— District 12-6A —
TEMPLE at COPPERAS COVE
Records: Temple Wildcats 2-1, 0-0; Copperas Cove Bulldawgs 1-2, 0-0
Last week: Arlington Martin 43, Temple 35; Copperas Cove 41, Granbury 22
Last year’s meeting: Temple 55, Copperas Cove 17
Wildcats to watch: QB Humberto Arizmendi, RB Samari Howard, WR AJ McDuffy, WR Luke Allen, WR/QB Mikal Harrison-Pilot, WR Tr’Darius Taylor, DT Cody Little, DT Jayven Taylor, DE Tomas Torres, DE Eric Shorter, LB Taurean York, DB Keon Williams, LB Marshall Grays, S O’Tarian Peoples, S Jaden Jackson.
Bulldawgs to watch: QB Shane Richey, QB/WR Russel Cochran, RB Brandon Ortega, WR Quiejon Donnell, LB Kendall Parker, LB Benny Shumaker, DB Zacheus Carter.
Note: Temple shared a league championship last season with Hewitt Midway (now in a different district) and begins its defense of that crown tonight against the Bulldawgs. The Wildcats averaged 343 yards of offense during the three-game non-district run and allowed 340.7. Temple has surrendered 69 points (23 per game), but 21 of those came on three special teams TDs last week. Arizmendi has proved to be a capable starter in his first varsity season, which has been helped along by the experience of Howard, McDuffy and Allen. After an 0-2 start, the Bulldawgs’ double-digit win a week ago was the first for new head coach Jason Hammett, who was promoted during the offseason following the departure of Jack Alvarez after two season in charge. York leads Temple with 33 tackles and surely will encounter Ortega a few times tonight.
— District 9-4A-II —
ROBINSON at GATESVILLE
Records: Robinson Rockets 2-5, 0-2; Gatesville Hornets 1-4, 0-2
Last week: Jarrell 30, Robinson 27; China Spring 58, Gatesville 27
Last year’s meeting: Robinson 55, Gatesville 3
Rockets to watch: QB/DB Joseph McHenry, RB/LB Kolten Saulters, WR/LB Cooper Petty, WR Cage McCloud, OL/DL Daniel Walker, DL Jacob Gallimore.
Hornets to watch: QB Luke Mullins, RB Jason Delong, OL Evan Hanson, LB Zach Bates, DB Aveyn Sarinana, DB Hayden Mooney, WR Carson Brizendine.
Note: Gatesville posted 27 points against an undefeated opponent last week and could pick up its first district victory tonight when it takes on a Robinson squad coming off a loss to previously winless Jarrell. Delong, Mullins and Brizendine can give the Hornets a chance to win, if their defense can keep McHenry and the Rockets under wraps.
WACO CONNALLY at JARRELL
Records: Connally Cadets 3-3, 1-1; Jarrell Cougars 1-6, 1-1
Last week: Salado 20, Connally 15; Jarrell 30, Robinson 27
Cadets to watch: DB/RB/QB Kavian Gaither, RB/LB Jamarie Wiggins, RB/S Tre Wisner, CB/WR Parrish Cox, RB/LB Germone Powell, QB Tyler Webb.
Cougars to watch: QB Aden Edgar, RB Derrick Warren, WR Joseph Crathers, WR Martin Torres, OL/DL Brennam Wilson.
Note: After picking up their first win of the season last week, the Cougars could suddenly get close to locking up a playoff spot with another win tonight. Connally will be a much tougher test than Robinson, though. Gaither was the Cadets’ starting quarterback the last two years but has played tailback most of this season, and he and Wisner have multiple 100-yard rushing games. Warren continues to shine for the Cougars, with 1,025 yards rushing and 10 TDs.
CHINA SPRING at SALADO
Records: China Spring Cougars 6-0, 2-0; Salado Eagles 6-1, 2-0
Last week: China Spring 58, Gatesville 27; Salado 20, Waco Connally 15
Cougars to watch: RB Emmanuel Abdallah, QB Major Bowden, WR Coltin Locking, WR Bryce Tabor, LB Brayden Faulkner.
Eagles to watch: FB Noah Mescher, RB Caden Strickland, LB Peyton Miller, LB Kofi Stoglin, DB Nolan Williams, C Bryce Dobbins, OL Gavyn Keyser, RB/DB Wrook Brown, RB Reid Vincent.
Note: No matter how many fans are allowed in, tonight’s matchup between two top-10 teams in Class 4A Division II vying for the upper hand in the race for the league crown will certainly have a big-game atmosphere from the get-go. The Cougars average 50 points per game. The Eagles check in at 40. China Spring’s defense allows 19.6 points. Salado gives up 19.2, including just 21 over its last three games. Mescher is second in the area with 1,069 yards for the Eagles, who post about 380 yards rushing a night and average 407 yards in all, second behind Troy’s 411.
— District 11-3A-I —
CALDWELL at ACADEMY
John Glover Stadium
Records: Caldwell Hornets 2-4, 0-2; Academy Bumblebees 5-2, 1-2
Last week: Rockdale 55, Caldwell 26; Cameron Yoe 37, Academy 19
Hornets to watch: QB Ryan Roehling, RB/DB Jamar Hewitt, WR/DB Dontavien Johnson, RB/WR/DB Zach Heaton, WR/DB De’Autre Burns, OL Ryan Broaddus, LB Hayden Vollentine.
Bumblebees to watch: RB Darion Franklin, WR/DB Jaylin McWilliams, WR Jayden Simmons, QB/DB Kollin Mraz, RB Xavier LeBlanc, RB Trenton Flanagan, OL/DL Wyatt Gardner, LB Lane Ward.
Note: For only the second time this season, Academy has to bounce back from a loss. The Bees’ offensive attack has been better through the air this season and relied almost solely on the pass the last two weeks. Since taking over for injured Jerry Cephus as the starting quarterback, Mraz threw for 650 yards and eight TDs over the past two games. After starting season with wins over Snook and Hempstead, the Hornets have lost four straight while getting outscored 179-67.
CAMERON YOE at TROY
Records: Yoe Yoemen 4-2, 2-1; Troy Trojans 3-3, 1-1
Last week: Yoe 37, Academy 19; McGregor 58, Troy 57
Last year’s meeting: Troy 59, Yoe 41
Yoemen to watch: WR/DB Za’Korien Spikes, DL Eduardo Gil, LB Fabian Salomon, WR/DB Pharrell Hemphill, QB/LB Zane Zeinert, RB Keshon Johnson, LB Colton Barbo, RB Phaibian Bynaum.
Trojans to watch: RB Zach Hrbacek, LB Kadin Workman, OL Brady Mays, OL Zach Westbrook, FB/LB Hunter Martin, DL Joel Ramos, RB Xavier Hernandez, QB Jace Carr.
Note: The winner of this encounter each of the previous two seasons went on to win a district title. Nothing is guaranteed this season in crowded 11-3A-I but a win tonight will go a long way, if not for the championship than toward one of the coveted four playoff spots. Hrbacek averages 292 yards and five TDs as he approaches 2,000 yards rushing for the year. He’s 247 shy as he faces a team against which he posted 317 and 238 yards in the last two meetings. Bynaum’s 386 yards and seven TDs rushing lead Yoe. Zeinert is second in the area with 1,082 yards passing and first with 13 TDs, and Spikes is second in the area with 481 yards receiving.
— District 13-3A-II —
LEXINGTON at ROGERS
Records: Lexington Eagles 4-1, 1-1; Rogers Eagles 2-5, 1-2
Last week: Lexington 42, Riesel 7; Franklin 52, Rogers 35
Last year’s meeting: Rogers 14, Lexington 6
Lexington players to watch: QB Sheldon Springer, RB/DB Jarred Kerr, WR/DB Jeremiah Jackson, OL/DL Kaden Schimank, LB Ty Hawley, OL Lane Keller, DL Zach White.
Rogers players to watch: RB/DB Christian Riley, RB Christian Watkins, QB Riley Dolgener, RB/LB John Hill, WR/DB Ben Hutka, WR Jacob Glasgow, OL/DL Ty Sebek, OL/DL Jayce Jones.
Note: Rogers would climb into the top four in the district standings with a win tonight. To do so, it must find a way to contain Kerr. He has 723 yards rushing and averages 10 yards per carry for a Lexington offense that averages 242 yards on the ground and 335 total yards an outing. Rogers would be aided by good performances from Riley, Hill and Watkins, who could help the host Eagles chew time off the clock and keep the ball out of the hands of Kerr.
— District 12-2A-I —
THORNDALE at BRUCEVILLE-EDDY
Records: Thorndale Bulldogs 4-2, 2-1; Bruceville-Eddy Eagles 1-4, 0-2
Last week: Thorndale 12, Rosebud-Lott 7; Hearne 56, Bruceville-Eddy 7
Bulldogs to watch: RB/LB Mason Lindig, RB/LB Cain Bryner, RB/DB Branson McCoy, LB/OL Hayden Kylberg, QB/LB Caden Nicholson, DL/OL Mike Reyes.
Eagles to watch: QB Trapper Ensor, WR Levi LaFavers, WR Pablo Rubio, WR Colby Tolbert, DL/WR Caleb Pate, OL/LB Cameron Fouts, OL Noah Cano.
Note: The Eagles will need to start winning some games with the top half of the district starting to pull away. They have their first shot at turning around the season tonight against Thorndale, which has played two straight games decided by five points — a 26-21 loss to Holland and last week’s contest versus the Cougars. LaFavers is third in the area with 30 catches. The Bulldogs offense averages 20 points per game.
MOODY at ROSEBUD-LOTT
Cougar Field, Travis
Records: Moody Bearcats 1-5, 0-2; Rosebud-Lott Cougars 2-4, 0-3
Last week: Holland 56, Moody 8; Thorndale 12, Rosebud-Lott 7
Bearcats to watch: QB Ryder Hohhertz, OL/DL Jayce McBride, WR Jayden Fletcher, CB/WR Donovan Jarzynkowski, RB Trent Curry, LB Hunter Mach, WR Kobe Kirven, WR/QB Cooper Staton.
Cougars to watch: QB Jamarquis Johnson, WR/RB Breon Lewis, QB/LB John Paul Reyna, WR Jordan Landrum, OL Easton Fulton, OL Nolan Kahlig, OL Jackson Hughes, WR Steven Buhl.
Note: Moody and Rosebud-Lott enter tonight in need of a win in order to keep their playoff hopes within reach. Moody has lost four straight games and has been outscored 100-24 in district. Hohhertz is the Bearcats’ top offensive weapon with 547 yards and four touchdowns rushing, and 274 yards passing. Fletcher has a team-high 21 catches and 219 yards receiving. Curry has 368 yards and a pair of TDs rushing for Moody. Rosebud-Lott averaged 42 points per game in three non-district games but has since been held to 4.3 points per game through three district contests.
— District 13-2A-II —
GRANGER at IOLA
Records: Granger Lions 5-1, 3-0; Iola Bulldogs 3-2, 3-1
Last week: Granger 43, Milano 13; Iola 49, Bartlett 18
Last year’s meeting: Granger 32, Iola 6
Lions to watch: QB/DB Thomas Rhoades, RB/LB Donnie Cantwell, WR/DB Johnny Ryder, RB/LB DJ McClelland, OL/DL Dwayne Gaida, WR/DB Michael Selucky.
Bulldogs to watch: WR/DB Case Creamer, RB/LB Cale Gould, QB/DB Brian Crosby, RB/LB Clay Stafford, OL/DL Spencer Quinlan.
Note: Granger can tighten its stranglehold on the 13-2A-II title with a win tonight in this battle of the top two teams in the district standings. Rhoades, Ryder and Cantwell have helped the Lions find ways to score on a consistent basis, and the Granger defense has been equally stout by limiting opponents to 265 yards and 15 points per game.
— TAPPS District 3-IV —
SCHERTZ JOHN PAUL II at CENTRAL TEXAS CHRISTIAN
Records: John Paul Guardians 2-0, 0-0; CTCS Lions 2-1, 0-1
Last week: John Paul 54, Austin Achieve 12; CTCS 28, Bryan Brazos Christian 24
Last year’s meeting: CTCS 37, John Paul 7
Guardians to watch: RB/DB Clayton Bradley, WR/DB Connor Asadourian, QB/DB Bryan Rhoder, RB/DB Dezmon Dudley, OL/DL Wyatt Schlageter, OL/LB Lelaen Reyes.
Lions to watch: RB/DB Ryan Turley, QB/DL Alec Gonzalez, OL Tim Marwitz, LB/FB Connor Ling, WR/DB Andrew Lange, RB/LB Charlie Hudson, OL/DL Johnny Luevano.
Note: Central Texas Christian returns to district play tonight in search of its first league win. CTCS averages 34 points and 367 yards per game while allowing 24 points and 269 yards. Turley leads the Lions with 611 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing. Gonzalez is 25-for-43 passing on the season with three touchdowns, three interceptions and a pair of rushing touchdowns in his first year at quarterback for CTCS. The Guardians, who play their district opener tonight, started the season with a 53-0 shutout of San Antonio Brooks Academy.
— TAPPS Six-man District 4-II —
AUSTIN VERITAS at HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC
Records: Holy Trinity Celtics 3-0, 2-0; Veritas Defenders 2-0, 0-0
Last week: Holy Trinity idle; Veritas idle
Celtics to watch: WR/DB Guido Zecca, RB/DB Zaylin Blackwood, RB Patrick McKenna LB David Thang, QB Jace Martin, OL Neri Navarro, OL/DL Trent Lockhart, RB/DB Patrick Weisbruch.
Defenders to watch: QB Tyler Metro, RB Jared Fuller, RB Jacob Dodson, WR Blake Ellyson.
Note: This game was originally scheduled for last week but was postponed because of health concerns. Holy Trinity’s original opponent this week — Round Rock Concordia — forfeited, allowing the Veritas game to be rescheduled. In just two games, Metro has 400 yards passing and nine touchdowns for the Defenders. Dodson has 236 yards rushing on 29 carries. Blackwood has 229 yards rushing and five TDs for the Celtics, and Martin has eight touchdown passes.