Every year there are a handful of heavyweight non-district clashes that pack stands and determine who drops in the rankings and who rises.
The UIL determines districts in the state, so the coaches determine non-district games. While examining teams for season previews, we’ve come across a handful of games that are can’t-miss matchups.
Some of these aren’t traditional matchups or old rivals. These 2A non-district games, albeit some against teams in 3A or 4A, are based on last year’s results and this year’s projections.
Mart at 3A Lexington
Before Lexington rolled to the fourth round last season, the Eagles lost the season opener to Class 2A powerhouse Mart, 22-20, at Mart. Both had young teams, and this year could be one of the best inter-classification games as each squad is a favorite to win its respective state championship.
3A Henrietta at Windthorst
Windthorst lost this game, 44-23, last year but will be better in 2017. Both teams went three rounds deep in their respective playoffs last season and both will be good this fall. But this year Windthorst gets home-field advantage.
Post at Abernathy
This is a good matchup on paper, but how often in Texas will you see a game between two teams each named Antelopes? Post won this season opener, 21-0, last year and lost the rematch in the third round, 24-21. Abernathy made it to the state semifinals in their run. Post wants revenge from the playoffs while Abernathy looks to avenge the regular-season game. The Antelope Bowl will take place in Abernathy this year.
Iola at Bremond
Bremond has dominated this series over the last few years, but the Tigers no longer have Roshauud Paul, the quarterback who guided the program to three-consecutive state titles. Bremond has a 47-game winning streak entering the season, but coach Jeff Kasowski has to break in a new quarterback. Iola has a new head coach in defensive wizard Dwayne Ross, and he’s got lots of talent returning on both sides of the ball, including playmakers Tyler Dykes and Colton Rennick. Could Iola be the team to finally end Bremond’s streak?
3A Hallettsville at Shiner
Shiner has past pedigree while Hallettsville is the new fad in the area. Shiner will be shifting old faces into new positions while Hallettsville hopes to not overlook their foe in a lower classification. As good as Hallettsville was in 2016, they won by just two touchdowns in this game. This year the game is in Shiner, and the Comanches are out for revenge.
San Augustine at Groveton
Last year Groveton went on the road and won this game, 58-54, in a shootout. San Augustine placed fourth in district and went three rounds deep in the playoffs. Groveton was a district champ who lost in the first round. Both teams will be better this year and the game could be just as entertaining.
Alto at 3A Arp
Arp won this meeting, 27-7, last year en route to a state semifinal appearance, and this year the Tigers get the home field. Alto has a dynamic duo in quarterback Fred Thacker (6-3, 240) and WR/LB Jaqualon Finley.
Iraan at Mason
The Iraan Braves won this squeaker, 24-21, last season on their way to a state runner-up finish. The Mason Punchers made it to the state semifinals. Both teams will be stacked and this will be one heck of a small-town West Texas game. Last one to leave town should turn out the lights.
Windthorst at Munday
The Moguls of Munday won this matchup, 22-0, last season, and this year the Moguls host the Trojans. Both teams have high expectations this fall, and this is a rare late September non-district treat.
Refugio at 4A Geronimo Navarro
Refugio went 15-1 last season and won a 2A state championship. Their only loss was a non-district setback to 4A stalwart Navarro, whose only loss was to eventual 4A DII state champ West Orange-Stark in the semifinal. Games between good 4A and 2A teams shouldn’t be this intriguing, but this one is. These two Coastal Bend schools will have high expectations once again in 2017, and Navarro gets to play host in this late September dandy.
Brought to you by: