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.