When does a streak really become worthy of mentioning? Well, I didn’t notice that every road team won the game I covered until about four weeks into the season.
Now here we are in the middle of district and I have yet to cover a home win. Road teams 7, Home teams 0.
First, a couple disclaimers to this stretch. If Iowa Park’s stadium had been finished in time, the Hawks would have beaten Pampa at home in Week Zero and there wouldn’t be anything to write about. But playing at Holliday made it a neutral-site venue.
And it’s not like there have been any shocking upsets along the way that kept the road team’s streak going. The seven games were as followed: Hirschi at Bowie; Holliday at Windthorst; Hirschi at Holliday; Seymour at City View; Graham at Springtown; Gainesville at Vernon; Graham at Vernon.
Certainly some of those games were winnable for the home team. But the home team wasn’t an overwhelming favorite in any of them.
So if this luck continues, it will bode well for Henrietta because I’m heading to Jacksboro this week to watch a pretty big 5-2A Div. II bout.
Do I think the road success continues or will I finally cover a winning side at home? You’ll have to scroll down to check that out.
Here are my picks:
Byron Nelson at WFHS – Man, would it be cool for the Coyotes to win this game. And I think they’ll have a chance because this matchup features two pretty dang good defenses. But I’ll side with Nelson because I think the Bobcats have an edge on the offensive side of the ball.
Rider at Azle – I can’t see this one being real close, especially the way the Raiders dominated Lake Dallas last week. And while it’s tempting, I bet coach Garfield doesn’t have Rider looking ahead to next week versus Guyer. All signs point to a sizeable Raider victory.
Vernon at Hirschi – This should be one of the most entertaining games of the week. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s high-scoring, either. And the Lions are coming off two real physical losses to Gainesville and Graham. Still, what I saw from Vernon in the first half of Graham impressed me a lot. I’ll choose Vernon and expect Hirschi to play another down-to-the-wire game for the third week in a row.
Iowa Park at Graham – Hirschi may change my mind after Friday night, but right now I think Vernon is the second-best team in 5-3A. And the Lions lost by 29 points to the Steers. No slight to the improved Hawks, but I’d be surprised if this is close. Graham starters won’t have to play all 48 minutes.
Whitesboro at Bowie – I know there are some occasions where one team matches up better against a squad than another team. But these scores are all you need to know who I’m picking. In back-to-back weeks: Whitesboro 56, Paradise 0; Paradise 13, Bowie 10.
Nocona at City View – I liked what I saw from City View’s defense when I watched the Mustangs play Seymour. But man, did they give up a ton of yards and big plays to Jacksboro last week. I’m not sure if Nocona’s offense is as dynamic as the Tigers’ is, but the Indians are coming off a solid win. So I’ll give them the nod here, although a Mustang win won’t surprise me one bit.
Alvord at Holliday – I know especially now that four teams make the playoffs, an 0-2 start isn’t crushing. But I kinda think this could be an elimination game because the loser still has to play Jacksboro and City View. I just have the feeling the Eagles will find a way to get the win. They really need one.
Henrietta at Jacksboro – My road winning streak ends, at least that’s my prediction. I was impressed with Henrietta pulling away from Holliday, but I think the Tigers have two advantages in this one: more explosiveness and home-field advantage. So Jacksboro is the pick to go to 2-0 in 5-2A Div. II.
Windthorst at Seymour – I can’t see this being real close. The Trojans will have to really execute on offense and keep the Panthers from getting some big plays. I covered the matchup last year and it was 35-0 Seymour thanks to a bunch of big gains. It should be closer this time around, but I don’t think it’ll be in doubt late.
Quanah at Archer City – How will Archer City respond after losing a heartbreaker? Will Quanah QB Clay Robertson play (he sat out last game with shoulder injury)? There are lots of questions surrounding these teams, who are riding four-game (Quanah) and six-game (Archer City) losing streaks. I think the Indians’ past success will make enough of a difference as the Wildcats lose another close one.
Munday at Petrolia – The Pirates losing to Era was pretty surprising, although coach Gravitt told me they were really beat up. This game should be close, but I think the Moguls are slowing gaining confidence, while last week’s loss to Era could have a carryover effect for the Pirates. So I’m going Munday by 10.
Electra at Era – Expect Electra to bounce back in this one after getting routed by Muenster. The Tigers have too many playmakers for that not to be the case.
Crowell at Throckmorton – I really hope this game is as good as I (and lots of other six-man enthusiasts across the state) think it can be. It’s crazy what Throckmorton has accomplished throughout the past decade of six-man football. I bet Crowell gives the Hounds everything they want, but I think it’s Throckmorton who gets the job done.