Game of the Week for Friday, November 9, 2018

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, November 7, 2018
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Finding Paydirt

FINDING PAYDIRT – Boyd senior back Boone Eustace runs during a game against Bowie. Eustace has rushed for 297 yards and two touchdowns this year. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

Whitesboro at Boyd
7:30 p.m.
J.G. Cartwright Field at Yellowjacket Stadium
Harris Line: Whitesboro by 17

No stranger to games with playoff implications, the Boyd Yellowjackets will square off with Whitesboro Friday with postseason seeding on the line.

Boyd clinched a playoff berth two weeks ago against Bowie and lost to Brock last week in a battle for the District 4-3A Division I title. This week, the Yellowjackets’ focus turns to the standings.

With a win, Boyd will finish second in 4-3A I. A loss, and the Yellowjackets could finish anywhere from second to fourth.

“The last couple of weeks it’s been a playoff-type atmosphere anyway,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “They’ve been used to it here lately.”

The Yellowjackets enter the regular season finale 6-3 overall and 4-1 in 4-3A I. Whitesboro is also 6-3 and 3-2 in district.

Both teams lost to Brock. Whitesboro also fell to Pilot Point, which Boyd beat 20-14 Oct. 19. Hopkins said he knows it will be a battle Friday with so much at stake.

“They’re good,” Hopkins said. “It was a tight game with Brock, and they had their chances to beat Brock. It’s going to be all we can handle.”

The Bearcats are led on offense by senior quarterback Scout Sanders. A dual-threat under center, Sanders has torched the opposition with his legs and arm this season.

In Whitesboro’s 60-26 win over Paradise, Sanders accounted for four touchdowns, running for two and throwing for two. He racked up more than 250 yards from scrimmage in that game.

“Their quarterback can run and throw,” Hopkins said. “We’re going to have to execute well and stay in our rush lanes. When he’s throwing it, if he does get outside the pocket, our linebackers are going to have to come up and make some plays on him. They’re the real deal.”

Boyd is averaging 26.8 points and 364 yards but will be without 6-3 junior wideout Brian Couture for the first half. Couture was ejected in the third quarter of last week’s loss to Brock.

He is the Yellowjackets’ leading receiver, hauling in 51 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns.

“Not having [Couture] the first half is going to hurt a little bit, but we have some other guys we can get the ball to,” Hopkins said. “We’re going to be right there in the game. In the end, I think it could go either way.”

Hopkins said looking ahead to the postseason, there is an outside chance senior receiver Koby Miller could return for Boyd’s playoff run.

He has been sidelined since September with a broken collarbone. Junior running back Allen Gaught, who was injured in the Bowie game two weeks ago, will be a game-time decision against Whitesboro.


Looking for Room

LOOKING FOR ROOM – Chico senior back Nico Starnes gets the edge during a game against Archer City. Starnes has rushed for 1,498 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Seymour at Chico
7 p.m.
Dragon Stadium

Chico will try to win its first district title since 2000 when they host Seymour Friday night.

The Dragons are in the driver’s seat of District 4-2A Division I. A win would make them the No. 1 seed and drop cross-county rival Alvord, who beat Chico last week, to fourth.

The Dragons will fall to fourth with a loss.

Chico is led on offense by senior back Nico Starnes, who has 1,498 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns this season.

Seymour is undefeated in district play and 8-1 overall.

Harris Line: Seymour by 28

Bridgeport at Aubrey
7 p.m.
Chaparral Stadium

Bridgeport needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive Friday when they travel to take on Aubrey.

The Bulls have lost three straight games and have not picked up a win since Oct. 12 at Krum. Bridgeport is 1-3 in District 3-4A Division II and 5-4 overall.

Last week against Iowa Park, the Bulls fell 42-13 and also lost starting quarterback Jadon Maddux to injury in the first quarter.

Aubrey is 2-7 overall and 1-3 in 3-4A II.

Harris Line: Aubrey by 4

Decatur at Gainesville
7 p.m.
Leopard Stadium

Decatur can lock up a share of the District 4-4A Division I title with a win Friday at Gainesville.

The Eagles are 3-1 in league play and upset Wichita Falls Hirschi Oct. 12. Gainesville is 2-2 in 4-4A I after knocking off Mineral Wells last week. The win eliminated the Rams from playoff contention.

Decatur has lit up the scoreboard this season, averaging 33.7 points. Opponents are averaging 51.1 points against them.

Gainesville has lost the last four meetings with the Eagles. The Leopards’ last win in the series came in 2013.

Harris Line: Decatur by 21

Northwest at Fort Worth North Side
7:30 p.m.
Farrington Field

Northwest can clinch its first district title in school history with a win over Fort Worth North Side Friday.

The Texans are undefeated in District 4-5A Division II and have won their five league games by a combined 304-47. Northwest has recorded shutouts in three of its district wins.

North Side is 3-6 overall and 2-3 in district play. The Steers have lost three in a row.

Harris Line: Northwest by 45

Brock at Paradise
7:30 p.m.
Panther Stadium

Paradise will try to post its first winning season since 2010 when they host Brock in the regular season finale Friday.

The Panthers have already been eliminated from playoff contention despite a 2-3 District 4-3A Division I record. Paradise beat Bowie 42-35 last week.

Brock is coming off a 43-15 win over Boyd and is 8-1 overall and 5-0 in league play.

Harris Line: Brock by 35

Alvord at Olney
7 p.m.
Cub Stadium

Alvord will try to secure second place in District 4-2A Division I with a win Friday over Olney.

The Bulldogs will also need some help in a Chico loss, which would result in a three-way tie with the Dragons and Lindsay. Alvord would finish second based on point differential in that scenario.

Last week against Chico, the Bulldogs came away with a pivotal 42-31 win over their cross-county rival. It was their ninth win in the last 10 meetings.

Alvord is 5-4 overall and 1-2 in 4-2A I play. Olney is 2-7 and 0-3 in league play.

Harris Line: Alvord by 36

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