Crystal football: Predicting the road ahead on the 9-6A gridiron

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Celina FB

Celina’s defense has been a major reason for the Bobcats’ two wins so far this season against Liberty Christian and Fort Worth Dunbar.

Tonight marks the opening kickoff for six of the seven programs in District 7-4A Division I, with each of those teams looking to build off four weeks of preseason action in search of one of four playoff spots.

Argyle is once again the class of the district and the only squad to go unscathed at 3-0 thus far. Paris, which advanced three rounds deep in last year’s playoffs, is also no slouch and a legitimate threat to the Eagles for the district crown.

Celina and Melissa also have high expectations in this star-studded district, as they look to fend off Anna, which off to a 3-1 start, as well as Sanger and North Lamar.

Let’s take a closer look at the four playoff favorites – Argyle, Paris, Celina and Melissa – as play heats up tonight on the gridiron.

Argyle (3-0)

The Eagles have been an unstoppable force on the football field for two decades now and have not posted a losing season since 2002.

The 2019 campaign is no different, as No. 1 state-ranked Argyle comes is 3-0 to begin the young season with marquee victories over other juggernauts like No. 3 Waco La Vega and Stephenville.

The dynamic duo of senior quarterback Bo Hogeboom and junior running back Tito Bryce are back and have not disappointed.

Hogeboom has tossed for nearly 800 yards and thrown 13 touchdowns through three games, while Bryce is pacing the Eagles with 464 rushing yards and five scores.

Although Argyle remains the heavy favorites to repeat as district champions this season, it is also not invincible. Paris hung in there with the Eagles in a 34-26 loss last year and Celina nearly took down the Eagles in a 26-22 affair in the third round of the 2018 postseason.

Paris (3-1)

In any other district across the state, Paris would most likely be the clear-cut favorite to bring home the district title.

Unfortunately for the No. 5 state-ranked Wildcats, they have to go through mighty Argyle to do so. Nonetheless, Paris is off to a strong start to begin the season after facing elite programs like Pleasant Grove and Gilmer.

Despite the stiff competition, the Wildcats are scoring just over 31 points per game behind sophomore quarterback Luke Hohenberger, son of head coach Steven Hohenberger.

Celina (2-2)

The Bobcats begin the district season tonight against a longtime rival in Sanger, which has not defeated Celina since 1998.

After starting off the year with a surprising loss at the hands of second-year program Frisco Memorial, the Bobcats bounced back by winning two of their next three contests against Liberty Christian and Fort Worth Dunbar.

The offense has been predicated around the ground game with Navy commit Logan Point running the show, and he should be in line for some monster performances over the next two weeks against Sanger and North Lamar.

Much like Paris, Celina would be the favorite to win take the district crown in most other 4A districts across the state, but it just so happens it is matched up with some of the more talented programs in the area.

Melissa (2-2)

The Cardinals have endured one of the more brutal non-district schedules in the area with opponents like Class 5A Frisco and Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill on the docket.

Along with being battle tested, Melissa just might also have the best overall offensive player in the district in senior quarterback Brendon Lewis.

The three-star recruit has accounted for 1,221 total yards and 14 touchdowns through four games and is more than capable of taking over any game with his dual-threat abilities.

Lewis and Co. nearly defeated Paris a year ago in a three-point loss, as the Cardinals are one of those teams in this district that can finish as low as fifth in the standings or pull off a couple of upsets and enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed.

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