SPORTS HEADLINES

Game of the Week for Friday, September 21, 2018

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Northwest Football

Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

Sherman at Northwest

7 p.m.
Northwest ISD Stadium
Harris Line: Northwest by 11

Last week against Grapevine, Northwest committed four costly turnovers as the Mustangs ran away with a 56-21 win.

Quarterback Austin Ahmad completed just 36.4 percent of his passes and threw four interceptions – two of which were returned for touchdowns. By halftime, the Texans found themselves in a 35-14 hole, and were never able to climb out of it.

“We just had an off game,” said Northwest coach Bill Poe. “Our kids are ready for the challenge this week. It was one of those games we didn’t want to have happen, but it did. We just have to learn from it and know this week is going to be a better week.”

In its final non-district test, Northwest will welcome Sherman to Northwest ISD Stadium Friday night. Both teams enter the matchup with identical 1-2 records.

The Texans have lost their last two games, while the Bearcats blanked Frisco Liberty 19-0 last week. Sherman’s opportunistic defense has held opponents to 21.7 points this season.

Against Grapevine, Northwest all-state running back DeMareus Hosey was held under 100 yards for the first time this season. Poe knows against a defense like Sherman’s, the Texans’ ground attack will be pivotal.

“It’s very important to get that run game established and get DeMareus going,” Poe said. “When that happens, it definitely opens up things for the rest of the offense.”

Grapevine’s front seven was able to generate pressure on Ahmad, forcing him into several tough throws. Poe expects much of the same from the Bearcats, who rely heavily on getting into the backfield.

“They’re really physical,” Poe said. “Defensively, they’re very similar to what we just faced in Grapevine, at least schematically. Front wise, they are actually probably a little bigger [than Grapevine], especially along the interior of their defensive line.”

Defensively, Poe said Northwest continues to work on tackling. The Mustangs had two scoring plays of over 68 yards. Through three games, the Texans’ defense is surrendering 452.7 yards per game.

“We have to continue to make it a focal point and wrap up,” Poe said.

A win against Sherman would get Northwest back to the .500 mark at 2-2 to begin District 2-5A Division II play. In two of the Texans’ first three games, the outcome was decided by a touchdown or less.

Northwest beat Little Elm 41-34 in double overtime Week 1 and lost to McKinney North 34-31 in Week 2.

“It’s important we continue to improve and progress, so we can ensure this last non-district game goes the way it should and we have some momentum going into district play,” Poe said. “These battle-tested games are teachable moments for our team in terms of learning what it takes to win.”

BEST OF THE REST

Graham at Decatur

7 p.m.
Eagle Stadium

After giving up 647 yards of total offense to Midlothian Heritage last week, Decatur will look to bounce back Friday when they welcome Graham on homecoming.

The Steers enter the game still searching for their first win. Graham has given up at least 34 points in each of their losses. Opponents are averaging 41.3 points.

Decatur’s offense is averaging 372.6 yards and 25.3 points. It is the first time these schools have met since 2015. The Eagles won that game 42-41

Harris Line: Decatur by 4

Bridgeport at Lake Worth

7:30 p.m.
Kittrell Stadium

Bridgeport will try to get off to its best start since 2015 when they travel to Lake Worth.

The Bulls knocked off Sanger 24-17 last week, blanking the Indians for the first three quarters. Bridgeport racked up more than 200 rushing yards in the win.

The Bullfrogs are coming off a 28-27 win over Boyd and sport a 2-1 record.

Harris Line: Bridgeport by 6

Howe at Boyd

7:30 p.m.
JG Cartwright Field at Yellowjacket Stadium

Howe will put its unblemished record on the line Friday when they take on Boyd.

The Bulldogs enter the game 3-0 and with a stingy defense. Opponents are averaging just 17.3 points against Howe.

The Yellowjackets will try to snap a two-game losing skid. Boyd narrowly fell to Lake Worth 28-27 last week.

Senior quarterback Kody Risenhoover has thrown for eight touchdowns through three games.

Harris Line: Howe by 7

Callisburg at Paradise

7:30 p.m.
Panther Stadium

Paradise suffered its first loss last week and will look to get back in the win column Friday against Callisburg.

The Panthers nearly erased a 19-point first-half deficit last week but came up short. The Wildcats enter the contest losers of their last two.

Callisburg limited a tough Lindsay team to just seven points in a 7-6 loss. Paradise is averaging 25.6 points.

Harris Line: Paradise by 15

Pantego Christian at Alvord

7:30 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium

The Bulldogs will try to avoid a 1-3 start when they play host to Pantego Christian Friday.

Alvord is coming off a 42-7 thumping at the hands of Santo. They have lost two of their last three.

The Panthers lost their first game of the season last week to Archer City. The Bulldogs also lost to Archer City in Week 2.

Pantego Christian is averaging 37.3 points.

Harris Line: Not rated

Chico at Blue Ridge

7:30 p.m.
Tiger Stadium

Chico will play its fourth straight road game Friday when they travel to take on Blue Ridge.

The Dragons lost to Era 41-14 in a rainy game last week. The Tigers are also coming off a lopsided loss, 55-6 to Celeste.

Chico is averaging 36.7 points, while opponents are averaging 28 points against them.

Harris Line: Blue Ridge by 10

Lucas JV at Victory Christian

1 p.m. Saturday
Patriot Field

Victory Christian will look to get back to the .500 mark when they take on Lucas JV Saturday. The Patriots downed Granbury Cornerstone 40-31 last week.

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