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FOOTBALL: Week 3 previews (Friday’s games)

# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking

FRIDAY

Boerne Champion (2-0, 0-0) vs. Memorial (0-2, 0-0) at Edgewood Veterans Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

And so the District 27-5A adventure begins for Memorial.

It will be a little bit like being tossed into the deep end of the pool, as Boerne Champion certainly is a playoff contender in the district.

The Chargers won each of their non-district games by virtually the same score. They downed Stevens 48-24 last Thursday.

Running back Travis Pospisil and receiver Cort Cowart have been Champion’s most publicized offensive players. Pospisil ran for 139 yards last week. Cowart caught three passes for 76 yards, but was topped by teammate Dillon Manz. Manz went for 102 yards and two touchdowns on just two receptions.

Champion junior quarterback Josh Green has thrown for 522 yards and nine touchdowns with just two interceptions. He accounted for 268 of those yards and five scores against Stevens.

Defensively, the Chargers gave up 396 yards to a balanced Falcons attack and 484 yards to Hays (two more than Champion gained) in their opener.

Memorial isn’t really equipped to engage in a shootout with the Chargers, even though its senior quarterback Alfred Ramos would welcome the idea.

Ramos has thrown for a respectable 353 yards so far, but has as many interceptions as touchdowns. Standout defender Jose Pargas has emerged as the leading receiver with an eye-popping 199 reception yards last week in a 56-34 loss to Pearsall. Pargas had touchdown receptions of 65 and 90 yards.

Jacob Martinez has 94 rushing yards this season, as he continues to grow into the featured back slot.

Strong improvement in the runnng game and avoiding turnovers are keys if Memorial is to make a solid showing against Champion.

Series leader (record): none, first meeting. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Boerne Champion.

Brooks Academy (1-1) at Cornerstone Christian (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Coming off its first win since 2011 – 44-6 over Hawkins last Friday – enthusiasm will be high for Brooks Academy. To keep the momentum rolling, the Bengals will need to keep Cornerstone Christian’s speed in check.

Quarterback Dennis Perales has been growing into the role nicely, scoring on the ground last week, in addition to well-executed scoring plays through the air. Michael Galata and Rafael Quezada also have proven to be threats. Marco Reyes could soon step forward.

Brooks Academy didn’t allow an offensive touchdown for the first time in its history last Friday. For a repeat performance, the Bengals will need to do a solid job against the pitch-and-catch combo of Ryan Huerta (291 passing yards) and Davon Collins (146 yards, 6 receptions).

The Bengals will need to keep the pressure on Huerta, who has thrown for four touchdowns with just one interception. Brooks put up a good pass rush against Hawkins.

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

#14 Burbank (1-1, 0-0) vs. #9 Sam Houston (0-2, 0-0) at Alamo Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Burbank recorded a hard-fought win over Kennedy last week, the type that has so far eluded Sam Houston.

The Bulldogs edged Kennedy 38-33 last Friday on the Rockets’ field. Rubyn Salazar scored the game-winner with 6:28 remaining.

Sam Houston has been outscored just 36-29 in its two games. Bandera scored the winning touchdown with three seconds to play in Week 1. Last Friday, Southside nipped Sam Houston 15-14 with a field goal when fewer than three minutes remained.

For the clock to become Sam Houston’s ally in the District 28-5A opener for both teams, the Hurricanes must win the fourth quarter and they should become better in that regard as their juniors gain experience.

That likelihood probably hinges on its ability to keep Burbank quarterback Daniel Tello under wraps as much as possible. Finally healthy after two injury plagued seasons, Tello ran for 194 yards and passed for 175 against Kennedy.

Salazar and Daniel Gonzales could see increased duty running the ball, as Sam Houston has a bit more defensive speed to deal with Tello than Kennedy. Jordan Santos produced 110 receiving yards, including a 67-yard touchdown, and 47 rushing yards versus the Rockets. The Bulldogs undoubtedly will look for ways to get the ball into his hands.

For Sam Houston, junior quarterback Raymonte Prime will need to become more proficent throwing the ball. Against Southside, he only completed one pass. But Dewayne Brown turned the reception into a 53-yard touchdown.

Devin Harris has been a solid back in the last two games as a starter. He gained 158 yards and scored on a 71-yard gallop last week.

Sam Houston’s defense has shown great improvement. The unit limited Southside to just 192 total yards. Burbank has looked a little stronger offensively, so the Hurricanes defense could use a bit more assistance and fewer turnovers from its offense.

The Bulldogs’ last win in the series was 8-6 in 2000. Sam Houston has won the last seven games.

Series leader (record): Sam Houston (31-3). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Sam Houston.

#1 East Central (1-1) at Smithson Valley (0-2), 7:30 p.m.

East Central walks into a proverbial hornets nest (pun intended), playing on the road against a Smithson Valley team unaccustomed to and, certainly, unhappy about being 0-2.

The Rangers haven’t slipped. They’ve lost to quality opponents.

Midland defeated Smithson Valley 33-26 in Week 1. Brennan shocked many by thumping the Rangers 41-10 before a TV audience last Thursday.

Smithson Valley only mustered 220 total yards and gave up 368 to Midland in its opener. Cord Given ran for 97 yards, but the Rangers tossed up three interceptions. Smithson Valley had another against Brennan, while allowing

At quarterback, Josh Adkins ran for a team-best 73 yards and threw for 137. Derek Housler caught two passes for 86 yards.

After losing a season-opening shootout to San Marcos, East Central turned up the defense last Friday to stomp New Braunfels Canyon 21-6 last Friday. The Cougars’ only touchdown was scored on a first-quarter punt return.

Javion Polk and Jauwan Hall have given East Central a formidable 1-2 punch coming out of the backfield. Justin Upshaw-Mendoza is a dual-threat quarterback.

Kyle Lamey racked up 148 receiving yards.

With a high-powered offense, the Hornets had to be thrilled by holding Canyon to 85 total yards. East Central, which always has quality defensive backs, made two interceptions, which should concern Smithson Valley.

Series leader (record): Smithson Valley (3-0). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Smithson Valley.

Jefferson (0-2, 0-0) vs. #6 Harlandale (1-1, 0-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

These are two teams searching for an identity.

After a disappointing 40-15 loss to Somerset and its potent offense, Harlandale will be looking for more consistency, on both sides of the line. The Indians defense kept Devine to seven points in its opener and should be capable of getting back on track in its first District 28-5A game.

Harlandale also has the assets it needs on offense in quarterback Jacob Delgado, receiver Ian Martinez and back John Aguirre.

Jefferson took it on the chin last Friday 55-10 from Lee and QB Kyle Fuller, who threw for 595 yards and six touchdowns. The Mustangs actually limited the Volunteers to -10 rushing yards.

Offensively, the Mustangs couldn’t overcome four turnovers, despite an outstanding game from Jesse Flores. Flores ran for 133 of the team’s 286 total yards and is averaging more than 140 yards through the first two games.

Better execution in the passing game and improvement on defense are essential if Jefferson is to defeat Harlandale for the first time since 1962.

Jefferson won the first three games in the series, which launched in 1938. Harlandale has a seven-game winning streak in the series, which hasn’t been contested since 1999.

Series leader (record): Harlandale (7-3). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Somerset.

#15 Kennedy (0-2, 0-0) at Alamo Heights (1-1, 0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Like its sister school, Memorial, Kennedy has not received a break from the District 27-5A schedule.

Actually, the Rockets have it a little tougher on paper. Alamo Heights was the preseason district favorite and hasn’t damaged that status.

The Mules lost 34-24 to O’Connor last Friday in a meeting of powerhouses, after shutting out New Braunfels in their opener.

Dalton Banks, Alamo Heights’ offensive leader, is one of the best quarterbacks in the San Antonio area. He has thrown for 573 yards and leads the Mules in rushing.

The ground game hasn’t been very successful so far, but the Rockets’ key will be putting pressure on Banks in the pocket and forcing him to settle for secondary receivers, rather than his intended targets.

Defensively, the Mules held New Braunfels to 247 total yards.

Kennedy gained 313 against Burbank in a 38-33 loss last Friday.

Kennedy’s Jesus Hernandez ran for 92 yards against the Bulldogs after gaining 100 in his first start. Raul Hale also is a viable option out of the backfield.

Eric Lira threw for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

Kennedy will need to be multifaceted in its attack to keep it reasonably close against Alamo Heights. The Mules have won all six games in the series. The teams met most recently in 2007.

Series leader (record): Alamo Heights (6-0). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Alamo Heights.

#12 McCollum (0-2, 0-0) vs. #13 Lanier (0-2, 0-0) at SAISD Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Once again, the key for McCollum is going to be the health of back Mike Ramirez and quarterback Ralph Vidal.

For Lanier, the return of every-down back Joe Orta will be key.

Without, or with lesser game-breaking ability from those playmakers,

McCollum only has scored 14 points this year, while giving up 79. That feels like an aberration, but it should be noted that Victoria West and Uvalde are likely playoff teams.

The Cowboys gained 119 yards, including 75 from Vidal through the air, in a 52-6 loss to Victoria West last Friday. Ramirez was not able to play because of a Week 1 injury.

Lanier has only scored six points in two games, while allowing a respectable 45.

Junior Julian Castillo ran for 43 yards after totaling 84 in Week 1. Passing has been an issue for the Voks, who only allowed 183 total yards to Pleasanton in a 15-6 loss last Friday.

Lanier only managed to gain 71.

McCollum has won the last 11 in the series, but the teams haven’t played since 1995. Lanier’s last win was in 1967.

Series leader (record): McCollum (14-3). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: McCollum.

#4 South San (2-0) vs. MacArthur (0-2) at Comalander Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

MacArthur has lost two games by eight points, while South San has found ways to win in outscoring their opponents 28-13. The Bobcats scored twice in little more than four minutes last Friday to seal a 14-6 win over Central Catholic.

An aggressive, opportunistic defense and a ball-control ballgame have been the hallmarks for South San so far. They will need to support the Bobcats again to ward off a hungry Brahmas team.

An added bonus emerged down the stretch of the Central Catholic game as Bobcats quarterback Isaiah Gutierrez was able to engineer drives built on short passes. If receivers Rafael Lopez and Tyrell Courtney make plays downfield, it will bode well for South San.

MacArthur is coming off a 41-34 overtime loss to Clemens last Saturday that proved it can be a handful.

Brahmas quarterback Josh Jung threw for 244 yards. Isiah Dennis ran for two touchdowns and caught a short pass for another.

The teams previously have only played in the playoffs. Those meetings, each won by the Brahmas, were in 1975, 1990 and 1998. 

Series leader (record): MacArthur (3-0)2013 score: South San 31, Central Catholic 24. 2014 favorite: South San.

#7 Southside (2-0) at Austin Travis (0-2) at House Park Stadium, Austin, 7:30 p.m.

Southside has been the area’s most surprising team so far. Now they’ll have the test of a playoff-length road trip to Austin.

Southside’s offense has thrived behind sophomore back Matthew Collier, who rushed for 90 yards in the 15-14 win over Sam Houston last Friday. Johnny Trevino and Marc Garza have split quarterback duties.

Defense, though, has been the key for the Cardinals. Southside has outscored its opponents by 24 points thus far with a unit led by linebacker Diego Avila. Avila even caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in the win over Sam Houston.

Austin Travis has allowed 115 points in its first two games while scoring 48. Fredericksburg defeated the Rebells 48-35 last Friday.

Travis is not to be underestimated. The Rebels outscored the Billies 28-20 in the second half and feature Vondell Hargrove and his 4.4 speed at quarterback. Hargrove ran for 153 yards and passed for 64. Eric Strait added 130 rushing yards.

Series leader (record): none, first meeting2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Southside.

Series leader (record): none, first meeting2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Southside.

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About Mike Considine (1398 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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