Week Zero impressions

The first week of the high school football season always offers up some surprises.

Whether it’s a player you didn’t see breaking out or a team who proves to be better/worse than what you thought, you always get a better feel for schools after the first game.

After all, isn’t it important to make a good first impression?

Now that doesn’t mean one game can always be a great indication. Last year Iowa Park put up great numbers against Pampa, but then never won again.

Some teams made great impressions this weekend and others didn’t as much. Here are some thoughts on an exciting Week Zero weekend:

* Rider coach Jim Garfield better get Abilene Cooper on the schedule next realignment. What a crazy ending, with four touchdowns in 68 seconds. There were 10 lead changes. TEN!! Never was there more than a one-score lead. And the Raiders should have another exciting game Thursday at home against Denton Ryan.

* I saw Davon Allison catch a long touchdown pass against Denison in a scrimmage a couple weeks ago. I figured a really big year was in store. But two TD catches of at least 75 yards and tying David Nelson’s 266-yard school single-game record? Didn’t see that coming.

* I haven’t jumped on the Hirschi bandwagon yet, but I did like what I saw Friday night in Bowie. The Huskies have lots of weapons and always, always has speed. But it was nice to see them doing the little things and not making many mistakes. How often have the Huskies had an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter recently?

* I can’t imagine WFHS coach Danny Russell was real happy with 18 penalties in the opener. I’m anxious to see how Coyotes fare against Burkburnett this week. They’ll be looking to snap a 9-game losing streak as the Bulldogs were the last team they beat.

* Bowie needs to get junior WR Jay Ward the ball as much as possible. I’m not saying anything coach Dylan Stark doesn’t already knows. He had 10 rushes for 96 yards and three catches for 59 yards. He dropped what would have been a touchdown, but he’s definitely one of the area’s most talented small-school players.

*I also saw Iowa Park whip Pampa on Thursday, and while the Harvesters aren’t real good, I came away with a couple observations. First, the Hawks looked really good up front on defense. I think they are tougher there.

And Dakota Schweiger can run the ball pretty well. You don’t want to give him a lot of carries because he’s a big part on defense at linebacker, but he looked good. Also, IP went for it four times either in field goal position or a little further out. Derrick Ponder threw TDs on three of those plays and the fourth was intercepted inside the 5 when Pampa would have been better knocking the ball down.

* Graham’s Dillon Gonzales will have a 100/100 game this season. Only a matter of time. In Friday’s blowout of Mineral Wells, he had 95 rushing and 134 receiving. Man, that guy is good.

* Speaking of good, how about Vernon’s Orlando Haymon gashing Altus for 275 rushing yards. And that came only on 11 carries. He won’t get tons of touches because of Danny Valverde and David Garza, but that’s a heck of an opener.

* It’s hard to gauge Burkburnett after one game. They lost 45-23 to Gainesville and the score was 38-0 at one point, But the Bulldogs did score 23 points in the fourth quarter.

* I’m not ready to write off Jacksboro as the 5-2A II favorite, but obviously it wasn’t a stellar showing in a 14-6 road loss to Jim Ned. The Tigers turned it over more than usual (four) and didn’t move the ball as well as most expected. They better figure things out quick because Eastland comes to town.

* I don’t think Whitewright is that strong, but anytime a quarterback completes 14 of 16 pass attempts, that’s impressive. Nocona’s Caleb Swofford did that in a 43-7 win, throwing for 274 yards and three TDs.

* The Eagles gave up a lot of yards (479) and points (49) in a loss to Van Alstyne. I still believe you’ll start to see Holliday making defensive strides as they become more comfortable, but that’s not the debut Frank Johnson wanted to make.

* Don Hasley was the only new area 11-man coach to win his debut, as Archer City took down Haskell, 24-14 (called it on preview blog!). WFHS, Holliday and Olney lost their coach debut openers.

* Surprising score midway through the second quarter Friday: City View 13, Olney 13. The Mustangs ended up winning 54-21, but that’s a good sign for the Cubs that they were in the game.

* Olney’s Taylor Thomas threw for 307 yards so I guess it looks like he’s the Cubs QB this year. It’s worth noting Olney only had 223 total passing yards in 2012.

* In the ho-hum Class A blowout department, these scores were pretty close to last year: Quanah 38-12 over Wheeler; Seymour 47-6 over Memphis; and Electra 47-0 over Gorman. Yawn.

* Good 6-man wins for Newcastle and Knox City. And Throckmorton appears to be in mid-season form.

* Forgot to mention when I first posted this how impressive Windthorst’s comeback was. I’m not surprised the Trojans won, but ralling with a 19-point fourth quarter was pretty nice. Our writer there said Munday, which doesn’t have a lot of kids on varsity, looked to have gotten worn down. Tough stretch right now for Moguls, who could easily start 0-3.