Joe Willis probably wishes he’d had more time with his offensive group at Colleyville Heritage. But he certainly isn’t running out of it.
The Panthers (2-1) football team is coming off its most explosive performance in 2015 with 42 points in a 42-28 victory over Lake Highlands last Friday. While there has been some inconsistency, the group has really been working together since fall camp began on Aug. 10.
Of course, there are three new out-of-state transfers between wide receivers Ke’Von Ahmed and Germon and Gervon Thothion. Ahmed, a sophomore from Florida, and the Thothion twins, who are juniors from Mississippi, are still trying to develop chemistry with quarterback Cam Roane.
Roane is doing his own adjusting since he moved in from Grapevine Faith in January. It’s a process. Roane has completed 45.5 percent of his attempts with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
“By no means are we where we want to be,” said Willis, who could only start working with the team in August after he was hired in late May. “In the passing game, there are two parts – the throwing and the catching. We had a couple of throws off the mark, but we are in a position where we have to compete for the ball and make catches.
“With Ke’Von and the other kids around Cam, they have to make adjustments on his throws because they come with a lot of velocity. But we have a pretty good skill set.”
Colleyville Heritage’s running game still isn’t in a place where it needs to be. The Panthers are averaging nearly 125 yards per game. However, running back Jamarie Williams is off to a slow start with 77 yards rushing.
Starting nose tackle Keandre Johnson (5-7, 290) doesn’t have a problem being in the middle of the scrum. He lives it every down.
Taking advantage of his size and soft hands, the Colleyville Heritage coaching staff is using him in goal-line packages and short yardage situations. The results have been solid. Johnson has scored a pair of one-yard touchdowns. Johnson has had all four of his carries in the previous two games.
“That’s one of our crossover packages where we use a couple of defenders,” Willis said. “We just need to continue to build with those groups.”
The Panthers finish the non-district season at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Arlington Bowie (0-2) at Arlington’s Wilemon Field. Then they have a short turnaround time as they will meet District 7-6A favorite Euless Trinity on Thursday Sept. 24 at Mustang-Panther Stadium.
Bowie is coming off a bye week but has lost to Dallas Jesuit (35-0) and Cedar Hill (28-17). This team has struggled offensively. The Volunteers are averaging only 256 yards per game. Dual threat quarterback Donoven Davenport has not thrown a touchdown pass.
The Mustangs (2-1) had a full roster last week in their 40-19 victory. Running back Jacobi White (undisclosed injury) made his first appearance and rushed for 48 yards and caught a touchdown pass. Meanwhile, wide receiver RalphLauren McCauley, who did not play against Colleyville Heritage, returned and had 115 total offensive yards (74 receiving, 41 rushing).
“When he has the ball in his hands, a lot of good things can happen,” Grapevine coach Randy Jackson said.
Grapevine plays host to Fort Worth Arlington Heights (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mustang-Panther Stadium. The Yellow Jackets have scored 48 and 39 points in their first two games against White Settlement Brewer and Princeton. Running back Kevin Bowie is averaging 120 yards per game. Quarterback Deion Hare-Griffin has thrown for only 115 yards and completed just 47 percent.
A victory would match Grapevine’s 2014 win total.