SUNNYVALE FOOTBALL ALEX LUNA

Alex Luna and Sunnyvale are off to a 5-0 start this season.

Sunnyvale and Dallas Christian have established themselves as perennial playoff teams.

The expectation level goes beyond that, though, as they each have their sights set on district championships and extended postseason stays.

But first things first and both the Raiders and Chargers have taken care of business thus far and will take perfect 5-0 records into their bye week before the start of their respective district slates on Oct. 11.

Sunnyvale is coming of a 42-21 win over Madison in a game that saw them seriously challenged in the fourth quarter for the first time. They passed the test, outscoring the Trojans 22-0 in the final frame to earn the victory.

The Raider offense has been a machine, averaging 49.2 points per game.

Senior quarterback Tripp McAda is once again putting up huge numbers, completing 58 percent of his passes (44-of-76) for 860 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with 46 carries for 288 yards and four scores.

McAda had games where he carried the offense in years past, but that has not been necessary.

Juniors Emmanuel Arinze (52-485, 6 TDs) and Alex Luna (44-411, 5 TDs) have shouldered the load in the ground game, getting help from sophomore Max McAda (15-128, 3 TDs) and senior Devin Sterling (17-93, 3 TDs).

Junior Noah McDill leads the receiving corps with 15 catches for 302 yards and six touchdowns, senior Will Van Vessem (12-145, TD) has been a reliable target and Max McAda (8-289, 3 TDs) is averaging an eye-popping 36.1 yards per catch.

Defensively, Sunnyvale opened the season with a shutout of Kemp and the only game they surrendered more than 21 points was against Brownsboro, who tacked on scores when the game was already out of reach.

Sterling has a team-high 50 tackles, with 11 for loss, from his linebacker position, with junior linebacker Jake Taylor (41 tackles) and Tripp McAda (33 tackles) also among the most active players on defense.

Sophomore Zach Bartis (20 tackles, 5 TFL) has also been solid in the middle, with seniors Ashton Wright (5 TFL) and Daniel Cortez (19) among the leaders on the line.

The Raiders open 5-4A Division II play on Oct. 11 at Caddo Mills, a team expected by many to be their toughest competitor for the district crown. Last season, though, their closest game was a 35-30 win against Nevada Community, who they will see the following week.

Like Sunnyvale, Dallas Christian has had its way, outscoring its opponents 219-40 in four double-digit victories.

Last season, the Chargers relied heavily on junior TJ King and he responded with 1,832 yards and 28 touchdowns.

King is still producing and leads the team with 68 carries for 498 yards and five touchdowns, but he has not had to shoulder as much of the load, just yet.

Senior quarterback Zack Haaland is a big reason for that, as he has completed 65 percent of his passes (48-of-74) for 767 yards and 11 touchdowns without an interception. He also adds an element on the ground, rushing for 271 yards and five scores.

Junior Parker Robertson is averaging 10.1 yards per carry (14-142, 2 TDs) and is also one of the top receivers (12-135, 3 TDs) along with senior Peyton Veasley, who is picking up 23.1 yards per catch (13-300) with four scores.

Of the 40 points that the Dallas Christian defense has allowed, only six have come when they didn’t already have a double-digit lead.

Senior Zach Reid has posted a team-high 43 tackles, with seven for loss and five sacks, senior Sam Johnson and junior Matthew Mata each have 36 stops and King and Robertson each have three of the team’s 11 interceptions playing in the secondary.

The Chargers will open district play on the road at Bullard Brook Hill next Friday, but the game they have circled is on Oct. 25, when they square off at two-time defending state champion and current No. 1 Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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