Texas Panhandle games to watch for week 8: Tascosa-Permian, Stratford-Vega highlight top games
Tascosa at Odessa Permian
The game: Tascosa Rebels (5-1, 1-0) at Odessa Permian Panthers (3-3, 1-0).
When:7:30 p.m. Friday
Where:Ratliff Stadium, Odessa.
Last meeting: Permian beat Tascosa, 32-25, last year.
The matchup: The Rebels head to historic Ratliff Stadium for a battle with rival Odessa Permian. Mojo started the year off slow falling to DeSoto, El Paso Franklin and Southlake Carroll, which are a combined 17-1.
Since those losses, the Panthers have won three straight including a victory over Odessa High, 24-0, in the District 2-6A opener last week.
Quarterback Harper Terry is a dangerous player to watch for Tascosa, totaling 695 yards of offense this season.
The Rebels have been rolling since an early season loss to Amarillo High. If their powerful ground game behind quarterback Joseph Plunk (984 rushing yards) gets going, the Rebels could leave Odessa in good shape.
Abilene Cooper at Caprock
The game: No. 9 Abilene Cooper Cougars (7-0, 3-0) at Caprock Longhorns (2-4, 2-0).
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Where: Dick Bivins Stadium.
Last meeting: Cooper defeated Caprock, 28-12, last year.
The matchup: The Longhorns have salvaged their season since an 0-4 start to the year by winning their first two District 2-5A Division I games.
However, Caprock has yet to play a team as talented as No. 9 Abilene Cooper. The Cougars are unbeaten and have crushed anyone in their path through three district wins. Cooper is averaging 40 points a game, boasting one of the most explosive running backs in the state in Noah Garcia. Garcia has gone over the century mark in 14 straight regular season games, while rushing for 1,343 yards with 15 touchdowns this year.
Caprock is going to have to rely on its offense to score points with quarterback Tarik Williams shouldering the load. In two district wins, Williams has combined for 400 yards of offense and four touchdowns.
Canadian at Childress
The game:No. 1 Canadian Wildcats (6-0, 1-0) at Childress Bobcats (1-5, 1-0).
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Fair Park Stadium, Childress.
Last meeting: Canadian beat Childress, 31-30, last year.
The matchup: A year ago this was the best small school game in the state. All eyes were on Wildcats Stadium in Canadian, and the game didn’t disappoint as the Wildcats squeaked out a 31-30 thriller in the closing seconds.
Though the glamour doesn’t surround this year’s battle, but it got a lot more interesting since Childress earned its first win of the year by upsetting previously unbeaten Friona last Friday.
The Bobcats defense is their strength. The question will be, can the Bobcats offense can control a physical, fast Canadian defensive line? The Wildcats defense has held teams to 182 yards a game.
Stratford at Vega
The game: No. 4 Stratford Elks (6-1, 1-0) at Vega Longhorns (6-1, 1-0).
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Longhorn Stadium.
Last meeting: Stratford defeated Vega, 35-6, last year.
The meeting: It’s the highlight matchup of the night in the Texas Panhandle. The red hot No. 4 Elks venture to Vega with huge District 3-2A Division II implications on the line.
Stratford has been able to jump on its opponents with fast starts and great balance behind quarterback Walker McBryde. The senior has thrown for 1,449 yards with 19 touchdowns.
Vega counters with a great QB of its own in Carson Kirkland. Kirkland is a do-it-all player that’s totaled 1,398 yards of offense with a combined 24 touchdowns.
The x-factor in this contest maybe Stratford’s Iuden Romero. Defenses have yet to figure the speedster out. The Elks slot back has rushed for 617 yards, tallied 301 receiving yards for a combined 16 TDs. He’s also a force on defense with 33 tackles and five interceptions.
Notable games to watch
Plainview Bulldogs at Randall Raiders, 7 p.m. Kimbrough Stadium.
River Road Wildcats at Slaton Tigers, 7 p.m. Tigers Stadium.
Littlefield Wildcats at Bushland Falcons, 7 p.m. Falcons Stadium.
Spearman Lynx at Friona Chieftains, 7 p.m. Chieftains Stadium.
Happy Cowboys at Nazareth Swifts, 7 p.m. Swift Stadium.