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Week 5 Texoma High School Football Previews

Jason Della Rosa
Herald Democrat
The 122nd Battle of the Ax will be this week.

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

Sherman at Denison

When: Thursday at 7 p.m.

Where: Munson Stadium

Broadcast: KMAD 102.5 FM; KMKT 93.1 FM; MyTexoma (Channel 32 on Sparklight), KXII.com/livestream2

2019 Records: Sherman 6-4; Denison 6-4

Series: Sherman leads 68-45-8

Last meeting: 2019 (Denison won 29-13)

Players to watch: Sherman: RB Benji Omayebu, LB Brandon Bonilla; Denison: RB Asa Osbourn, DB Keleon Vaughn

Notable: Denison has won seven straight in the series, its longest winning streak against its rivals and the third-longest winning streak in the series history … The Jackets have a 13-4 advantage in Ax games since 2003 … Sherman will be trying to hold the Ax for the first time since 2012 … Both teams missed the playoffs last season due to tie-breakers.

Ponder at Whitesboro

What: District 4-3A (I)

Where: Bearcat Stadium

Broadcast: www.whitesboroisd.org

Records: Ponder 2-1; Whitesboro 0-3

Last week: Ponder did not play; Whitesboro did not play

Series: Whitesboro leads 4-0

Last meeting: 2019 (Whitesboro won 42-22)

Players to watch: Ponder: QB Chase Taylor, DB Juke Kelley; Whitesboro: QB Jake Hermes, DB Kayden Unclebach.

Notable: Every meeting has come during district play … The Bearcats have scored at least 42 points in every game against the Lions. Whitesboro has just 19 points in three games this season … A victory would give Ponder as many wins as last season. The Lions have not had a winning record since 2016.

Howe at Pottsboro

What: District 5-3A (I)

Where: Jim Henderson Memorial Stadium

Broadcast: KZRC 96.1 FM; www.citylinktv.com/channel/durant-mix-tv/

Records: Howe 0-3; Pottsboro 2-1

Last week: Howe did not play; Pottsboro did not play

Series: Pottsboro leads 21-10-1

Last meeting: 2019 (Pottsboro won 42-3)

Players to watch: Howe: QB Austin Haley, DB Jordan Jones; Pottsboro: WR Jake Kubik, DB Tyler Farris.

Notable: Pottsboro has won nine straight in the series and overall won eight straight district games … Pottsboro has not lost a district opener since 2009 … The Cardinals are No. 4 in the Class 3A Division I statewide poll this week … Howe is trying to avoid an 0-4 start for the first time since 2017.

Gunter at Whitewright

What: District 8-3A (II)

Where: Tiger Stadium

Broadcast: www.guntertexas.com

Records: Gunter 3-1; Whitewright 3-1

Last week: Gunter won 30-14 against Pilot Point; Whitewright won 35-14 against Redwater

Series: Gunter leads 16-10

Last meeting: 2017 (Gunter won 66-0)

Players to watch: Gunter: WR Cade Roller, DB Cooper Wade; Whitewright: WR Aaron Pitt, DL Brandon Woods

Notable: Gunter has won seven straight in the series and 10 of the past 11 … … Gunter is No. 2 in this week’s Class 3A Division II statewide poll … The teams met every year from 1999-2017 before realignment sent Gunter west in the prior realignment … Whitewright has won three straight games for the first time since 2016, when the Tigers had a six-game winning streak.

Leonard at Bells

What: District 8-3A (II)

Where: Panther Stadium

Records: Leonard 2-0; Bells 3-1

Last week: Leonard won 62-20 against Detroit; Bells lost 34-21 against Holliday

Series: Leonard leads 25-17-1

Last meeting: 2019 (Bells won 35-20)

Players to watch: Leonard: QB D.J. Brown, LB Bryce Baker; Bells: RB Grady Waldrip, DL Hank Weaver

Notable: Bells has won consecutive games against Leonard for the first time since 1996-97 … The Panthers allowed more points last week (35) than their first three games combined (22) … Leonard had games against Bonham and Commerce cancelled for COVID-19 between wins over Wolfe City and Detroit.

Blue Ridge at S&S

What: District 8-3A (II)

Where: Ram Stadium

Records: Blue Ridge 2-2; S&S 2-1

Last week: Blue Ridge won 63-24 against Bonham; S&S lost 28-3 against Collinsville

Series: S&S leads 6-4

Last meeting: 2011 (Blue Ridge won 22-6)

Players to watch: Blue Ridge: RB Utah Porath, DB Lucas Jenkins; S&S: WR Keane Ortega, K Suzanna Griffin

Notable: The last time this match-up was a district contest was in 2003 … S&S has won five of its last eight district openers … In the common opponent department: Blue Ridge lost against Collinsville, 30-29, in Week 1.

Lindsay at Collinsville

What: District 5-2A (I)

Where: W. L. Stephenson Sports Complex

Records: Lindsay 4-0; Collinsville 3-1

Last week: Lindsay won 40-18 against Valley View; Collinsville won 28-3 against S&S

Series: Lindsay leads 29-16

Last meeting: 2019 (Lindsay won 60-0)

Players to watch: Lindsay: QB Kolt Schuckers, LB Cooper Carter; Collinsville: WR Nathen Bocanegra, DB Justin Hernandez

Notable: Lindsay has won five of the past six meetings … Collinsville held S&S to just eight first downs and 135 yards last Friday … Lindsay is ranked No. 4 in this week’s Class 2A Division I statewide poll.

Tioga at Trenton

What: District 5-2A (I)

Where: Tiger Stadium

Records: Tioga 1-3; Trenton 2-1

Last week: Tioga lost 62-0 against Rio Vista; Trenton lost 35-0 against Maypearl

Series: Tied 1-1-1

Last meeting: 1939 (Trenton won 47-7)

Players to watch: Tioga: RB Rylan Newman, DL Drew Drees; Trenton: QB Christian Verde, LB Junior Rodriguez

Notable: The Bulldogs are trying to win the district opener for the second straight season … Two of Tioga’s losses have been shutouts … A win by Trenton would give them more wins than five of the eight seasons and match two others since restarting football in 2012. In 2019 the Tigers were 4-6

Tom Bean at Alvord

What: District 5-2A (I)

Where: Bulldog Stadium

Records: Tom Bean 1-2; Alvord 0-3

Last week: Tom Bean did not play; Alvord lost 41-38 against Petrolia

Series: First meeting

Players to watch: Tom Bean: WR Lance Pauler, DB Alex Sanchez; Alvord: QB Corbyn Cornell, DB Van Taylor

Notable: Tom Bean’s game last week against Quinlan Boles was cancelled because of COVID-19, which means the Tomcats will play just eight games this season. The last time Tom Bean played fewer than 10 games was 1977 and the last time it played fewer than nine games was 1947 … The Tomcats are trying to win their district opener for the fourth time in five years … Alvord is off to an 0-3 start for the first time since an 0-7 beginning to the 2017 season.

Farmersville at Van Alstyne

Where: Panther Stadium

Broadcast: mixlr.com/va-panther-football

Records: Farmersville 1-2; Van Alstyne 1-3

Last week: Farmersville lost 17-10 against Ferris; Van Alstyne lost 34-7 against Mabank

Series: Van Alstyne leads 29-20-4

Last meeting: 2015 (Van Alstyne won 47-2)

Players to watch: Farmersville: RB Braden Lair, LB Adrian Martinez; Van Alstyne: RB Gavin Bybee, DL Billy Millican.

Notable: Van Alstyne has won 11 of the last 12 meetings … The Panthers have allowed at least 34 points in each of their losses … The is the non-district finale for Farmersville.

Texoma Christian at Irving Highlands

Where: The Highlands Stadium

2019 Records: Texoma Christian did not play; Irving Highlands did not play

Series: Texoma Christian leads 2-0

Last meeting: 2017 (Texoma Christian won 49-34)

Players to watch: Texoma Christian: QB Kason Williams, LB Michael Tan; Irving Highlands: RB Gabe Murphy, LB Collin Behan.

Notable: This is the season-opener for both teams after TAPPS delayed the start of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic … The Eagles are competing as a six-man program for the first since restarting football in 2016 … Irving Highlands dropped down to six-man last season.