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FOOTBALL: Week 2 previews (Friday’s games)

# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking

FRIDAY

#6 Brackenridge (0-1) at Devine (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Brackenridge lost a 66-45 shootout to Jay in its season opener and will seek to tighten up its defense against Devine.

The Mustangs had six scoring plays of 35 yards or more and recorded 721 total yards. Their quarterback, Moses Reynolds, accounted for 575 yards of total offense.

Brackenridge produced enough offense to win. Quarterback Antonio Lopez threw for 347 passing and four touchdowns. He spent a little too much time on the ground, though, with -39 rushing yards.

Other offensive standouts for the Eagles included Trey Mathis (118 yards, 14 carries) and Lee Terrell (152 yards, 9 catches). Jordan Beasley and Macco Marble each had more than 80 receiving yards.

Unlike Jay, Devine isn’t explosive offensively. They’re traditionally a grind-it-out team. Running back Joe Guerrero ran for 116 yards on 19 carries in a 17-7 loss to Harlandale.

Quarterback Hunter DuBose also can make plays through the air, although the Indians held him to 45 passing yards last week. That will be an area Devine looks to improve in Week 2.

Devine commited three turnovers last week and Brackenridge lost two, so the turnover battle could be important.

The Warhorses limited Harlandale to 270 total yards last week. Although the game looks like a toss-up, I’m making Devine the favorite based on its defense and home field advantage.

Series leader (record): unavailable. 2013 score:  did not play. 2014 favorite: Devine.

Brooks Academy (0-1) vs. Hawkins (0-1) at Wheatley Heights Stadium, 7:30 p.m., Friday

Leakey defeated Brooks Academy 38-0 last Friday. No scoring or statistics were available from that game.

Hawkins lost 49-0 to St. Gerard in its opener. And, you may have guessed this … no scoring or statistics were available from that game.

Brooks Academy is looking for its first win since 2011, against St. Gerard. I don’t honestly know what the Bengals’ chances of winning this game are.

The Bengals will look to quarterback Dennis Perales and lineman Christien Pedraza for leadership. Alejandro Gonzalez could be a player to watch.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Hawkins.

Burbank (0-1) vs. #14 Kennedy (0-1) at Edgewood Veterans Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

This appears to be a game that could go either way.

Burbank lost 36-13 to Southside last Friday in its season debut, while Victoria
East handled Kennedy 43-14. So both will be looking to improve.

Kennedy had a couple of bright spots in its ground game, with junior Jesus Hernandez rushing for 100 yards in his first start and senior Nicholas Gonzalez breaking a 44-yard touchdown run.

The Rockets’ only other touchdown came on an 18-yard pass from Eric Lira to Raul Hale.

Kennedy gave up 451 yards to a fairly balanced Victoria East offense.

Scoring and statistical information on Burbank’s game is unavailable, so it’s hard to draw many conclusions. Although surrendering 36 points to Southside isn’t a good sign.

The team with the stronger defense may be the winner, but it’s hard to speculate which that would be.

Senior quarterback Daniel Tello could be a key for the Bulldogs.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Kennedy.

#4 Central Catholic (1-0) vs. #10 South San (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Neither team gave up a point in the second half last week, so that could be the tipping point this week – determining which team flinches.

Central Catholic appears to have a stronger, more diverse offense than the Bobcats, based on its 30-0 win over Lanier last Thursday. The Buttons struggled at times to complement their solid ground game through the air, but expect a better effort from senior quarterback Joseph Nava.

Nava seems to have identified his primary target in senior Troy Lozano. Jaime Nava also can be drafted from the secondary in passing situations.

The Buttons’ ground game was rock solid against the Voks, led by senior Jimin Suh. Suh had some breakaways, and also showed an ability to run inside despite his slight frame.

Defensively, Central Catholic held Lanier to 154 total yards.

Both Central Catholic and South San wore down their opponents in the second half, so conditioning is a strength for both schools.

South San scored all of its points in the first half of a 14-6 win over Holmes. Defensively, the Bobcats limited the Huskies to 231 yards and scored a touchdown on Ryan Hernandez’s 15-yard fumble return.

Offensively, South San will try to control the ball behind Justin Acosta (73 yards, 10 carries). Quarterback Isaiah Gutierrez completed more than half of his pass attempts, but threw for more than 53 yards.

Like Central Catholic, South San will need to be more effective through the air to keep the defense honest.

South San won last year, snapping Central Catholic’s four-game winning streak in the series. 

Series leader (record): Central Catholic (14-10). 2013 score: South San 31, Central Catholic 24. 2014 favorite: Central Catholic.

#2 East Central (0-1) at New Braunfels Canyon (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

East Central lost a 59-56 shootout to San Marcos last Friday. The Hornets are employing the spread offense coach Clint Hartman wants to operate and had good success with it.

Quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns – two of them to exrlosive Wanya Ward (153 receiving yards).

Javion Polk (187 rushing yards) and newcomer Jauwan Hall (175 rushing yards) proved to be a dual threat out of the backfield. Upshaw-Mendoza also ran for 72 yards.

The young defense, which welcomed back just four starters, should be better with a game under its belt. The Hornets allowed 616 yards last year.

East Central amassed an unfathomable 807 yards and had five touchdowns of 30 yards or more. The Rattlers had six 30-yard-plus touchdowns.

New Braunfels Canyon had a late coaching change when former Southwest coach Matt Elliott departed. His replacement, Joe Moczygemba, was a longtime defensive coordinator at Smithson Valley, so the Cougars should improve defensively as the year progresses.

In a 34-0 loss to Round Rock Cedar Ridge last Friday, the Cougars gave up 424 total yards.

Canyon mustered just 130 total yards offensively. The Cougars struggled in the passing game, but receiver Kristian Drake could be a player to watch. Raynard Taylor is the featured back.

This should be a chance for East Central to get back on track.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: East Central.

#8 Edison (0-1) at Floresville (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

If Week 1 was an indication, this will be a low-scoring defensive battle.

Edison mustered just 150 total yards in a 13-7 loss to Pleasanton last Friday. On Saturday, Floresville prevailed 13-7 over Highlands.

The passing game is a crucial area in need of improvement for Edison after the opening loss. The Golden Bears completed just one of 20 throws for six yards against Pleasanton.

Edison will be trying to improve its numbers against a Floresville defense that limited Highlands to 122 yards.

After a strong opening week, the Golden Bears’ defense will need to keep Tigers quarterback Koby Wilkerson under wraps. The junior ran for 113 yards and threw for 111 against the Owls.

Alex Mermea is the Tigers’ top back. Luke Smith was Floresville’s leading receiver and one of its defensive standouts.

Edison back Michael Sanguino had a respectable first start with 64 yards.

Edison’s last win in what has become a traditional season opener was 26-23 in 2010. Pleasanton has won the last three meetings.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Floresville.

#3 Harlandale (1-0) at Somerset (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Harlandale’s defense, which limited Devine’s offense to seven points last Friday, will try to control another traditionally high-powered defense.

Somerset senior Koy Detmer Jr. threw for 2,292 yards last year and picked up where he left off in the Bulldogs’ opener. Despite passing for 328 yards and five touchdowns, Port Lavaca Calhoun defeated Somerset 60-41.

The Bulldogs’ Achilles heel may be a running game, which accounted for 165 yards. Detmer had 74 of those yards.

The Indians must keep Somerset from moving the chains on the ground, forcing Detmer to pass in obvious passing situations. If Harlandale can accomplish that, it has a chance to prevail in Somerset.

When Somerset throws, watch for Harlandale defenseive back Ramzey Martinez to step up.

Offensively, Harlandale should continue improving throughout the season. Junior lefty quarterback Jacob Delgado had a solid debut in a 17-7 win over Devine, efficiently throwing for 140 yards. Back John Aguirre (109 rushing yards) should keep the Indians steady on the ground.

The biggest question is whether Harlandale is capable of staying with Somerset if the game becomes a shootout. That hasn’t concerned the Indians in seasons past, but this is a younger Harlandale squad.

Based on Week 1, Harlandale’s best hope seems to be keeping it a reasonably low-scoring affair.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Somerset.

#7 Highlands (0-1) at Uvalde (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Highlands had difficulty getting its offense humming against a tough Floresville defense in a 13-7 loss last week. The Owls will need to be rolling from the start against Uvalde, which stopped McCollum three times in Coyotes territory during the first half.

The Owls only gained 122 total yards last Friday. One bright spot was senior back Quindon Boston, who ran for 52 yards and had a 17-yard reception.

Highlands, which has no shortage of receivers, only threw for 38 yards.

Uvalde’s offense runs through quarterback Jerry Almaraz, who ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the Coyotes’ 27-8 win over McCollum. Almaraz only threw for 51 yards, but that was largely because Uvalde stayed conservative with standout running back Zach Sanchez banged up.

Almaraz is similar to Floresville quarterback Koby Wilkerson, who had 224 yards of total offense against the Owls last week. If Sanchez is limited again, watch for McCrae Rutledge to have a bigger role.

If Sanchez is healthy, Uvalde will have a potentially explosive offense. Highlands, which held Floresville to 270 total yards, will need another solid defensive effort.

Series leader (record): tied (1-1). 2013 score: Uvalde 48, Highlands 21. 2014 favorite: Uvalde.

Lee (0-1) vs. #15 Jefferson (0-1) at Alamo Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Jefferson was solid in its first week against a powerhouse Antonian team, although the 41-17 score doesn’t indicate it.

As the Mustangs hope to put 2013 behind them, Lee should be a good test. The Volunteers lost a 41-35 shootout to Taft in their opener. With continued improvement defensively, Jefferson should have a shot at its first win of 2014.

Back Jesse Flores should be a big asset in that quest, after running for 148 yards against Antonian. Lee gave up 328 rushing yards to Taft’s Christian Mallard.

Jefferson quarterback Weston Redding threw for 49 yards last week, but should fare better against Lee. The Vols gave up 164 passing yards last week.

Watch for a big game from Jefferson receiver Henry Bocko.

Lee lacks a big-play back like Daniel Rosenfeld, who ran for 204 yards against the Mustangs. Volunteers quarterback Kyle Fuller, however, threw for 279 yards and four scores.

A good start will be vital for Jefferson, which trailed 14-0 after a quarter and 34-3 at halftime against Antonian.

The Mustangs haven’t won in the series since 1989.

Series leader (record): Lee (30-5). 2013 score: Lee 42, Jefferson 16. 2014 favorite: Lee.

#9 McCollum (0-1) vs. Victoria West (1-0) at Victoria Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

The key for McCollum is going to be how healty back Mike Ramirez and quarterback Ralph Vidal are.

Ramirez should be ready to go after gaining 82 yards in three quarters in the Cowboys’ 27-8 loss to Uvalde. McCollum was winning when he sustained a minor injury.

Vidal may take a few games to get back to form, but was effective last Friday despite being limited in mobility. The senior was efficient and demonstrated that Robert Salas will be a good go-to option when the Cowboys need a completion.

Jeff Valdez should watch his offensive role continue to grow throughout the season.

McCollum’s defense put together three strong quarters against a potent Uvalde offense. It will need to go hard for four quarters against Victoria West, which defeated a good Southwest team 26-14 last Friday.

West put the game out of reach with two fourth-quarter touchdowns from quick quarterback Gamarquis Girdy, who threw for 133 yards and ran for 151 after moving from wide receiver.

Malcolm Peoples is another Warrior to watch, after racking up 86 receiving yards aganst the Dragons. Southwest was able to keep limit back Zevaughn Shelton, a 1,300-yard rusher, to 44 yards.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Victoria West.

Memorial (0-1) at Pearsall (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Memorial began last season with a 31-14 win over Pearsall that announced its improvement. A win tonight at Pearsall might loom as large, for this young team. The Minutemen had a difficult time in their first outing, a 30-8 loss to Carrizo Springs in their first outing. The Wildcats outgained Memorial 387-104 in total yardage.

Memorial will need to make more time for quarterback Alfred Ramos to throw. Ramos, who is capable of 200-yard games, passed for 69 yards last week.

Two of the bright sports for the Minutemen were Greg Rosmond, who caught a 69-yard scoring pass from Ramos, and Jacob Martinez, who ran for 49 yards.

Pearsall is a stronger opponent than last season, with coach David Silva in his second season at the school.

Matt Hernandez and T.J. Navarro each rushed for more than 100 yards for the Mavericks. Memorial will need to tighten its run defense after allowing 215 rushing yards to Carrizo Springs.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: Memorial 31, Pearsall 14. 2014 favorite: Pearsall.

#13 Lanier (0-1) at Pleasanton (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Lanier had a frustrating opener against Central Catholic, losing 30-0 last Thursday in the first game at renovated Alamo Stadium.

The Voks had some scoring opportunities in the first half, but were unable to capitalize. As the game wore on, Lanier seemed to wear down and the Buttons got stronger.

For the young Voks, getting a taste of competition could help against a solid Pleasanton team. The Eagles defeated Edison 13-7 last Friday.

Junior Julian Castillo may have to carry Lanier’s offensive load again. However, if yardage-eating senior back Joe Orta returns to action, the Voks’ outlook brightens considerably.

Until first-year quarterback Jeremiah Esquivel finds his comfort zone, the Voks will need to control the ball to have a chance against Pleasanton.

The Eagles limited Edison to 144 total yards.

Pleasanton received 160 yards from workhorse back Anthony Leal. Some hope for Lanier stems from the fact that Edison was able to force four Eagles turnovers. Edison’s last win in what has become a traditional season opener was 26-23 in 2010. Pleasanton has won the last three meetings.

Series leader (record): Pleasanton (8-3). 2013 score: Pleasanton 42, Lanier 14. 2014 favorite: Pleasanton.

#11 Sam Houston (0-1) at #12 Southside (1-0), 7:30 p.m., Friday

Both teams are coming off strong opening games, although not much information has surfaced about Southside’s.

Sam Houston lost a heartbreaker at Bandera 21-15 last Friday, when the Bulldogs scored with just three seconds on the clock.

The much-improved Hurricanes had taken the lead on a long touchdown pass to sophomore Leontrey Thomas. Sam Houston coughed up a fumble and an interception in the final quarter, however, allowing the momentum to swing Bandera’s way.

Junior quarterback Raymonte Prime continues to show promise. Back Devin Harris has breakaway speed, as evidenced by his 50-yard touchdown run versus Bandera.

The Hurricanes offense was expected to be dangerous. The surprise was how strong their defense played, with just two returning starters.

As for Southside, its 36-13 win over Burbank was impressive – judging by the score alone.

And that’s about all we have to judge from. No scoring or statistical information from the game is available.

Southside junior Johnny Trevino returns with a year of experience and a chance to be an impact player. Sophomore back Matthew Collier is a player to watch.

That’s all I’ve got about the Cardinals. Hopefully, they’ll be less of a mystery after this week.

This game could very well go down to the wire.

Series leader (record): Sam Houston (2-1). 2013 score: Sam Houston 45, Southside 29. 2014 favorite: Southside.

Taft (1-0) at #5 Southwest (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

The Dragons lost a tough opening game 26-14 to Victoria West, but had some performances to build on.

Foremost among them was sophomore back Tyrone Middleton, who ran for 149 yards and a touchdown in his varsity debut. Veterans Jon Cruz and Reilly Riggs each added more than 60 rushing yards.

The Dragons will need to improve its passing game. Senior quarterback Bowen Crisp completed just two passes for eight yards.

Crisp must become more of a threat through the air for Southwest to keep defenses honest. With four returning linemen, expect that to materialize.

Defensively, the Dragons will need to slow down Taft’s Christian Mallard, but still respect the Red Raiders’ passing threat. Everything starts with Mallard, though.

Taft defeated Lee 41-35 in a shootout last weekend. Mallard ran for a whopping 328 yards. Christian DeHoyos passed for 164 yards.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Southwest.

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About Mike Considine (1267 Articles)
I started this blog as an extension of the sports stories I've been doing as an independent contractor for the Southside Reporter the past five years. I've been a sportswriter for more than 35 years, including two stints with the late, lamented San Antonio Light. I cover high school football for the San Antonio Express-News in the fall. My purpose, in creating this blog, is to shine a light on the athletic achievements of teams and athletes on the south side of San Antonio.

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