The 2nd Annual The Old Coach Avery Air Classic kicked off the 2011 football season with two programs on the rise and brings in four teams today which encompass the tradition and wide-ranging styles which are part of the state's cultural identity.
Avery Air has dedicated nearly $10,000 in college scholarships with three games in the two day Classic at Carrollton's Standridge Stadium.
Don Norris of Avery Air is excited to be able to give back to communities through athletic competition.
"Avery Air is dedicated to help athletic programs on the high school level. The young men and women participating on athletic teams gain valuable life skills and we support that," Norris said. "Our partnership with The Old Coach helps promote high school athletics and provide scholarship money for deserving kids that might not be able to attend college in other way."
This season The Old Coach Classic introduced two new squads and returns four teams from last year but in a new twist. Opponents were switched from the 2010 Classic in a unique format brought in by The Old Coach.
Upcoming, enthusiastic programs at Justin Northwest and Carrollton Creekview opened their season Friday night in the first game of the Classic.
Northwest junior Draze Lawliss started his first high school game at quarterback, completed his last seven passes, connecting on touchdowns on four of them, to finish 13 for 16 for 281 yards and four touchdowns in Justin Northwest's 46-27 victory. Lawliss also added a rushing touchdown.
Northwest's most effective target was Allen Young, who caught an 85-yard pass and had five catches for 176 yards. Young also had an early rushing touchdown for Justin Northwest (1-0).
Carrollton Creekview (0-1), started sophomore quarterback David Blough. Blough made a few impressive throws but faced pressure from the Texans.
The Texans held a 25-14 halftime lead but pulled away with a pair of quick drives to start the second half. First, Lawliss found Cody Long for a 71-yard touchdown on the second play of their drive, then Michael Reed went 37 yards off the right end for another touchdown to give the Texans a 39-14 lead.
Creekview scored twice on Justin Northwest fumbles, with Johnny Jones and Adrian Williams scoring.
For the Saturday doubleheader, Waxahachie is a Class 4A power which will showcase its talent against 5A perennial playoff qualifier Flower Mound Marcus. After reaching the Class 5A Division II state final last year, Denton Guyer plays four-time state-champion Garland.
A quick look at the Saturday matchups:
Denton Guyer vs. Garland, Saturday 4:00 PM
Guyer won't be quite the steam-roller it was last season after losing 4-year starting quarterback J.W. Walsh (Oklahoma State) but sophomore quarterback Jerrod Heard is a future star and junior Mason McKnight can provide some steady work at quarterback as well. Receiver and Stanford commit Conner Crane is one of the state's top players.
Defense will be Guyer's strength with Oklahoma State commit linebacker Dominic Ramacher and major college prospects up front with Daniel Kottman, Diontre Thomas and Cody Hennesse.
Garland should have some offensive firepower with Kansas commit and standout athlete Seth Russell at quarterback with talented receiver Ja'Taveon Green. Kicker Josh Lambert is a threat anytime the Owls get near the opponent's 30-yardline. Versatile defender Damien Neroes is an SMU commit who roams sideline to sideline and can be an effective blitzer.
Waxahachie vs. FM Marcus, Saturday 8:00 PM
Marcus is rebuilding with sophomore quarterback Cody Erwin taking over as an athletic dual-threat quarterback. Senior Deion Sanders Jr. will move around the backfield to take advantage of his speed after being the Marauders QB last season. Sanders also will help in the Marcus secondary on what's expected to be a much-improved defense led by hard-hitting linebacker Joe Sikes.
Waxahachie rotated QBs Don King and Brooks Teeter every play last year to keep defenses reeling and return speedy RB Robert Lowe. A more experienced defense will be the key to Waxahachie returning to the Class 4A state playoffs.
Denton Guyer vs. Garland (H) 4:00 p.m.
Waxahachie vs. Flower Mound Marcus (H) 8:00 p.m.
Saturday doubleheader / one ticket good for both games.
Pre-sale Tickets: $8 Adults / $5 Students
All tickets are $10 at the gate
Last year's (2010) game results were:
Flower Mound Marcus 33 Garland 13
Denton Guyer 45 Waxahachie 7
Celina 62 Irving Ranchview 14
Keller Central 24 Carrollton Newman Smith 21