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2006 Week Zero East Texas Picks and Previews

East Texas Week Zero Picks and Previews
Thursday August 31
Las Vegas Bishop Gorman vs. Gilmer: No question about it this will be a tough test for the Buckeyes who are the consensus #1 team in Class 3A heading into the season. This will be a fun game to watch and a big contrast in styles, Bishop Gorman is a grind it out type team while Gilmer loves to go four wide and sling it around. Make no mistake about it there will be some serious Division 1 talent out on the field at Rose Stadium. Bishop Gorman finished 9-2 last year, and the Gaels will have to replace their all everything RB DeMarco Murray who is now at Oklahoma, with Murray's graduation he takes 1484 rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns with him. The Gaels will rely on Corey White and Keola Antolin to carry the load in the ground oriented attack. White had 800 yards and 10 touchdowns and Antolin added 478 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2005. Most of the Gaels offensive line has moved on but they do have rivals.com's number 16 rated offensive lineman in the country in 6'4 335 pound Po'u Palelei. The Bishop Gorman defense graduated 9 starters and their top player is DB Drew Barnhardy. Bishop Gorman isn't the only team with an embarrassment of riches as Gilmer who was 10-2 last year has one of the country's top junior RB's in Justin Johnson who ran for 793 yards and 8 touchdowns, the 210 pound Johnson describes his style of running as "violent." The receiving corps should be in good hands with University of Texas commit WR Curtis Brown, Brown posted 974 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns and 750 yards and 8 touchdowns rushing. Brown lettered on Gilmer's 2004 state championship team, keep an eye on last year's QB Jamell Kennedy as well. QB G.J. Kinne has already committed to Baylor and with his much publicized transfer to Gilmer over the summer all eyes will be focued on him. The Gilmer offensive line is led by junior OL David Snow and TE Justin Fielden. Gilmer should be much improved on defense as they are led by a couple of speedy prospects in Arsenial Richardson and Dominique Buchanan, Buchanan has already committed to Baylor. Expect a high scoring affair with lots of fireworks, it is never easy for a team to travel out of state and it'll be especially difficult in a hostile environment for the Gaels. The Texas humidity may play a role for Bishop Gorman as it's hot in Vegas but it's a dry heat and that could take its toll late in the game. Matt's Pick: Gilmer by 6
Friday September 1
Richardson Lake Highlands vs. Tyler Lee: Lake Highlands and QB Daniel Miller will take the road trip to East Texas to take on a Tyler Lee team who will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 2005 season. Lake Highlands lost their coach late in the off-season and many think their 8-4 record of 2005 was an aberration. The Red Raiders are led by WR Jacob Amie and DB Tekerrein Cuba. Look for the Red Raiders to come out and make a big statement in this one against a playoff team in 2005. Matt's Pick: Tyler Lee by 17
Longview vs. West Monroe, LA: I don't know much about West Monroe expect that Longview has beaten them with relative ease last year 21-0. However LHS has graduated the house and it could be somewhat of a rebuilding year. Longview is always talented and I'll go out on a limb and be a Texas homer and take the Lobos…Matt's Pick: Longview by 7
Lindale vs. Longview Spring Hill: Lindale the former 3A school will take on Spring Hill who got their only win of the season last year over Lindale 41-36. Lindale is led by QB Lucas Shipman who accounted for 36 touchdowns last year, Spring Hill is excited to start 2006 after a terrible 2005 season and with a healthy DeMikel Shankle the Panthers are dangerous. Look for Lindale to win a close one..Matt's Pick: Lindale by 6
Sulphur Springs vs. McKinney: This game on paper looks like a good one..however both teams were hit hard by graduation. SSHS was hurt even more when QB Logan Turner transferred to Springtown. McKinney graduated an amazing 51 letterman and they only have 8 letter winners back and that could spell trouble early in the season..look for Sulphur Springs to win a close one led by a defense that should be solid…Matt's Pick: Sulphur Springs by 5
Gainesville vs. Paris: Speaking of graduation and transfers Gainesville can empathize with Sulphur Springs. GHS only has 2 starters back on offense and one from a defense that was a catalyst in their run to the state championship game last year. QB Jacob West transferred to Cisco and the cupboard is bare in Gainesville. Paris should be a solid 4A playoff contender and they have good experience back, that coupled with some great speed should lead Paris to a solid win..Matt's Pick: Paris by 17
Paris N. Lamar vs. Texarkana Liberty-Eylau: PNL's major concern is how do they replace all those yards when RB Broderick Franklin got his diploma last May? There are big shoes to fill for RB Antowoine Smith who was a good backup last year. Liberty-Eylau had a great run to the state semi-finals in Class 3A last year, they bring back a lot of talent including QB Will Middlebrooks who can do it all…Look for L-E's speed and athleticism across the board to lead them past the Panthers…Matt's Pick: Liberty-Eylau by 10
Jacksonville vs. Brownsboro: This is somewhat of an upset pick and it may be surprising considering Brownsboro is without RB Ricco Richards for the first few games of the season, but the Bears were VERY impressive in their pre-season scrimmages and Jacksonville has some questions. RB Cameron Boyd-Anderson is solid but the question surrounding the Indians involves can QB Jazz Scott lead the JHS offense? I like Brownsboro to pull the upset…Matt's Pick: Brownsboro by 6
Kilgore at Crockett: Reports of Kilgore's demise in a pre-season scrimmage against Tatum are greatly exaggerated in my opinion I expect the Bulldogs offense to get a test from a solid Crockett defense that returns 10 starters but I look for RB Jerek Sheffield to make some plays and as always the Bulldogs will play solid hard hitting defense…Matt's Pick: Kilgore by 13
Longview Pine Tree vs. Gladewater: PTHS does bring back some good experience especially QB Matt Hughes but the Pirates are still a notch below what should be a very good Gladewater squad that did knock off Pine Tree 28-19 in 2005. Gladewater is led by RB Carwin Cooper and an athletic defense that has back 7 starters, look for Gladewater to pull away late..Matt's Pick: Gladewater by 10
Palestine vs. Hallsville: This should be another in a long list of good matchups in the Piney Woods, Hallsville is led by QB Shane Fry and they also bring back a good nucleus of skill players. Palestine will be led by a defense that has back 9 starters including a great pair if LB's in Aaron Smith and Cory Whitfield. Look for Hallsville to win a close one against a solid Palestine squad…Matt's Pick: Hallsville by 7
Carthage vs. Henderson: Carthage is a heavy favorite in this one, Henderson is rebuilding while the Bulldogs are talking state title. QB Marcus Bowman is one of the more underrated players in all of East Texas and he is worth the price of admission. CHS has a good stable of backs as well and a huge offensive line…I expect Carthage to roll…Matt's Pick: Carthage by 21
Mabank vs. Rusk: This is an interesting matchup as 4A drop down Mabank brings back a ton of experience but they will have their hands full with electric QB Justin Sturns of the Rusk Eagles. RHS also has a solid second option in the running game in TB Horace Lewis. Mabank won't have the athletes to stay with a speedy Rusk team…Matt's Pick: Rusk by 14
New Boston vs. DeKalb: This is one of the better 2A matchups in East Texas in the opening week of the season, New Boston has high hopes heading into the season after a 6-4 season in 2005 in 3A and reinforcements from an unbeaten JV. DeKalb is led by all-state RB Terrance Ganaway who is a highlight reel waiting to happen..this should be a barn burner….Matt's Pick: DeKalb by 3
Tatum vs. Daingerfield: A high profile matchup of a couple of former 3A teams who are now looking to make some noise in Class 2A…Tatum was impressive in pre-season scrimmages including last week when they gave 4A powerhouse Kilgore all they wanted….Daingerfield was hit hard by graduation and they will have their hands full containing sensational Tatum RB Lennon Creer….Matt's Pick: Tatum by 24
Saturday September 2
Texarkana Texas vs. Tyler John Tyler: Last year JT foreshadowed a great season to come when they stunned the highly rated Tigers in the season opener. Most of that salty Lions defense is gone and they may have trouble slowing down Ryan Mallett and that Texas High offense. I expect a young John Tyler team to get better as the season progresses and RB Kendall Hunter is the real deal and he'll make some things happen but in the end the Tigers experience especially on the offensive side of the ball with their skill players will make the difference that experience edge could be nullified however due to the fact Texas High had no pre-season scrimmages but I think the Tigers will overcome that…Matt's Pick: Texas High by 3
Whitehouse vs. Forney: This is the early game of the East Texas classic as they will have the rare 10am start time to avoid the stifling heat. Whitehouse should be much improved and RB Luke Shivers is the type of do it all player who can carry an offense by himself. Forney's defense will be tough especially against the run as the Jackrabbits bring back 8 starters on that side of the ball…keep an eye on Forney RB Andre Derosier…Matt's Pick: Forney by 3
Other Games
Wills Point vs. Athens: Matt's Pick WILLS POINT
Tyler Chapel Hill vs. Center: Matt's Pick CENTER
Bullard vs. Palestine Westwood: PALESTINE WESTWOOD
Grand Saline vs. Van: Matt's Pick VAN
Canton vs. Tyler Gorman: Matt's Pick CANTON
Mineola vs. Quinlan Ford: Matt's Pick MINEOLA
White Oak vs. Winnsboro: Matt's Pick WINNSBORO
Troup vs. Sabine: Matt's Pick TROUP
Mt. Vernon vs. Lone Oak: Matt's Pick MT VERNON
Jefferson vs. Pittsburg: Matt's Pick JEFFERSON
Hooks vs. Texarkana Pleasant Grove: Matt's Pick HOOKS
Dallas Wilson vs. Atlanta: Matt's Pick DALLAS WILSON
Quitman vs. Cooper: Matt's Pick COOPER
Harleton vs. Hawkins: Matt's Pick HARLETON
New Diana vs. Hughes Springs: Matt's Pick HUGHES SPRINGS