4A/3A/2A Recap: Week 1
What we learned about 4A, 3A and 2A in Week 1
It was business as usual at the top. Stephenville and Navasota showed out-of-state/country squads that you don’t mess with Texas. Both teams were very impressive in their respective victories as were other highly ranked teams like West Orange-Stark, Celina and Gilmer. La Marque, our 4A DII No. 1, did have some trouble with Galveston Bll, but we think Mike Jackson’s will be just fine. The two surprises were Kilgore and Carthage, two teams that met in last year’s 3A DI state title, both falling. It will be interesting to see if they can bounce back this week.
Argyle. Despite being the defending champs, we had some questions about Argyle. Why? Well, the Eagles were hit hard by graduation and lost stars like Ian Sadler and Sam Sizelove. But Argyle convinced us that they will be in the running for another championship later this fall with a 34-28 win over No. 10 Abilene Wylie. Argyle still does what it does best — pounds the ball with running back Nick Ralston and plays tough defense.
Team To Watch
Don’t be surprised if you see Big Spring in our DI top 10 soon. The Steers picked up a dramatic victory over Kerrville Tivy, 58-56. Beating a larger school with the pedigree of Tivy is a statement. Big Spring is a team you don’t want to mess with right now, especially with Toby Tannehill under center. Tannehill passed for 280 yards, rushed for 240 yards, scored five total touchdowns and threw the game winning Hail Mary against Tivy.
We have new No. 1’s in both 3A divisions after a shocking week. And boy do we mean shocking! Let’s start in Division I where Hallettsville blew a big lead and lost to West Columbia, 31-20. The Brahmas obviously miss quarterback Nate Kowalik, who transferred to Goliad this season, and don’t have they same allure that they did with him. In DII, Waskom fell to Center in a close one. We fully expect the Wildcats to bounce back, but that’s not the start you want to see. Elsewhere, Cameron Yoe and Daingerfield also suffered setbacks while East Bernard, Newton, New Boston and Rogers were blown out of the water.
Arp. The Tigers now find themselves in the DII top 10 after a blowout win over a very tough Paul Pewitt team. Led by elusive running back Marcalas Johnson, Arp is an extremely dangerous team with tons of upside. It seems Arp has somewhat flown under the radar, but make no mistake about it, the Tigers are a force to be reckoned with over in #bEASTtexas.
Team To Watch
Odem. The Owls notched a 30-26 win over Edna and could be one of the most feared teams in South Texas. Odem did just miss the playoffs last year, but the Owls are postseason berth this year thanks to returning experience on both sides of the ball, including wide receiver Hunter Rodriguez and defensive tackle Daniel Longoria. Odem’s next game against Goliad will be a big test.
Order was restored in Class 2A as almost all of the favorites came away with victories. The only one that didn’t was Hico as the Tigers fell to Dublin in a 23-20 heartbreaker. Hico still has the talent to be elite, but it must move past this disappointing opener. Mart, Refugio, Tenaha, Bremond and Canadian all cruised to big victories. Albany did have some trouble with Colorado City, but we won’t knock the Lions too much. After all, there are always kinks to work out in Week 1.
Iraan. There is no doubt Iraan was the biggest winner in Class 2A — literally. The Braves absolutely destroyed a pretty good 3A team in Crane. And by destroyed, we mean 60-7. Crane might have had the advantage in numbers, but that’s about it. Iraan is simply a well-oiled machine. If you’re facing them this season, you better be scared… really scared.
Team To Watch
Thorndale. The Bulldogs overcame a 16-point deficit to top Baylor commit Louis Brown and Burton. This win was big for two reasons: Thorndale proved it could beat a quality team on the road and comeback after trailing in the first half. And that could pay huge dividends down the line. Remember, Thorndale was a postseason team a year ago, and the Bulldogs brought back a load of experienced starters including defensive end Cody Niemtschk.
EJ Holland is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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