In Focus: Merkel Badgers
This might easily be one of the most difficult games to predict this season. Both teams in the contest have struggled to get any type of momentum on the season. Last year’s game got rained out early so it is unclear how it would have ended. Ballinger has played the tougher schedule at this point, playing three straight Division 1 3A teams with Merkel being their fourth. Merkel has spent the last two weeks playing down in 2A. The teams sport identical records and got them in much the same way.
Facing upper tier teams in Week 1 Ballinger lost bad to Comanche while Merkel was also manhandled by Eastland. In Week 2 The Bearcats throttled the Grape Creek Eagles, while Merkel shut out the Hamlin Pied Pipers 20-0. In Week 3 the Bearcats had an ugly loss to Comanche, but even uglier was the Badgers being dominated by 2A Stamford 39-20.
This is a coin toss game at it’s finest.
Comanche lost in Week 3 to Cisco, but make no mistake, they have arrived. Comanche led this game for 47 minutes until a score by Cisco had them down by one. Coach Brent West of Cisco rolled the dice and went for the 2-point conversion and the win. Cisco made the play and was victorious in the contest. Comanche should be back to their big winning ways this week as they take on Little River Academy before next week’s big showdown with Eastland.
Grape Creek (0-3):
Live did not get any better for the Eagles in Week 3. TLCA was able to win by a large margin and the game was pretty much over by halftime. Grape Creek will be taking on fellow 0-3 Ozona this week in what could be their best chance to get a win this season.
After the Bulldogs big game last week they will be on a high. Don’t expect that to last very long as they will be traveling to Cisco this week to face the Lobos. The score this week should be more reminiscient of Week 2’s 35-6 defeat at the hands of Eastland.
After a Week 2 thrashing of Christoval the Eagles returned back down to Earth after their matchup with Sonora. The 61-20 score is closer than the game was as Sonora played the 4th quarter with backups. This week Junction will be playing Goldthwaite. This game could go either way as the Goldthwaite is having a down year, currently placing them at 0-3.
Another week with the same story. Mason was Mason yet again. The Punchers, as expected, did not slow down against Comfort, posting a 47-6 victory. They will face their toughest match of their season this week in 3-0 Iraan. Expect the difference in this one to be a dominating Mason defense. The Punchers have given up 13 points through three games compared to 68 for the Braves.
Reagan County (2-1):
In one of the more entertaining games of the week, after trailing for the entire game, the Eagles came back in the final minutes of their Week 3 contest with Coahoma to stay above .500 on the year. This week the Owls will play host to 2A Forsan. The Buffalos are sporting an opening week loss to the same Coahoma Bulldogs that Reagan County defeated, so you have everything shaping up to be victory number three for the Owls.
What a difference a year can make! 0-10 last season the Eagles were getting beat and beat bad by everyone on their schedule. New Head Coach Brent Rider has hit the ground running in Year 1. After scoring 20 points for the entire prior season the Eagles have scored 88 through three this year. On a two game winning streak and playing an average Colorado City team this week I look for Coach Rider to keep the ball rolling and make it three in a row.
Sonora’s offense is firing on all cylinders. Their defense seems to be a little suspect as they haven’t quite dominated on both sides of the ball. Jim Ned is better than they have been the last few years, but they haven’t been tested. Of their opponents so far, Coleman has been miserable this season and Goldthwaite is 0-3. Their biggest win this season is against 2A Anson last week. This one will probably be a shootout, but Sonora has too much firepower returning for Jim Ned to slow down.
Alpine didn’t score at the outstanding level they had in their first two games when they took on Pecos last week. Pecos hasn’t exactly been dominating on the year. Week 1 against Brady they gave up 27 points in a win. Brady has only scored 39 on the year. This week they face Crane who is coming off of a one point victory over winless Ozona. There isn’t much to be sure about on this one, but gut feeling says Alpine will win this one by a small margin.