Clarendon vs. Vega, Jasper vs. LCM, Wall vs. Shiner and more!
Jasper (1-2) at Little Cypress-Mauriceville (3-1): A solid game added to the calendar in the Golden Triangle will end the out-of-district slate for these two teams this week. Jasper had his Week 2 and Week 3 games canceled due to Covid issues, and since the Bulldogs returned to the field two weeks ago, the performance has had mixed results, a 33-3 win over Hardin- Jefferson, but last week the Bulldogs’ offense just couldn’t get started in an 8-7 loss to Vidor and the defense eventually got Vidor to score with less than a minute to go. LCM made great strides forward under first-year head coach Eric Peevey as the Bears overtook a good private school team at Houston Kinkaid with a 49-20 victory. The key for the Bears to the win was a dominating second-half performance as LCM outscored Kinkaid 21-0 in the final two quarters. I don’t expect Jasper to put in another faltering offensive performance this week, expect the Bulldogs to break a few big plays late and come off with a tight win. Stepp’s Pick: Jasper by 6
Midland Greenwood (2-2) at Graham (1-3): Two teams that have been candidates in Region I in recent years in 4A-Division II have had a slow start in 2021 and both will look to close the non-district roster on a positive note. Greenwood saw their two-game winning streak end in a disappointing way last week as the Rangers were eliminated at home by Canyon 38-19. Four turnovers proved too difficult for Midland Greenwood to overcome at home. Graham took one to the chin last week as the Steers fell short of quick Wichita Falls Hirschi in a 43-9 loss, Graham’s third straight loss. The Steers are very young and they’ll be desperate for a home win just to try and gain some momentum before district play escalates. Expect Graham to take this early as Greenwood can be a bit slow getting off the bus from the long road trip. Stepp’s Pick: Graham by 10
Van (5-0) at Texarkana Liberty-Eylau (3-1): Unbeaten Van has crept up the state rankings, but there are still questions about the Vandals’ schedule. These questions could be answered this week as Van hits the road to face a very good Texarkana Liberty-Eylau team. Van comes into this one averaging almost 43 points per game after last week’s 52-35 victory over center, the Vandals’ defense has been decent but they have had a few issues at times, especially against teams that bring a lot of speed to skill points. , which is exactly what Liberty-Eyalu has. Liberty-Eylau beat Waxahachie Life last week with a big win on Route 55-17. Liberty-Eyalu’s secondary spinoff got two interception returns for first-quarter touchdowns and their offensive balance overwhelmed an outclassed team. Van’s big game experience will be very useful to them in a difficult road environment. The Vandals are pushed into northeast Texas but escape with victory. Stepp’s Choice: Van of 3
Bushland (3-2) at Lubbock Estacado (2-3): It’s hard to get a feel for either of these two teams as they sometimes looked like real contenders in their respective classes, but other times they had major struggles. Bushland has an incredible comeback victory over Canadian out of the district and they have won three straight after a tough 0-2 start that included a mystifying loss to Hereford. Last week, the Falcons had no problem with a district rival from this week’s opponent as they blew up Perryton 31-6. Lubbock Estacado has one of the best defensive units in the state in 4A-Division II as they allow just over thirteen points per game, but offensively they also struggled as in their three losses the Matadors scored just 47 points. The bottom line here is that if Lubbock Estacado can score twenty points or more, they will likely win this game, but if the Mats stay in their teens Bushland has the offensive to make them pay late. Stepp’s Pick: Lubbock Estacado by 4
Wall (2-1) vs. Shiner (5-0) at Fredericksburg: It’s a neutral venue match in Fredericksburg as Wall 3A Division-I faces the defending State Champion 2A-Division I Shiner, currently ranked number two in 2A-D1. Wall hasn’t been able to start lately. Their match against Cisco ended in a double overtime loss. But Wall eventually found his place in their 20-14 victory over 2A-Division I powerhouse Mason. Full-back Dominic Garcia was the star on the field with a 153-yard rush and two touchdowns in 27 carries. Quarterback Gabe Haskins also had a rushed touchdown. Wall forced a turnaround on a punt and Weston Sims led Wall’s defense with nine tackles. Shiner has had a great start to the season with wins over Hallettsville and San Antonio Davenport. Doug Brooks ran over Burton in his 43-0 win a week ago, Brooks had 14 carries for 193 yards and two touchdowns in Shiner’s 308-yard game. The Shiner defense forced four fumbles and is absolutely fit. Shiner got him rolling and has more games to his credit than Wall. It will be a learning experience for Wall and their young team against Shiner’s veteran championship experience. DCTF Intern Joshua Price’s Choice: Shiner by 14
Crawford (4-0, 0-0) at Tolar (4-1, 1-0): The district title in the 7-2A I Division could be decided early in the race as district favorite Crawford visits Tolar in a key showdown. Crawford had two weeks to prepare for this one as the Pirates were out last week after closing the non-district roster with a 31-6 victory over the Netherlands. QB Luke Torbert ran for a touchdown and threw another score, while RB Breck Chambers ran for a score and scored a basket as the Pirates’ ground attack controlled the tempo and kept their defense very fresh . Tolar’s have won three straight games and the Rattlers’ offense is in full swing, averaging nearly 58 points per game over the past three weeks. DB Cade Mooney led Tolar’s defense by collecting two assists and returning one for a score, while RB’s Joseph Arce and Peyton Brown increased the distances on the ground, especially in the second half when Tolar moved away for the easy victory. This game will boil down to rhythm. Crawford wants to keep this game at a slower pace and keep his solid defense cool, while Tolar will want to turn this into a shootout. Being in Tolar, this game will be close; the Rattlers had this one circled on the schedule, but Crawford is still the District class and possibly all of Region II. Stepp’s Pick: Crawford by 9
Clarendon (5-0) at Vega (4-1): It’s a fascinating clash in the Panhandle as the undefeated Clarendon heads north on 287 to take on Vega 4-1 in a big 2A-Division II measuring stick type game. Clarendon defeated Quanah, 49-27. Jmaury Davis of the Broncos showed exactly why he has college scouts flocking to little Clarendon as he ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns in just nine carries; he added a Pick Six on defense and had a few sacks. Vega blew up Bovina 62-13 last week as quarterback Ryan Grawunder scored five total touchdowns and two RBs totaled over 100 rushing yards. It’s a long journey for Clarendon through a harsh environment in Vega and if the Broncos can send their speedsters into space, they will make life difficult for Vega. But the Longhorns are battle tested and they have the playmaker calling the offense. The QB game is the difference in this one. Stepp’s Choice: Vega by 7
Andrews (2-3) at Hereford (3-2) Stepp’s Choice: Andrews by 3
Tyler Chapel Hill (5-0, 1-0) at Lindale (2-3, 1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Tyler Chapel Hill by 10
Monahans (5-0) at Seminole (2-3) Stepp’s Pick: Monahans by 13
Mineola (2-2, 1-0) at Bonham (2-2, 1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Mineola by 21
Universal City Randolph (2-2, 0-0) vs. San Antonio Cole (3-2, 0-1) Stepp’s Pick: Universal City Randolph by 13
Riesel (3-1, 1-0) vs. Franklin (5-0, 1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Franklin at 34
Stockdale (2-3, 1-0) vs. Natalia (4-1, 1-0) Stepp’s Choice: Natalia at 14
Colmesneil (3-0, 1-0) at Tenaha (3-2, 1-0) Stepp’s Pick: Tenaha by 24
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