Week 1 Texoma High School Football Previews

Jason Della Rosa, Herald Democrat
The Battle of the Ax is the biggest game to open the 2018 season. (Kevin Bartram / BUZZPHOTOS.com)

Note: All games are non-district and begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday unless otherwise indicated.

Sherman at Denison

Where: Munson Stadium

Broadcast: KMAD 102.5 FM; KMKT 93.1 FM

2017 Records: Sherman 5-6; Denison 8-3

Series: Sherman leads 68-43-8

Last meeting: 2017 (Denison won 49-24)

Players to watch: Sherman: QB Blaise Bentsen, DL T.K. Walton; Denison: QB Cade Gordy, LB Nate Maulsby

Notable: Denison is trying to extend its record five-game Ax winning streak in the 120th meeting between the two schools…This is a non-district match-up for the first time in 25 years and the season-opener for the first time since 1923…Sherman will be trying to make the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since a five-year stretch from 2008-2012.

Frisco Memorial at Celina

Where: Bobcat Stadium

Broadcast: www.homeofthebobcats.com

2017 Records: Frisco Memorial n/a; Celina 9-4

Series: First meeting

Players to watch: Frisco Memorial: OL Allen Ranson, DB Adam Washington; Celina: RB Logan Point, DL Kaghen Roach

Notable: This is the first game in Frisco Memorial history and became the 10th high school in the Frisco ISD when it opened its doors this month … Celina has won seven straight games against Frisco schools dating back to a 1990 loss against Frisco, which was the only loss for the team that year … The fifth win of the season for the Bobcats will be the 650th in school history.

Gainesville at Vernon

Where: Lion Stadium

Broadcast: KGAF 1580 AM

2017 Records: Gainesville 3-7; Vernon 5-7

Series: Gainesville leads 10-6

Last meeting: 2013 (Gainesville won 27-18)

Players to watch: Gainesville: RB Brandon Baker, DL Devlyn Hall; Vernon: WR Anthony Garza, DB Tyler Reeves

Notable: Gainesville is seeking a season-opening victory for the first time since 2014 … Baker ran for 1,048 yards on just 138 carries last season … Vernon’s last victory in the series was in 2001.

Pottsboro at North Lamar

Where: R.L. Maddox Stadium

Broadcast: KZRC 96.1 FM

2017 Records: Pottsboro 6-5; North Lamar 3-7

Series: Pottsboro leads 2-0

Last meeting: 2017 (Pottsboro won 14-11)

Players to watch: Pottsboro: RB Will Cates, NG Jacob Tidwell; North Lamar: QB Jay Walters, DE Hunter Moore

Notable: Pottsboro enters the season on a three-game losing streak, the longest by the program since the 1-9 season of 2009 … The Cardinals have won eight straight season-openers … North Lamar has not had a winning season since 2014.

Anna at Whitesboro

Where: Bearcat Stadium

Broadcast: www.whitesboroisd.org

2017 Records: Anna 6-5; Whitesboro 9-4

Series: Whitesboro leads 4-2

Last meeting: 2017 (Whitesboro won 7-6 in overtime)

Players to watch: Anna: RB Abner Dubar, LB Trey Cook; Whitesboro: QB Scout Sanders, DL Riley Dickson

Notable: Anna will be trying for its third straight winning season, something the Coyotes last accomplished from 1980-82 … Whitesboro has made the playoffs every season starting in 2011 and in 2017 won at least nine games for just the third time in school history … The teams are playing for the fifth straight season and the last four meetings have been decided by a total of 10 points, including overtime and double overtime contests.

Argyle Liberty Christian at Melissa

Where: Cardinal Field

Broadcast: http://www.melissaisd.org/mcnradio

2017 Records: Argyle Liberty Christian 6-5; Melissa 12-2

Series: Liberty Christian leads 3-1

Last meeting: 2017 (Liberty Christian won 21-14)

Players to watch: Liberty Christian: RB Andre Washington, LB Connor Payton; Melissa: WR Kennedy Lewis, DL Collin O’Neal

Notable: Melissa lost the 2017 season-opener to Liberty Christian and then set a school mark for consecutive wins in a single season before losing to eventual 4A Division II state champion Pleasant Grove in the state quarterfinals … The Cardinals scored at least 50 points six times in 2017, which was also the second time besides winning the state title in 2011 the program won at least 10 games in a season … It will be the first game for new Liberty Christian head coach Steven Greek.

Ponder at Howe

Where: Bulldog Stadium

2017 Records: Ponder 3-7; Howe 1-9

Series: Tied 2-2

Last meeting: 2015 (Howe won 49-0)

Players to watch: Ponder: QB Mason Durrett, DB Chase Taylor; Howe: RB Mason Riggs, DL Cameron Blesi

Notable: Bill Jehling makes his debut as Howe’s head coach … The Bulldogs are coming off their worst season since 2005 … Ponder has just two winning seasons (2014 and 2016) since starting a varsity program in 2010.

Paradise at S&S

Where: Ram Stadium

2017 Records: Paradise 3-7; S&S 6-5

Series: S&S leads 2-0

Last meeting: 1995 (S&S won 18-0)

Players to watch: Paradise: RB Jacob Robinson, DB Jack Ishmael; S&S: QB Jayce Howard, DB Cole Sloan

Notable: This game was to match Hall of Fame coach Ronnie Gage against his son, James, for the first time before the elder Gage retired at Paradise in May due to health reasons … Both of the previous S&S wins over Paradise were shutouts by a combined 46-point margin … The Rams will try to have back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1979-80.

Pilot Point at Bridgeport

Where: Bull Memorial Stadium

2017 Records: Pilot Point 3-8; Bridgeport 3-8

Series: Bridgeport leads 8-2-1

Last meeting: 2003 (Bridgeport won 21-7)

Players to watch: Pilot Point: QB Jacob Pitts, DL Walker David; Bridgeport: WR Jadon Maddux, LB Carson Johnson

Notable: The seventh win of the season by Pilot Point will be the 575th in school history … The Bearcats are coming off back-to-back seasons of at least eight losses for the first time since 1975-76. Pilot Point has never had three straight seasons with that many defeats … The last time Pilot Point beat Bridgeport was during district play in 1956.

Bonham at Mount Vernon

Where: Don Meredith Stadium

Broadcast: KFYN 95.7 FM / 1420 AM

2017 Records: Bonham 3-7; Mount Vernon 11-1

Series: Tied 3-3-1

Last meeting: 1957 (Bonham won 27-0)

Players to watch: Bonham: QB Tyler Rodriguez, DL Daniel Dowling; Mount Vernon: ATH Colby Lindley, LB Payton Graves

Notable: John Fish makes his debut as Bonham’s head coach … Mount Vernon is coming off its best season since 1950 and won more games than the previous three seasons (8) combined … All of their previous meetings were as district opponents from 1951-57, with Bonham winning the last three.

Aubrey at Van Alstyne

Where: Panther Stadium

2017 Records: Aubrey 8-4; Van Alstyne 8-3

Series: Van Alstyne leads 7-5-1

Last meeting: 2015 (Aubrey won 28-24)

Players to watch: Aubrey: TE Jacan Farmer, DE Austin McCallion; Van Alstyne: QB Rhett Gallagher, LB Justin Barnes

Notable: Van Alstyne has improved its record each of the past two seasons … Gallagher needs 279 passing yards for 2,500 in his career … Four of the five Aubrey wins in the series have been by a touchdown or less.

Daingerfield at Gunter

Where: Tiger Stadium

Broadcast: www.cjsportsent.com

2017 Records: Daingerfield 7-5; Gunter 15-1

Series: Gunter leads 1-0

Last meeting: 2017 (Gunter won 38-3 in Area Round)

Players to watch: Daingerfield: QB Jakauri Woods, LB Zay Parker; Gunter: RB Dylan Jantz, DB Braiden Clopton

Notable: Last year’s playoff win saw Gunter leading only 7-3 at half-time before pulling away … A win would be the 25th straight regular-season victory for Gunter dating back to 2015, extending the school record … Daingerfield has won at least a share of a district title in 10 of the previous 11 seasons and all but two years since 1997.

Blue Ridge at City View

Where: City View Veterans Field

2017 Records: Blue Ridge 3-7; City View 3-7

Series: First meeting

Players to watch: Blue Ridge: RB Garret Mathers, LB Brody Wiggins; City View: WR Andrew Byrd, DB Uriel Vigil

Notable: The Tigers have won five straight season-openers … This is the first time Blue Ridge will take on a Wichita Falls-based school … City View hasn’t had a winning record since 2014.

Life Oak Cliff at Callisburg

Where: Wildcat Stadium

Broadcast: KPFC 89.3 / 91.9 FM

2017 Records: Life Oak Cliff 2-8; Callisburg 1-9

Series: First meeting

Players to watch: Life Oak Cliff: QB Davione Nash, LB Jisaiah Joseph; Callisburg: RB Justin Crisp, DB Dakota Shaffer

Notable: Callisburg enters this season after ending 2017 with back-to-back shutout losses … The Wildcats dropped down into 3A Division II starting with this season … Life Oak Cliff has had only one winning campaign since 2011.

Bells at Honey Grove

Where: Warrior Field

2017 Records: Bells 8-3; Honey Grove 6-5

Series: Honey Grove leads 15-7

Last meeting: 2017 (Bells won 48-20)

Players to watch: Bells: QB Brian Ponder, DL Christian Smith; Honey Grove: OL Sean Bowman, DB Devin Fulbright

Notable: Glen Schuelke makes his debut as Honey Grove’s head coach … Bells head coach Scott Ponder needs two wins to become just the second head coach in Bells history to win at least 30 games at the school … The Panthers will be trying to extend their school mark of playoff appearances to five this season.

Wolfe City at Leonard

Where: Tiger Field

2017 Records: Wolfe City 9-3; Leonard 7-5

Series: Leonard leads 36-32-2

Last meeting: 2015 (Leonard won 40-8)

Players to watch: Wolfe City: RB Cody Greenway, DL Cody Fisk; Leonard: RB Cody Houser, DL, Jarrod Spearman

Notable: Leonard is riding a five-game winning streak the series to take a winning record against Wolfe City … Fisk was a first-team all-state selection last season as a junior … Leonard has won at least seven games every season since 2011.

Whitewright at Clarksville

Where: New Century Club Field

2017 Records: Whitewright 2-8; Clarksville 1-10

Series: Whitewright leads 1-0

Last meeting: 2004 (Whitewright won 29-12 Bi-district)

Players to watch: Whitewright: RB Dylan Cordell, DB Tim Richey; Clarksville: QB Quay Scales, LB Kyrie King

Notable: The win over Clarksville was Whitewright’s last playoff victory until the region semifinal run in 2016 … Whitewright hasn’t won a season-opener in three years … Clarksville has won only a single game each of the previous two seasons and hasn’t had a winning record since 2012 but made the playoffs in three of those years.

Tom Bean at Tioga

Where: Bulldog Field

2017 Records: Tom Bean 1-9; Tioga 11-2

Series: Tom Bean leads 7-3-1

Last meeting: 1947 (Tom Bean won 13-0)

Players to watch: Tom Bean: WR Bryce Grier, LB Kade McCarty; Tioga: QB Marshall Lease, DB Seth DeLeon

Notable: Zach Wood makes his debut as Tom Bean’s head coach … Two years after their last meeting against the Tomcats, Tioga dropped football for 62 years before returning in 2013 as a six-man program and is back in 11-man this season for the first time since 1949 … Tom Bean has not won a season opener since 2013

Collinsville at Muenster Sacred Heart

Where: Tiger Field

2017 Records: Collinsville 7-5; Muenster Sacred Heart 7-4

Series: Collinsville leads 11-6

Last meeting: 2017 (Collinsville won 28-20)

Players to watch: Collinsville: RB Garrett Vannoy, DB Gustavo Romo; Sacred Heart: RB Jeron Juntado, DT Cole Carson

Notable: This is the seventh straight season the teams have played each other … Collinsville is trying for a third straight playoff appearance … Muenster Sacred Heart was placed in Texoma Christian’s new district in the latest TAPPS realignment.

Trenton at Detroit

Where: Eagle Stadium

2017 Records: Trenton 0-10; Detroit 2-8

Series: Detroit leads 2-0

Last meeting: 2013 (Detroit won 39-0)

Players to watch: Trenton: QB Christian Verde, LB Dakota Risner; Detroit: RB Tyrone Rosser, LB Jayden Goodwin

Notable: Detroit has won both games in the series by shutout with an 86-0 margin … Trenton enters the match-up on an 11-game losing streak and has not won more than three games in a season since restarting the program in 2012 … Detroit hasn’t had a winning season since 2012.

Texoma Christian at Pantego Christian

Where: PCA Field

2017 Records: Texoma Christian 5-5; Pantego Christian 2-8

Series: First meeting

Players to watch: Texoma Christian: WR Tex Monk, DL Dayne Kelley; Pantego Christian: QB Andra Key, LB Trey Nicholson

Notable: Mark Ellison is making his debut as Texoma Christian’s head coach … Texoma Christian will be trying to improve its win record for the second straight season after the program’s first varsity campaign in 2016 … Pantego Christian is coming off back-to-back 2-8 seasons following a playoff appearance in 2015.

Denton Calvary at Savoy

Where: Robert F. Hodge Field

2017 Records: Denton Calvary 4-6; Savoy 1-8

Series: Denton Calvary leads 2-0

Last meeting: 2017 (Denton Calvary won 52-32)

Players to watch: Denton Calvary: Zackary Bielss, Wilson White; Savoy: RB Patrik McCauley, DB Colby Burgess

Notable: Savoy hasn’t won a season-opener against a Texas-based team since 2012 … Savoy had a string of five consecutive playoff appearances snapped at five last season … Denton Calvary hasn’t had a winning season since 2015

Fannindel at Saint Jo

Where: Harley Sewell Field

2017 Records: Fannindel 5-5; Saint Jo 5-5

Series: Fannindel leads 4-3

Last meeting: 2011 (Fannindel won 52-24)

Players to watch: Fannindel: RB Daytoryna Johnson, LB Deandrae Tinnell; Saint Jo: QB Preston Lyons, LB Grant Stiteler

Notable: Gabe Lane makes his debut as Fannindel’s head coach … The Falcons will be trying for back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 2012-13 … Saint Jo hasn’t had a winning season since 2012.