by Chad McDuffee
Merkel losing to Clyde was the only game keeping me from a 100% pick line last week. I don’t expect to do as good this week, but I’m going to try!
Ballinger will host their second straight game before moving into district play. This week they will be hosting the Colorado City Wolves. The Wolves are coming off an 11-win season a year ago and have rolled through their first two contests relatively unchallenged. A Week 1 victory over a weaker than usual Albany(0-2) team turned some heads and was probably more impressive than their Week 2 win over Crane(0-2) in which they gave up 21 points. When you look at Colorado City on film it is like looking at a red and black version of Reagan County. They have a solid collection of large, squat and not overly athletic linemen that plan to try and overpower their opponents. At the skill positions they are maybe slightly faster than the Bearcats have seen thus far, but by and large they will be exactly what Ballinger has seen already. They are a run first offense and a run second offense. Only twice in the game against Crane did the Wolves throw two or more passes in a row. If the Bearcats can keep the game behind the chains on defense and force C-City to throw it could be a long night for them on offense. Facing a Ballinger team that had a combined 21 tackles for loss against Reagan County, the Wolves will likely work in some more short to medium ranged passing routes this week. Ballinger’s overall length and team speed should be able to give C-City fits on offense. If they can put the Wolves in long situations with pressure on the quarterback Ballinger will be able to get a playmaking secondary involved in some possible turnovers. Before last week I was much less confident in this game, but after seeing Ballinger’s domination and a very flat game by C-City against a fairly unathletic or imposing Crane team I feel like Ballinger will continue to roll. Having a 2-0 record should help to liven up and enlarge the home crowd for Ballinger, putting everything in their favor.
Ballinger 28– C-City 7
Brady(1-1) vs Llano(1-1)
Brady flat out ran roughshod over Haskell in Week 2 winning 56-12 after a Week 1 heartbreaking loss against Ballinger. Llano had a similar Week 1 close loss against Hondo, but rebounded in Week 2 defeating Luling 36-12. This game will probably more closely resemble Week 1, but I’m not sure Brady is ready to jump up and compete with a 4A team in Llano just yet.
Llano 27 – Brady 14
Reagan County (1-1) vs Ozona (1-1)
Reagan County is hoping for a rebound this week against Ozona, but they might have to wait another week. Last season with a stronger team the Owls were beaten by 2 scores against Ozona. Ozona has already played Sonora this year and though they lost, they weren’t blown out. Reagan County is not at the level of Sonora this year. In the Owls favor is it being homecoming. I expect it to be a close game, but the Owls might not have the seasoned firepower to defeat Ozona.
Ozona 20 – Reagan County 16
Cisco(1-0) @ Breckinridge(2-0)
If they aren’t already, Cisco will be considered one of the best teams in 3A come playoffs. A weather cancellation is likely the only thing keeping them from being 2-0 right now. Breckinridge hasn’t lost, but they have been far from dominant. The Buckaroos have won their first two contests by a combined 14 points. After having a week off Cisco might start a little slow, but they should win this one going away.
Cisco 35 – Breckinridge 13
Anson(0-2) vs Stamford(2-0)
Anson is probably the best 0-2 team on Ballinger’s schedule by a large margin. After this week they will most likely be the best 0-3 team on the schedule. This isn’t a knock on Anson, as they put up a tremendous fight against Jim Ned last week in defeat. Stamford just looks to be that good this year. Having put up 50+ points in both of their victories against an Anson team that has given up 40+ in both defeats it looks like this will be another big win for Stamford.
Stamford 42 – Anson 14
Bangs(0-2) @ Winters(2-0)
It has now been two full years since Bangs won a game. Interestingly enough the last time they won was a 14-13 contest at Winters in September of 2016. This game will not have the same outcome. Winters should dominate this game. They most likely won’t put up 60 points like Bangs first two opponents, but they should win this one handily.
Winters 42- Bangs 7
Grape Creek(0-2) @ Rocksprings(2-0)
Grape Creek will get a chance to win some games this year, but this won’t be one. Rocksprings is solid on both sides of the ball and Grape Creek is struggling to score through two games.
Rocksprings 35 – Grape Creek 0
Merkel(0-2) vs Jim Ned(2-0)
Jim Ned will undoubtedly be the best team that Merkel has faced at this point in the season. Merkel has yet to find a way to consistently get the ball into the endzone in routes to Stamford and Clyde. Jim Ned had a defensive lapse against Anson, giving up 30 points. With Jim Ned’s defense being the strength of their team I would imagine they get things tightened up before they travel to Merkel.
Jim Ned 48- Merkel 14
Coleman(0-2) @ Goldthwaite(1-1)
This is one of the hardest games of the week to predict, Coleman hasn’t been very impressive to this point, but neither has Goldthwaite. The Eagles were dominated by Winters in Week 1, but squeaked out a 3 point victory over Junction in Week 2. Coleman should be better than they have shown thus far and Goldthwaite is nowhere near as good as the opponents Coleman has faced so far.
Coleman 21 – Goldthwaite 20
TLCA(1-1) vs Cross Plains(2-0)
TLCA rebounded well with a victory after a Week 1 meltdown against Eldorado. Cross Plains has only allowed 6 points on the year through two games against a TLCA team that has historically had trouble with offensive consistency. Cross Plains should win handily against TLCA.
Cross Plains 42 – TLCA 14
Area game of note:
Miles(2-0) @ Roscoe(0-2)
This will be the week we start to learn how good Miles really is. After dominating in weeks 1 and 2 the Bulldogs will be facing much stiffer competition this week. Roscoe has two loses, but there will be a lot of teams that lose to Hawley and Stamford this season. If the Miles Bulldogs are as advertised and with Munday next on the schedule, Roscoe could have one of the most difficult non-district schedules in 2A this season. Even though I don’t think Miles will have as easy of a time as the first two weeks this should be a win.
Miles 42- Roscoe 28