The Clements Rangers are having their best start in over a decade, while the Dulles Vikings are looking to start 3-1 for the second time in four years.
Both football teams have had a heavy focus on the running game so far this season, and it will be interesting to see which one takes over in this week’s battle between the enemies of Sugar Land when they face off in the Hall Stadium Thursday in the District 20-6A opener. for both teams.
The Vikings’ rushing offense (234.7 yards per game) was largely a running back by committee and the primary focus of an offense that attempted six passes in three games.
Senior Jalen Brown was the focal point with 187 yards and three touchdowns, both of which are the team’s best. There are more weapons in the holster for head coach Shane Byrd, however, with Alfred Antwi (117 yards), Devin Graham (106 yards) and Deadrick Hubbard (103 yards) also averaging at least 5 yards. per race.
Clements’ offense was almost as powerful, averaging 218 yards per game rushing, but has two separate leaders. These are Junior Onipede (177 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Dimas Kusuma (166 yards, 3 touchdowns).
When they throw the ball, senior Patrick Smith has done the most damage. Smith’s 260 yards this season is over 50 percent of the Rangers total, and he’s caught four of their five touchdown passes.
Here are some other players and clashes to watch out for this week:
Ridge Point (2-1) vs. Austin (0-3) – Ridge Point QB Bert Emanuel Jr./Austin QB Braeden Abboud: Emanuel has been the true definition of a double-threat quarterback for the Panthers. His 821 total yards were distributed almost evenly (419 passes, 402 rushing), while he also totaled eight touchdowns while returning the ball once in three games.
On the other side of Friday’s game, Abboud threw for over 450 yards and four touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ first three games. He just finished a two touchdown performance last week and threw at least one touchdown in all three games.
Stafford (0-3) to Sealy (2-1) – Jamaal Wiley / Terrence Wood of Stafford RB: It’s no secret that the Spartans love to run football, and these two will likely be heavily involved. Wiley has run for 265 yards this season, while Woods is coming off a 75-yard performance against Bellville last week and has three of the Spartans’ four rushing touchdowns this season.
They will likely be the focal point on Friday night as Stafford tries to find holes in a Tigers defense that allows nearly 30 points per game.
On the flip side, the Spartans will need to find a way to slow down Sealy D’vonne Hmielewski’s quarterback (950 total yards, 13 TDs) if they are to secure their first win of the season.
Marshall (3-0) vs. Houston Northside (0-3) – Marshall QB Ja’Koby Banks: We might be starting to sound like a broken record highlighting Banks, but his performance justified it. In three games this season, Banks has used a combination of explosive running ability and quick decision making to rack up nearly 900 total yards and 13 touchdowns.
You can’t really ignore any opponent in high school football, but look for the junior caller – who holds offers from Texas A&M, Marshall University and Pittsburgh – to have another big day on Saturday against a Northside team who gave up at least 50 points in each of his first three contests.
This week’s program
Dulles vs. Clements, 6 p.m., Hall Stadium
Ridge Point vs. Austin, 7 p.m., Hall Stadium
Stafford at Sealy, 7:30 p.m.
Marshall vs. Houston Northside, 11 a.m., Hall Stadium
Willowridge vs. Houston Waltrip, 6 p.m., Hall Stadium
Kempner at Katy Paetow, 6 p.m., Legacy Stadium