For the first time in what may seem like eternity, Grapevine has some momentum. The 31-14 victory over North Crowley last week could be considered Grapevine’s most complete performance in several years.
Had it not been for an erratic fourth quarter, the outcome probably would have been worse. But it’s all part of the learning process for a program that won only three games in 2014 and four from 2012-2013.
“I’m a perfectionist, but I also know this is part of the process,” Grapevine head coach Jackson said. “All in all, we’re happy. We feel like we played a pretty solid game. We just need to finish better.”
Quarterback Alan Bowman threw for 257 yards, 158 of those to senior RalphLauren McCauley. The two connected on scores of 28 and 79 yards. The 79-yard score came on an inside screen where McCauley (nicknamed Polo because his first name is that of the noted fashion designer) used one block to exploit a hole and then run away from the defense.
“Polo makes you a better coach,” Jackson said. “That touchdown against North Crowley didn’t come against the slowest kids in the world. He’s going to be a real weapon for us this year.”
McCauley has offers from Texas St., Louisiana-Monroe and Incarnate Word.
Jackson is awaiting the results of an MRI on senior defensive back Kareem Mohamed. Mohamed suffered a left leg injury in the second half last Thursday. His status for Friday against Colleyville Heritage is unclear at this time.
As for senior running back Jacobi White (undisclosed), it may take this week of practice to determine if he will be ready to play against the Panthers. White did not play against North Crowley. Jackson had been hopeful that White could play against Colleyville Heritage by missing the opener.
Colleyville Heritage update
Joe Willis said that he’s going to use these first four games – Abilene, Grapevine, Richardson Lake Highlands and Arlington Bowie – as his spring season because he just started working with this program on Aug. 10.
In the 35-21 loss to the Eagles, the Panthers appeared to play like a team that was still getting to know each other and its new coaching staff.
Colleyville Heritage fell behind 21-0 before rallying to tie the game, only to struggle in the fourth quarter. The defense had trouble against a talented running game. Abilene finished with 265 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per carry.
But there seems to be a budding pitch-and-catch relationship between junior quarterback Cam Roane and sophomore wide receiver Ke’Von Ahmad, who joined the program on the first day (Aug. 10). The two connected on touchdown passes of 52 and 26 yards. Ahmad, who played his freshman season at Ponte Vedra, Fla., has plenty of speed to offer.
“Cam is a great competitor,” Willis said. “There were mistakes and big plays. But it looked like a first game. I really like how we competed.”
The Panthers are going to have to find more consistency in the running game. No back collected more than 25 yards. Falling behind 21-0 didn’t help either.
The Red Rail Trophy game
The Grapevine-Colleyville Heritage rivalry resumes at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mustang-Panther Stadium. This used to be a tight series, but the Panthers have taken control of it in recent years. Colleyville Heritage has won the last five meetings (Grapevine won 26-23 in 2009) and eight of the last 12. Despite dropping its opener, Colleyville Heritage will be favored again simply because it’s playing in a higher classification level. The Panthers are in 6A, while Grapevine is in 5A.