The tune-ups are in the books as 12-6A teams prepare to kick off the district slate this week.
The Woodlands, Beaumont West Brook and Lufkin entered the season as the top three teams and none of those teams have failed to disappoint in the early going.
West Brook has rolled to two straight wins, while The Woodlands’ lone blemish was a narrow loss to Katy. Lufkin has bounced back from a season-opening loss to Longview with three impressive wins.
While those three still look like the favorites in the district, Oak Ridge has stormed through the pre-district slate with a perfect 3-0 record, and Montgomery, College Park and Conroe are anxious to show they can compete for a postseason spot.
This week provides a pair of early road tests as Lufkin travels to face College Park and West Brook makes the trip to Montgomery. The Woodlands has its bye in the opener while Oak Ridge and Conroe will round out the opening slate against each other.
Here is a preview of this week’s action.
Lufkin (3-1) at College Park (1-2) — Over the past three weeks, the Panthers have looked like a legitimate contender for the district title.
Last week, Lufkin took a step down in competition to roll to a 47-7 win over the Monterrey Prepa Tec Borregos.
Kewone Thomas had his biggest game as a Lufkin QB with 216 yards and three touchdowns through the air to go along with another rushing touchdown. Isaiah Phillips kept up his early season pace with three rushing touchdowns.
Breylon Garcia added his first 100-yard game with three catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile College Park lost for the second time in three district contests, although it did show plenty of signs of life against a usually strong A&M Consolidated team in dropping a 19-13 conetest.
The Cavs’ defense was up to the challenge as it kept the Tigers in check for most of the night and gave its offense one final chance at a win late in the game.
However, College Park’s offense couldn’t capitalize on a night it was held to 130 total yards, including just 17 on the ground.
Jake Hunnicut led College Park with 111 yards on 7-of-18 passing.
Beaumont West Brook (2-0) at Montgomery (2-1) — A late start to the season has done nothing to slow down a talented West Brook team in the first two weeks of the season as it has outscored its opponents by a total of 105-36.
This past week, West Brook eased past St. Thomas Catholic, 49-16. La’Ravien Elia led the way for West Brook as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. James Jones added a 50-yard touchdown run in the team’s home opener.
West Brook will look for a strong start to district against a Montgomery team hoping it can make a return trip to the postseason. The Bears are coming into district with some momentum after back-to-back wins, including last week’s 42-21 win over Alief Hastings.
Jordan Hood completed 17-of-31 passes for 275 yards and five touchdowns. Caleb Campbell led the way at receiver with six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Oak Ridge (3-0) at Conroe (0-2) — This district-opening matchup features an Oak Ridge team hitting its stride against a Conroe team still going after its first win.
This past week, Oak Ridge relied on its defense to stay in the undefeated column with a 13-3 win over Deer Park.
Oak Ridge got the win despite not scoring an offensive touchdown as it put points on the board with two field goals and a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone.
Nick McCants led Oak Ridge’s offense with 94 yards on 14 carries.
This past week, Conroe came up just short of its first win as it dropped a 26-22 decision to Brazoswood.
Conroe had several strong individual efforts in the loss as Donaven Lloyd ran for 127 yards and two scores on 18 rushes. Jordan Black threw for 209 yards on 16-of-36 passing and Jalen Allen had eight receptions for 104 yards.
The Woodlands (1-1), bye — After a late start to the season, The Woodlands had a tough opener when they dropped a 24-21 decision to Katy in a battle of two of the top teams in the Houston area.
Things weren’t quite as tough for the Highlanders this past week as they steamrolled to a 52-12 win over George Ranch this past week.
Kesean Carter was the pivotal player for The Woodlands as he caught three touchdowns, returned a kick for a score and also returned a blocked field goal for another touchdown.
Carter, who has committed to Texas Tech, accounted for 313 total yards in the victory.
Over the past two seasons, The Woodlands has outscored George Ranch, the 2015 Class 5A Division I state champion, by a combined 68 points.
The Highlanders have the week off before traveling to Lufkin for their district opener next week.