AREA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW CAPSULES: WEEK 4
By GREG WILLE
HILLSBORO EAGLES (3-0) at GATESVILLE HORNETS (0-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, McKamie Stadium
Last week: Hillsboro 23, Bridgeport 6; Gatesville, idle (home game vs. Lorena was canceled because of COVID-19 factors)
Game notes: Gatesville didn't get to play its scheduled home game against Lorena last Friday because of COVID-19-related reasons in Lorena's program. . . . The Hornets seek their first win with second-year head coach Luke Howard. They have lost 14 consecutive games since a 29-25 win at China Spring on Oct. 19, 2018. . . . Gatesville's offense averages 347.5 yards per game, with QB Luke Mullins passing for 428 yards and four touchdowns. Carson Brizendine has 12 catches for 198 yards and three scores and Jason Delong has rushed for 235 yards and two TDs. . . . The Hornets' defense seeks improvement after having permitted 504 yards per game, including 333.0 passing yards. . . . Zach Bates and Hayden Mooney are Gatesville's leading tacklers with 38 and 37 stops, respectively. . . . Hillsboro has allowed only 20 points total in wins over Anna, Krum and Bridgeport. . . . QB Thomas Pratt and running back Da'shon Heiskell pace the Eagles' rushing attack.
SMITHVILLE TIGERS (1-2) at JARRELL COUGARS (0-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Cougar Field
Last week: Class 2A Division I No. 1 Shiner 41, Smithville 12; McGregor 56, Jarrell 35
Game notes: Jarrell goes into its homecoming game shooting to record its first win of the season. . . . The Cougars have been outscored 156-55 in losses to Burnet, Fredericksburg and McGregor, but their offense picked up its production a week ago vs. McGregor. . . . Running back Derrick Warren has boosted Jarrell's offense by rushing for 500-plus yards. . . . Class 4A Division II Smithville got off to a strong start with a 28-7 win over Columbia West Columbia but since has been outscored by a combined 62-19 in losses to 3A D-I Yoakum and 2A D-I power Shiner. . . . Running back Christian Adkins leads the Tigers' offense.
SALADO EAGLES (2-1) at MEXIA BLACKCATS (1-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Blackcat Field
Last week: Salado 61, Stephenville 45; Mexia 38, Navasota 14
Last year: Mexia 21, Salado 6
Game notes: Salado bounced back from its frustrating 21-7 home loss to two-time defending Class 3A Division I state champion Grandview with a stirring comeback win over Stephenville a week ago. Coach Alan Haire's Eagles trailed the Yellow Jackets 31-19 at halftime but outscored them 42-14 in the final two quarters to pull away on a night when Salado's Slot-T attack exploded for 622 rushing yards. Noah Mescher paced the Eagles with 365 yards and five touchdowns, and fellow senior Reid Vincent ran for 152 yards and a TD and caught a 22-yard scoring pass from junior QB Hutton Haire. . . . Kofi Stoglin (31), Lucas Morvant (30) and Wrook Brown (28) lead Salado in tackles. . . . Mexia stifled Salado last year when the teams competed in the same district. . . . After losing to Cameron Yoe and Troy, Mexia turned things around with a decisive victory at Navasota. . . . The Blackcats' dynamic playmakers include QB Lamarion Miller and backs Trey Holdman and Jarrell Wiley.
LAGO VISTA VIKINGS (2-0) at ACADEMY BUMBLEBEES (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, John Glover Stadium, Little River-Academy
Last week: Lago Vista 20, Caldwell 0; Academy 45, Groesbeck 0
Last year: Lago Vista 41, Academy 20
Game notes: Academy-Lago Vista is a showdown not only of unbeaten teams but also squads that registered shutout wins a week ago. . . . The host Bumblebees have allowed only 8.3 points per game and seek a 4-0 start with first-year head coach Chris Lancaster before they begin District 11-3A Division I play next Friday at Lorena. . . . Academy senior receiver/cornerback Jaylin McWilliams scored four touchdowns in last week's dominant home win over previously unbeaten Groesbeck – two on offense and two defensively on interception returns. . . . Senior QB Jerry Cephus has passed for 506 yards and six TDs to fuel Academy's offense, and sophomore RB Xavier LeBlanc stepped forward with 91 yards and a TD against Groesbeck. . . . Leading the Bees' defense in tackles are Scout Brazeal with 23 and Tyler Lambert and Lane Ward with 21 apiece. . . . Lago Vista defeated Academy in district action last year. . . . Lago Vista has outscored Teague and Caldwell by a combined 42-7. . . . The Vikings' rushing-based offense is fueled by QB Adrian Hernandez and running backs Layne Powers and Logan Parsons.
No. 7 BELLVILLE BRAHMAS (3-0) at No. 8 ROCKDALE TIGERS (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium
Last week: Class 4A Division II No. 9 Bellville 50, Stafford 29; Class 3A Division II Lexington No. 7 35, 3A Division I No. 6 Rockdale 34
Game notes: After getting off to a 2-0 start with first-year head coach Jacob Campsey, Rockdale was denied a 3-0 start by the slimmest of margins last week as the Tigers' try for a 2-point conversion in the final minute was denied by host Lexington in a battle of state-ranked squads. . . . Class 3A Division I Rockdale faces another stern challenge this week as unbeaten 4A D-II Bellville comes to town. The Brahmas of former Troy head coach Grady Rowe have exploded for a combined 138 points while defeating Giddings, Cameron Yoe and Stafford. Richard Reese powers Bellville's traditionally strong running game with 630 yards and nine touchdowns. . . . The Brahmas haven't been as efficient on defense, allowing 33.7 points per game. . . . Led by dual-threat QB Kobe Mitchell, productive RB Cam'ron Valdez and big-play receivers KeSean Raven and Anthony Dansby, Rockdale's potent offense averages 416 yards per game. . . . The Tigers begin District 11-3A Division I play next Friday at McGregor.
FRANKLIN LIONS (0-2) at TROY TROJANS (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field
Last week: Cameron Yoe 37, Franklin 8; Troy 48, Robinson 6
Game notes: After a season-opening loss to Salado, Troy aims to push its winning streak to three games before coach Ronnie Porter's Trojans start District 11-3A Division I play Oct. 2 at home against Lorena following next week's open date. . . . Troy all-state senior running back Zach Hrbacek has produced huge performances on a weekly basis. The Sam Houston State commitment has rushed 108 times for 819 yards and 17 touchdowns and added a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD. . . . After allowing a combined 83 points in its first two games, Troy's defense stepped forward with a sharp performance in the rout of Robinson. . . . After Franklin's Sept. 4 game at Hearne was canceled because of COVID-19 reasons, the Lions of first-year head coach Mark Fannin couldn't keep up with Cameron Yoe in a 29-point loss last week.
ROGERS EAGLES (1-2) at WEST TROJANS (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Stadium
Last week: Rogers 47, Whitney 12; West 28, Blooming Grove 7
Game notes: After Rogers began its season with close losses to rival Academy and Class 2A state-ranked San Saba, coach Charlie Roten's Eagles responded in a big way by hammering Whitney last week in a sharp all-around performance. Their road test at West – whose Trojans are also coming off a strong victory – should provide a good tuneup before Rogers starts District 13-3A Division II play next week at Buffalo in a rematch of the Eagles' narrow bi-district playoff win in 2019. . . . Junior Christian Riley, freshman RJ Cook and senior Christian Watkins lead the Rogers rushing game, and junior QB Riley Dolgener threw two touchdown passes against Whitney. . . . West opened its season with a 25-14 loss to state-ranked Lexington but then outscored Fort Worth Western Hills and Blooming Grove by a combined 87-14. . . . Trojans running backs Trey Janek and Lawson Kendrick have rushed for a combined 529 yards and nine TDs.
No. 10 HOLLAND HORNETS (3-0) at CRAWFORD PIRATES (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Pirate Stadium
Last week: Holland 41, Johnson City LBJ 0; Crawford 62, Axtell 0
Game notes: It's difficult to think of a more intriguing non-district showdown of Class 2A Division I heavyweights, as both Holland and Crawford are undefeated and recorded dominant shutout victories last week. . . . Coach Brad Talbert's Hornets are 26-3 in their last 29 games overall and seek their 21st consecutive regular-season win, a streak that dates to early in the 2018 season. Earlier this week they broke into Texas Football magazine's state rankings at No. 10. . . . Spearheaded by QB Ayden Tomasek, Josh Evans and JC Chaney, Holland's revamped and balanced rushing offense has compiled 1,162 ground yards. Meanwhile, the Hornets' defense has permitted only 224.3 yards and 15 points per game. . . . After 14-point wins over Goldthwaite and Bruceville-Eddy, Crawford pummeled Axtell a week ago. . . . Greg Jacobs is in his first season as the Pirates' head coach after Delbert Kelm's highly successful 13-season run as Crawford's coach.
VALLEY MILLS EAGLES (1-2) at MOODY BEARCATS (1-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Bearcat Stadium
Last week: Valley Mills 42, Marlin 28; Hubbard 20, Moody 15
Game notes: One week after giving first-year head coach Lonnie Judd his first victory with a 7-6 win over Hico, Moody was turned away by Hubbard in another close, low-scoring game. . . . The Bearcats' struggling offense will try to generate more production before Moody begins District 12-2A Division I play next Friday at Thorndale. . . . After losses to Milano and Santo by 22 and 14 points, respectively, Valley Mills got on track last week by beating Marlin by 14.
SOMERVILLE YEGUAS (1-2) at GRANGER LIONS (2-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Lions Stadium
Last week: Jewett Leon 30, Somerville 29; Granger 39, Frost 13
Game notes: Granger hasn't yet played a close game with first-year head coach Stephen Brosch, a former Lions player. His squad has wrapped a 32-0 win over Axtell and last week's 26-point victory over Frost around a 35-14 loss at Rio Vista. . . . Dual-threat senior quarterback Thomas Rhoades powers Granger's offense and has a top target in junior receiver Johnny Ryder. . . . The Lions' defense has allowed 16 points per game. . . . Somerville has lost its last two games since opening with a 7-0 win over Cushing, including last week's one-point road loss to Leon. . . . Yeguas running back Jeremiah Teague has rushed for 268 yards and three TDs.