The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Week 8
The high school football season is starting to wane as we head into the final week of October. Here are the storylines we watched in week eight.
The Good: Grape Creek notches their first win and keeps playoff hopes alive; Wall clinches another playoff berth
Grape Creek had a really good team in 2016. This year's departure of Quarterback Austin Barron to Central and Head Coach Kyle Atwood really hurt the Eagles. First-year Head Coach Justin Mueller has kept his team plugging away despite those events and injuries throughout this season. Senior Receiver-turned-Quarterback Jesse Jio has started to come into his own over the last few weeks after missing most of the beginning of the season with an injury. Things are looking up for the Eagles. Case and point, the Eagles defeated Tornillo 50-46 for their first win of the year. The win puts Grape Creek in a decent spot at 1-1 in their five-team district to make it to the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in school history.
If there was any doubt about the Wall Hawks making the playoffs (which there shouldn't have been in the first place), it was smothered when they defeated Crane 64-13 to clinch their ninth-straight playoff berth. In the win, Wall did what they do best, run the ball. The Hawks tallied 474 total yards of offense-- all on the ground. Senior Tymber Carr started the scoring with a 93-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and that set the tone for the Hawks.
The Bad: Five-team districts
This is a bit of a personal rant. Five-team districts tend to dilute the quality of teams in the postseason. Yes, theoretically, any team can beat any opponent on any given gameday. But that is simply just theory. Some teams from these five-team districts will be going in with 1-9 or 2-8 records overall and they'll squeak in as the fourth place team. These teams with losing records will face a district champ with a winning record in the bi-district round of play and, more than likely, get beat badly. For example, Grape Creek (1-7, 1-1) is sitting at third in District 2-3A D1. Finishing third or fourth in the district means a date with either District 1 representatives Friona (7-0, 2-0) or Shallowater (6-1, 2-0). Both of those teams have played excellent over the season, with Shallowater really proving to be a deep-run threat in the playoffs. Or, in 3A-D2, you have Ballinger (2-5, 0-1) and TLCA (3-5, 0-2) battling it out for the fourth playoff spot in District 3 without a possibility at a winning record in the regular season. While making the playoffs in Texas is an honor unmatched by any other state, some of these bi-district playoff games will pretty much be glorified scrimmages for some teams.
The Ugly: Mason's defense is pretty good
The Punchers tallied their second consecutive shutout and third of the season in their 49-0 dismantling of the Harper Longhorns. Mason's defense is averaging 3.7 points allowed per game and has yet to allow more than seven points in a game all season. Nobody has found a formula to navigate this stout defense. At 7-0, and 1-0 in district, Mason could be eyeing their first trip back to Arlington since 2014.