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Week Five Preview

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Regular Season Hits Mid-Point

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – As hard as it is to believe, we have reached the midway point of the regular season. In addition, everyone has opened district play and they did so in grand style as Crockett, Grapeland, Elkhart and Lovelady all picked up wins.

This week, the road to the postseason gets a little harder as the competition gets a little stiffer while the jockeying for a top seed starts to heat up.

Burkeville Mustangs (0-4, 0-1) vs. Grapeland Sandies (4-1, 1-0) – The Sandies were supposed to have been tested last week against the Evadale Rebels and their stud running back Will Farr. As it turned out, it wasn’t much of a test as Grapeland beat up Evadale, 49-12.

This week should be another easy week for the Sandies as the Burkeville Mustangs travel to Grapeland on Friday. Burkeville is simply not that good as evidenced by their loss against the Lovelady Lions last week by a score of 59-22.

Expect Grapeland to put up big numbers against the Mustangs and don’t be surprised if they run the clock after halftime.

Diboll Lumberjacks (4-0, 0-0) vs. Crockett Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0) – The Bulldogs are coming off of a lopsided win over the Trinity Tigers, 45-0, and should be ready for their toughest opponent to date. Yes, they lost to Garrison but it was a game Crockett should have won.

Offensively, Crockett matches up well against the Lumberjacks and if they avoid turnovers or costly mistakes, the Bulldogs can light up the scoreboard. Defensively, Crockett needs to play solid, fundamental football to slow down the Lumberjacks’ attack.

Diboll is ranked #8 in the latest polls and sports an impressive win over a tough Jasper Bulldogs team (Class 4A). The Jacks have shown they can put points as in their 61-0 win over Huntington as well as winning the close ones such as their 14-9 win over Jasper.

It’s Diboll’s defense, however, that is starting to get noticed. So far, in four games, the Lumberjacks have only yielded a total of 23 points.

The Bulldogs do have the home-field advantage but it may not be enough against a stout Diboll team.

Colmesneil Bulldogs (1-3, 0-0) vs. Lovelady Lions (2-3, 1-0) – The Lions are coming off of back-to-back wins after starting the season 0-3. Lovelady showed it had a solid offense in its two wins with a 51 and a 59 points output.

The defense has been a little shaky, however. At the midway mark of the regular season, the Lovelady defense has given up 53, 47, 37, 30 and 22.

Fortunately for the Lions, the Bulldogs offense is not that good. Their lone win came over Northside Home School by a score of 22-13.

It’s Homecoming this week in Lovelady and combined with the play of Colmesneil so far this season, look for the Lions to come out of this game with the W.

Franklin Lions (3-1, 1-0) vs. Elkhart Elks (4-1, 1-0) – The Elks are having a good season so far and have already won more games than they did all of last year. Elkhart has a balanced offense that can run the ball as well as throw it.

They’re going to need to play an almost perfect game if they hope to defeat this week’s opponents, the Franklin Lions.

Franklin has been dominant in the regular season the last several years with their lone loss this year coming to a Top 20 Class 4A team. 

The Elks are greatly improved from last season but still have a ways to go before they can match up with the Lions.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.