Over the past decade, the McCamey and Wink high school football teams have had one of the most competitive matchups in the Permian Basin.
The Badgers (3-2 overall, 1-0 District 5-1A Division II) may have prevailed in eight of the last 10 meetings, but nine of the games were decided by an average of less than six points.
Wink (3-2, 1-0) hasn’t come out on top in the series since consecutive victories in 2003 by a touchdown and 2004 by one point.
Tonight, the Wildcats travel to Badger Stadium looking to erase recent history and take the first of two district meetings this season.
“We just have to go in there thinking we’re going to win and keep that mindset,” Wink quarterback Riley Richardson said. “Just because we haven’t been able to beat McCamey in so long, we can’t be intimidated by the past years.”
Richardson along with backfield mates Jordan Sonnier and Jordan Williams, have Wink on a roll with three consecutive victories, including a district-opening 32-21 win over Iraan last week.
All three players are among the top rushers in the Permian Basin, as Wink is averaging 229.4 yards on the ground per game.
Overall the Wildcats rank third in total offense with 357.8 yards per game.
“We’ve been playing great these last few games,” Richardson said. “We’ve been getting better and better each week. I just hope we continue to get better so we can beat McCamey.”
The Badgers have been playing pretty well themselves, also entering the game with three consecutive wins.
McCamey went back to its run-oriented offense after flirting with a spread offense early in the season, which produced just seven points in the first two games.
Since the switch, the Badgers are 3-0 and have scored 100 points, including last week’s 20-7 victory over Van Horn to open district play.
“We are focused on getting better and better every game,” McCamey’s Jordan Zarate said. “I think it’s helped our confidence and boosted us up a little bit.”
The Badgers offensive numbers have steadily risen since going back to their “comfort zone.” McCamey has 1,259 yards of total offense through five games, more than 800 on the ground.
District 5-1A Division II is one of the few leagues in the state where each team will play each other twice.
As both teams enter tonight’s game off to 1-0 starts in the district race, Badgers head coach Chris McWilliams said starting 2-0 would be huge for either team.
“It’s different this year and there’s a different feel to it,” McWilliams said. “Even though you beat somebody once, you know you have to turn around and play them again. Whoever wins, you have an advantage just because of momentum.”
Wink head coach Andy Hrncir said the contest will likely be decided in the trenches, which is one of the Wildcats’ major focal points going into the game.
“We have to control the line of scrimmage” Hrncir said. “(McCamey) is a big, strong running football team and our kids know that we have to buckle it up and go. It’s going to be a physical football game. Hopefully by the end of the night, we’ll have more points than they do.”
Despite the fact that it’s still early in district play, neither team is looking past the importance of the first of the two meetings.
“It’s real important,” Sonnier said. “This is a big game and every team wants to go out and play big in a big game.”
McCamey’s Nathan Rosales said at the end of the night, it will all come down to one thing.
“This game is very important to us,” said Nathan Rosales, “I think it’s going to be a tough game, but a good game. We’ll see (tonight) what team wants it more.”