What a crazy season we had in 2016 on the gridiron; from Abernathy’s exciting run to the 2A DI State Semifinals, to Coronado almost coming back to beat Colleyville Heritage when they spotted Colleyville a 21-3 lead in the first quarter. Remember Juwan Hamilton’s unbelievable performance against Crosbyton to start the season, and what about Nick Gerber making history with his season at Levelland? Well, that time is over and the new season is here. So, let’s get ready by previewing the top ten games coming this far in the regular season.
806’S TOP 10 FOOTBALL GAMES IN 2017:
#1 TASCOSA VS AMARILLO: SEPT. 22ND, 7:30PM (DICK BIVENS)
Easily the game of the year in the 806 this fall as both teams will be good, as always. This series started in 1958 and has been the highlight game on each teams’ schedule the last 58 years too. Last year’s thriller was won by Tascosa with a touchdown by Deveion Gray with :16 seconds left in the fourth to secure a 23-21 win over the Sandies in front of 14,000 fans! This game will be just as good as new stars like King Derouefor Tascosa and Nathan Betts for Amarillo will be counted on for their respective teams to pull out a tough victory with bragging rights for an entire school year on the line!
#2 CORONADO VS MONTEREY: OCTOBER 20TH, 7:30PM (PCP)
Another storied rivalry that dates back at least 50 years, the Mustangs got the better of the Plainsmen with a 49-14 thumping of the Plainsmen last year behind Qua Gray’s 446 yards and five touchdowns and Christian Hayes’ three interceptions and a fumble force that led to another turnover. What changes this season? Can Brylon Lawson-Young lead his offense against another stout defense led by Sophomore All-American Trey Stephens for the Mustangs? Will Monterey’s young secondary be up for the aerial attack of Qua Gray and the running of Jarrod Compton as well?
3. LUBBOCK-COOPER VS FRENSHIP: SEPT. 15TH, 7:00PM- (LCP)
Another great game coming in this series and it should be very close as both teams have great running backs with Garrison Johnson for Frenship and Elijah Boyd for Lubbock-Cooper. The question for both teams will be the quarterback position and the effectiveness both teams get from that position. Defensively, both teams again have solid units so I think the special teams will decide this game at the end.
4. ABERNATHY VS POST: SEPT. 1ST, 7:30PM (ABERNATHY)
These teams played twice last season; once in the regular season where Post won 21-0, and then in the Regional Round where Abernathy won on a field goal from Bryson Daily with six seconds to go in the game. I honestly think both of these teams will play each other again in the Regional Round so this will be another warm-up before both Antelopes’ head on their respective ways. Bryson Daily is back for Abernathy, and Michael Phergson is back for Post as well as Dealan Reed. This should be fun, again.
5. FRENHIP VS ODESSA PERMIAN: SEPT. 29TH, 7:30PM (PERMIAN)
Just when we thought the Tigers’ playoff hopes were over, Frenship’s offense erupted with 28-unanswered points to defeat the Panthers and secure a playoff spot, 40-28. This season, Permian returns 17 starters from that team and they get Frenship at home. Will it matter? Can the #frenshipnation defeat Permian again and send them spiraling for a playoff spot??
6. NEW DEAL VS ABERNATHY: NOV. 3RD, 7:30PM (NEW DEAL)
This game was another nail-biter with Abernathy pulling out the win late on their way to a district title. New Deal wants very badly to get a win, but that will depend on their quarterbacking position and if Jett can get going on the ground. DK Blaylock is eligible this year at receiver and Dylan Jerden should play a key factor on both sides of the ball as well. Lookout for Brandon Coronado as I think he will be a key cog in determining the outcome for this game.
7. MULESHOE VS LITTLEFIELD: NOV. 3RD, 7:30PM (LITTLEFIELD)
The war on 84, as they call it, will be for a lot this season; for sure a playoff spot, and maybe for the district title depending on what the other teams do in the district. No matter the records for either team, it will take a great 48-minute effort with minimal turnovers to win the contest!
8. CANADIAN VS CHILDRESS: OCT. 13TH, 7:30PM (CHILDRESS)
Their regular season matchup was easily one of the best games in the 806 with Canadian winning the game in the last moments, 18-17. Both teams had a ton graduate but their teams should both be just as good as last year’s versions. Matthew Lynch had ten interceptions last year and will be hawking any throws put up in the secondary. This game could come down to the wire again.
9. ESTACADO VS LEVELLAND: OCT. 19TH, 7:00PM (ESTACADO)
This game may determine the winner in district 1-4A DI. Questions I have really quick: Who wins the starting job for Levelland? After that, how much will they get out of that position with a new head coach, and maybe a new system coming for the Lobos? As far as the Matadors go, they look primed or a deep run in the playoffs but will need to replace some great players on both sides of the ball. The Matadors have the players to do it, I’m just wondering how quickly those players adapt. Estacado’s Billy Francis may be playing his way to a DI offer if he does what I think he can this season.
10. CAPROCK VS AMARILLO: OCT. 5TH, 7:00PM (DICK BIVENS)
This was one of the best games last season as Caprock pulled off an unbelievable win over the Sandies; the first in over Amarillo in 38 years! The Sandies will be ready to start their winning ways all over this fall over the Longhorns and have the weapons to do so, but Caprock also returns some studs on both sides of the ball as well with players like Kaleb King and Jonathan Guerrero returning to action for the ‘Rock. This game will determine a playoff spot, too.
OTHER GAMES TO GET READY FOR:
DUMAS VS PLAINVIEW
MONTEREY VS LUBBOCK HIGH
ABILENE COOPER VS CORONADO
ABERNATHY VS MEMPHIS
NEW DEAL VS LAMESA
CANADIAN VS BUSHLAND
CANADIAN VS STRATFORD
RALLS VS CROSBYTON
SHALLOWATER VS LUBBOCK HIGH