When you’re working on a picks column without really knowing what happened from the previous week, it makes this week’s version a little … well, what’s the word I’m looking for? Adventuresome.
Before we went to print on Sept. 4, we only had the surprising result from Keller Fossil Ridge (a 30-13 loss to Mansfield Lake Ridge) to use as reference.
We lost that pick but there’s a really good reason for that. The Panthers lost QB Bryce Baccarini to an undisclosed injury. All we know is that he is not expected to play on Friday at Midlothian. The good news is that Fossil Ridge has a bye on Sept. 18 and won’t play again until the District 5-6A opener against Justin Northwest.
But we’ll manage to review all of the games for Week 3 and give you an idea of what we think. Of course, these picks are made working under the presumption that none of our area teams will have lost significant contributors to the lineup. Also, we won’t include records, for obvious reasons. We have several games on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the Southwest Showdown.
So let’s go through it.
Rowlett at Keller, 7 p.m. Thursday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: Presuming the Indians beat Flower Mound on Friday, they would be taking some real momentum into this game. There is a pretty good offense forming here between running back Tyler Tutt and quarterback Caleb Griffin. Keller was finding ways to not pull out tight games last year. Perhaps this team has matured.
Prediction: Keller 32, Rowlett 25
Irving at Keller Timber Creek, 7 p.m. Friday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: This is a pair of teams that really need to find a way to get a win and feel good about themselves. The Falcons couldn’t finish the fourth quarter in the opener against Irving Nimitz. It’s going to come down to someone finding a way to make a play.
Prediction: Irving 21, Keller Timber Creek 20
Grapevine at Weatherford, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Weatherford: The Mustangs had to fight through their tough battle in Week 2 with GCISD rival Colleyville Heritage. This is also their first road game of the season. If Randy Jackson has his complete team on the field for this one, then the Mustangs can pull this out. Jackson knows he still has to keep changing the culture.
Prediction: Grapevine 24, Weatherford 18
Irving MacArthur at Richland, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville Fine Arts & Athletics Complex, North Richland Hills: This is a pretty intriguing matchup because you have two teams who appear to have the same type of personnel. Both have offenses that can move the football. This should be tight again. But I’m going to give it to Ged Kates’ team.
Prediction: Richland 25, Irving MacArthur 23
Haltom at Irving Nimitz, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Irving Schools Stadium, Irving: Each team has a close win. Each team knows it can win this game. Now Haltom’s offense wasn’t exactly dynamic in the opener against Grand Prairie. But hopefully Jason Tucker has his kids excited to play. Going on the road for back-to-back weeks is hard.
Prediction: Irving Nimitz 21, Haltom 16
Justin Northwest at Arlington Lamar, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Cravens Field, Arlington: Northwest probably has one of the biggest offensive lines in all of Tarrant County. But can that lead to offensive consistency? Lamar has a pretty solid running game. The Texans really struggled stopping the run in the opener. This could be a shootout.
Prediction: Arlington Lamar 38, Justin Northwest 35
Keller Fossil Ridge at Midlothian, 7:30 p.m. Friday: With no Bryce Baccarini at quarterback, the Panthers looked really fallible in the loss to Mansfield Lake Ridge. That’s not good. But Midlothian is having problems stopping people surrendering 40 and 34 points in its first two games. Despite the injury to its quarterback, Fossil Ridge should be fine.
Prediction: Keller Fossil Ridge 31, Midlothian 20
Lake Highlands at Colleyville Heritage, 7:30 Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine: This really continues to be the preseason for Joe Willis at Colleyville Heritage. He still has to get to know this team. But he’s not lacking talent. There are pieces there. It’s just a matter of how they fit.
Prediction: Colleyville Heritage 35, Lake Highlands 14
Midland Lee at Carroll, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dragon Stadium, Southlake: Regardless of whatever happened in Oklahoma on Sept. 4, there’s nothing like coming home to make you feel better about yourself. Midland Lee should help the Dragons do just that.
Prediction: Carroll, 34, Midland Lee 10
Lancaster vs. Euless Trinity, 2 p.m. Saturday, AT&T Stadium, Arlington: There are a lot of great athletes in this game. Trinity has DT Chris Daniels, RB Ja’Ron Wilsona and QB Tyler Natee. Lancaster has safety Kenan Ivy and athlete Tyrell Alexander. But we’re still talking about a really good Class 6A school in Trinity against a solid 5A school in Lancaster.
Prediction: Euless Trinity 30, Lancaster 20
Midland vs. Hurst L.D. Bell, 5 p.m. Saturday, AT&T Stadium, Arlington: Regardless of what the Blue Raiders did at Rockwall Heath Sept. 4, you just get the sense that Mike Glaze’s team has a chance to be pretty decent. What you see in October will be far better than what you see in September.
Prediction: Hurst L.D. Bell 24, Midland 20
Wichita Falls at Keller Central, 7 p.m. Saturday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: When the Chargers went up to the Red River to play Old High last year, they got popped. But turnaround is fair play. There is some quiet excitement about what new Charger starting quarterback Reese Robertson can bring to this team.
Prediction: Keller Central 27, Old High 17
Birdville vs. Northwest Byron Nelson, 8 p.m. AT&T Stadium, Arlington: The nightcap of a great day of football. The Bobcats probably took some lessons from last week’s game at San Angelo Central. I don’t think this Birdville team is as good as past teams. Plus, the Bobcats have dropped the last two meetings to the Hawks. Don’t think that wasn’t brought up during the week.
Prediction: Northwest Byron Nelson 29, Birdville 16