WALL – A “Battle of the Birds” will take place Friday night as the 10th ranked Wall Hawks square off against the Grape Creek Eagles in the district opener.
The Wall Hawks are coming off a sloppy win against the Mason Punchers 14-6. Running back Nathan Pepper ran in a couple of scores but also fumbled the ball which Wall recovered. The story might have been Craig Slaughters defense as Dylan Gidney and Brylan White made their presence known. The two got after the quarterback and had nine quarterback hurries and three sacks between the two. Briggs Jones stepped up in the secondary with two interceptions. Ryan Allen also has an interception.
Coach Houston Guy was happy with the defense, but the offense needs work. In an interview after the game, Guy said his team is ready for district, but not ready as a football team and have plenty of things to work on.
Wall Hawks (4-1) vs Grape Creek (0-5)
It’s all about the run game in Wall and the Hawks have a combined 1,476 yards on the ground. Senior Nathan Pepper and Sophomore Garrett Guy lead the team with 787 yards and seven touchdowns. Dane Reynolds, Gunner Dillard, Canyon McCabe, Jayden Sellers, and Will Scherr pick up the slack with 611 yards and six scores. The passing game has only produced 214 yards this season and no touchdowns.
The defense has really stepped up Gidney, Scherr, Sellers, White, and Caleb Valles are the leaders in tackles and that’s not to slight any other Hawks defender. They all make plays and get to ball carries behind the line as the team has a total of 44 tackles for loss. Just like in the Mason game, Gidney and White have made it hard on opposing quarterbacks with nine sacks and 23 quarterback hurries on the season so far and as a team, Wall has 16 sacks. Scherr, Jones, Pepper, and Allen make up all of Wall’s interceptions and the team has 25 passes defended.
The Grape Creek Eagles are winless so far this season, but they’ve played some good teams. The Eagles are coming off a bye week haven’t played a cupcake schedule. Even the teams on Grape Creek’s schedule have played some tough teams. Points have been hard to come by as the Eagles have been averaging just over 6 points per game and have been giving up 34 points per game.
Scoring on this Hawks defense will be tough as they’ve given up just over 10 points a game. It’s not hard to figure out how Wall is going to attack the Eagles. One thing the Eagles can do is focus on stripping the ball as Wall put it on the ground several times against the Punchers. Count on both Coach Thiel and Coach Guy to make this a point of focus this week in practice.
Other matchups going on in this district:
Ballinger (0-5) vs Early (2-3)
Like the Grape Creek Eagles, do not be fooled by the winless record. Ballinger has played some really good teams this season. Sonora, Coleman, Stamford, Clyde, and Mason are a combined 23-5. The only thing is the Bearcats have had trouble getting into the endzone averaging only 8 points a game this year and giving up 41 points a game. Early has been competitive in their games this season. Longhorn quarterback Jaxyn Price has been throwing very well and has gone 105-191 for 1,347 yards, 14 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Senior wide receiver Jeremy Brown is his favorite target.
Brady (2-3) vs San Angelo TLCA (2-3)
The Brady Bulldogs started the season 0-3 but have gone 2-0 the last two games. They’ll be coming off a bye week when they take on the Eagles. The Bulldogs have scored nearly 30 points a game and have given up 40 a game. They might be 2-3 but they’ve been battle tested so far starting off against Comanche, Mason, and Coleman. Brady’s last win came against the Christoval Cougars by 20 points. TLCA beat a very good and young Ozona team to start the season then in Week 3 were involved in a shootout with the Winters Blizzards. The Eagles dropped two consecutive games against Ingram Moore and Stanton before heading into their bye last week.
Tune into COVER1 for exclusive interviews, score updates, highlights, and more on the “Battle of the Birds” when Grape Creek makes the 30-minute trip across San Angelo and for coverage of all the matchups in the Concho Valley including some Permian Basin and Big Country teams, watch COVER1 this Friday at around 4:00, 8:00, and 10:00 p.m. only on San Angelo LIVE!