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FOOTBALL: Week 4 previews (Friday’s games)

# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking

FRIDAY

Brooks Academy (1-2) at St. Mary’s Hall (3-0), 7:30 p.m.

St. Mary’s Hall will be the toughest challenge yet for Brooks Academy.

Barons quarterback Gus Rowland is a run-pass threat who scored on runs of 2 and 54 yards in last Friday’s 13-6 win over TMI. Thomas Casey, Deion Locklear and Jesse Llamas also are runners to watch. Rowland’s favorite targets include Jordon Miller, Joe Alcido and Joe Heath.

The Bengals will need a big game from quarterback Dennis Perales and its defense on the heels of a 50-6 loss to Cornerstone Christian last Friday. Brooks Academy mustered just 125 total yards, 85 on passes from Perales, so re-establishing the ground game in its multiple attack will be a key priority.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: St. Mary’s Hall.

Devine (1-2) at #5 Central Catholic (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

The Buttons unveiled a new offensive wrinkle last Saturday in a 35-19 win over Holmes.

Senior quarterback Joseph Nava threw for 342 yards and five touchdowns. Joseph Barrera, Troy Lozano and William Prouse combined for 15 catches and 244 reception yards. Coupled with the backfield combination of Jimin Suh and emerging Thomas Palomera, and Nava’s running ability, Central Catholic should be able to keep Devine’s defense off balance.

Defense has been the Warhorses strongest asset this season, although the offense put up 28 points on Brackenridge. Laredo Johnson defeated Devine 14-2 last week.

Although the offense doesn’t seem to have clicked yet, Devine put up 290 total yards against Johnson.

Quarterback Hunter DuBose can run and pass effectively. He threw for 100 yards and ran for 59 in the Warhorses’ third game. Reagan Anderson was Devine’s top receiver with seven catches for 78 yards.

Central Catholic will need to keep DuBose in check defensively. The Buttons limited Holmes to 160 total yards last week, but allowed the Huskies to climb back into the game in the second half.

They’ll need a more consistent effort this Friday.

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

#12 Edison (0-3, 0-1) vs. #11 Highlands (0-2, 0-0) at Alamo Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Edison made forward strides offensively in public last week during a loss to Brackenridge, while Highlands may have made its improvements in private.

In a 48-31 loss to Brackenridge, Edison unveiled sophomore back Matthew Garcia, who ran for 145 yards on 30 tries. Garcia’s presence allowed the Golden Bears to open up their no-huddle offense and took some pressure off senior quarterback Jonathan Hernandez, who had been Edison’s top running threat.

Bryan Bolton also stepped forward for Edison as a deep receiving threat.

Although the Golden Bears’ offense should be more potent six days later, its defense needs to make similar gains. Edison did an admirable job against Brackenridge’s high-powered offense in the early stages of the game, as the Bears scored the first three touchdowns.

In the second half, though, the Eagles wore Edison down. The Golden Bears will need four good quarters against a Highlands defense that stacks up as a little stronger than Brack’s.

The Owls limited Floresville to a touchdown in a 13-7 loss but wasn’t as impressive in a 42-29 loss to Uvalde, which runs a similar offense to Edison’s.

Senior back Quindon Boston is averaging about six yards per carry for Highlands. The Owls need to give him more help in the passing game, which certainly was a point of emphasis for coach Bert Lopez and his staff in the past week.

It will be interesting to see what Highlands comes up with offensively after a week to prepare for Edison.

Series leader (record): Highlands (19-11-1). 2013 score: Highlands 35, Edison 7. 2014 favorite: Uvalde.

Floresville (2-1, 0-1) vs. Kennedy (0-3, 0-1) at Edgewood Veterans Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Floresville is a familiar foe in a new district for Kennedy.

The Rockets have shown improvement in their first three games under new coach Michael Insco, but this will be a tough assignment. However, it’s one of the District 27-5A games they have a chance to win, so a Kennedy team in need of its first victory must step up to the plate.

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

The Rockets were overwhelmed 41-0 by Alamo Heights last Friday in their district opener, but showed spunk in a 38-33 loss to Burbank a week earlier.

Jesus Hernandez ran for 92 yards in that game and Raul Hale went for 63 on three carries. Being able to run the ball consistently could be a huge factor for the Rockets.

The passing game is a work in progress. Kennedy mustered just 40 total yards and 29 passing yards while completing five of 15 throws. Quarterback Eric Lira threw for 115 against the Bulldogs and needs to at least match that to keep Floresville’s defense honest.

A word of caution. Kennedy allowed Burbank quarterback Daniel Tello to ring up 368 yards of total offense. Floresville quarterback Koby Wilkerson plays a similar style and the Rockets must do a better job of containment.

Wilkerson has run for a team-best 535 yards this year and thrown for 231, but he proved last year that he’s capable of throwing when needed.

Luke Smith is Floresville’s leading receiver (107 reception yards) and one of its defensive standouts.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: Floresville 7, Kennedy 0. 2014 favorite: Floresville.

#1 Holy Cross (1-1) at Hondo (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

Holy Cross has had a week to prepare for life without quarterback Cisco Flores, at least temporarily.

Sophomore Steven Gutierrez will play his first full game under center after getting three quarters in relief of Flores in the Knights’ 30-0 loss to Antonian Sept. 6. By the fourth quarter, Gutierrez appeared more comfortable in his role and was able to hit some short passes.

However, Holy Cross will need to rely heavily on senior back Greg Scott and a veteran defense.

Holy Cross’ defense gave up 300 yards to the Apaches after a strong showing against San Antonio Christian. The Knights will need to get back on track against a solid Hondo offense.

The Owls are coming off a 27-21 win in their rivalry game against Medina Valley. Their only loss was 38-22 in the opening week to a Boerne team that routed Antonian Thursday.

Quarterback Carson Stoner has thrown for 496 yards so far, but with four touchdowns. Holy Cross must keep a strong pass rush on and be opportunisitc.

All-state linebacker Jon Koch leads Hondo’s defense.

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

Lee (2-1) at #6 South San (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

What we have here is heralded Lee quarterback Kyle Fuller versus South San’s swarming defense.

Central Catholic coach Marcus Booker wanted to test his team against Northeast ISD 6A squads and the ever-improving Volunteers should live up to expectations. The Bobcats will need to apply lessons learned in last Friday’s 42-14 loss to MacArthur.

The Bobcats fell behind the Brahmas 21-7 in the first half and never could catch up. They gave up 420 total yards, as quarterback Josh Jung completed 10 of 13 passes for 223 yards in a balanced MacArthur offense.

Fuller already has thrown for 1,064 yards with 14 touchdowns and just one interception. Back Sammy Davis is effective enough to keep defenses honest, but the quarterback and his receiving corps will be the primary concern. Sergio Solis has been a possession receiver. Fuller looks to Mark Sullivan and Chris Adams to stretch the field.

Southwest’s defense held Fuller below 50 percent accuracy, but he still threw four touchdown passes and amassed 191 yards in a 42-27. South San will aim to be more effective, as it doesn’t have the Dragons’ quick-strike capability.

The Bobcats have thrown effectively with Isaiah Gutierrez at times, but only completed one pass for two yards against MacArthur. Keeping drives alive with short passes will be a necessity while Gutierrez, Willie Sanchez and Justin Acosta must improve on the Bobcats’ 138 rushing yards versus the Brahmas.

Series leader (record): tied (1-1). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Lee.

Memorial (0-3, 0-1) at Lockhart (3-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Memorial had a rough introduction to District 27-5A last Friday in a 42-2 loss to Boerne Champion. Undefeated Lockhart will be no picnic either.

The Lions scored 90 points in their first two games, before prevailing 14-13 in a defensive struggle at Seguin in their 27-5A debut.

The Minutemen will try to slow Lockhart’s two-pronged running attack of Curtis Hawkins and D.J. Ellison. Each is averaging more than 100 yards a game. The Matadors held Hawkins to 76 rushing yards last week, but Ellison went for 163.

The Lions seem to only throw when they need to. They had four attempts against Seguin.

Defensively, Lockhart only allowed Seguin 229 total yards and kept them scoreless after falling behind 13-0 less than four minutes into the second quarter.

Memorial has been a little too reliant on its passing game, behind veteran quarterback Alfred Ramos would welcome the idea.

Ramos has thrown for a respectable 353 yards so far, but has as many interceptions as touchdowns. Jose Pargas (258 reception yards) and Greg Rosemond (131 yards) have been solid receivers.

Further growth from back Jacob Martinez will be needed as Memorial gets deeper into its district schedule..

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

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

East Central never really got out of the starting gate in the lightning delayed 39-3 loss to a motivated Smithson Valley team. Reagan will be no less of a challenge for the Hornets.

The Rattlers have thumped two consecutive opponents after falling 28-23 in a barnburner of an opener against O’Connor.

Quarterback Kellen Mond is the Rattler to watch, with 301 passing yards and 271 yards on the ground. Reagan has a veteran line and no shortage of weapons, all of which helped it to compile 369 total yards in a 42-14 win over Warren last Friday.

Skyler Wetzel contributed more than 10 yards a carry while compiling 167 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

East Central back Jauwon Hall ran for 90 yards against Smithson Valley, but was one of East Central’s few bright spots.

The Hornets gained 232 total yards. They must find ways to get the ball to explosive Wanya Ward, who had one catch for five yards. The Rangers geared up to stop featured back Javion Polk and Reagan can be expected to as well.

East Central will need a big night from quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza in addition to a solid ground game if it is to prevail.

After holding New Braunfels Canyon to 85 total yards. East Central allowed Smithson Valley to produce 457. The Hornets will need a stronger showing against an even more balanced Rattlers offense.

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

#9 Sam Houston (1-2, 1-0) vs. #10 McCollum (1-2, 1-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

If McCollum has Mike Ramirez in the lineup, this will be a much different game. Otherwise, the scales tip to Sam Houston, after the Hurricanes notched a 26-6 win over Burbank last Friday in its District 28-5A opener.

The Hurricanes finished with 303 total yards, 86 from back Devin Harris. A welcome development was an 155-yard passing performance from junior quarterback Raymonte Prime. Achieving that kind of offensive balance elevates the Hurricanes.

The defense had been ahead of the offense in Sam Houston’s first two games. It remained solid, holding the Bulldogs to 196 yards and preventing senior leader Daniel Tello from having a big game.

McCollum also has been led by its defense. Lanier was only able to muster 191 total yards and a late fourth-quarter score in the Cowboys’ 19-7 win last Friday. The big factor was that Noe Trevino and Alex Herrera each returned fumbles for touchdowns, which would have produced a victory by itself.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they only gained 175 yards without Ramirez. On the plus side, Edward Mora and Rudy Anthony now have been indoctrinated to varsity play.

The saving grace was quarterback Ralph Vidal, who threw for a season-best 193 yards and ran the ball a bit more as he returns to health. Expect Vidal and receivers Robert Salas and Allen Ojeda to build on that performance.

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

#4 Southwest (1-2) at Del Rio (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

It’s hard to get a handle the Dragons, after losing to their two strongest opponents, Lee and Victoria West by two touchdowns apiece.

It’s a good sign that a young Southwest team kept those games close but, with their talent, they need to be able to get over the hump.

Del Rio doesn’t seem to be the same caliber of opponent, but the Rams do have speed. They lost 36-0 to San Angelo, but bounced back to hammer Holmes 41-7.

Quarterback Steven Salinas completed 19 of 29 throws for 262 yards and six touchdowns, so the Dragons will need to do a better job of pressuring the quarterback. Shane Cramer had three receiving touchdowns and Gaston Flores had two.

No Ram rushed for more than 26 yards, so that will simplify the Dragons’ task defensively.

In the 42-27 loss to Lee, Southwest put up 405 yards of total offense, but allowed Lee to score five unanswered touchdowns and put the game out of reach in the second half. The Dragons had led 21-7 before Volunteers quarterback Kyle Fuller (191 passing yards) got rolling.

On the plus side, senior quarterback Bowen Crisp completed 10 of 16 passes for a career-best 159 yards. That bodes extremely well for the Dragons moving forward.

Jon Cruz carried the ball 31 times, emerging as an every down back with 120 rushing yards. Sophomore Tyrone Middleton added 101 yards.

Defensively, the Dragons gave up 345 yards.

Mostly, though, it comes down to fine tuning for the Dragons, as they prepare for the district season. Finishing strong will be the top priority.

The Rams essentially are coming off a bye week. They faced Holmes Sept. 5. Their Sept. 12 game against Jay was canceled because of lightning.

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

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About Mike Considine (1287 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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