To say the Saginaw Rough Riders are off to the best start in the football program's seven-season history would be a huge understatement.
Saginaw (6-0, 4-0 in District 6-4A) has taken full advantage of dropping down in classification from Class 5A to 4A, but that only tells part of the story.
The Rough Riders have won more games this season then the past three years combined.
Saginaw is also riding its first six-game win streak in program history and is on track for just its second playoff appearance.
"It's like a weight lifted off of our shoulders," Saginaw running back Russell Murphy said. "After two seasons of losing, it's great to open up with a 6-0 start. Everybody in the school is gaining more confidence in us and it's great for the team and great for the community."
The core of the team is a large senior class of three-year starters who have paid their dues against the likes of Southlake Carroll and Denton Guyer.
Now Saginaw is on the other end, outscoring district opponents 243-7.
"I think it's well-deserved because our team has worked so hard for it," said Murphy, who leads Saginaw with 600 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. "We just think of it as more of a payday because we have worked for it and we deserve it."
Saginaw's six opponents are a combined 13-27. The Rough Riders' only victory over a team with a winning record is a 28-7 decision against The Colony (4-2) on Aug. 31.
"I think we're good but we have a long way to go," Saginaw coach Mike Peters said. "As far as executing and being disciplined I think we're right there amongst where the top teams are. Talent-wise, we'll see."
They won't have to wait long to find out as the Rough Riders play Birdville (7-0, 5-0) on Thursday in a District 6-4A showdown. Peters pointed out that Saginaw has never played a game of this magnitude with a potential league title on the line.
"Birdville is a fantastic ballclub and our kids know that," Peters said. "I think it will come down to the end and we'll see who has the best club."
Kennedale linebacker Brett Wade intercepted three passes last week in the Wildcats' 48-17 victory over Springtown.
Wade, a Texas A&M commitment, snared all three throws in the second half, returning the first one 41 yards for a touchdown. He returned the second pick, which came on the Porcupine's next possession, 31 yards to set up Kennedale inside the Springtown 10-yard line.
Kennedale scored on the next play to push its lead to 35-17 after trailing at the half.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior finished with six tackles (one for loss), three interceptions and the touchdown to spark the Wildcats (4-2, 1-0) to the District 6-3A opening win.
"That pick-six interception was the backbreaker, after that play it seemed like momentum had swung so much to our side that it was just one of those feel-good moments," Kennedale coach Richard Barrett said. "Those are the kind of plays, to be honest, that we expect him to make. The good news is that he can answer the bell."
Wade has 36 tackles (nine for loss), three interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble this season.
Hello win column
Keller coach Carl Stralow picked up his first win as a head coach following a couple of agonizingly close losses earlier this season.
The Indians' 24-7 victory over Keller Fossil Ridge came just a week after losing to Central on a botched hold for the game-tying extra point in the closing seconds.
Keller (1-5, 1-2 in District 4-5A) also dropped a 17-14 heartbreaker to undefeated Hurst L.D. Bell on Sept. 14 after taking a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
"I give all of the credit to the kids," Stralow said. "They are trusting us, they know we trust them and we are all in this together. All athletics are results driven and we're going to just keep pounding the drum and keep fighting."
Stralow spent 24 years as an assistant coach in Texas and Florida before landing the job at Keller in March.
It's a start
Burleson Centennial picked up its first district win in school history last week, a 63-28 rout of Joshua.
Quarterback Tanner Hodges led the way with 337 yards, five touchdowns through the air and another score on the ground.
Centennial opened in 2010, but this is the first year that the Spartans (2-4, 1-2 District 8-4A) have played a complete varsity football schedule.
Play of the week
Clinging to a 14-7 lead with under a minute to play, Keller Central's Ryan Berns and Drew Bolin combined to sack Keller Timber Creek quarterback Taylor Jones for a seven-yard loss on second-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
Timber Creek was forced to spike the ball on third down to stop the clock and threw an incompletion on fourth to end the game.
The Chargers (4-2) moved to 2-1 in District 4-5A.
We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Comments deemed inappropriate will be removed and repeated abusers will be banned. NOTE: If you log in using your Twitter account, your comments will be signed using the name on your Twitter profile, NOT your Twitter user name. Read our full comment policy.