Thoughts from Week 1

I’m starting to get a bad reputation in Windthorst.

The Trojans have lost the last five times I’ve covered them. I don’t exactly keep up with stats like that, but I’ve been reminded about it from a couple people.

It all started with Bill Green’s last game on the sidelines, a 35-28 Munday loss to Munday in the state quarterfinals that included three Mogul kickoff returns for TDs in 2011.

Then last year I witnessed the 68-7 loss to Munday, the exhibition loss to Throckmorton and Seymour’s 35-0 shutout. Then came Holliday’s 25-14 win Friday night.

In those five games (4.5 really because I’m only counting 11-man portion of Throckmorton game), Windthorst has turned the ball over 24 times. That’s hard to believe, really.

I think the Trojans are better this year and can contend for the 3-A title. But until I see them take care of the football, it’ll be tough to pick them over Quanah and Seymour.

Here are some other thoughts from the second weekend of high school football:

* The team that has impressed me the most these first two games. It’s Hirschi. I know Graham and Vernon have also looked great, but I expected that.

And I knew the Huskies would be better, but a good win over Bowie and then a 68-0 shellacking of Mineral Wells. There’s no way you could see that coming. I should probably try and delete the blog post that had me picking Hirschi last in 5-3A. Because I don’t see that happening now.

* Congratulations to WFHS coach Danny Russell for getting his first head coaching win and for the Coyotes for breaking a nine-game losing streak. WFHS defense came up with some timely plays (Coyotes won turnover battle 4-0) and Old High rushed for more than 200 yards for first time in a while.

* It was a big weekend of blowouts: Hirschi 68, Mineral Wells 0; Stamford 61, Munday 0; Eastland 60, Jacksboro 0.

I’m not surprised those games weren’t close. But you can never expect to see scores like that. Texas Tech signee L.J. Collier missed Munday’s game with an ankle injury, so that helps explain that. As for Jacksboro, I’m not sure except what to say except the Tigers turned the ball over again a ton and gained only 123 yards.

* Obviously, Thursday was not a good night for Rider, which lost 42-10 to Denton Ryan. I know the Raiders won’t make excuses, but they did have a short week coming off an emotional win and are missing a couple key defensive players against a strong 5A program.

Having said that, Rider must improve its pass defense. That area seems to be place where struggles have occurred. And the offense didn’t execute as well as it did against Abilene Cooper. We’ll see how they respond next week.

* Speaking of Cooper, the Cougars beat 4A No. 1 Cedar Park on Friday, 24-21. So while a 32-point loss isn’t a good thing, Rider’s victory over the Cougars is still one of the area’s best wins this season.

* Who would you pick to win 5-2A Division I right now? Whoever it is, you can’t feel real good about anybody. Preseason favorite Jacksboro has scored six points in two games. Against good teams, both Henrietta (1-1) and Nocona (1-1) lost by 19 points each. Holliday is improving and made some big plays against Windthorst, but I’d bet the Eagles would even say they have a long way to go. Holliday couldn’t land the knockout punch the other night and for once it doesn’t appear the Eagles have a kicker who can make a 40-yarder.

City View is the only 2-0 team, and while I like the Mustangs to make the playoffs, it’s worth mentioning they’ve beaten a couple Class A schools that are going through the rebuilding process. I was impressed Archer City was up on City View at halftime, 6-3.

So you can’t make a strong case for anybody. Maybe someone will emerge in these next four weeks.  

* In the not-playing-around department, Graham has outscored its two opponents 58-0 in the first quarter. The back-ups are getting a lot of playing time for the Steers, who host Abilene Wylie in what should be their first real test of 2013.

* More proof that what I saw from Iowa Park’s defensive front in the opener wasn’t a fluke. The Hawks held Gainesville to seven first downs and only 14 points (one Leopard TD was a defensive return). I think that’s where Hawks have improved the most.

* I think Petrolia made a small little statement the other night scoring 40 points against Cross Plains. The Pirates’ opponent isn’t a world-beater, but that’s the type of win that tells me Petrolia is better than a year ago.

* This week has some of the most interesting matchups of any in non-district.  Abilene Wylie-Graham is obviously a big game and Rider trying to bounce back at Amarillo has intrigue.

Others I like: Hirschi-Holliday, Windthorst-City View, Henrietta-Bowie and Seymour-Electra.

* The area has five 11-man teams that are 2-0: (Graham, Vernon, Hirschi, City View, Seymour, Quanah). Another two (Electra and Petrolia) are 1-0 and have had byes.

City View and Quanah (facing Tulia) have tough matchups and we’ll lose at least one unbeaten because Seymour travels to Electra.