Texas Panhandle week 9 games to watch: McLean-White Deer, Lee-Tascosa, headline huge Friday night
No. 4 Mclean at No. 8 White Deer
The game: No. 4 McLean Tigers (6-1, 0-0) at No. 8 White Deer (6-1, 0-0).
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bucks Stadium.
Last meeting: McLean defeated White Deer, 45-0, in the Class 1A Division I state quarterfinal last year.
The matchup: In all likelihood this the first of two highly anticipated meetings between the two best Six-man teams in the Texas Panhandle. Expect a rematch in the Class 1A Division I state quarterfinal down the road. One thing fans shouldn’t expect is either No. 4 McLean or No. 8 White Deer to take this first game lightly.
The Bucks have a lot to prove after losing both matchups last season. The Tigers also have a chip on its shoulder, wanting to defend their district crown, and prove why they were the favorite pick to repeat as state champions.
McLean will shoulder the load on one of the area’s top players in Ben Crockett. The bruising back has rushed for over 1,200-yards and 40 touchdowns this season.
As for the Bucks, they’ll look at Hunter Warminski and John Perriman to make plays. The duo have combined for 1,093 yards rushing. Perriman also leads the team with 65 tackles.
Midland Lee at Tascosa
The game: Midland Lee Rebels (7-0, 2-0) at Tascosa Rebels (5-2, 1-1).
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Where: Dick Bivins Stadium.
Last meeting: Tascosa defeated Midland Lee, 36-20, last year.
The matchup: Unbeaten Midland Lee makes the 239 mile trip to Dick Bivins Stadium for a District 2-6A showdown with Tascosa. The weather definitely plays into the hands of Tascosa as does playing at home.
Lee is off to its first 7-0 start since 1999. Coach Clint Hartman’s team has been on fire of late, scoring 59 points a game in the past five games behind quarterback Michael Serrano, who has thrown for 1,917 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Defensively, Lee had been solid against the run, holding opponents to 109.4 yards a game this year, but they haven’t seen a ground attack as dynamic as Tascosa’s.
Led by quarterback Joseph Plunk (1,243 rushing yards and 15 TDs) the Tascosa flexbone chews up up 429 yards a contest.
Dumas at Canyon
The game: No. 5 Dumas Demons (7-0, 0-0) at Canyon Eagles (6-1, 0-0).
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
Last meeting: Canyon beat Dumas, 35-28, last year.
The matchup: District 3-4A Division I makes its highly anticipated debut Friday, and what a way to start. The No. 5 Dumas Dumas bring a 7-0 record backed up by a physical defense to Kimbrough Stadium to take on a Canyon team with the reputation of scoring points.
Sure, all four teams are in the playoffs, but seeding for the postseason is extremely crucial. This game will come down to the Demons offense making plays against an underrated Eagles defense. Buckle up for a fun night of football and a huge crowd at Kimbrough.
Hereford at Pampa
The game: Hereford Whitefaces (4-3, 0-0) at Pampa Harvesters (6-1, 0-0).
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Harvester Field.
Last meeting: Hereford beat Pampa, 31-23, last year.
The matchup: Here’s the other great District 3-4A Division I matchup. This rivalry has been dominated by Hereford of late with the Whitefaces currently riding a five-game win streak against the Harvesters. In fact, since taking over in 2014, Hereford is the only team Pampa coach Greg Poynor has yet to beat on his schedule.
One thing Pampa has struggled with in recent losses to Hereford is the Whitefaces physicality.
Hereford loves to line it up and run it right at a defense. This season it’s running back Xavier Gonzalez (995 yards, 18 touchdowns) getting most of the carries.
Pampa on the other hand is the complete opposite. The Harvesters love to sling it with quarterback Tucker Bridwell and his 2,092 yards with 19 TDs this season.
It will be up to the Harvesters defense to make stops.
No. 4. Bushland at Shallowater
The game: No. 4 Bushland Falcons (7-0, 2-0) at Shallowater Mustangs (4-3, 2-0).
When:7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Todd Field.
Last meeting: Shallowater beat Bushland, 54-35, last year.
The matchup: A year ago, Bushland didn’t match up with powerful Shallowater as the Mustangs offense galloped up and down the field for 54 points. What a difference a year makes.
Bushland is now the more savvy, veteran team this season under coach Jimmy Thomas. The Falcons offense is tough to slow down, averaging 44.8 points a game, while the Bushland defense is hard to score on, allowing 12.8 ppg.
Shallowater was hit hard by graduation, but still plays sound, discipline football under veteran coach Bryan Wood.
Caprock Longhorns vs. Amarillo High Sandies, 3 p.m. Friday, Dick Bivins Stadium.
Muleshoe Mules at River Road Wildcats, 7 p.m. Wildcats Stadium.
Friona Chieftains at No. 1 Canadian Wildcats, 7 p.m. Friday, Wildcats Stadium.
Vega Longhorns at Gruver Greyhounds, 7 p.m. Friday, Greyhounds Stadium.
Lefors Pirates at Groom Tigers, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tigers Field.