Week 5 impressions

I’m so glad the rest of our area teams begin district play this week.

While there are always a few non-district matchups that intrigue me, by around the third or fourth week, I’m ready for the games to matter.   

That’s because by that time, we know who’s good, who’s not so competitive and which districts are going to be more entertaining than others.

And this year I expect 5-3A to be pretty fun. There’s not a losing team among the five. The stakes would even be higher if only three teams made the playoffs, but oh well. I don’t think Graham will lose, but I hope the Steers get tested.

I’ve always been a big fan of eight-team districts (the area’s 2A eight-team district a few years ago was fun) because the games start counting earlier and because that means half or less of the teams are going to make the playoffs.

There should still be some intrigue in each district. Last year with Archer City and Olney reeling, you knew who the three playoff teams in 3-A would be. I also felt pretty safe about Nocona, Holliday and Jacksboro making 5-2A Div. II.

This year, I have no clue about either district. But we’ll get a better feel for things after this week. Here are some other area high school football thoughts:

* This might be the week where at least a couple district titles are unofficially decided.

I think if Graham gets by Vernon, the Steers will take 5-3A. And in 8-A Div. II, Muenster and Electra have proven to be the two best teams. The Tigers will get them at home this week.

And I think City View-Jacksboro is a pretty big 5-2A Div. II game. Those teams might not be the two best in district, but I’d pick them to make the playoffs right now. Wouldn’t surprise me if everyone finished with at least one loss in that district.

* WFHS coach Danny Russell is making a run at TRN Coach of the Year honors. To have the Coyotes 3-2 and more importantly 2-0 in district is not too shabby. Beating Brewer is one thing, but that was a real good win Friday night against Azle.

Old High might not be that flashy on offense, but the defense is making enough plays to give the Coyotes a chance. That’s something that couldn’t have been said in a while.

* Before Brewer allowed 68 points to Rider last Thursday, who was the last team that gave up so much to Rider? You might be surprised to know it was Denton Guyer, which lost 69-6 to the Raiders’ in Guyer’s inaugural 0-10 season in 2006.

* I hope Vernon RB Orlando Haymon (ankle) plays against Graham Friday night. You could tell he wanted to get back in the game against Gainesville. Last Vernon game I covered, I saw him get a concussion early against Graham in 2012.

* I don’t remember there being a season where so many guys are going out and rushing for 300+ yards. D.J. Coursey was the latest after a 357-yard outing against Haskell in which he scored seven rushing touchdowns and set a school record. It seems like there’s a guy who does it every week.

* Haskell has faced Electra’s Michael Bishop and Coursey in the past three weeks. And the Indians have allowed a whopping 757 yards and 13 touchdowns to those two guys.

* Score that surprised me because I thought the game would be closer: Stamford 50, Seymour 17.

* Score that surprised me because it was so close: Jacksboro 20, Archer City 14.

* Archer City-Windthorst is a matchup among teams with a combined 3-7 record, but I think it’s a big one this week. Loser will be in an 0-1 hole with Seymour and Quanah still on the schedule. Hirschi-Burkburnett is also pretty huge.

* It’s impressive 5-3A is a combined 23-7, even though some of those wins are against traditionally decent teams (Bridgeport, Mineral Wells) who are really struggling this year.

* Now that we’re done, the area’s best non-district wins are (in no particular order): Rider 39, Abilene Cooper 36; Rider 45, Amarillo 44 (2OT); Graham 35, Abilene Wylie 14; Hirschi 33, Carrollton Ranchview 32; Seymour 36, City View 14; Crowell 78, Valley 40; Throckmorton 78, Dallas Covenant 58.

* It was nice to run into Gainesville coach Keith Hall (formerly of Vernon) the other night. He was pumped up after beating the Lions, but I got the impression he’d be just as excited whether it was Vernon or someone else. He definitely has the Leopards on a roll out there.

* That was a really nice service for Munday coach Ronny Lowrance on Wednesday. I’m not sure they could have found another place big enough in the city limits other than the football field. I saw ex-Archer City coach Steve Smith and some local coaches, too. Not sure how Munday coach Patrick Corcoran got through giving a heartfelt eulogy without losing it – that couldn’t have been easy.

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