Imagine you could really do an opposite day: goodbye upon arrival, instead of hello; standing backwards in an elevator, facing the wall instead of the door; or eat just junk food for a day.

Ok, well, it’s not that drastic, but there’s a new contender in District 8-3A, Division I, as the schedule starts, and it’s the experience-heavy, undefeated Sabine High School Cardinals.

Sabine, long known for its basketball programs, has been doing its talking primarily on the field of play this year. The Cardinals are 4-0, were off last week, and are one of just two teams in their district without a loss at all: West Rusk, also in the Kilgore News Herald’s coverage area, is the other. They’ll meet soon enough.

This Friday, Sabine plays at Tatum (2-3), a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday night.

Tatum’s Eagles, once one of the best small-school programs in East Texas, is still competitive. The Eagles weren’t off last week, not even close: they were busy blasting White Oak, 41-7.

It didn’t start out that way. But Tatum scored 27 points in the third quarter, and Decartiyay Allison had a big night. Allison scored the first of that point barrage, and also had a 45-yard scoring run and another from 14 yards out.

Dexter Monroe scored twice, as well, both on short-yardage situations.

Coach Rex Sharp’s Cardinals, meanwhile, were resting up for what they hope is a district title-contending season. The Cardinals have long had a good running game, and they still do, to go with an effective passing game, with quarterback Landon McKinney.

This year, though, the defensive effort has been stepped up by the Cardinals: 10 sacks in four games already, seven interceptions, and are led in tackles by the very capable Brent Warren (50), who also leads the team in sacks (three) and tackles for loss (11). Bre’den Ford and Cayden Fortson each have two interceptions.

After Friday night, Sabine hosts Winnsboro next Friday; that’s also the homecoming game this season.

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