Week 8 Games to Watch in Texoma

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Bowie (2-4, 1-0) at Breckenridge (1-5, 1-0) at Buckaroo Stadium

Both teams endured brutal non-district schedules — especially Breckenridge, which hasn’t started a season 0-5 since 1995. However both teams opened 4-3A DI action with a win, and in a fairly even district every game is crucial; so while the overall records aren’t very eye-opening, this contest may still determine a playoff team.

Despite the record, the Buckaroos have seen a solid performance by quarterback Owen Woodward. The sophomore signal-caller has completed 54 passes for 600 yards and six touchdowns. A classic quarterback duel is a possibility with Bowie passer Matthew Wallace turning in perhaps his best outing last week, tossing three touchdowns in a win against Boyd.

Bowie’s last win against the Buckaroos came in 2011, but one would have to go back to 1990 to find the last Jackrabbit win over Breckenridge when the two shared a district. Can the Jackrabbits prevail against a pesky opponent, keeping their turnaround hopes alive?

Last Result (2016): Breckenridge 26, Bowie 14

Gunter (7-0, 3-0) at Cooper (3-3, 2-0) at Bulldog Stadium

Henrietta takes on Gunter in a 2016 playoff bout. (File photo by Kristen Taylor/Texas HS Football)

With both teams off to hot starts, this contest moves the winner into the driver’s seat for the 6-3A DII title. Cooper earned only one win in non-district play but started out district play strong with back to back shutouts. Meanwhile, Gunter hasn’t missed a beat from last season.

The defending state champions maintain an undefeated mark behind an explosive offense that scores an average of 49.2 points per game. The Tigers defense has been equally dominant, allowing a total of 43 total points in seven games — including three shutouts.

The Tigers and Bulldogs first four meetings in school history was in the postseason, with Cooper winning the first three. Gunter, however, has won the last two meetings. Can they even the all-time record?

Last Result (2016): Gunter 57, Cooper 0

Jacksboro (6-0, 1-0) vs. Nocona (5-1, 0-1) at Jacksboro ISD Stadium

The Jacksboro Tigers may very well be a legitimate contender for the 5-3A DII district title after staking their claim with an impressive 37-22 winlast week against Henrietta. Next for the upstart bunch is a home contest against a Nocona team left reeling after last week’s district opener. The Indians entered last week’s contest against Holliday having scored an average of 60.1 points per game while allowing only 26 total points (all to one team), but left with a brutal 56-14 loss.

Next for the upstart bunch is a home contest against a Nocona team left reeling after last week’s district opener. The Indians entered last week’s contest against Holliday having scored an average of 60.1 points per game while allowing only 26 total points (all to one team), but suffered a 56-14 loss.

It’ll be important to see how Nocona overcomes adversity this season, but it won’t be easy in this particular case. The Tigers success is fueled on the ground, averaging more than 300 yards per game; Holliday’s Justin Jones torched the Indian defense alone last week with 297 yards and four touchdowns on eight carries.

Last Result (2016): Nocona 21, Jacksboro 12

Valley View (6-1, 3-0) vs. Celeste (6-0, 2-0) at John Kassen Field

Valley View rebounded from a loss to Associated Press top 10 Muenster and has scored an average of 48.3 points in every game since the season opener.

Celeste, however, is one of the more improved teams in North Texas this season, currently undefeated after enduring a winless season. The Blue Devils have found ways to achieve this mark with an offense averaging 30.6 points per game. It will be interesting to see which defense can prevail — Valley View’s defense, which has allowed an average of 27 points per game, or the Blue Devils, which average 14.

With these two teams sitting first and second in the 6-2A DI standings, this contest possibly determines the district champion. The Blue Devils are red hot, can they reach the postseason for the first time since 2006, with a district title to boot? Or can Valley View rise to the top?

Last Result(2016): Valley View 53, Celeste 14

Ladonia Fannindel (3-3) vs. Tioga (6-1, 1-0) at Bishop Field

Fannindel’s offense was on fire in the first half of the season, reaching triple-digit scoring three times — including the widely publicized 125-122 loss to Campbell in week four. The Falcons haven’t had much success against UIL opponents this season, but there’s a possibility Fannindel can be a postseason team for the first time since 2013. This quest starts with a tough test this week when Tioga comes to town.

Tioga has been steadily improving since reinstating football in 2012, leading up to what could be a breakout season in 2017. The Bulldogs sport an offense which is currently averaging 56.2 points per game, and their lone loss was a forfeit in what could have been a quality contest against Fort Worth THESA.

The Bulldogs look to be the favorites to claim the 15-1A DI title, but there’s still a second playoff spot to battle for and Fannindel has “shotgun” in the district’s driver’s seat.

Last Result (2016): Tioga 52, Ladonia Fannindel 0

Forestburg (6-1, 1-0) vs. Saint Jo (4-2) at Longhorn Field

Blake Wood/Texas HS Football

The Forestburg School created a football program in 2007, and the Longhorns and Panthers have played in every season since the inaugural 2008 season series kickoff. The 10th meeting of these county rivals, though, might be the most dynamic of all.

Both teams are off to solid starts, with a new head coach at the helm in each program and when Tommy Tritz’s Longhorns play host to Derek Schlieve’s Panthers, expect a scoring frenzy. Forestburg is averaging 59.7 points per game, while Saint Jo is averaging 51.3.

Forestburg got a head start in 12-1A DI action, topping Newcastle last week 65-18. The 2017 season may be the end of Newcastle’s streak of district championships, as there are others in the district vying for the current king’s throne.

Last Result (2016): Forestburg 61, Saint Jo 34

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