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FOOTBALL: Week 7 previews (Friday’s games)

# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking

FRIDAY

Boerne Champion (6-0, 4-0) vs. Kennedy (0-5, 0-3) at Edgewood Veterans Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

It’s all downhill for Kennedy – after this game.

By game’s end, the Rockets will have faced each of District 27-5A’s powerhouses. That’s not to say next Friday’s game at Lockhart will be much easier.

As for the task at hand, first place Boerne Champion has been perhaps a little tougher than anticipated. The Chargers are the district’s last undefeated team after defeating Kerrville Tivy 42-33 last Friday.

The Rockets played Tivy the previous Friday, losing 64-7 in Kerrville.

Nicholas ran for 94 yards and scored Kennedy’s touchdown on a 12-yard run.

Offensively, the Rockets mustered 75 total yards and lost three turnovers. The Antlers compiled 348 total yards.

Against Tivy, Chargers quarterback Alex Flores threw for 222 yards, but with three interceptions. Standout back Travis Pospisil, though, produced 220 rushing yards and two touchdown. Flores also ran for a pair of touchdowns.

Cort Cowart is a dangerous receiver.

Tivy outgained Champion 560-539, so the beseiged Rockets defense has another big test ahead of it.

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

#7 Brackenridge (3-3, 3-1) vs. #10 Burbank (3-2, 2-1) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

This shapes up as another tight Burbank-Brackenridge game, like last year’s in which the Eagles prevailed 26-21.

Burbank has been getting stronger since entering district play, particularly on defense and in its ground game as Rubyn Salazar has emerged. A solid offensive line has been the foundation

The Bulldogs limited Jefferson to 14 points through three quarters last Saturday, but didn’t finish as strong as they would have liked. They can’t afford to let the effort flag at any point against an explosive Brackenridge team that will feel it has something to prove after a 40-25 loss to Sam Houston last Friday.

The Eagles will need to improve in their special teams after giving up two touchdowns in that area. Like all defenses facing Burbank, they’ll need to keep elusive Bulldogs quarterback Daniel Tello contained.

Offensively, Sam Houston’s speedy defensive front prevented Brackenridge from establishing its running game. The Eagles should get back on track this week behind Trey Mathis and Macco Marble.

Antonio Lopez has been the district’s best quarterback and Lee Terrell its best reliever.

The Bulldogs will need to establish the run early so that Tello can be effective in play-action.

Brackenridge has won the last seven games in the series. Despite being in two of the last four games to the wire, Burbank hasn’t recorded a win since 2006. However, the Bulldogs won on the field in 2008, a victory they later forfeited

Series leader (record): Brackenridge (24-7). 2013 score: Brackenridge 26, Burbank 21. 2014 favorite: Brackenridge.

Corpus Christi Carroll (5-0, 0-0) at #4 East Central (2-3, 0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Two weeks ago, East Central stayed within striking range until the fourth quarter, then pulled out a 34-24 win in Del Rio.

The Hornets have to hope that momentum held through their bye week.

Corpus Christi Carroll is the favorite as the teams launch their District 28-6A seasons. The undefeated Tigers have their best team in several seasons.

Carroll has scored more than 50 points in their last three games.

Hornets senior quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza is coming off the best passing game of his career. He threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.

For Upshaw-Mendoza to be effective against Carroll, the Hornets need to re-establish their running game. Del Rio held both Javion Polk and Jauwan Hall to less than 15 rushing yards.

Hornets quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza completed 11 of 21 passes but wasn’t able to get the ball to playmaker Wanya Ward.

Watch for Javion Polk to have a big game running the ball.

Carroll quarterback Jesse Jones has thrown for 579 yards with just one interception. Tigers back Noah Lisk is approaching the 1,000 mark in rushing yards.

East Central’s defense will need to build on that fourth-quarter performance in Del Rio.

The Hornets have a four-game winning streak in the series. Carroll’s last victory was in 2009.

Series leader (record): tied (5-5). 2013 score: East Central 31, Corpus Christi Carroll 28. 2014 favorite: Corpus Christi Carroll.

Corpus Christi King (4-1, 0-0) at #3 Southwest (2-3, 0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Each of the local District 28-6A teams plays a Corpus Christi school in the opening week. The three Corpus teams are a combined 14-1.

Southwest may have the best chance to garner a Week 1 win.

The Dragons may have turned the season around in the last two weeks as senior Jonathan Cruz has asserted himself as a go-to, every-down back. He has been the tonic Southwest needed in the absence of explosive sophomore Tyrone Middleton.

Cruz ran for a mind-boggling 321 yards against Eagle Pass as the Dragons won 54-44. Reilly Riggs added 103 yards. Bowen Crisp only needed to throw four times, but manufactured 82 passing yards.

Defensively, Southwest must get enough stops to keep King from racking up more points than it can counter.

King has won four in a row since losing its opener to Corpus Christi Flour Bluff. The Mustangs bounced back to score a season-high 66 points against CC Moody. During the streak, they’ve outscored opponents 194-13, but the caliber of competition has been somewhat suspect.

The Mustangs are averaging 185 rushing yards and 41.4 points a game. Tristian Price has run for 686 yards. First-year starting quarterback Spencer Manuel has passed for 505.

Last year’s game was a defensive struggle. Expect significantly more points this time around, unless the Dragons decide that they absolutely have to slow King’s offense down.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: Southwest 14, Corpus Christi King 9. 2014 favorite: Southwest .

#9 Edison (2-3, 2-1) vs. #12 Lanier (1-5, 1-3) at Alamo Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Both teams have resuscitated their playoff hopes in the last week or two.

Lanier previously had been a hard-luck team – a 15-14 loss to Jefferson stands out – but the Voks impressed in a 28-24 win over Highlands last Thursday.

Edison has won two in a row after taking it on the chin in the second half against Brackenridge. The Golden Bears opened some eyes with a 31-21 win over Harlandale.

Senior quarterback Jonathan Hernandez has been coming into his own in his second year as a starter. The run-pass threat accounted for 231 total yards against Harlandale.

David Sanchez has emerged as Hernandez’s favorite target. On the ground, Livan Hernandez responded well to additional work, giving Lanier’s defense three ballcarriers to be aware of.

Defensively, Lanier has gained effectiveness as the 1-2 running punch of Joe Orta and Julian Castillo has greatly limited its need to be on the field. The Voks offensive line has made impressive growth this year, especially in its ability to sustain long drives when they’re needed most.

This stacks up as more of a bend-but-don’t break game, rather than a defensive struggle. The winner may well be the team that wins the time of possession, which means avoiding the killer turnovers both teams have dealt with at times.

Should be a very interesting game and one with playoff implications, between two well-coached and improving teams.

Lanier has won three of the last four in the series, with Edison winning in 2012. Series leader (record): Edison (25-12-1). 2013 score:  Lanier 35, Edison 14. 2014 favorite: Edison.

George West (1-5, 0-0) vs. Brooks Academy (1-5, 0-0) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

This stacks up as Brooks Academy’s best chance for a district win, especially because it will be played on the Bengals’ adopted home field.

Brooks takes a four-game losing streak into its District 15-3A Divsion I opener. Last Friday, the Bengals fell 51-0 in Cotulla.

Brooks still is seeming to find the pieces to complement senior quarterback Dennis Perales on offense.

George West also has a four-game losing streak, but is coming off a 16-15 loss to rebuilding small-school power Falls City. The Longhorns took the lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold it.

Dennis Naylor is George West’s leading rusher.

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

#13 Jefferson (1-5, 1-3) vs. McCollum (1-4, 1-2) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

The biggest factor in this game may be whether or not McCollum has put its internal strife behind it after a difficult bye week.

The Cowboys welcomed back featured back Mike Ramirez in their last game, an 18-7 loss to Burbank. Ramirez is a proven touchdown-producer, both on passing and running plays.

The Cowboys also have senior three-year starter Ralph Leal, who has been increasingly effective as he returns to health. Unfortunately, McCollum lost speedy Jeff Valdez and still is looking for someone to step up as a go-to receiver.

Two weeks in a row, including last Saturday’s 46-34 loss to Burbank, Jefferson has played its best in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, both outcomes were determined at that point.

What can’t be knocked down is that Jefferson has been improving during district season, especially on the offensive line and defense. That has taken some of the pressure off Mustangs quarterback Weston Redding, and he has responded in kind.

With the potent 1-2 backfield combo of Jesse Flores and Eric Flores a given, the Mustangs also have an edge over McCollum with the deep-threat capabilities Henry Bocko, Drew Lopez and Eric Flores present.

Jefferson would be well-advised to get the early lead and keep McCollum’s defense from swarming. Limiting turnovers, which the Cowboys have shown a capability to capitalize on, and penalties will be vital for both teams.

Series leader (record): McCollum (12-3). 2013 score: BuMcCollum 35, Jefferson 0. 2014 favorite: Jefferson.

#2 Southside (5-0, 2-0) at Somerset (3-1, 2-0), 7:30 p.m.

Timing seems to be working against undefeated Southside.

This is the game many area fans have been anticipating for a few weeks, both as a test of strength for Southside and its potential impact on the District 29-5A race (in which Uvalde also will be a factor).

An injury to second-year starting quarterback Johnny Trevino in the first half of last Friday’s 14-6 win over Laredo Nixon has put increasing pressure on both his replacement, , and the Cardinals’ featured back, Matt Collier (711 rushing yards).

The challenge for Southside’s defense will be keeping pressure on standout quarterback Koy Detmer Jr. (938 passing yards, 1 interception), but not allowing quick back Joshua Avila (525 rushing yards) from finding holes or making himself available for screens.

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

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About Mike Considine (1265 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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