White Deer’s Hunter Warminski, left, tries to break free of a Rankin defender during a nondistrict game Friday night at Whiteface. [Bobbie Brown/ Texas 1A Fan]
1. Small ball, Big competition
For the first time in a long time, there seems to be no definite front runners in either Division of Six-man football. In Division 1 there are several teams to talk about, White Deer is being tested early, Happy is turning heads, and the Nazareth Swifts look like a contender.
As for Division II, Groom was a favorite coming into the year, but after two weeks there needs to be consistency. Follett (2-0) is getting back into its winning ways after dominating Amherst. Then there’s the teams on the rise. Wildorado has impressed, as have the Owls of Hedley and so many more. Each division has teams that are primed to take over the Texas Panhandle, making every week must watch football.
2. Happy hangs on in thrilling fashion
The game of Week 2 no doubt was between rivals Happy and Nazareth.
The Swifts had overcome a 37-20 halftime deficit, cutting the Cowboys advantage to 51-44 with 30 ticks left in the contest, and had a chance to tie or take the lead at the Happy 2-yard line. From the 2-yard line, Nazareth spread back Luke Schulte took the snap, rolled out but on the throw Cowboy’s Jimmy Reyes stepped in front of the pass and went 78 yards the other way for a thrilling game-clinching score, giving Happy a 58-44 win.
The Cowboys victory came in big part to running back Stetson Jameson’s 317 yards rushing and five scores, as the senior had another exhilarating performance.
3. White Deer falters late
The Bucks faced off with No. 1 Rankin at Whiteface in what many see as a Division I semifinal rematch come December. White Deer showed up playing the Red Devils tight, leading 21-20 for the majority of the first quarter.
The second quarter on became a different story, as Rankin turned it on by outscoring the Bucks 30-0 in the to close out the half. Rankin’s Ben Rios was a force to be reckoned with hauling in five touchdown passes on the night. The Bucks forced the contest to go all four quarters, but never overcame the Rankin second stanza, falling run falling 73-34.
4. Hedley off to historic start
In the battle of Owls, it was Hedley that came away with a 34-28 win against Silverton.
The victory puts Hedley 2-0 for the first time since the 2005 season when they started the year at 4-0.
This is a program ready to turn things around. The Owls will put their undefeated record to the test next week when they play host to Vernon Northside (2-0).
5. Wildorado defense holds strong
Through two weeks the Mustangs have stayed undefeated and have yet to yield a point in shutouts of Darrouzett and Patton Springs.
Caleb Madden led the way this week with 11 tackles against Patton Springs. There’s no one more proud of this team in their first season in UIL than Mustangs coach Ty James.
“The defense has played with relentless effort the last two weeks,” James said. “They have only given up two first downs in total.”
The Mustangs try to keep their shutout streak alive next week as they take on Cotton Center Friday night.
6. Coach Clint Linman returns to McLean
Coach Clint Linman and the McLean Tigers held a 41-4 record over the last three years at the helm that included a Class 1A Division I state championship in 2018, followed by a state runner up last year.
Linman then made shocking news last spring when he accepted the athletic director/ head football job at Miami. Well, the schedule makers wasted no time getting Linman and his new Warriors team into battle against his former Tigers as the two squared off in Homecoming atmosphere at McLean on Friday.
Miami got off to a quick start leading at halftime 22-0, but the Tigers didn’t go down without a fight as they pulled within a score before falling 40-24. Linman gets another W in McLean, but this time in Warrior purple.