Northeast Tarrant

Panthers improving in turnover game

There should be plenty on the game film Colleyville Heritage coach Darren Allman will review and use to correct his team. That’s never a bad thing coming off a businesslike victory Haltom last Friday.

What the 33-7 win revealed was the vast difference in the talent level between the two teams. Colleyville Heritage’s passing game had its ups and downs. Blocking assignments were not where the coaching staff wanted them to be.

However, Allman liked the fact that his defense forced four turnovers – including recovering a fumble in the end zone – and blocked a punt. The Panthers (3-3, 1-1 in District 7-6A) are starting to embrace what the Colleyville Heritage coaching staff is preaching about turnovers. In the first two district games, the Panthers have forced six turnovers and committed only one.

That’s a vast improvement from what happened earlier in the season when the Panthers had turned it over 15 times. For the year, the Panthers are now at a minus six (16 committed, 10 creating). However, it’s trending in the right direction.

“We really don’t have a drill dedicated to turnovers, but we preach its importance,” Allman said. “What we do is when we are working with the scout team, we are doing something about turnovers at the end of the drill. But it’s not a specific thing. I think the guys are really understanding what we’re asking them to do.”

When players try to create turnovers, it’s usually feast or famine. Either the player causes the miscue or gives up extra yardage if he’s unsuccessful. The Colleyville Heritage coaches stress to their players that they want the first tackler to focus on making the tackle. They then want the second or third tacklers to work on creating the turnover.

That’s the same when it comes to their quarterbacks dealing with oncoming pressure. They want their signal callers to have a clock in their head to get the ball out to make sure they don’t take a sack that they don’t have to.

QB situation becoming clear

As of the early part of the week, Allman said he was hopeful that senior Clayton Oliver (right hand) would be able to resume some work on the practice field.

Regardless, Oliver will not return as the starting quarterback. The starting job will remain Trevor Anderson’s when the Panthers play at Hurst L.D. Bell on Friday at Pennington Field. Keep in mind Oliver hasn’t thrown a football in three weeks.

“Whenever he’s released, we’ll just ease him back into the system and get him going,” Allman said. “We don’t have to throw everything at him at once.”

Even when Oliver was named the starting quarterback in August, Allman said that both quarterbacks would see time. That’s always been his philosophy.

Grapevine update

The Mustangs (1-6, 1-2) had to wait until last Saturday to complete their 60-40 loss to Fort Worth Dunbar. Friday’s inclement weather rolled in during the fourth quarter and stopped the game.

Despite the loss, Grapevine is still in pretty decent playoff positioning. The Mustangs have a bye this week and then resume the season on Oct. 24 against Fort Worth Carter-Riverside. By that time, it will be likely known if senior quarterback Sam Barry (undisclosed) will be ready. He has not played since Sept. 19 against Fort Worth Arlington Heights.