SPORTS HEADLINES

Game of the week: Alvarado at Decatur

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, September 5, 2018
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7 p.m.
Eagle Stadium

Four of the last five times Decatur and Alvarado have squared off, the outcome has been decided by seven points or less.

Last year, it took overtime for the Eagles to prevail with a 28-21 victory. But since 2013, the Indians have gone 3-2 against Decatur, with each contest usually coming down to the wire.

“They always play us really well,” Decatur coach Mike Fuller said. “They are very well coached and are always physical. They are always a good team.”

Both Alvarado and Decatur are coming off lopsided losses to open the season. The Eagles fell to No. 7 Kennedale 55-7 while the Indians lost to Van 34-7.

Decatur threw six interceptions last week and picked up only two second-half first downs. Junior quarterback Roman Fuller went 4-of-22 with five interceptions in his first start and was under constant duress all game.

“Last week, we obviously didn’t do anything [well] offensively,” Fuller said. “We’ve got to make first downs. No matter what, we have to get that done. We have to move the ball.

“We’ve got to fix the things that we did poorly [against Kennedale].”

Fuller said most of the offensive mistakes against the Wildcats boiled down to execution. Decatur managed just 190 yards of total offense in the loss.

The Eagles averaged 502.9 yards last season.

“I think some of it was first game, first Friday night stuff,” Fuller said. “What most people don’t realize is one mistake by one player leads to another player being off schedule. One mistake can lead to other mistakes within a play. Those are things that happened to us quite a bit.”

Alvarado’s offense is led by junior quarterback Josh Syrus and senior running back Andrew Barajas.

Barajas was the Indians’ second-leading rusher in 2017, tallying 639 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. Syrus was 38-of-83 for 596 yards and eight touchdowns through the air.

Much like the Kennedale offense Decatur saw last week, Alvarado’s offensive attack is centered around its run game. The Indians had three running backs rush for more than 300 yards last year. Their leading rusher, Blake Henderson, who ran for 867 yards, graduated.

Fuller said although the Eagles surrendered 55 points and 595 yards of total offense last week, he believes his defense can learn from its performance and carry that into Friday’s matchup.

After getting routed against Kennedale, Decatur is hoping to bounce back in short order.

“When you’re a competitor and have a game that doesn’t go your way or was particularly embarrassing like that one, usually you can’t wait to get back out on the field and compete,” Fuller said.

BEST OF THE REST

Northwest at McKinney North

7 p.m.
McKinney ISD Stadium

After surviving a 41-34 double-overtime thriller against Little Elm, Northwest will travel to McKinney North to take on the Bulldogs.

The Texans lit up the scoreboard last week, as Austin Ahmad threw for three touchdowns, including the game-winner in the second overtime. All-state running back DeMareus Hosey ran for 102 yards and two scores on 28 carries.

Last year, Hosey ran for a school record 406 yards in Northwest’s 56-46 win over McKinney North. The Bulldogs opened their season with a win over cross-town rival McKinney.

Bowie at Bridgeport

7:30 p.m.
Bull Memorial Stadium

Bridgeport lost to Pilot Point 35-7 last week, but the Bulls also lost starting quarterback Jadon Maddux. The junior suffered a wrist injury in the first half and did not return to the game.

Bowie also dropped its season opener, falling to Godley 27-13. The Jackrabbits went 4-7 last year and are led on offense by senior quarterback Payton Price, who is a converted receiver.

Henrietta at Paradise

7:30 p.m.
Panther Stadium

The Panthers won head coach Joe Koch’s debut against S&S Consolidated and will look to build on that when they welcome Henrietta Friday.

The Bearcats edged Paradise 27-12 last season. Henrietta lost its season opener to Windthorst 40-26. They are led on offense by running back Mason Marchman.

He ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns in the Bearcats’ loss last week.

Boyd at Holliday

7:30 p.m.
Eagle Stadium

Boyd will face an early test when they travel to take on Holliday Friday.

The Eagles are one of the top teams in the area and get quarterback Jett Johnson back this year. He suffered a torn ACL last season.

Holliday made a statement in its season opener, blanking Iowa Park 14-0. Meanwhile, the Yellowjackets are coming off a 38-13 win over Nocona.

Alvord at Archer City

7:30 p.m.
Wildcat Stadium

Alvord got off on the right foot last week with a win over Electra and will look to carry that momentum into its contest with Archer City.

Corbyn Cornell accounted for three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ win over Electra, rushing for two scores and throwing for another. Alvord’s offense racked up 322 yards in the victory.

This will be the Wildcats’ regular season opener, as Archer City had a bye last week.

Chico at Electra

7:30 p.m.
Tiger Stadium

The Dragons started the Clay Sanders era off with a win and will try to make it two in a row Friday against Electra.

Chico throttled Petrolia 56-29 last week, as running back Nico Starnes ran for more than 300 yards and five touchdowns. Electra, meanwhile, is coming off a 32-12 loss to Alvord.

Victory Christian at Weatherford Christian

7 p.m.
Shirley Hall Field

Victory Christian dropped its regular season opener to Covenant Classical 29-6 last week. The Patriots will look to get their first win of the season Friday when they travel to Weatherford Christian.

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