It might seem like area football teams just kicked off the 2019 season, but there are already three weeks in the books.
Many districts, such as 10-6A, get started this week, while others, including 11-6A and 7-5A Division I, have one final round of tune-ups.
The local group of teams has experienced mixed results, with some hoping to build on strong starts and other looking forward to having a clean slate for the start of district play.
Win or lose, the area squads have not shied away from facing some of the best competition in the state and those encounters should pay dividends down the road.
Horn scheduled perhaps the toughest non-district schedule in the state a year ago, and this year’s slate is not far off.
The Jaguars started with a 39-17 win over Tyler John Tyler, who entered the season ranked No. 6 in the Dave Campbell Texas Football Class 5A Division I state poll. They followed that up with tough losses against three-time defending 5A Division I state champion Highland Park (52-25) and 6A No. 20 Cedar Hill (49-21) and will round out non-district with a clash against 6A No. 21 Arlington.
Mesquite (3-0) opened with a win over a Lake Highlands team that made the playoffs a year ago and faces surprising Hurst L.D. Bell this week and North Mesquite (2-1) closes non-district with a match-up against regional finalist Haltom.
Sachse posted a 2-1 record against a trio of teams who made the playoffs, picking up victories over Coppell and Plano East sandwiched around a close 21-19 loss to Euless Trinity.
Rowlett (0-3) opened the season with games against Prosper and Rockwall, two teams who many believe will not just make the playoffs, but are darkhorses to make extended runs.
Poteet and West Mesquite are both 0-3, but it is not hard to see why by looking at the schedule.
The Pirates opened with 5A Division I No. 2 Denton Ryan and will close non-district against a 6A Tyler Lee team that is off to a 3-0 start. The Wranglers have already faced 5A Division I No. 7 Hutto and area finalist Lancaster and have No. 2 Denton Ryan on the docket this week.
Playing tough opponents early on often times makes for an unattractive record. One need look no further than last year to know the season is far from over.
Sachse bounced back from its 0-3 start to win District 10-6A in undefeated fashion and advance one round in the playoffs. Horn took it a step further. After losing its first seven games, the Jaguars reeled off a five-game winning streak to not only qualify for the playoffs, but advance to the regional semifinals.
Here are some other highlights from Week 3:
--North Mesquite’s Torrion Smith is excelling on both sides of the football. A week after recording a pick-6, he returned a fumble for a touchdown to spark the Stallions’ 48-27 win over Fort Worth Paschal. Smith was just getting warmed up, as he had seven catches for 131 yards and touchdowns of 29, 24 and 37 yards. Smith was the favorite target of quarterback Kamaury Thompson, who had his best game, completing 13-of-17 passes for 239 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 12 carries for 64 yards, as well as an interception on defense.
--Sachse did not amass a lot of yards, but they made their opportunities count in Friday’s 36-14 win over Plano East. Quarterback Xavier Forman’s first two passes went for touchdowns and he also added a score on the ground. Robert Jones had five catches for 57 yards and the coaching staff commended Jaydon Gibbs for his work on the offensive line.
--Quarterback Tripp McAda and the Sunnyvale offense was firing on all cylinders in Fridays 57-41 win over Brownsboro. McAda was 11-of-15 for 249 yards and four touchdowns while adding 49 yards and a score on the ground. Emmanuel Arinze needed just nine carries to go for 104 yards and a score. Max McAda had a huge night with four receptions for 193 yards and two touchdowns, while Will Van Vessem (5-50, TD) and Noah McDill (3-23, TD) also had solid games.
--The Poteet offense is still trying to solidify its identity, but whether it be Jaylond Police or Steven Fink throwing the football, wide receiver Tristan Golightly continued to be a standout in Friday’s 33-21 loss to Mansfield Summit. Golightly caught six passes for 78 yards and in three games, he is averaging 17.1 yards per catch (16-274) with three touchdowns.
--The final result did not go Rowlett’s way in Friday’s 55-34 loss to Plano, but there were some promising takeaways on offense. After scoring just seven total points in the first two games, the Eagles amassed more than 450 yards of offense. Quarterback Alex Routt threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns and added 122 yards and a score on the ground. Charjay Hunt rushed for 74 yards and a score and Antonio Hull (6-134, TD) and Tre’von King (6-52, TD) had big games on the outside.
--West Mesquite senior Ty Jordan had another big night, despite his team’s 34-31 loss to Keller Timber Creek. Jordan, who recently committed to Texas, had 16 carries for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns, highlighted by a 69-yarder and added seven catches for 62 yards and a score.
--Horn had its hands full with Cedar Hill in Friday’s 49-21 loss, but it got some big defensive efforts. Keidrin Walker posted a team-high 13 tackles, with Nick Garcia adding 11 stops to go along with a sack. Evan Williams had a nice all-around game with five tackles, three pass breakups and blocked kick and an interception and Samuelle Douse had a 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
--Sachse held Plano East to just 14 points in Friday’s win, led by Scotty Jesmer, who had 10 tackles, a quarterback pressure and a fumble recovery. John Onaiwu had a big game up front with two tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery for a touchdown and Matthew Carter recorded five tackles, provided strong coverage all night and had a touchdown-saving tackle.
--Brenton Hamilton led the Poteet defensive effort on Friday with a team-best 15 tackles. Stephen Kirk recorded a sack along with 13 tackles, Jalen Hodo made 10 stops and had an interception and Jalen Updite and Aaron Maxell each added nine tackles.
--North Mesquite and Fort Worth Paschal were relatively even in total yards, but the Stallions were plus-4 in turnover margin.
--Mesquite got two huge plays that helped them maintain momentum in their win over Plano West. Late in the first quarter, Plano West sailed an errant snap over the punter’s head and Tyler Raleigh-O’Neal recovered in the end zone for his second special teams score of the season. After the Wolves closed to within 24-21 with just 29 seconds left in the first half, Ja’Darion Smith delivered the biggest play of the game with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
--Dallas Christian earned a hard-fought 25-14 win over John Paul II. The game was close until the fourth quarter, when Parker Robertson broke free for a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown to help break it open.