Mustangs, Panthers ready for rivalry meeting

Posted Monday, Sep. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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While the Battle of the Red Rail hasn’t swung much toward Grapevine in recent years, rivalry games still bring out the passion and pride from both Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine.

For the 18th time, the schools meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mustang-Panther Stadium. Bragging rights are always on the line. Plus, each team is looking for its first District 6-5A win. Colleyville Heritage has won six of the last seven meetings, including the last three.

However, both Grapevine coach Dave Henigan and Colleyville Heritage coach Mike Fuller have bigger picture agendas at stake. Grapevine (0-4, 0-1) needs to put together a full four-quarter game. Colleyville Heritage (2-2, 0-1) is just looking to find some consistency after some frustration through the non-district season and the district opener at Euless Trinity.

“You don’t have to get your kids up to play,” Henigan said. “You want to make sure they don’t get too emotional in the week. Our kids have come back every week, and I think they’re resilient.”

The trend in these games has been for Grapevine to get off to quick starts, only to have Colleyville Heritage respond and pull away.

Grapevine inching forward

Last Friday, the Mustangs had the start they wanted against Hurst L.D. Bell when they jumped out to a 13-0 lead. It could have been 20-0 had it not been for a lost fumble at the Blue Raider five-yard line.

Grapevine stayed within striking distance as it trailed 27-13 going late into the third quarter. The defense forced Bell to kick two field goals and stopped it on downs. Then the game got away from the Mustangs as Bell scored its final four touchdowns from 30 yards or more to make it 59-13.

“There’s no question we got better,” Henigan said. “The score is not indicative of the way we played. We’re improving every week. It’s not good enough, but it’s the best game we’ve played.”

Depth is where the Mustangs are really hurt because in three of their four games – Keller Fossil Ridge, Sachse and Bell – they were within striking distance. However, they just couldn’t sustain it.

Colleyville Heritage

All eyes are going to be on senior quarterback Griffin Pickler, who went down against Euless Trinity with an apparent head injury.

Coach Mike Fuller wouldn’t comment on Pickler’s status but did confirm that backup Clayton Oliver was going to get most of the reps in practice during the early part of the week. If Pickler doesn’t play, then Oliver likely would get the start. The Panthers also lost quarterback Trevor Anderson to an apparent head injury.

Playing Euless Trinity is tough enough. Playing with three different quarterbacks is really hard. Mishandling snaps in the center-quarterback exchange just raises the frustrations. Fuller said his offense had several of those mishaps that really caused the offense to misfire in the 35-14 loss.

Ironically, this was the game where junior running back DeMarco Corbin really came up big rushing for 73 yards (16 carries) and two scores.

“We blocked the running game well,” Fuller said. “But we’re just too inconsistent.”

The good news is that wide receiver Brett Bofinger (collar bone) returned and appeared to move fine, Fuller said.

“I broke my collar bone when I was a senior, so I know what it feels like,” Fuller said. “He was a little nervous. But he got through it.”

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