The sun sets at Bucks Stadium in White Deer before a nondistrict game against Nazareth on Friday. [Provided photo]
After six weeks of action in small school play and two weeks of the bigs schools in play, there stands only six undefeated teams in the Texas Panhandle — Canyon, Pampa, Wellington, Farwell, Follett, and Valley. Two of those remain in Six-man, with one coming from each division. Valley, from Division I, is 4-0 heading into district play Friday against McLean (2-4). The Follett Panthers continue to take this year by storm starting their season 6-0 before making their district debut against Lefors (0-5).
2. Nazareth stuns White Deer
I made the call in Thursday’s predictions, and the pick came to fruition Friday night when the Swifts went to White Deer and upset the previously No. 4 Bucks 74-50. The Bucks are many’s favorite to represent Region I deep into the postseason, but have hit some bumps in the road. The Swifts (3-3 overall) have had an up and down start to the year, but they have hung around in every game with their only losses coming to top-ranked teams. Nazareth finally was able to get over the hump against a rank opponent because of the hand of Luke Betzen. The senior upback accounted for nine touchdowns on the night with 144 yards on 27 carries, as well as going near perfect passing night completing 9-of-10 balls for 194 yards.
3. Happy rebounds
Coming off of its first loss to No. 2-ranked Sterling City, Happy took out its frustration on an under-matched Meadow squad with a 56-0 beatdown. Pace Bressler didn’t get many opportunities to pass, but when he did he was a perfect 4-of-4 for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Of course, Stetson Jameson made an impression on this game as well leading his team with five tackles, a sack, a touchdown on the offensive side of the ball.
4. Valley doesn’t miss a step
Two weeks removed from their last game due to COVID-19 issues, the Valley Patriots didn’t miss a beat. It‘s more than understandable if the Patriots were a step off, but that wasn’t the case in a dominant 45-0 shutout against Lefors. Jeren Hughes led the defensive charge with 10 tackles and forced a fumble. Jaxon Edwards was an unstoppable force Friday collecting 178 yards on only six carries and three scores.
5. Groom slows down Warriors
The Tigers came out slow against Miami trailing 14-6 to start the game. Groom head coach Tony Dotson made some tweaks, and the Tigers were able to shut down the Miami offense, going on a big run to finish the game with a 62-14 win. All eyes are on the No. 5-ranked Tigers in Division II as they own a five-game win streak heading into a Thursday home meeting with Springlake-Earth.
6. District play begins
For many teams this week, Week 7 marks the beginning of district play. Before now, the scores and results were purely motivational and the games were opportunities for growth and experience. Now, everything changes. Ever single score, ever single play, every single yard matters. With the playoffs only allowing two teams from each district, the stakes are never higher. Who gets into the playoffs and who puts on their basketball shoes early?