Red Oak at Ellison Football District opener

Ellison's Zy'Aire King (9) runs up the field against Red Oak on Friday at Leo Buckley Stadium.

Area teams experienced a lot of heartache last week.

Eight teams suffered losses in Week 4 with five falling by at least 21 points. Additionally, Harker Heights and Belton traveled hours in each direction for fruitless road trips to Odessa and San Angelo, respectively.

Only four programs – Copperas Cove, Shoemaker, Gatesville and Lampasas – produced victories, and outside of the Grey Wolves’ thrilling win against the then-undefeated Broncos, the outcomes came against teams with a combined 1-8 record.

As a result, however, at least eight teams on this week’s 10-game schedule are motivated to gain redemption from last week’s performances, beginning tonight with a Killeen ISD doubleheader featuring

the Knights and Bobcats.

THURSDAY

HARKER HEIGHTS (3-1, 0-0) AT PFLUGERVILLE WEISS (2-2, 0-0)

The Knights look to put their lone loss – a 28-27 defeat at Odessa Permian – behind them in the District 12-6A opener against the Wolves, who bring a two-game winning streak into the contest. Defense could be key as only two points separate the teams for the season offensively, but Harker Heights has only allowed 68 points – 55 fewer than Weiss.

WACO UNIVERSITY (1-3, 0-0) AT CHAPARRAL (0-4, 0-0)

Anticipation for celebrating the Bobcats’ inaugural victory continues to build, and the District 11-5A, Division II opener could provide the historic moment. The Trojans, who have won more than three games in a season just once since 2012, are reeling after losing 51-18 at Copperas Cove, but Chaparral must find ways to generate offense as it averages just 8.8 points.

FRIDAY

TEMPLE (2-2, 0-0) AT BRYAN (3-1, 0-0)

Not much has been able to slow down the Vikings this season as they are averaging 41.8 points per game, and the Wildcats have stumbled in consecutive weeks against state-ranked opponents, but Temple has history on its side heading into the District 12-6A opener. The Wildcats have won nine of the last 10 games in the series, including the previous six.

ELLISON (1-2, 0-1) AT SHOEMAKER (3-1, 1-1)

The Grey Wolves are coming off a dramatic, last-second victory against previously unbeaten Lake Belton, while the Eagles returned from an early bye to fall 28-21 to visiting Red Oak in District 4-5A, Division I play last week, but records are irrelevant in the longtime rivalry. Ellison has a slight edge, winning four of the last seven encounters, but only one contest has been decided by more than seven points.

GRANBURY (4-0, 2-0) AT KILLEEN (2-1, 1-0)

The Kangaroos return from a bye and immediately run into one of District 4-5A, Division I’s elite programs. The Pirates have done it all, winning close games and blowing teams out en route to their

undefeated start, but Killeen still has momentum from its 23-7 victory at Cleburne, where the Kangaroos did not allow a point after giving up a touchdown on the game’s first snap.

LAKE BELTON (3-1, 1-1) AT WACO (1-3, 0-2)

The Broncos were a mere three seconds away from remaining unbeaten before Shoemaker’s 13-play, game-winning drive ruined their plans. Now, with a chip on its shoulder, Lake Belton travels to face the Lions, who have been outscored 131-9 in their three losses. Despite losing 34-33 to the Grey Wolves, the Broncos are still averaging 42.3 points per game.

PFLUGERVILLE (1-3, 0-0) AT BELTON (2-2, 0-0)

The Tigers have alternated wins and losses all season, and the pattern indicates Belton is due for a victory at home, where it has experienced all its success. The Tigers have scored 75 points at home and just 19 on the road, but the Panthers hope to end the trend after finally gaining some traction in last week’s 42-35 victory versus Bastrop. Pflugerville was outscored 124-21 in its first three games.

4A, DII NO. 6 WIMBERLEY (4-0) AT LAMPASAS (3-1)

The Badgers’ figuratively easy start to the season ends against the Texans, who are attempting to construct a fourth consecutive season with double-digit victories, but Wimberley has shown it can be vulnerable, winning three games by nine points or less. Lampasas has won three games in a row, but the streak was constructed against teams with a combined 0-9-1 record.

GODLEY (2-2) AT GATESVILLE (3-1)

The Hornets are off to their best start since opening with seven consecutive wins in 2017, and last week’s 43-14 win at Mexia was their best offensive showing under first-year head coach Aaron Hunter. Gatesville could be poised to build on the outing as the Wildcats have already allowed at least 42 points three times this season, including last week, when they beat Ponder 64-54.

SALADO (2-2) AT 4A, DI NO. 4 BOERNE (4-0)

The Eagles look to snap a two-game losing skid after falling 37-15 to Academy last week, but the Greyhounds will not make it easy, outscoring their opponents by a combined 73 points, while scoring at

least 41 points in each of the previous three games. The Eagles have proven capable of state-ranked challenges, though, narrowly falling to then-Class 3A, Division I No. 7 Malakoff 29-27 in double overtime in Week 3.

FLORENCE (1-2) AT DUBLIN (1-3)

With their second bye of the season set for next week, this will be the Buffaloes’ final game before starting the District 13-3A, Division II schedule versus Lexington on Oct. 7, and the Lions could provide a perfect opportunity to generate some momentum. Dublin has allowed at least 55 points three times this season, but Florence, which is averaging just 15.7 points, must improve offensively to capitalize on the situation.

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