Impressions after Week 10

The final week of the high school football regular season is in the books. In some ways, it seems like we just started it.

And I’d bet that the amount of area teams that made the playoffs was a record. Of the 21 area 11-man teams, 15 made the cut after Bowie, Munday and City View passed tests Friday.

Of those 15, three had losing records – Bowie, Burkburnett and Quanah – while another three finished 5-5 – WFHS, Windthorst and Munday.

It’ll make for a couple really busy first two weeks of the playoffs. It used to be we’d try to have a writer at almost every game, but that’s pretty impossible now.

Like one coach told me before the season, the first round of the playoffs is pretty much an extension of the regular season anyway with so many teams allowed in. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to the second week.  

Here are a few more high school football thoughts as we look forward to high school football’s “third season” as coaches like to say.

* There are a couple pretty interesting bi-district matchups out there, but not as many as there used to be. Part of the reason is because the playoffs are watered down and part of it is because now that 2A and A have set Division I and II beforehand, there’s no chance of two district winners meeting in the first round.

* Games that interest me: WFHS-Dunbar (the Coyotes look in trouble on paper, but they’ve played a much harder schedule), Hirschi-Springtown, Henrietta-Corsicana Mildred and Throckmorton-Ira.

* Area football teams also took all the spots in the area six-man districts (Crowell, Throckmorton, Northside, Chillicothe, Newcastle, Gold-Burg). The only way the Wichita Falls area could have gotten more teams in is if Electra and/or Petrolia would have advanced in Class A.

* Man, it’s been a rough year for me picking high school football games. In our online pick contest “Sack Zach” I’m getting pummeled. And it seems like I’m missing every toss-up game.

Part of it is there are a lot of decent teams and less really good/bad ones (I mentioned this in an earlier blog). Part of it is because I usually try to check with other area coaches familiar with both teams before a certain game, and those coaches are having just as hard a time getting a feel for schools.

But sometimes nothing can prepare you for what’ll happen. Windthorst had lost to Seymour by 48 points and beaten Olney by 13. Quanah had lost to Seymour by 3 in the closing minute and had beaten Olney by 53.

So of course Windthorst goes on the road and beats the Indians, 44-28. It’s just been one of those years.

* I covered my first Rider-WFHS game the other night. Packed crowd, good atmosphere and an entertaining game before Rider started finishing drives in the second half. The Coyotes’ offense needs to be better going forward, but the defense will give them a chance.

* Rider couldn’t have gotten a more bizarre two-point conversion after scoring its first touchdown. The Raiders’ PAT was blocked, but a WFHS player tried to pick it up, turning it into a fumble. So Rider OL Mason McGinty fell on the live football for two points.    

* Congratulations to City View for making the playoffs for the first time since 2002. I thought the Mustangs would need to win a high-scoring game, and it did against Alvord, 38-35.

* How about all six high school football teams in the city limits making it. City View joined the WFISD schools and both TAPPS schools Notre Dame and Wichita Christian. I’m almost positive that has never happened before.  

* Based off the stats, it looked like Iowa Park didn’t have much left in the tank Friday in a 54-0 loss to Vernon. The Lions were up 35-0 at halftime and held the Hawks to 49 total yards. It seemed like Iowa Park didn’t improve as much as some of the other teams in 5-3A did as the year went on.

* I know 5-5 doesn’t look real sexy when you went 15-0 last year, but that’s a heck of a job by Munday to take second place in 8-A Division II with an all-new group of kids and the tragic loss of coach Ronny Lowrance.

* The biggest surprise not to make the playoffs would probably have to be Electra (5-5), which couldn’t overcome a 0-2 hole in district. And the best team not to make the playoffs is Archer City, which went 2-8 but lost three district games by a total of 13 points.

* Jacksboro’s D.J. Thomas had his 200-yard rushing streak end at four the other night. In fact, Thomas didn’t even break the century mark. That tells me Holliday is finally getting comfortable on defense, which is a bright spot during its 2-8 season.