Picking the district openers and Carroll’s huge game

The bye week has passed. Coaches and players have taken assessment of where they are and where they need to be. Now, it’s time to play for keeps.

District play begins for just about the entire coverage area with the exception of Carroll. It has been a rough start for the picks. We had a limited schedule last weekend with Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine.

Obviously, we had to look objectively at their games and weigh their chances. Unfortunately, for those two programs we went with the opposition – Arlington Bowie and Fort Worth Arlington Heights – and were right.

Now, we get to see how we will look as we advance into the heart of the 2014 campaign.

Last week: 2-0

Season: 18-10

Northwest (2-1) at Keller Fossil Ridge (3-0), 7 p.m. Thursday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: Through the non-district season, the Panthers have been explosive on both sides of the ball. The Texans have been pretty solid. But in the game where they were tested (Arlington Lamar), turnovers played a part in a loss. If Northwest is going to have a chance, quarterback Jesse Drummer cannot turn the ball over. Keller Fossil Ridge running back Keshawn Mitchell should have a major impact in this game.

Prediction: Keller Fossil Ridge 35, Northwest 22

Grapevine (0-4) at Lake Dallas (3-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Falcons Stadium, Lake Dallas: No one said this was going to be easy for new coach Randy Jackson. A 60-14 setback at Arlington Heights probably didn’t help the morale of his team. However, his positive energy should keep this team hungry. This is the District 6-5A opener for the Mustangs against one of the district’s playoff contenders. Lake Dallas has scored no fewer than 35 points in its first four games.

Prediction: Lake Dallas 44, Grapevine 13

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Keller (1-2) at Denton Guyer (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday, C.H. Collins Complex, Denton: The two-time state champion Wildcats have plenty of athleticism and a very talented quarterback in Shawn Robinson, who has accounted for 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards. The Indians have some momentum following their 28-0 victory over Rowlett on Sept. 12. But it’s going to take a lot to slow down Robinson.

Prediction: Denton Guyer 33, Keller 19

Denton Ryan (2-1) at Keller Central (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: The Raiders aren’t the dominant program they once were, but they’re a solid program still. Now guided by former Grapevine head coach Dave Henigan, who was an assistant under Joey Florence, the Raiders feature a pretty decent running back in Maurice Gordon. The Chargers can win this game, but need plays from quarterback Jake McClurg.

Prediction: Denton Ryan 23, Keller Central 20

Keller Timber Creek (3-0) at Byron Nelson (1-2), 7 p.m. Northwest ISD Stadium, Justin: A great start by the Falcons, who have played great football to this point and have a great running back in Recie Saunders, along with safety Camden Ross, who is committed to the University of Houston. The question is going to be if the Falcons, who have never beaten the Bobcats, can slow down Nelson running back Courtney Miles. We’re going to put our faith in Kevin Golden’s team.

Prediction: Keller Timber Creek 38, Byron Nelson 35

Colleyville Heritage (2-2) at Euless Trinity (4-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Pennington Field, Bedford: The District 7-6A opener. Not having quarterback Clayton Oliver available last week against Arlington Bowie hurt. He won’t be available this week, either. At the same time, the Trojans are a Top 10 6A team and are playing at a very high level. Colleyville Heritage has to play perfect to give itself a chance.

Prediction: Euless Trinity 35, Colleyville Heritage 21

Abilene (4-0) at Carroll (3-0): 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dragon Stadium, Southlake: This is the game of the weekend, as the Eagles have blown out the four teams they have faced. Carroll’s defense has a great running back challenge in Abram Smith, who is only a sophomore. Abilene is a better team than Midland Lee. But the Dragons running duo of QB Ryan Agnew and RB Lil’Jordan Humphrey will give Carroll the edge it needs.

Prediction: Carroll 37, Abilene 24

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