The West Rusk Raiders are back on the hunt, and looking for another district win. Can Arp slow them down?

West Rusk (5-0) is coming off an open date and is ranked the number one team in the #bEASTTexas Fabulous 15 3A-2A-TAPPS poll. The Raiders, coached by Nick Harrison, are headed to Arp this Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

Arp is improved. The Tigers are 4-2 on the season so far, and 2-0 in District 9-3A, Division II, where WR is the defending champion after going unbeaten in district a year ago.

Arp has had a mixed-bag season, but mostly good: wins over Huntington, Garrison, Quitman and Troup (those last two the last two weeks, so the Tigers have won back-to-back games). There is the bad: a 41-28 loss to 2A power Tenaha, and a 56-6 loss to Waskom.

The last two games, though, Arp has outscored their opponents, 77-7, blowing out Quitman 48-0, then holding down archrival Troup, 29-7.

Through six games, Arp has three quarterbacks who have thrown for a combined 756 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. The Tigers have rushed for 1,518 yards and 17 touchdowns, led by Michael Brager, a senior who has 620 yards on the ground and six touchdowns.

Defensively, look out for KaDaylon Williams, who leads the team with 58 tackles, eight for loss, and Nikos Fuentes, who has three sacks.

On the other hand, being the number one-ranked team in the small Fabulous 15 poll, West Rusk ain’t chopped liver.

Quarterback Andon Mata is 56-of-96 for 800 yards exactly through five games, including 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s got a bunch of receiving targets, led by Will Jackson’s 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns, and Geremiah Smith’s 13 catches for 281 yards and four touchdowns.

The Raiders are led on the ground by Jamal Ford (516 yards and six scores on 62 carries), Tate Winings (60 carries, 472 yards, five touchdowns) and Mata (21 carries, 222 yards, four scores).

Sabine: What could be the sneaky-good game of the week is none other than Sabine at Jefferson this Friday.

Coach Rex Sharp and the Cardinals have won three straight games, and are 2-0 in District 6-3A, Division I. Sabine is 4-2 overall, with the two losses coming to West Rusk and to Daingerfield in the second and third weeks of the season, respectively.

Since then, the Cards have routed non-district DeKalb (48-7), dominated New Boston (48-21) and thrashed Atlanta (38-6).

In that most recent beat-down against Atlanta, senior quarterback Jace Burns won his second Chick-Fil-A / Kilgore News Herald player of the week with 139 passing yards, 151 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Jefferson is not going to just roll over, though. The Bulldogs have always been a tough opponent for Sabine, and they’re 4-1, and 1-0 in district play.

Jefferson opened the season with back-to-back wins over Pittsburg (15-12) and Center (28-14), a 4A team. Their loss, though, was a bad one to Liberty-Eylau (56-15). They bounced back with a 31-28 win over Hooks, and then beat White Oak, 38-22, last week.

Jefferson has a Burns at quarterback, too: E.J. Burns, a junior. He only threw it five times last week, completing three, including for a touchdown and 105 yards (Cayden Ruiz caught the touchdown). Jefferson’s leading rusher is Kamran Williams (318 yards, three scores on 27 carries last week alone).

Defensively, Ryan Yeater is a monster (17 tackles against White Oak), a part of a Bulldogs’ defense that sacked Roughnecks quarterbacks four times. Jefferson also had four interceptions in the game.

Overton: The Mustangs are still looking for that first win, and they’ll try to get it in a district game on the road this Friday night at Mount Enterprise, a 7 p.m. kickoff.

The Mustangs lost, 48-12, last week at home to West Sabine. Jamal Kendall scored in the second quarter for the Mustangs, a 2-yard run, and then Isaiah Hawkins completed a touchdown pass to Jaden Edwards.

Coach Justin Arnold’s Mustangs host Cushing next Friday.

Leverett’s Chapel: Coach Andy Bates’ six-man Lions won again last Friday, this time on the road at Oakwood, 38-28.

The Lions get to play their first district game of the season this Friday night, hosting Union Hill for a 7 p.m. kickoff there at Laird Hill.

LC didn’t get to play its first few games for a few reasons: two teams canceled and a game in between was not played due to COVID-caution.

Union Hill’s Bulldogs have had a lot of success the last five or six years, but the ‘Dogs are 2-3 this season.

They opened the season with the same Oakwood that LC just defeated, although Union Hill didn’t win (44-24 Oakwood). Union Hill did beat the home-schooled Tyler HEAT, but then lost to Throckmorton (58-12) and to Coram Deo Academy from Plano (76-27) before beating Chester (56-6).

In the Lions’ win over Oakwood last week, Mikey Dennis had a huge game: he rushed for 280 yards and four touchdowns, then had 43 passing yards. De’Marion Brown had 67 yards rushing and two scores, and completed 4-of-6 passes for 107 yards. Defensively, Brown had 11 tackles, one interception, and a forced fumble. De’Quincy Brown had 43 yards rushing, seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

After Union Hill, LC has an open date Oct. 15, then visits Savoy on Oct. 22.

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