Panthers close home schedule vs. Hondo in key district game
(Geronimo) - Until this week, the upperclassmen in Navarro High School's football program only defined bouncing back from a loss as putting in months of work in the off-season to prepare for the following year's season opener.
The only defeats tasted by the 2015 and 2016 Panthers came in season-ending playoff losses to Cuero and West Orange-Stark, but that isn't the case for a 2017 group that looks to rebound against Hondo in tonight's home finale at Erwin-Lee Field after falling to Wimberley 49-35 last Friday.
Navarro (7-1, 1-1) can no longer secure the top playoff seed in District 13-4A-Division II after the program's first district loss since 2013, but the Panthers can take a step toward locking up the No. 2 seed with win over a 2-6 Hondo squad that also sports a 1-1 district mark after falling to Llano 30-24 a week ago.
Much like Navarro, Hondo's offensive calling card is a bruising, physical running game, but based out of the I-formation rather than the Slot-T. The Owls' primary weapons in that attack have been running-back Jordan Gomez (734 yds., 10 TD) and quarteback Cole Frazier (382 yds., 6 TD).
"They're going to run a lot of leads and counters, and they do run some option out of that, so we've got to control that line of scrimmage and be physicaly up front," Navarro head coach Les Goad said. "After what they saw last week, I'm sure they're going to put the ball in the air some, but their bread and butter is running the ball right at you, and hopefully, we're going to be able to stand up to that."
Navarro surrendered 345 passing yards on 21 completions in 25 attempts to Wimberley quarterback Jordan Weeks last Friday, but Frazier (25-65, 394 yds., 5 Int.) has been remotely as prolific or efficient this season.
The Panthers look to wear down the Hondo defense with an arsenal of backfield weapons, including the single-season school record holder for rushing yards by a quarterback, Will Eveld (755 yds., 7 TD). Chris Gomez (614 yds., 5 TD), Will Reyna (474 yds., 7 TD), and Tyler Law (392 yds., 6 TD) continue to share the workload at running-back.
Tonight's kickoff at Erwin-Lee Field is slated for 7:30 p.m. A complete interview with Goad can be heard at 6:30 p.m. during the Panther Report on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com.
Bulldogs, Vikings clash for district title, top playoff seed
(Marion) - The Marion football program can clinch a share of its fourth district championship in five years and claim the top playoff seed in District 13-3A-Division I tonight with a win over Lago Vista in the Bulldogs' final home game of the season at Veterans Stadium.
Both teams are tied for first place with 3-0 district records. Marion improved to 6-2 overall under sixth-year head coach Bruce Salmon with a 45-18 win over Luling last Friday. Lago Vista, coached by Craten Phillips, moved to 5-3 by edging Randolph 25-18.
The Vikings cater their offense to the skills of senior quarterback Jared DeFelice, who threw for 2,468 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior in 2016. Salmon says pressuring DeFelice without neglecting Lago Vista's rushing attack is the focal point of tonight's defensive game plan.
"It's important for us to get in and disrupt them early, and get them behind the sticks, and make them one dimensional in that sense," the coach said. "They're going to throw it 60 percent of the time, but I think 60 percent of their production's come from the running game. So they present a little bit of a mix of an issue, and we've got to play good defense, and take care of the possessions we have on offense to force them to get outside of their game plan."
Marion's offensive leaders include quarterback Tayler Mills (1,582 yds. total offense, 19 TD), running-backs Jacob Berry (834 rushing yds., 16 total TD) and Kage Armstrong (265 yds., 6 TD), and receivers Nathan Newman (433 yds., 4 TD), Jacob Wallace (413 yds., 4 TD), and Jackson Allen (389 yds., 5 TD).
The Bulldogs' statistical leaders on defense are linebacker Cade Baumann (47 tackles), rover Matt Quigley (3 sacks, 6 TFL), Berry (2 Int.), and defensive end Francisco Duran (3 fumble recoveries). Marion has forced 17 turnovers - 13 fumbles and four interceptions - this season.
Tonight's kickoff at Veterans Stadium is tabbed for 7:30 p.m. A complete interview with Salmon can be heard during the 6:30 time block on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com.
Falcons seek 2-0 district start in final home game
(Seguin) - With a playoff berth in hand, the Lifegate Falcons turn their sights on securing the highest possible seed from TAPPS Six-Man Division II, District 4 in the final two games of the regular season.
That pursuit starts tonight in Lifegate's final home game of the season, as district rival San Marcos-Hill Country pays a visit to Falcon Field in Seguin.
Lifegate is 4-2 overall and 1-0 in district after a 74-20 mercy rule victory over Cedar Park-Summit last Friday. Hill Country moved to 7-1 on the year with a 42-30 victory over New Braunfels Christian Academy in a more competitive district opener a week ago.
The Rams are averaging 56 points per game and put 102 on the board in a win over Katy-Faith West Academy on Oct. 6. They do most of their damage on the ground, according to Lifegate head coach John Rabon.
"They have a very physical offense," Rabon said. "They've got two guys that run with the ball - one of them's a big guy and he's hard to bring down, and the other one's pretty fast. They just line up and play football, and they play a physical brand of football, and they're going to be a challenge for our defense."
Tonight's kickoff at Falcon Field is slated for 7:30 p.m.