10-4A FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Pirates, Wranglers in the mix for district title
Poteet and West Mesquite have spent the last two years in one of the toughest districts in the state as they were part of a nine-team group that included area powers Lancaster, Corsicana and Waxahachie among others.
There was a thought when realignment was announced in February that the new 10-4A might not offer as tough a road to the playoffs, but three weeks of non-district play shows signs that might not be the case.
The Pirates were the lone team to get through unscathed, but while they are the only 3-0 team, four other teams have winning records and all but Terrell have at least one win as they dive into the start of 10-4A play this week.
Poteet has had a relatively easy time through three games, although Wylie did make things interesting late in a 21-14 win two weeks ago.
The Pirates have not had to overextend themselves. Quarterback Tanner Ramsey has attempted only 53 passes in three games, completing 60 percent of those for 523 yards and six touchdowns.
Buck Rodges has provided big plays, averaging nearly 33 yards per catch and four of his seven receptions have gone for scores. Poteet has used a number of different players in the running game thus far.
The defense has been stout, allowing 16.7 points per game, with much of that coming late in blowouts.
The Pirates will open with Carrollton Newman Smith, which is off to a 2-1 start. The Trojans have had three tough games, winning close ones against McKinney North (21-17) and Little Elm (21-7) before dropping their last contest to Lake Dallas, 28-14.
Cole Brewer has been solid throwing the ball with 436 yards and two touchdowns. Garrett Browne has been the go-to guy with 18 catches for 209 yards.
West Mesquite drew the early start as it faced Carrollton Creekview on Tuesday.
The Wranglers have had three different games. West Mesquite rolled past Rockwall in a laugher, 43-17, in the opener and then had to sweat out a close one against Wylie in which it needed to stop a two-point conversion to hold on for a 36-35 win.
That momentum came crashing to a halt two weeks ago with a 42-0 loss to Waxahachie, but the Wranglers are hoping that game is out of its system going into district play.
West Mesquite has one of the top signal callers in the area in Chason Virgil, who has thrown for 761 yards and five touchdowns. William Stanley has led a talented receiving corps, averaging 35 yards per catch, while Raashaan Reason is a speed threat both in the running game and on special teams.
The Wranglers will face a Carrollton Creekview team that has already doubled its number of victories from a year ago with its 2-1 start.
David Blough has completed 50 percent of his passes, mostly to Dylan Kittrell.
The defense has been the story, giving up only 184 yards per game but it will face its toughest test yet in the Wranglers.
Traditional power and longtime Poteet and West Mesquite nemesis Highland Park is also off to a 2-1 start. The Scots have rebounded nicely from a 31-12 loss to Aledo in the opener with victories over Monterrey Tech and Sherman.
Highland Park does not have the firepower it has had in recent years, but is still averaging 34.5 points in its last two games.
The Scots will face Forney on Friday. The Jackrabbits are coming off a pair of losses against solid programs in Lovejoy and Corsicana.
Jack King has thrown for 427 yards and three touchdowns, but also has four interceptions.
The final 10-4A match-up features a pair of teams really looking to turn things around in North Forney and Terrell.
The Falcons, making the move up from 3A, have a win over Royse City sandwiched between blowout losses to Frisco and Ennis.
North Forney has a solid running back in Armani Watts, who is averaging 120 yards per game, with Brendon Lewis as a threat on the outside with his 30-yard per-catch average.
The Tigers have not gotten off to the start they wanted with three straight losses. Terrell has not been close in any of the three, getting outscored by a combined total of 151-50, including a 76-33 setback to Mount Pleasant in their last game.