The first week of the high school football season is often filled with growing pains. Getting back into the swing of full-speed game action can lead to odd results and off-the-wall stat lines.
One that stood out among the dozens of box scores from the weekend was the number of penalties.
For example, Fort Worth Arlington Heights, Mansfield Lake Ridge, Arlington Lamar, Trophy Club Nelson and Justin Northwest all won their season openers, but their games also featured at least 20 penalties.
Lake Ridge tallied 20 flags alone in a 49-14 win over Cleburne. Fort Worth Dunbar racked up 19 in a 28-6 win over Dallas Lincoln.
“Some of that is first-game jitters for the younger players,” Lake Ridge coach Kirk Thor said. “There were no penalties that I thought were not smart penalties. More of that stuff was giving good effort and getting called for holding or jumping early.”
Arlington Heights was flagged 18 times in a 29-14 win over White Settlement Brewer. The Bears were flagged 19 times in the loss.
“The officiating was pretty dang good — it was consistent both ways,” Heights coach Phil Young said. “It was just kids jumping offsides, holding and things that can be fine-tuned.
“It didn’t bother us too much, because it’s stuff that can be fixed.”
Welcome to Timberview
One of the biggest transfers of the off-season was quarterback Devin Williams moving from Fort Worth Southwest to Mansfield Timberview.
Williams threw for more than 3,000 yards and tossed 34 touchdowns as a sophomore last year. He also rushed for 378 yards.
Williams, who enrolled at Timberview in February, continued that momentum Friday with his new team, and just happened to do so against Ennis, the No. 2 team in Class 5A.
Timberview beat the Lions 34-21 behind four total touchdowns from Williams. He rushed for three scores and hit Myron Gailliard for a touchdown to break a 21-21 tie early in the fourth quarter.
Williams said the transition to Timberview has been smooth.
“The competition really rose. It’s just been better for me,” he said. “Mansfield just fit right.”
The Wolves entered the season ranked No. 10 in The Associated Press 5A poll and jumped to No. 4 after beating Ennis.
“It was crazy,” Williams said. “Everybody was dancing [after the game], beating on the lockers. But you know, we expected that. It’s just, I guess, after the win, everybody finally realized that we can really do something this year.”
Keller lost its opener to Midland Lee 28-26. The Indians went for two at the end of the game but couldn’t convert.
Still, the game was progress for coach Carl Stralow. Lee is perennially solid and advanced to the second round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs last year before losing to Southlake Carroll.
Keller has gone 13-27 since 2010, missing the postseason each year.
“That was the hardest they’ve played since I’ve been here,” he said. “They were amazing. They reacted better than I could’ve expected. They didn’t let anything get to them.”
White solid for Aledo
In the off-season, Aledo had to replace record-setting extra point specialist Chance Nevarez and Southern Miss signee Parker Shaunfield at kicker. The Bearcats had six players to choose from when practice began last month.
And as coach Steve Wood figured, freshman Carson White has appeared to win the job. White was 3 for 3 on extra points Friday against Cedar Park. His first was a bit shaky, but good enough to kick-start a streak of his own.
Be sure to check out the fan vote Player of the Week at dfwVarsity.com. The winner will be revealed in Thursday’s section.