Football preview: Battle of Hornets set for Friday

·4 min read

Sep. 23—Muenster vs Era

Muenster (1-3) and Era (1-3) will face off Friday to begin district play. Muenster fell 50-15 last week to Pottsboro, while Era defeated Electra 20-7. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Cooke County's battle of Hornets will take place in Muenster this year as both seek to bounce back from non-district play. Both teams lean on the run game but aren't afraid to pass. Muenster running back Colton Deckard and quarterback Casen Carney lead the red Hornets, while quarterback Jarren Twiner and players such as Justice Jones and Bradyn Bookhout lead Era.

Muenster has dominated this series, and it will take a perfect performance from Era to change that. The yellow Hornets have had turnover woes that simply can't continue. Whoever wins the turnover battle and controls the line of scrimmage will likely start district 1-0.

Sacred Heart vs Weatherford Christian

Sacred Heart (3-0) begins district play at home Friday against Weatherford Christian (3-0). Both teams had last week off. Most recently, the Tigers beat Shiner St. Paul 30-20, and the Lions defeated Colleyville Covenant 28-17. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Lions and Tigers open district play with a state semifinal rematch. Sacred Heart swept two meetings with WCS last year with neither game coming at home, so the Tigers have plenty of reason for confidence. Both teams favor the run, though WCS is averaging nearly 400 yards per game and will challenge the Sacred Heart defense. Brayden Bork and Hunter McCoy both average well over 100 rushing yards per game, and McCoy is also a passing threat with 203 yards per game. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare for what should be a competitive game.

Whitesboro vs Pilot Point

Whitesboro (3-0) hosts Highway 377 rival Pilot Point (1-3) in both teams' district opener Friday. Whitesboro was off last week but most recently defeated Pottsboro 35-27, while Pilot Point fell 56-19 to Bells last week. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Whitesboro lost to its rival in overtime last year, so the maroon Bearcats might have redemption on the mind. Senior running back Greyson Ledbetter didn't play the first two games but rushed for 201 yards against Pottsboro with two touchdowns. Pilot Point had a good first game but has struggled on offense since, though the orange Bearcats have just one turnover. With two weeks to prepare, Whitesboro should be better rested but needs to avoid looking rusty. If the hosts can start the game strong, it could be a long night for the visitors.

Callisburg vs Bells

Callisburg (2-2) wraps up non-district play Friday with its homecoming game against Bells (3-1). The Wildcats beat Bonham 68-26 last week, while the Panthers dominated Pilot Point 56-19. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Bells is a run-heavy team which has attempted five passes in its first four games. The Panthers average 323.5 rushing yards per game, led by seniors Spencer Hinds and Grady Waldrip. The duo has combined for 13 touchdowns in their first four games. The Wildcats are coming off their best offensive performance of the year, though Bells has only allowed one team to score more than 19 points. The team which performs best on defense will have a good chance to win.

Valley View at Nocona

Valley View (2-2) concludes non-district action with a former district foe Friday at Nocona (4-0) The Eagles beat Lindsay 24-0 last week, while the Indians defeated Chico 38-13. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Nocona dropped to Class 2A this past offseason and has already doubled last year's win total, albeit against 2A competition. Valley View also looks like an improved team, which should make for a great game. As Nocona's only 3A opponent this year, the Eagles may be the Indians' toughest test to date. Nocona has been strong on both sides of the ball and will be great final non-district tune-up for Valley View. Valley View will need to protect the ball and play the kind of defense the Eagles had last week in a shutout win.