Northeast Tarrant

Panthers, Mustangs prep for winnable district games

The Colleyville Heritage football team used the bye week to heal up, start preparing for Haltom and for players to continue to adapt to first-year head coach Darren Allman’s approach to the game.

Allman thinks he believes he has the personality of his defense identified. It’s a bend-but-don’t break type of group. Given how much defenses get spread out by opposing offenses in today’s game, it really isn’t a bad way to play.

The Panthers (2-3, 0-1 in District 7-6A) demonstrated that in the Sept. 26 14-0 loss to Euless Trinity. While the Trojans collected 451 yards of total offense, the Panthers kept them out of the end zone for the most part. Surrendering 14 points to a team ranked No. 4 in the state is a very impressive performance.

“There are several things that come from playing that type of defense,” Allman said. “Your team is tackling fairly well. People are getting to the ball and the secondary is playing well. We got a stop inside our fiv-yard line. So I like the way we’re playing.”

The final five

The Panthers resume the season Friday playing host to winless Haltom (0-6, 0-2) at 7:30 p.m. at Mustang-Panther Stadium. Allman said senior starting quarterback Clayton Oliver (right hand) will not be available for the game. So that means senior Trevor Anderson will make his third start.

Oliver started his rehab last week and is making some progress. He may not be ready for Oct. 17 at Hurst L.D. Bell, but Allman said it’s more likely Oliver could be ready Oct. 24 against Carroll.

“Really, we’re pretty comfortable with what Trevor is doing,” Allman said. “Clayton not being ready was not a surprise. But we have every confidence with Trevor running the offense for us.”

And in case you’re wondering, the backup quarterback is senior Kevin Salinas.

The one frustration

Between DeMarco Corbin (72-380, 5TD) and Jamarie Williams (34-243, 3TD), Allman said there is still one disappointment with the offense’s running game: the Panthers aren’t running enough.

“Jamarie has been a pleasant surprise and DeMarco is a steady back,” Allman said. “We just have to use them more and take advantage of what they can bring us. We’re still getting to learn them more. But we have two really good running backs.”

Grapevine update

The celebration at the fieldhouse near Mustang-Panther Stadium was filled with both relief and excitement. Grapevine’s 45-0 victory over Fort Worth Poly not only was the first win of the season, it also put the Mustangs in a good position to get into the District 6-5A playoff race at 1-1.

“You can’t put a price tag on what that first W means,” coach Randy Jackson said. “I was really proud of the kids and how they played and executed. We got a short field with some turnovers and were balanced.”

The Mustangs play a pivotal game on Friday against Fort Worth Dunbar at 7:30 p.m. at Clark Stadium. A loss hurts, but doesn’t derail the Mustangs playoff chances. However, a win puts them in a really good position with winnable games against Fort Worth Carter-Riverside and Fort Worth Eastern Hills remaining.

Senior quarterback Sam Barry (undisclosed) didn’t play against Poly and is a game-time decision, Jackson said. If not, then freshman Alan Bowman will continue. He appears to be playing with more confidence. Bowman has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 668 yards with six touchdowns.