Player of the Week: La Marque's Michael "Duce" Patterson evoked images of another little big man in Cougar gear (Russell Ball) by carving Port Neches-Groves for 186 yards on just 10 carries in their 19-0 shutout of the Indians. Patterson's 81-yard scoring jaunt snapped the Coogs out of their early offensive funk; the senior added another long run that helped La Marque put the game away.
Game of the Week:
*Terry (No. 4 in the area) at Friendswood (No. 2): Both teams have big aspirations, and a win would make a statement in the very competitive Region III. Friendswood didn't need to put much effort in a 35-0 pasting of Jones in which QB Jacob Karam threw for three touchdowns in his one half of work. The Rangers open their season on the road where their defensive speed could cause trouble for the Mustangs. Terry will have to keep the score low to have a chance here. While the Rangers have had Friendswood's number in recent years, this Mustangs squad knows a win over Terry would go a long way towards proving their legitimacy in the area. Friendswood by 4.
Ball High (15/5A) at La Marque (1): Neither team was at their best in season-opening wins last week. Both the Tors and Cougars are aware of their shortcomings and will look to exploit each other in the annual Clash on the Causeway. QB play will likely decide the outcome of this game as Ball's Andre Patino and LM's Jarius Kerlegan have big-play potential. The Coogs have ripped off four straight wins in the series and have the big-game experience and home field advantage to make it five. La Marque by 5.
Angleton (13) at El Campo (10): The Ricebirds will have to contain Wildcats RB D.J. Monroe to have a chance here. Angleton will continue rotating its quarterbacks while starter Bubba Grant continues to recover from an injury. Their offense didn't look sharp in a lackluster win over Westbury, not a good sign considering how well El Campo's D locked up Yates (60 total yards). This should be a low-scoring affair, one that could be decided by a Monroe score from long distance. Angleton by 3.
Brazosport (28) at Wharton (3A): The Exporters got off to a good start in their win over Columbia. The defense gave up nearly 340 yards, but four turnovers from the defense and an efficient running game propelled them to victory. They'll need more of the same against a Wharton team that won't be an easy out. The Tigers have 14 starters back from a playoff team and enough playmakers to pull off the mild upset. Brazosport by 1.
Willis (40) at Dickinson (15): One team (Willis) runs, the other (Dickinson) passes. The Wildcats lost a one-point heartbreaker to Oak Ridge, but have to feel good about a running game that amassed 303 yards on the ground. Tyrone Tatum (18-146-3) will give the Gators fits. On the other hand, Willis' secondary may not be able to withstand the methodical passing game of Dickinson QB Brodie Trahan and his group of veteran wideouts. The Gators have a much-improved defense, which should be the difference in this game. Dickinson by 10.
Santa Fe (35) at Sweeny (3A): The Indians couldn't move the ball in their loss to Needville. Sweeny is no pushover and has had Santa Fe's number more than a few times. Sweeny by 8.
Texas City (9) at Westside (11/5A) (Saturday night, Butler Stadium): TC showed it can run the ball; they also showed they can't stop the pass, which is bad news considering Westside QB Michael Goodnight is one of the area's top quarterbacks. The Stings will have to control the ball and avoid turnovers. RB Johnny Thomas (20-147-2) is a game breaker on the rise, but unless the TC secondary steps up, an 0-2 start looms over the horizon. Westside by 8.
Keep an Eye On….
*Texas City RB Johnny Thomas: Thomas will play DB in college, but is making a lasting impression in the backfield. His 90-yard run against Lake Travis displayed his athleticism as he scored three times (two rushing, one receiving) in the loss. A start like that will have colleges thinking twice about putting him in the secondary.
Hastings at Angleton … Sweeny at Brazosport … Dickinson at Crosby … Friendswood at Dayton … La Marque at La Porte … Huffman at Santa Fe .. Alvin at Texas City.