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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area Notebook for Sept. 24 - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area Notebook for Sept. 24

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Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 11:11 pm

The Balmorhea football team has been on a bit of a redemption tour the past two weeks.

On Sept. 13, the Bears hosted Garden City in a matchup of the No. 2 (Balmorhea) and No. 9 (Garden City) teams in Class 1A Division I.

The Bearkats defeated Balmorhea twice last season, the second victory coming in the state quarterfinals to end the Bears’ season.

This year, Balmorhea earned payback in a big way, defeating the visitors 68-22 to erase the memories of a season ago.

The Bears, however, had bigger fish to fry last week.

Friday, Balmorhea boarded the bus and made the trip to Borden County, more than 200 miles away.

Traveling the same distance from the opposite direction was No. 5 McLean, the defending Class 1A Division I state champion — the same Tigers’ program that manhandled the Bears, 58-0, during the 2018 regular season.

Things are different in 2019.

Ranked No. 1 entering the matchup, the Bears retained that spot following a 48-35 victory against McLean, handing the Tigers’ their first loss since the state quarterfinals on Dec. 2, 2017, a span of 20 games.

Balmorhea gets to stay much closer to home this week when it travels to face Grandfalls-Royalty at 7:30 p.m. Friday at John S. White Stadium. It’s another matchup of top teams as the host Cowboys, also 4-0 this season, are averaging 71 points per game.

Grandfalls-Royalty is ranked seventh in the state in the Class 1A Division II poll put out by sixmanfootball.com

>> LID LIFTERS: While most the Permian Basin-based teams have at least one more nondistrict game this season, the schools of District 1-4A Division II (Fort Stockton, Pecos, Monahans, Greenwood, Lamesa, Snyder, Sweetwater) kick off their chase to the playoffs this week.

Fort Stockton (4-0) travels to face Pecos at 7 p.m. at Rotary Field, with the Panthers coming off a 60-0 victory against San Angelo Lake View, while Pecos (2-2) evened its record with a 25-6 victory against Big Spring.

Greenwood (4-0), behind the play of quarterback Weston Wilber, running back Trey Cross and wide receiver Brody Ray, is on the road against Sweetwater (1-3). The Rangers defeated Seminole, 38-7, in their final nondistrict tuneup.

Monahans (0-4) also is on the road, heading to Lamesa (0-4) in a matchup of teams trying to find some positives after nondistrict struggles.

>> RUNNING AMOK: The Van Horn running game was in full bloom Friday against Anthony.

The Eagles (2-2) carried the ball 49 times for 447 yards and seven touchdowns in the 67-7 victory, with a trio of running back averaging nearly a first down (9.1 yards) every time they touched the ball.

Joshua Mendez was the workhorse on the evening, the senior running back finishing with 26 carries for 206 yards and two touchdowns.

Rudy Estrada was the most productive, rushing 12 times for 120 yards and four touchdowns.

Aaron Urias, not to be outdone by his teammates, had the highest average-per-carry (14.4 yards) after eight rushes for 115 yards and one touchdown.

The Eagles stay at home this week against Seagraves at 7:30 p.m. at Eagles Stadium.

>> BEST OF THE REST: Denver City (4-0) sits atop the District 1-3A Division standings, the only team in the district with a victory. Seminole (3-1) suffered its first loss of the season last week against Greenwood and the Indians will be looking to re-establish their dominant running game against their geographical rivals with a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday at Wigwam Stadium.

Kermit has been competitive in each of its games so far this season, but the Yellow Jackets (0-3) still are searching for their first victory. It doesn’t get any easier as they go on the road to face Alpine (2-2) at 7:30 Friday p.m. at Buck Stadium. Alpine got back in the win column last week with a 30-13 victory against Wink.

In Class 1A Division I play, fourth-ranked Rankin (4-0) is set to make the short drive to face No. 29 Garden City (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. at Bearkat Stadium. The Red Devils, fresh off a 68-6 victory against No. 12 Westbrook, are one of three undefeated teams in District 7-1A Division I.

The other two are top-ranked Balmorhea and No. 48 Fort Davis, which will be hosting No. 43 Barksdale Nueces Canyon at 6 p.m. at Bart Coan Field. The Indians (4-0) defeated Fort Hancock 46-20 last week and are enjoying a strong start under new head coach Curtis Pittman.

Odessa, TX

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