The mission for the Mustangs football season is very simple. Carrying it out is completely different.
All roads for Grapevine defeating Denton in the Class 5A Division I playoffs start and end with senior Broncos running back Xavier Scott.
Scott (5-11, 205) owns a myriad moves and strength that will cause any defense problems. He has rushed for 2,252 yards and 25 touchdowns this fall. No other Denton ball carrier has rushed for more than 74 yards. No other Denton ball carrier has scored a rushing touchdown. Quarterback Colt Atkinson has thrown for 1,935 yards and 19 scores to add some balance.
“It’s a tough chore,” Grapevine coach Randy Jackson said. “We’ve been grinding all week. You probably have to start with their running game. But this is the way you have to start because when people run the ball, they chip away and eat the clock. It can be demoralizing. This is the best offense we’re going to face.”
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The Grapevine (8-2) coaching staff understood that two weeks ago after it clinched its playoff berth and started to prepare for the Broncos. How successful the Mustang defense will be will start to unfold at 9 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington when Grapevine and Denton (8-2) meet in the Class 5A Division I Region I bi-district round. Grapevine makes its debut at AT&T Stadium.
The Mustangs have enjoyed their most successful regular season since going back to 2003, when that team won eight games. There have been signature wins over Fort Worth Arlington Heights and Birdville this year.
Indeed, it has been a breakthrough season.
While the running game has emerged with some late success, the key for moving the chains depends on how well sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman connects with his wide receivers in RalphLauren McCauley and Madux Middaugh. Bowman has thrown for 2,440 yards and 27 touchdowns, and 1,600 and 18 of those have gone to those two. McCauley is at 944 yards and 12 scores. Bowman is at 656 and eight scores.
There also seems to be some cohesion in the Grapevine offensive line. The same five have been together for three consecutive games. They make it a fourth Saturday.
“I think we’re starting to gel and get into mid-season form,” Jackson said. “Playoffs are a difference animal.”
The winner advances to the area round to face the winner of Aledo-Fort Worth Trimble Tech.
Colleyville Heritage at Mansfield
The Panthers found little resistance this past Friday when they blew out Richland, 61-0, to clinch the final District 7-6A playoff spot. Quarterback Cam Roane returned to play after being held out against Coppell.
Now the Panthers (5-5) get the reward of traveling to Mansfield’s Newsom Stadium to play Mansfield (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers won their first district title in 40 years after beating Cedar Hill two weeks ago.
Colleyville Heritage’s test will be limiting Mansfield running back Kennedy Brooks. He’s rushed for 2,304 yards and 28 touchdowns. Quarterback Dameron Smith has thrown for 1,603 yards and 16 touchdowns.
What Colleyville Heritage is hoping for is to draw upon its experiences against run-heavy Euless Trinity to help in its preparation.
“The Trinity game is a great tool,” coach Joe Willis said. “We learned a lot from that game and grew in some areas. Trinity is schematically close to Mansfield. They run off tackle very well. Their quarterback is capable. It’s a priority.”
The winner advances to the area round to face the winner of Flower Mound Marcus-Keller Fossil Ridge.