Countdown to kickoff: Justin Northwest Texans

Posted Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Justin Northwest

District: 5-6A

Last season: 8-3, 5-2 District 4-5A

Key players: QB Jesse Drummer (6-4, 230); WR Emmanuel Moore (6-1, 185); Savion James (5-7, 155); LB Jay Franich (6-2, 200); WR Brady Byrd (5-9, 185)

The big picture: If there’s a theme for this year at Northwest, it might be change. After five years, Bill Patterson has moved on to Sherman, and succeeding him is Bill Poe from Marble Falls. There was also a fair amount of turnover in the assistant positions. Plenty of changes are afoot on the field as well, with just one returning starter on the defense. The obvious concern is a lack of experience, and a number of players will be thrust under the Friday night lights for the first time. Savion James is an undersized cornerback, but will be expected to make plays. Jay Franich will steer the defense from his middle linebacker position and has made a positive impression on the new coaching staff. If there’s one unit less impacted by turnover it’s the offense, which returns several key components, starting with quarterback Jesse Drummer. He has good size at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. Last season he threw for 2,400 yards with 24 TDs. Wide receiver Emmanuel Moore had more than 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns last season. Quentin Thorpe was the Texans’ second-leading rusher and will assume the role as featured back. Poe is also excited by the offensive line and thinks it will allow the offense to be successful. Northwest’s offense won’t look much different from what fans have seen in the past. Poe said many of the concepts were the same, but terminology will be the biggest difference. Having been able to install the “meat and potatoes” of the offense in the spring, Poe said the Texans’ offense should hit the ground running.

Quotable: “I’m coming into a program that’s had a great foundation the last few years. They’ve done a great job and we’re just looking to build on that foundation. We’re looking to see how it all unfolds.” — coach Bill Poe

“[With what we have back on offense] we definitely should start clicking early. That’s one of the strong points of our team right now is the offense. I think we’ll pose the biggest threat throwing the ball and hopefully that will lead us to wins. We expect to be better than last year. That’s one of our goals.” — WR Emmanuel Moore

“The offensive line is really the unsung heroes of the offense. We saw them grow and take control of the offense [over the spring] and that was really exciting. It all starts up front. If you have guys up front that can protect and open up some running lanes, you feel like you’ve got a pretty good chance of being good on offense.” — Poe

Notable: Bill Poe spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Marble Falls under former Southlake Carroll and North Texas coach Todd Dodge. Previously he was the head coach at Longview Spring Hill. — Shawn Smajstrla

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