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Football: Stocks pointing up for Wise teams

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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Like the ebbs and flows of the stock market, the fortunes of Wise County football teams have been up and down through the first half of the season.

Through five weeks, four of the seven Wise County teams – Bridgeport, Chico, Decatur and Northwest – are .500 or better. Alvord is 2-3. Boyd and Paradise are off to rough starts at 1-4.

But the next five weeks is when the true dividends will be paid as teams try to cash in and lock down postseason spots during league play.

Here’s a brief look at the first half of the year with notable performances and a couple of predictions about the rest of the season.

Man in Control

MAN IN CONTROL – Decatur’s Justin Myers has guided his Eagles to a 3-2 start. The signal caller threw for 252 yards and ran for 204 last week against Bridgeport. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

FIRST-HALF MVP: JUSTIN MYERS, DECATUR

In his first year as the Decatur starting quarterback, Justin Myers has been impressive, guiding the Eagles to a 3-2 start.

Myers has thrown for 954 yards, completing 59 of his 110 passes with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s added a team-leading 636 yards rushing on 82 carries with seven touchdowns.

Under the brightest lights during the Battle of Big Sandy, Myers was at his best, running for 204 yards and three scores and throwing for another 252.

Cant Miss

CAN’T MISS – Northwest receiver Emmanual Moore has caught 32 passes for 476 yards in four games. He had five touchdowns last week against Fossil Ridge. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER: EMMANUAL MOORE, NORTHWEST

The senior wide receiver, a University of North Texas commitment, has been a show-stopper. Moore has 32 catches for 476 yards and eight touchdowns.

Last week in the Texans’ loss to Fossil Ridge, Moore pulled down 11 catches for 221 yards and five touchdowns.

Breaking Out

BREAKING OUT – Boyd running back Qualynn Wells breaks through tackles against Bridgeport. The Yellowjacket ran for more than 400 yards in the game. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

BEST BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE: QUALYNN WELLS, BOYD

In his first year as the Yellowjackets’ feature back the Boyd junior put on a performance for the ages. Carrying the ball 41 times in a 56-48, four-overtime loss, Wells rushed for 442 yards. He had 15 carries of 10 yards or more.

BEST TURNAROUND

During last year’s injury-plagued, winless season, it would’ve been hard to buy any stock in the Bridgeport Bulls.

But five games into this year, the Bulls are 3-2 and showing some grit. The Bulls pulled off a four-overtime win in Boyd and followed up with dramatic wins over Godley and Burkburnett.

Entering 3-4A Division II play, the Bulls are one of only three teams with a winning record. Anna, Aubrey and Bonham are a combined 1-14. Bridgeport appears to be on its way from going 0-10 to becoming a playoff team.

NO DEFENSE

A common theme over the first half of the season has been huge offensive numbers. Last week, Fossil Ridge and Northwest combined for 1,021 yards in the Panthers’ 52-42 win. That isn’t even the most from the county this year. Boyd and Bridgeport combined for 1,167 yards in Bridgeport’s 56-48 four-overtime win.

COSTLY TURNOVERS

The Boyd Yellowjackets don’t have to look far to figure out why they are off to a 1-4 start. The Yellowjackets are minus-10 in turnovers this year after losing seven fumbles and throwing eight picks.

LOOKING TO REVERSE HISTORY

The Chico Dragons are 4-1 for a fourth straight season after non-district. The last three years, the Dragons came up short during district on their goal of making the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Entering a wide-open District 5-2A Division I, the Dragons are one of the favorites to make the playoffs. With the strong running attack of Crese Redman and quarterback Jerico McGuire chewing up 266 yards per game, the Dragons should end their postseason drought.

FORECAST FOR NOVEMBER

The regular season ends Nov. 7 for all Wise County teams, but a majority will have a game the following week in the playoffs.

Alvord and Chico look to be locks in District 5-2A Division I, filled with struggling teams.

Decatur will have a tough time with Graham and Gainesville but should be able to get into the third spot in 4-4A Division I.

After Celina and Krum, no one is playing as well as Bridgeport in 3-4A Division II.

Boyd and Paradise have the toughest road to the playoffs, and both are 1-4 at this point. But only Brock and Ponder have winning records in 4-3A Division I.

Northwest has the toughest hill to climb to get into the playoffs. After a loss to Fossil Ridge last week, the Texans face defending state champion Denton Guyer this week. An 0-2 start would be a deep hole to climb out of with Keller Central, Denton Ryan and Keller still up on the schedule.

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