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Northwest Texans: Northwest looks to build on successful season

Northwest-Football

By Bob Buckel, bbuckel@wcmessenger.com

Last season, Bill Patterson’s fourth as head coach of the Northwest Texans, the highlight reel was impressive.

An 8-2 regular season record included only a pre-district loss to Midlothian and a district loss to Southlake Carroll. But after the shutout loss to Southlake, the team scored 130 points the next three weeks while giving up just 21 enroute to a second-place finish in District 4-5A.

They bowed out of the playoffs early with a 37-30 loss to Arlington Lamar, but the season gave Patterson and his staff plenty to build on as he enters his fifth year.

“Last year was the group I came in with,” he said. “I went through four years with them, so I guess this is my start-over year.”

And although they start over without quarterback Draze Lawliss and running back Dakota Chavis, the Texans aren’t exactly barefooted.

Patterson cited three “really good” receivers in junior Emmanuel Moore and seniors Chase Morrison and Jordan Muldrow.

“We’re excited about them,” he says. “We might be a little more inside wide-receiver friendly this year because of the guys we’ve got.”

Moore in particular had a breakout year as a sophomore and is poised to electrify when he gets the ball in the open field.

“Emmanuel had nine touchdowns and 37 catches, and 28 rushes – he had close to 600 yards total offense,” Patterson said. “We’re going to get the ball to him. We’re going to hand it, throw it, toss it to him.”

Though still unsettled at quarterback going into their lone scrimmage Aug. 24, the Texans have two players – senior Dusty Cloud and junior Jesse Drummer – who can get the ball into those receivers’ hands.

“We’re lucky offensively to have Dusty Cloud back,” he said. “Dusty played some at quarterback for us last year, and he played some other spots. He’s a valuable guy.

“The battle is still going on between him and Jesse at quarterback, but if Dusty’s not the quarterback he’ll play a bunch. He can play running back, he can play receiver, he can play defensive back. He can do a lot of things.”

Seniors Jacob Jennings and Chris Key anchor the offensive line, and junior Quentin Thorpe and senior Dennis Adrole are battling for a starting spot at running back.

“We’re kind of the same way we were last year at this time,” Patterson said. “We’re in a flux. Both [Thorpe and Adrole] of them are good players, but nobody has stepped up yet. It’s kind of getting to the point where we need somebody to step up. They haven’t done bad, but you wouldn’t say ‘this guy’ over ‘this guy’ yet.”

EXPERIENCED DEFENSE

Patterson’s defense tends to focus on speed and agility over size – and he feels pretty good about the players he’ll put out there.

“Defensively, we’re not real big,” he said. “That would be a fear of mine, for somebody to just line up and run over us – but people don’t have that patience anymore. We see people who are going to run the ball in our district, but people just don’t have the patience to be a tight-end, two-back offense and just ram it down your throat.”

To counter those pass-oriented offenses, the Texans will line up as much speed as they can find across from the ball.

“We try to get kids who can really run on defense, and we feel like we’ve got some kids who can do that,” Patterson said. “That’s one of the things we look for. We might take a little bit smaller kid, at defensive tackle or defensive end, who can run, over somebody a little bit bigger.”

The Texans’ defensive backfield is loaded with experience, led by seniors Parker Kneis, Sam Jennings, Reggie McDaniel and Lonnie McKinnis.

Jennings led the district with seven interceptions as a junior along with 36 tackles. McDaniel returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in the first game of the season.

The line will open with seniors Duke Kicinski and Joe Gonzales, with senior Jacob Parker leading the linebacker corps.

“We have a lot of guys who played a lot of football for us, so we feel good there,” Patterson said.

He expects to need them all.

“Our big thing is depth,” he said. “You’ve got to have backups at the 5A level. You better have seven or eight offensive linemen, you better have six or seven receivers, three running backs, two quarterbacks… You’re going to lose people, and you better have somebody who can come in and not miss a beat.”

After last year, Patterson doesn’t expect to sneak up on anyone.

“In the district we’re in – with the Kellers and Haltom and Richland and Southlake – there’s no sisters of the poor,” he said. “You better step up and be ready, or it’s going to be pretty tough.”

While Southlake remains the class of the district, Patterson said Keller High and Fossil Ridge are likely to be “really good” this year.

“And with that, we’ve got to try to get better, too,” he said. “We open up the district with Keller and then Fossil Ridge, so we’ve got to be ready right off the bat to go with those guys.”

Running backs coach Danny Jones retired after last season, but otherwise Patterson has mostly familiar faces on his staff – led by coordinators Robert Johnson and Joel Johnson, who have been with him 15 and 13 years, respectively.

Michael Ludlow, who came over from Grand Saline, will coach receivers and Craig Hardin, the defensive coordinator at Fort Worth South Hills, is now the secondary coach at Northwest. They’re all working overtime to make up for a two-a-day schedule that was shortened, since they played spring football.

After Friday’s scrimmage in Justin with O.D. Wyatt and Dunbar, Patterson said his kids will rest, eat, come back to school to lift weights and run, then watch scrimmage film at about 5.

“When they show up the next Monday it’s all Grand Prairie,” he said.

Game on.

PROJECTIONS

District 4-5A

1. Southlake Carroll – The Dragons have to find a new quarterback, but that never seems to be too much of an issue at Carroll.

2. Northwest – The Texans have a lot of experience back from last year’s second-place team. Now they just need to capture that first Class 5A postseason win.

3. Keller Central – The Chargers surprised people last season; they won’t this time around.

4. Fossil Ridge – A strong defense will lead the Panthers.

5. Keller – The Indians have enough talent to be around in November knocking on the playoff door.

6. Richland – The Rebels should be strong up front on both sides of the ball.

7. Timber Creek – Only eight starters return from last years playoff team.

8. Haltom – Too much offensive fire power gone for the Buffaloes to make a run.

2013 SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 … Grand Prairie … Home
Sept. 6 … Grapevine … Away
Sept. 13 … Midlothian … Away
Sept. 27 … Keller* … Away
Oct. 4 … Fossil Ridge* … Home
Oct. 11 … Haltom* … Away
Oct. 18 … Southlake* … Home
Oct. 24 … Timbercreek* … Away
Nov. 1 … Richland#* … Home
Nov. 7 … Keller Central* … Away

All games at 7:30 p.m.
# homecoming game
* district game

TEAM ROSTER

2 … Sam Jennings … DB … 12
3 … Brady Byrd … WR … 11
4 … Chase Morrison … WR … 12
5 … Parker Kneis … DB … 12
6 … Tyler Crim … WR … 12
7 … Dennis Adrole … RB … 12
8 … Reggie McDaniel … DB … 12
9 … Lonnie McKinnis … DL … 12
10 … Dusty Cloud … QB … 12
11 … Ross Penney … WR … 11
12 … Jacob Patiter … LB … 12
13 … Tariq Bell … DB … 12
14 … Jarius Jackson … WR … 12
15 … Jordan Muldrow … WR … 12
16 … Jesse Drummer … QB … 11
17 … Cameron White … DB … 12
18 … Tyler Norton … QB … 11
19 … Jarrod Franich … DB … 11
20 … Emmanuel Moore … WR … 11
21 … Saveion James … DB … 10
22 … Austin Cratty … DB … 11
23 … Chris Hamilton … K … 11
24 … Justin Butler … RB … 11
25 … Ridge Hanson … WR … 11
26 … Willie Callum … DB … 10
27 … Sage Ricker … K … 12
28 … Caleb White … DB … 12
29 … Stephen Nickens … DB … 11
30 … Damon McDonald … DB … 11
31 … Josh Hendricks … DB … 12
32 … Quentin Thorpe … RB … 11
33 … Nick Adams … RB … 11
34 … Joseph Musgrove … LB … 12
35 … Blake Smith … LB … 11
37 … Duke Kicinski … DL … 12
38 … Lane Allen … LB … 12
40 … Austin Penney … DB … 11
44 … Dylan Housley … DL … 12
45 … Sloan Ezell … DL … 11
49 … Seth Keener … DB … 11
50 … Jacob Dusak … LB … 11
51 … Dustin Madin … OL … 11
52 … Blaine Harris … OL … 11
55 … Morgan Peters … LB … 12
56 … Soren Campbell … DB … 11
57 … Sebastian Reyes … DL … 11
59 … Cotton Pyle … DL … 11
60 … Kris Key … OL … 12
61 … Antonio Chavez … OL … 10
62 … Ryan Woody … OL … 12
63 … Ryan Niedermeier … OL … 11
64 … Cooper Taylor … OL … 11
65 … Soren Campbell … DB … 11
66 … Jacob Jennings … OL … 12
70 … Corey Billings … OL … 11
71 … Brandon Fryer … OL … 11
72 … Joe Gonzales … DL … 12
74 … Gerardo Resendiz … OL … 11
75 … Gabriel Gomez … DL … 11
76 … Bryan Woody … DL … 11
77 … Matt Briggs … OL … 10
78 … Brandon Niccum … OL … 12
79 … Phillip Brooks … DL … 11
80 … Josh Wilson … TE … 12
83 … Nate Graeve … DB … 11
84 … Ryan Johnson … DB … 11
86 … E’Manuel Moore-Bradley … WR … 11
87 … Cotton Boyd … WR … 11
88 … Julian Zaragoza … WR … 12
89 … Tyler Hair … TE … 12
90 … Dane Ezell … DL … 12
97 … Corey Mallon … LB … 11
99 … De’marcus Guiden … DL … 11