Assessing the state of our teams before district begins

Well, to call that a horrendous week of picks would not be doing justice to the word “horrendous.” Since we’ve been providing our prognostications, we haven’t had a losing record – until this week.

Once again, Keller Central bit us. The week that we pick the Chargers, they lost at Wichita Falls, 27-7. But the two surprising results were Colleyville Heritage and Keller going on the road and picking up very impressive victories. Keller shut out Rowlett, 28-0. Colleyville Heritage beat Lake Highlands, 40-16. In both of those cases, you want to defer to the home team. But credit Keller’s Carl Stralow and Colleyville Heritage’s Darren Allman for having their kids ready to go. As a result, we went 4-5 and are now 16-10 going into the bye week for everybody except Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine.

So as seven of the nine coaching staffs assess where they are and where they need to be for district play, let’s provide our assessment of what we know.

Carroll (3-0): Tradition has been this program’s moniker for four decades. And that’s the reason Carroll pulled out wins over Austin Westlake and Tulsa Union. The Carroll running game is in good hands between Agnew and Lil’Jordan Humphrey. The defensive line and wide receiver corps still need the youth to gain experience.

Justin Northwest (2-1): Really, the Texans’ problem over the last two years hasn’t been corrected: turnovers. While this team is talented and has a chance to be a playoff team, it has also committed nine through the first three games (four interceptions, five lost fumbles). That just cannot continue if the Texans want to play in the middle of November. The wins over Prosper and Corsicana are showing out to be just OK. Those two teams have combined for one win. A big test is Sept. 25 at Keller Fossil Ridge.

Keller: (1-2): The Indians could be one of the better 1-2 teams in the area because the two losses are by four points. A break here and there and this team is 3-0. Defensively, the Indians are pretty solid. They just need a little more from the offense. In the win at Rowlett, they had 239 yards but took advantage of four turnovers.

Keller Central (2-1): The Chargers are just going to be that kind of team that can play a great tempo and win (86 points in the first two games) and then just have a bad night. See last week at Wichita Falls. It really depends on when you catch them. You never want to discount their chances. They will be in the 5-6A playoff hunt.

Keller Fossil Ridge (3-0): This could be one of our coverage area’s best teams. It’s balanced offensively. And the defense is pretty aggressive. The Panthers arguably have the best running back in Keyshawn Mitchell, who is more than halfway to a 1,000 yard season. He’s already at 560 yards and nine scores.

Keller Timber Creek (3-0): Without question, this is the area’s feel-good story. The Falcons are off to a historic start. While the opponents – Irving Nimitz, Burleson and Irving – are a combined 2-7, that doesn’t matter. Head coach Kevin Golden may have a group that could be in this 5-6A race led by running back Recie Saunders who has rushed for 375 yards.

Byron Nelson (1-2): This program is a work in progress at the 6A level. There are great skill players in running back Courtney Miles (694 yards) and wide receiver Brandon Bowen, who appears to be getting over a hamstring injury in the summer. But the trenches are still an issue. Nelson has surrendered an average of 39 points per game. This program is going to have to outscore people in order to make the playoffs.

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Now, let’s pick our two games…

Arlington Bowie (1-1) at Colleyville Heritage (2-1): 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine: Credit the Panthers, who have been pretty solid in their last two games against Grapevine and Lake Highlands. But the Volunteers are very explosive in that they had 872 yards of total offense and scored 72 points in the opener against Dallas Jesuit. Bowie has great speed. Panther QB Clayton Oliver is still trying to make adjustments. I’m just wondering if the Panthers can keep the speed boxed in.

Prediction: Arlington Bowie 49, Colleyville Heritage 39

Grapevine (0-3) at FW Arlington Heights (3-0): 7:30 p.m. Friday, Farrington Field, Fort Worth: This isn’t looking good for the Mustangs. Starting quarterback Sam Barry didn’t play Friday. They have only scored 14 points in their last eight quarters. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets could be shedding the FWISD poor football reputation. They won on the road at Scotts Valley in California and their quarterback Deion Hair’Griffin is a very explosive dual threat.

Prediction: FW Arlington Heights 22, Grapevine 16

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