The football season is about a week away and all of our teams are ready to get going on the gridiron. As we look into the scope of the 2021 season, I‘ve found ten games that will directly determine the outcome of our season and the directions of the teams that play in those games.
NEW DEAL VS POST
Friday, October 15th 7:00 pm
Lion Stadium New Deal, TX
After getting to see New Deal in their scrimmage against Lubbock Christian I know this: They are pretty damn good and will be favorites to make a serious run in 2A DI’s playoff chase and could win their district. Harley Patterson will be protected by a huge offensive line and the Lions have a ton of skill players that can stretch the field as well! Post, on the other hand, is always solid! Will Fairbanks and Isaiah Crawford in the backfield along with Zachary Courtney playing some tight end and leading the way with their potent offensive line could be a dangerous combo for any team to deal with. Both teams are legit and both can make a serious run this season too. Whoever wins this game will be on the one line as far as seeding goes and that‘ll be important to get a more favorable matchup in the 2nd round of the playoffs. This game may come down to the last possession, or who has the ball last!
AMARILLO VS TASCOSA
October 8th, 7:00pm
Dick Bivins Stadium, Amarillo TX
This is one of the biggest games of the year, every year! Amarillo, led by Erik Gray and Kaden Carr; who is back on the Sandies football team after a brief stint with IMG Academy, will anchor their team‘s offensive line with Brock Wade at the quarterback position and he is poised to have a great Senior Season! Tascosa is loaded this year and should be in the thick of things late in December in 5A DI! Major Everhart is explosive and very fast on the field along with a stellar defense that includes Avion Carter, Keevin Ledoux and L’Travion Brown with a host of others that will be scary for any team to go up against all year! Amarillo was up 27-0 last year in the third quarter until the Sandies mounted an epic comeback and scored 28-unanswered points to win the game! This year‘s edition should be just as good, again!
LUBBOCK-COOPER VS WF RIDER
October 15th 7:00pm
Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls, TX
I picked this game because I think that if Lubbock-Cooper is a championship team in 5A DII, they should blow out WF Rider; for this game, and when they play each other again in the 5A DII State Quarterfinals. Kobie Mckinzie and Kyler Jordan are the most dangerous duo in Texas on defense and Lewis and Politte also will have great seasons on the Pirate defense this fall. I believe in Holt Gibson at the QB1 slot and Kaleb Stripling at the tailback spot. Now, it should be noted that there are three running backs that can tote the pill for LCP this season as well! This should be a statement game for the Pirate Nation and we all should be tuned in to see it!
CANADIAN VS CHILDRESS
November 5th, 7:00pm
Wildcat Stadium, Canadian TX
I have a serious feeling we will see this game twice; once in November and once in December at a neutral field! I went to check out Canadian when they took on Borger in a scrimmage and they look like they haven’t lost a beat from last year’s state championship team! Quarterback Camren Cavalier looked outstanding as well as Angel Garcia at the wideout position! Jake also was great in the backfield! Childress is going to be really good this season as I think this is Coach Sims best team he’s fielded for the Bobcats. Collin Bishop accounted for over 4,000 total yards last year and he has a ton of weapons to work with again this fall and will put up BETTER numbers for his Senior season. Yes, this game matters, but it just may be for rankings as I think the bigger game comes in December in the State Quarterfinals to see who plays Gunter for a shot at a 3A DII title!
ABERNATHY VS IDALOU
Friday, October 15th 7:00pm
Antelope Field Abernathy, TX
So, you’re telling me this game will determine 4-3A DII’s district winner this early in the season? YES! Both of these teams are head-and-shoulders ahead of their other district opponents and this game will matter immensely; for the district title and for seeding and trying to avoid one of those three great teams in 3-3A DII in the first round! Jess Hoel has never looked as good as he is looking in his second season with the Antelopes and Anthony White has moved out to Outside Linebacker while still being a dangerous wideout on the offensive side of the field! Coach Lofton’s Wildcats bring the wood and have 15 starters back from a team that went three rounds deep before losing to the eventual state champions last year. Whoever wins the trenches, wins this game! Period!
CORONADO VS TASCOSA
November 4th, 7:00pm
Plains Capital Park Lubbock, TX
Now, for the Mustangs, there will be a game that I will have my eye on before they get to this one: Their game at Amarillo on October 15th. That will be a tough game for the Mustangs as well, but let’s get to this one. First year Head Coach DJ Mann has a tough schedule this year and it won’t get any easier as they will see the Rebels for a huge game that will likely decide district 2-5A DI on a Thursday night in Lubbock. Jett Carroll has a bunch of weapons and I heard he looked sharp in their scrimmage against Dumas last week. But, Tascosa will present a different challenge due to their defensive prowess and expertise. Coach Ken Plunk ALWAYS has a great defense for the Rebels; they never take a year off on that side of the ball. Last year’s game saw the Rebels go up 21-0 with the ball before they fumbled and lost their momentum on that drive and in the game as Coronado stormed back and won that thriller on a field goal late and as coach Plunk stated when I talked to him at fall practice, “We never really recovered after that loss.” This should be another instant classic! I still see both teams making a run in the postseason.
MULESHOE VS LITTLEFIELD
Friday, November 5th, 7:00pm
Wildcat Stadium Littlefield, TX
I got a chance to see both of these teams during my two-a-days tour and both squads will be extremely better this fall! Littlefield has Coach Thomas’ juice and offensive experience now and the Wildcats have changed their offensive scheme for the first time in 50 years! Muleshoe, on the other side of the coin, lost a few games last year that they didn't finish at the end. Coach Jason Richards will fix that this season and the Mules’ are going back to the playoffs. This game matters to me because I feel like these two teams and Bushland will finish in the top three in this district; and that’s not a given as I think River Road will make the playoffs and may knock one or two of these teams off this fall! But this “WAR ON 84” matters again, as far as playoff seeding goes. I may have to be there to see this one!
ESTACADO VS MIDLAND GREENWOOD
Friday, August 27th 7:00pm
Plains Capital Park Lubbock, TX
I am putting a lot of stock into this game because this game starts a tough non-district run for the Matadors as they will see Canyon, Bushland, Dumas, Andrews, Hereford and Greenwood BEFORE district play! Coach Cluley’s squad is not without talent as they have it at every position on the field and are basically two-deep everywhere on the field! My question is how will the Matadors deal with getting punched in the mouth! How the Matadors respond to adversity will determine my thoughts on their season outlook. I see a four, or five round deep team if they rally together and keep their cool if things don’t go well early. I commend the Matadors for putting this early schedule together to get their team ready because it won’t be easy and their first game will come against a team in Midland Greenwood that is very good again and have beaten the Matadors the last few times they have played including last year’s opener at Grande!
VEGA VS STRATFORD
October 29th 7:00pm
Longhorn Stadium Vega TX
Both of these teams are ranked in the top 10 in the preseason 2A DII poll! The Elks are a traditional powerhouse and are to be reckoned with every year! Coach Lovorn wouldn’t have it any other way. The Elks just play fundamental football and pop you in the mouth every play and take pride in dominating the trenches! Vega is on the upswing and this game, if they can pull it out; and it is a big ask of the Longhorns to do so, could be a program changer! The winner of this game wins the district and sets themselves up favorably in the first couple of rounds of 2A DII‘s gauntlet playoff chase! Both teams, in my opinion, are the only teams around here that could give Wellington a competitive game!
LUBBOCK HIGH VS MONTEREY
September 24th, 7:00pm
Plains Capital Park Lubbock, TX
As we know, district 2-5A DI is a tough one; from Palo Duro and Coach Sims, to Coach Sherwood and Caprock’s Longhorns! And folks, we‘re not even bringing up Coronado, Tascosa and Amarillo! So, I think three playoff spots are locks here: Tascosa, Amarillo, and Coronado. So that leaves Palo Duro, Caprock, Monterey and Lubbock High fighting for that last spot to get in the dance! The Spurs will be on the line when these two teams play and I think a shot at playoff contention as well. Notice, I said contention; because whoever loses this game is out of the playoffs that early! This district is tough and you need to get wins as they will come tough for most teams in this district. Lubbock High has a chance here with Coach Stephen righting the ship with the Westerners this fall and Lubbock looked good in their scrimmage against Estacado Friday. Can Coach Hutchinson use his talent to overcome Lubbock High in this matchup? This one will be great to see, so get there and support!
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