SPORTS HEADLINES

Game of the Week for Friday, October 19, 2018

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Looking for Room

LOOKING FOR ROOM – Decatur running back A.J. Martinez cuts upfield during Decatur’s 22-1 win over Wichita Falls Hirschi Friday night. Martinez finished with 43 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur at Springtown
7 p.m.
Porcupine Stadium
Harris Line: Springtown by 14

Over 48 hours had passed since Decatur’s stunning upset of Wichita Falls Hirschi, but the buzz around the Eagles’ locker room was still palpable Monday morning.

After losing three straight games – the longest skid of the Mike Fuller era – and surrendering more than 500 yards and 50 points per game, Decatur bounced back in a big way last Friday.

The Eagles held Hirschi all-state back Daimarqua Foster in check when they had to and gave up the fewest yards and points so far this season. The result was a crucial 22-21 win to start District 4-4A Division I play and much-needed momentum going into this week’s game with Springtown.

“I think our defensive guys took a lot of pride in getting better,” Fuller said. “It’s been awful this year, but it’s not because they’re awful. It has just been bad performances. From the film I’ve seen, we hit Daimarqua Foster harder than he’s been hit all year and tackled him better than anybody has.”

Decatur surrendered 397 yards, limiting Foster to 194 yards on the ground – his third-lowest total of the season. The Eagles made a key stop at the end of the fourth quarter to get the ball back for their offense, which marched 77 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown.

They took the lead on a two-point conversion with six seconds remaining, but Fuller said it was the defense that made the difference down the stretch – something he knows will be pivotal in Friday’s showdown with the Porcupines.

“They were huge,” Fuller said. “The difference in competitiveness from early in the season, even three weeks ago, to last Friday, was great. They bowed up and competed.”

Springtown enters the contest 5-1 overall and 1-0 in 4-4A I play.

The Porcupines are the 15th ranked team in 4A Division I, according to Harris Ratings. Springtown blanked Kennedale 30-0 earlier this season and also beat Glen Rose 49-43. Kennedale beat Decatur 55-7 in Week 1, and Glen Rose knocked off the Eagles 70-28 before their bye week.

Springtown’s only loss this season came in Week 5 against Graham, 35-29. The Steers beat Decatur 59-35.

The Porcupines are led on offense by junior back Cameron Rickett. He has racked up 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns on 100 carries this season, helping Springtown average 41.5 points.

“They’re dynamic in what they do,” Fuller said. “It’s going to be really important to know where Rickett is. I’ve seen a million ways they get the ball to him. He’s strong and fast. He’s hard to tackle. He’s a great player.

“They just play really hard. They’re athletic and talented. I think it’s still going to come down to being able to compete. That was the thing I was most proud of the other night. Not folding the tent and getting upset.”

Decatur has won the last three meetings with the Porcupines, outscoring Springtown 183-106. The Porcupines’ last win came in 2014 when they routed the Eagles 49-21 in Fuller’s first year as head coach.

Convoy Ahead

CONVOY AHEAD – Bridgeport quarterback Jadon Maddux follows his blockers during the Bulls’ win over Krum Friday night. Maddux finished with 233 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

BEST OF THE REST

Graham at Bridgeport
7 p.m.
Bull Memorial Stadium

Bridgeport will look to keep its winning streak alive Friday when it hosts District 3-4A Division II foe Graham.

The Bulls have won five straight, and a win over the Steers would match Bridgeport’s best start since 2010 at 6-1. Graham has rebounded from a 0-3 start to the year, winning its last three games.

The Steers beat Iowa Park last week in their league opener, while the Bulls blasted Krum 34-9. Bridgeport is led on offense by the potent backfield duo of quarterback Jadon Maddux and running back Christian Hand. Maddux ran for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s win.

Harris Line: Graham by 14

Fort Worth Polytechnic at Northwest
7 p.m.
Thursday Northwest ISD Stadium

Northwest will try to win its fifth straight game Thursday when it welcomes Fort Worth Polytechnic.

The Texans knocked off O.D. Wyatt last week 73-33, improving to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in District 4-5A Division II. Northwest has won its last four games by a combined 198-54.

Poly is off to an 0-2 start in league play and has been shutout its last two games. The Parrots have dropped three straight and have struggled putting points on the board, averaging just 1 point over its last three contests.

Harris Line: No line

Boyd at Pilot Point
7:30 p.m.
Massey Stadium

A pivotal District 4-3A Division I contest awaits Boyd Friday when it travels to take on Pilot Point.

The Yellowjackets are one of two teams still undefeated in league play. State-favorite Brock is the other.

The Bearcats routed Ponder 41-0 last week and knocked off Whitesboro 28-25 Oct. 5. Pilot Point boasts a stingy defense, holding opponents to 15.4 points per game. They have two shutouts this season.

Boyd is coming off a 28-7 rivalry win over Paradise and has won three straight.

Harris Line: Pilot Point by 15

Seymour at Alvord
7 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium

The Alvord Bulldogs will kick off District 4-2A Division I play Friday at home against 6-1 Seymour.

Alvord enters the game 4-2 and winners of its last three games. The Panthers thumped Olney 68-8 last week in their league opener and have posted wins over Collinsville and Windthorst.

The Bulldogs are averaging 37.3 points. Seymour is allowing just 9 points per game.

Harris Line: Seymour by 17

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