District competition begins for many teams in this area, highlighted by a pair of crucial games in 5-3A DII:
Childress (5-0) vs. Canadian (5-0) at Fair Park Stadium
This may very well be the contest which eventually determines the 1-3A DII title. While Canadian seems back on the warpath to a state title, Childress is off to its best start since 2007. After coming out on top in a low scoring game against Wellington in the season opener, the Childress offense has exploded since then, averaging 41.5 points in the four games since. The Bobcats sport a 35-28 win over 4A Iowa Park and a dominant 41-0 win over a Henrietta team which should still be in a district title race.
Canadian is known for their high-flying offense, and this season is no different. The Wildcats currently average 41.4 points per game and have improved their record from this time last season — this time earning wins against Bushland and Perryton. Last season’s contest in Canadian ended a one-point game, but could the tides turn with a change of venues and an even more improved Childress squad?
Last Result (2016): Canadian 18, Childress 17
Henrietta (4-1) vs. Jacksboro (5-0) at Bearcat Stadium
In the first of the aforementioned pair of crucial 5-3A DII games, Jacksboro is on the road to put their undefeated record on the line and to prove they can compete with the other district powerhouses for a title. The Tigers are off to their best start in over a decade under first-year Coach Brannon Rodgers, behind a dominant run game which has ground opposing defenses down.
Henrietta was shut out by Childress in back-to-back seasons, but after dropping the 2015 contest, the Bearcats went on to claim the district title and win a pair of playoff games — the Bearcats obviously have a hope for some déjà vu, and have the talent to do it. Henrietta averaged 40.75 points per game up until the contest with Childress, largely helped by quarterback Zack West, who has shown great ability to throw and run the ball. The Bearcats will need to ensure a stout defense however as a grinding run game such as Jacksboro’s could wear down on this unit, which has allowed 32 points per game so far.
Last Result (2016): Henrietta 31, Jacksboro 14
Holliday (4-1) vs. Nocona (5-0) at Eagle Stadium
In game number two, Holliday has been strong on offense, but they’ll host an even stronger Nocona team who provided much media intrigue since the beginning of the season. If you’re not looking at the Nocona Indians, now would be a good time to start paying attention to what has been one of the more dominant teams in North Texas. Record-wise, Nocona is currently matching their best start since 2012 (which ended in an undefeated regular season and a deep playoff push, losing in the state semifinals. Before 2012, Nocona’s last undefeated regular season was way back in 1930), but is probably much more dominant on the scoreboard. The Indians have averaged a jaw-dropping 60.4 points per game, and have allowed a total of only 26 points — all to Chico.
Holliday suffered their first setback of the season in week five to Iowa Park, but the Eagles performed well in their four wins, averaging 42 points per game while allowing a total of 33 points. Holliday had a
bye week for additional preparations, and have the luxury of playing before a home crowd, but is it enough to top the dominant bunch from Nocona?
Last Result (2016): Holliday 18, Nocona 13
Newcastle (2-4) vs. Forestburg (5-1) at Bobcat Field
Newcastle is hoping for a turnaround to their season, and where better for a team who claimed district titles in each of the last eight seasons than in district? It begins with an interesting test this week, as an upstart Forestburg team comes to town. The Longhorns are off to their best start in school history under first-year coach Tommy Tritz, and it’s behind an offense which has averaged 58.8 points per game this season. The lone setback was a 48-0 loss to Strawn in week two, but it was followed up in week four with a 54-50 win over a decent Gordon team.
Newcastle enters 12-1A DI play on the heels of back-to-back losses to Throckmorton and Knox City, but the offense has performed well enough, averaging 31.3 points per game. With improved Forestburg and Saint Jo teams, as well as a strong Bryson squad, it’ll be a tough task for Newcastle to fight their way to a postseason berth, but the Bobcats may still be in the mix.
Last Result (2016): Newcastle 52, Forestburg 15
Throckmorton (2-4) at Aspermont (3-3) at Hornet Stadium
Things may be starting to click for the Greyhounds — after enduring an 0-4 start, Throckmorton pieced together a 10 point win over Newcastle, followed up by an offensive explosion in a 72-38 win over Saint Jo. Jarrett Wigington was a big part of the Hounds best offensive performance since 2014, accounting for all but two touchdowns with 370 yards on the ground.
10-1A DII action begins on the road with a test against a battle-tested Aspermont team. The Hornets endured a strong non-district schedule, sporting wins against quality Jayton and Gordon teams while averaging 38.3 points throughout. The Greyhounds should, however, be in good shape if Wigington has more in the tank, as the Hornets have allowed 41.1 points per game.
Last Result (2016): Aspermont 74, Throckmorton 58
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