen what happens there. Rider should be able to score a lot against WFHS, but the Coyotes have the offensive firepower to turn it into a shootout. I think the Coyotes will hit a couple big plays, but I think much like Lake Dallas did, Rider makes enough defensive plays (sacks, interceptions) to win this one. Score: Rider 49, WFHS 28.
Nocona at City View:Much like the game above, winner is in and loser is out. Two of the area’s best runners — D.J. Brown and Tate Fenoglio — are going to make their mark in this game. Both very well could have more than 200 yards. But this game will be won by the defenses (which one prevents less big plays) and the backfield’s secondary options. QB Hayden Hill and RB D.J. Coursey have been important to their teams this year, but Hill is really hitting his stride right now. I think this is a toss-up game, but I’ve talked to multiple people who’ve played both of these teams, and Nocona seems to be the consensus pick. Final score: Nocona 34, City View 28
Bowie at Burkburnett: Either we’re going to have a three-way tie in 6-3A or Bowie will win outright. As far as playoffs go, a Burkburnett win by 1-6 points makes Graham the top Div. II seed. Seven or more puts Bowie as the top seed. And the top seed is much more desirablethan facing Snyder. Burkburnett will be the favorite at home and the Bulldogs will want to bounce back in a big way after the Graham loss last week. I’m picking Bowie, although I don’t feel great about it. I don’t want to see a three-way tie and I think Bowie going 5-0 would be a tremendous feat. Plus, defense won out against offense last week down in Graham. Final score: Bowie 21, Burkburnett 20.
Stamford at Olney:The 4-A Div. I standings show these teams tied at 1-2, but there is quite a big gap in talent. Stamford has great skill at QB with Hagen Hutchinson and at WR with Jessie Ramos. Remember, the Bulldogs beat Holliday in non-district. Olney will try to do what Archer City and Seymour did to have success against Stamford — keepaway with Alex Vega. But I think the Cubs could fall behind early, making it tough to stay ground-oriented. Final score: Stamford 42, Olney 14.Share
- This Week’s “Sack Zach” results
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
For the second straight week, I tied for the lead but lost out on a tiebreaker. AreaFootballFan and I were the only ones to get 15 of 17 correct.
Here are the season totals:
1. Me — 112
2. AreaFootballFan — 111
3. One-Legged Fade — 107
4. Keystoner — 106Share
- Area’s new coaches
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
Today is the second day of two-a-days and thus the second of what will be many blogs coming to you daily (and sometimes more frequently) until the TRN Kickoff Classic on Aug. 25 in Windthorst.
This blog we’ll look at and pass along my thoughts on the six new area football coaches that will be making their debuts this season:
ARCHER CITY: Josh Castles – They lost a good coach in Steve Smith and replaced him with another good one. Is an energetic guy who has had success at each stop. How many Class A schools luck into getting a 3A head guy? Plus, he loves the underdog role (ex. Seymour the year after lots of talent from finalists left; Bowie at 3A level). With Archer City losing Jentsch right away, I’m sure he’ll have his kids pumped up with the us-against-the-world attitude.
BOWIE: Dylan Stark – Takes over for Castles after being an assistant the past few years (has been there since Keck era). He’ll have his work cut out being at a small 3A school and replacing some offensive weapons. Read somewhere that he graduated from Bowie in 2001, which makes me barely older than an area coach for once. For what it’s worth, he’s married to former Windthorst basketball standout Heather Schreiber.
CITY VIEW: Rudy Hawkins – Been with the Mustangs for awhile. While Eugene Wilton helped get the Mustangs on the right track, I always thought of Wilton as a caretaker of the program. For example, he watched a scrimmage last season from the pressbox. I’m not saying he wasn’t a good coach, just maybe not as hands-on as most. Hawkins is a younger guy who could inject some more enthusiasm into the program, but the Mustangs will be an underdog again this season.
ELECTRA: Keith Ivy – He’s the only one of the six that I didn’t really know until soon before he was hired. He doesn’t have ties to this area, although he was an assistant during one of Gainesville’s deep runs several years ago. Electra is one of the tougher gigs in the area, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see if he can turn the Tigers around.
JACKSBORO: Brian Hodnott – I think the Tigers might’ve been the biggest underachieving team in the area last year. 3-2 A Div. II was a little down and still Jacksboro couldn’t crack the top three. But as the OC on an explosive aerial attack, Hodnott couldn’t be blamed for 2010. He’s a high-energy guy. I remember him chest-bumping players on the sidelines before playoff games during Graham’s 2009 run to the title game.
HIRSCHI: Cody Slater – I’ve known Slater since his days at Olney. There were some pretty good names on the Hirschi applicant list, so obviously the WFISD and school are high on him. After what he did last year at Miles, how could you not? Another MSU alum (there are lots in the area) who I think could make the Huskies more competitive.Share
- District and weekly predictions
Friday, October 8th, 2010
To me, there’s just not a ton of intersting games this week. And if you really want an in-depth look at the district races that begin on Friday, then check out the podcast I did this week with Tobin McDuff. Here it is:
So this blog will be a combined picks/predictions segment. Here are this week’s games that interest me:
* Jacksboro at Henrietta — I’m pretty sure the Bearcats will be getting some key guys back, but how well will they play? I think the Tigers can score with the best of them, and Henrietta’s defense has been giving up some points the last couple games (Windthorst just scored 51 last week). I’ll take the road team, although given past history, Henrietta is capable of pulling this one out.
* Alvord at City View — It’s been probably since 2003 or 2004 that I’ve covered a game at City View, but that’s where I’ll be on Friday. To me, this is an elimination game of sorts. Lose this one, and a playoff spot is unlikely. I’ll go with the home team, but that could end up being the wrong pick.
* Bowie at Graham — The Steers are going to win this — but that’s not what makes it interesting. Instead, I want to see how does the Jackrabbits stack up against Graham. If it’s a competitive game, I think that bodes well for Bowie down the line.
And my other picks:
* Iowa Park whips Hirschi and Burkburnett finally finds the win column against Vernon in 6-3A.
* Holliday rolls Nocona in 3-2A Div. II.
* Seymour gets a little revenge from last year’s playoff loss with a rout of Haskell.
* Petrolia might hang tough against Muenster, but they’ll go down.
* Munday runs around Electra and Archer City destroys Perrin-Whitt.
ONTO DISTRICT PREDICTIONS
3. Lake Dallas
4. Little Elm
5. The Colony
Quick thoughts: I could see Little Elm and The Colony switching places, but Little Elm has already won the head-to-head meeting. This district is weaker than it has been.
1. Iowa Park
Quick hits: To me, the Hawks have the best player and they’ll have an edge in the kicking game, too. But the game versus the Steers is a toss-up. If Bowie-Burkburnett was playing tomorrow, I’d pick the Jackrabbits. But I think after a couple physical games against Graham and IP, Bowie might be banged up. So I’ll side with the numbers’ game and say the Bulldogs.
3-2A Div. II
4. City View
Quick thoughts: Feel pretty good about the first two making the playoffs, but the rest, well not so much. I gotta think the Bearcats will get going here soon, but I also think the Mustangs are legit. Could be interesting.
4-A Div. I
8-A Div. II
1. Archer City
Quick hits: If Stamford WR Jesse Ramos was healthy, I’d probably go with the Bulldogs to win it. I still think Stamford is a bad matchup for Seymour, but I could see the Panthers beating Albany. Any one of the top three 8-A Div. II teams could win it, but I think Archer City’s defense gives it an edge. Archer City-Windthorst game next week should be terrific. I’ll be totally shocked if anyone not in the top three makes the playoffs.Share
- Thoughts from the weekend
Monday, October 4th, 2010
Well, that was a fun drive to Stamford. Not the drive itself, but I saw the best game probably of the non-district season when Stamford pulled out a 32-26 double-overtime victory over Archer City.
When the Wildcats fell behind 20-0, I thought this game might not live up to the hype. But Archer City kept on gashing away. When Stamford WR Jesse Ramos got hurt early in the second half and then Archer City’s defense made a huge stop, I thought the Wildcats would have a chance if they turned around and scored on that drive. And they did.
Both teams had multiple chances to win the game on a certain play. In fact, on both teams’ first possession of overtime, they fumbled the first play but recovered it. It was that kind of night.
And while both are very good teams, the kicking game (mainly PATs — the teams combined to go 0-5) could very well cost them each a game down the line.
Here are my other thoughts after the weekend:
* I think I need to stop making my high school picks that run in the paper so late at night at work. For some reason, I chose Olney to beat Mason, even though I was fully aware of the Cubs’ injury woes. My blog predictions last week had Mason winning, but for some reason, I typed in Olney. Oh well.
I think those were some pretty good wins by Rider, WFHS, Petrolia, Munday, Windthorst and Jacksboro. Archer City, Hirschi and especially Burkburnett had tough losses.
* I think I’m not surprised Jacksboro scored 61 against Haskell. The Tigers can probably hit the 50-point mark a few more times out.
* But I also think they’ll give up way too many points along the way. Haskell had been shut out the week before against Quanah and had been kept below 20 by Munday the week before.
* I think I feel pretty good about the likely playoff teams in almost every single district with the exception of Bowie-Burkburnett in 6-3A and the final couple spots in 3-2A Div. II.
* I think we have a lot of teams streaking now. Munday and Windthorst have won five straight, while Electra has lost four in a row.
* I think Graham running the ball some against Bridgeport is a good sign. But forcing six turnovers and still not winning is hard to explain.
* I think WFHS still should have playoff aspirations since it beat Denton, but realistically, that could be the game that decides sixth place. Especially after The Colony (who crushed WFHS) lost to Little Elm on Friday.
* I think Rider is getting the job done and will place second and feel pretty good doing so in 4-4A. But I still don’t think the Raiders have a chance to beat Denton Ryan.
* I think Henrietta is going to get better once it gets those guys back, but I think it’s a mystery when that happens. Coach West is keeping his cards close to his vest.
* I think we’ll find a little more out about Bowie this week in Graham. And I think this opening week of district is kinda low-key as far as matchups are concerned.Share