It might be one of the more marquee games state-wide in all of six-man football.
When No. 14 Zephyr travels in to face No. 8 (sixmanfootball.com rankings) Oakwood at Panther Field in Oakwood Friday, it will have the attention of plenty of neutral six-man fans.
But, the magnitude of the game has yet to really reach the Panthers dressing room, according to OHS coach Mike Heckathorn, who said his team is merely quietly confident about the contest.
“I think they’re confident about this game. I feel like they have confidence in what they can do,” he said. “We saw tape on (Zephyr) today, and I think — pretty much across the board — we feel like if we play with intensity like we did (against Blum) we can beat them.”
The Panthers made quick work of Blum in the season-opener, putting up 62 points with relative ease, while holding the Bobcats to only six points.
Zephyr lost their opener to Division II No. 3 Milford, 56-40.
What the Bulldogs have that Oakwood doesn’t see much of is a big, physical running back. That type of runner is common in West Texas six-man squads, while the East Texas game is more speed-based.
“They’ve got a big back and he runs hard and they block pretty well,” Heckathorn said. “We’ve definitely got a speed advantage, overall, but if they just line up and pound us, I don’t know if we can stop them.”
Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Panther Field (Holly St. at Knowles St., Oakwood, Texas 75855).
CAYUGA at Mt. Enterprise
After their big, season-opening win against Cushing last Friday, the Wildcats are gearing up for another kind of test this week.
Cayuga travels to Mount Enterprise Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off at John Webb Stadium (W. 4th at Harrison, Mount Enterprise, Texas 75681).
There, the Wildcats will face off with Mount Enterprise’s power rushing attack, led by star running back Hunter Ammons.
“It’s an offense that the kids haven’t seen. We’ve been seeing spread,” CHS coach Greg Jenkins said of Mount Enterprise’s option based attack. “It’s all jumbled up with misdirection. Kids are going to have to know their keys and know their reads.”
In Mount Enterprise’s season-opening win against Shelbyville, Ammons ran for 278 yards and all three of his team’s touchdowns.
For Cayuga to move to 2-0, stopping him will be key.
“The big thing this week is to tackle (Hunter Ammons),” Jenkins said. “He’s a good back and his stiff arm is crazy. We’re going to have to get to him and make sure that we tackle. Make your reads, get to him and tackle.”
Cayuga brings firepower of its own to the table, even maybe more than Wildcat faithful thought they’d have.
Sophomore quarterback Chandler Rigdon had a breakout game in the opener, tallying almost 270 yards of total offense, and accounting for four touchdowns.
Cayuga also got its usual strong contribution from D’onte Jackson, who ran for 80 yards.
“We couldn’t be any more pleased. We got a lot of people involved offensively,” Jenkins said. “We think that’s what’s going to make us good. We’ve got a running quarterback, we’ve got two legitimate running backs. Offensively, we’re very versatile with what we think is a very athletic offensive line.”
GRAPELAND at Trinity
The Grapeland football team will look for its first victory of 2012 when it travels to Trinity Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off at Tiger Stadium ( Hwy 94, Trinity, Texas 75862).
The Sandies lost their opener, 47-18, to a strong Class 2A Centerville squad, while Trinity won its opener, 21-13, over Groveton.
Grapeland gained more than 300 yards of total offense in the loss, led by Patrick Walker’s big night. The junior had 138 yards rushing and 37 more receiving, scoring twice.
But, the Sandies failed to score in the opening half, trailing 41-0 at the half.
Sports editor Justin Rains can be reached via email at email@example.com
It might be one of the more marquee games state-wide in all of six-man football.
- Local Sports
H.S. Softball Playoffs: Grapeland, Joaquin split games Friday
It was a tale of two games during Friday's Regional Semifinal between the Grapeland Sandiettes and Joaquin Lady Rams. The Sandiettes and Lady Rams combined for 22 runs in the Sandiettes 12-10 win in Game 1.
Game 2 was a much different as the teams wouldn't combine for 20 hits, or even 10 runs as the Lady Rams picked up a 4-2 win.
H.S. Football: Palestine's Owens leads strong class of area recruits
Palestine junior Jarrell Owens hasn’t ever played a significant down in a game for the Wildcats at linebacker in his football career.
Yet, the position is obviously where his future lies.
Owens is one of a handful of area juniors drawing significant college interest, and the Palestine running back/linebacker already holds an official offer from Texas Tech University.
H.S. Baseball Playoffs: Harleton shuts down Cayuga in regional quarterfinal
In an as-expected pitcher’s duel, it took only one off inning to cost Cayuga and ace Chantz Holland.
Holland gave up four hits and hit a batter in the top of the third inning, and Harleton turned that into four runs — the only runs of the game — as Harleton topped Cayuga, 4-0, here at the Lindale ISD Baseball and Softball Complex in regional quarterfinal action.
H.S. Baseball: Patchwork lineup still working for Cayuga
The Cayuga baseball team that will take the field tonight against Harleton in the regional quarterfinals doesn’t look a lot like the Cayuga team that rolled through district play earlier this season.
Injuries have hampered the look of the Wildcat lineup, but Cayuga still finds itself into the playoffs’ third round for yet another season.
H.S. Softball: Grapeland going strong into regional semifinals
It’s been relatively easy-going so far in the state softball playoffs for the Grapeland softball team.
The Sandiettes have lost only once so far in the playoffs, and that came thanks a forfeit in the area round against Avery, when Grapeland decided not to play rather than play without missing members at the state golf tournament.
Local Roundup: Cayuga's Hughes named 19-A MVP
After a stellar regular season that saw them capture a district title, then a solid playoff run that ended with a regional quarterfinal loss to Grapeland, the Cayuga softball team showed well on the District 19-A all-district teams.
Cayuga star freshman pitcher Kimberly Hughes capped her stellar year by earning the district’s Most Valuable Player award. Joining Hughes in earning superlative honors was her battery-mate Maci Poland, who was named the league’s Defensive MVP.
H.S. Golf State Tournament: Grapeland looks to cap impressive season with title
It’s the course on which legendary PGA player Ben Crenshaw — winner of two Master’s Green Jackets — learned the game as a young man.
It’s where legendary Austin-based golf coach Harvey Penick molded players like Crenshaw and Tom Kite into stalwarts on the professional tours.
A year ago, Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin was the place where, despite improving by 20 strokes as a team on Day 2, the Grapeland girls’ golf team fell short of state title, instead finishing second — for the second-straight season.
H.S. Baseball: Palestine, Elkhart open playoffs Thursday
After a seven-year absence from postseason play that ended last year, the Palestine baseball team opens up its second-straight playoff campaign Tuesday.
The Wildcats, who captured District 19-3A’s second seed with a defeat of Fairfield Friday, will open the postseason again Diboll in a best-of-three series.
H.S. Softball Playoffs: Bruner's 2 HRs lead Grapeland past Cross Roads
Grapeland senior Shelby Bruner hadn’t hit a home run all season for the Sandiettes.
She picked a good time to find a power-boost.
Bruner hit not one but two home runs, Baylee Lumbreraz struck out 15 and the Grapeland softball team rolled to a 14-1 victory over Cross Roads to open the playoffs Monday at Palestine High School.
H.S. Tennis: Neches' Wade ready for more state glory
The spring semester is a busy one for plenty of high school athletes in the area.
The spring has a higher concentration of sports going on, plus there are state tests, prom and other extra-curricular activities in the works.
That has been the case for Neches junior Kelsee Wade, who this semester alone has played basketball, softball and tennis, and thrown the discus, as well as taken tests and worked with her animals for the Anderson County Youth Livestock Show.
Oh, and she’s also the No. 1-ranked student in the Neches’ Class of 2014.
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- H.S. Softball Playoffs: Grapeland, Joaquin split games Friday