The coaches, fans, and photographers started preparing for the 2017 football season with the final play and whistle of the 2016 season. Like all districts Northside saw some coaching changes over the summer. The Holmes head coach Eddie Salas moved over to Harlan. Jeff Fleener left Brandeis to return to the Fort Worth area and David Branscom took the helm
Stevens head coach moved to the Athletic offices, and Conrad Hernandez assumed the head coaching duties.
Holmes Huskee’s welcomed new head coach Juan Morales. Morales is no stranger to Northside as he spent his formative years as a Northside assistant coach.
Northside is still utilizing the zone schedule this year to determine the playoff teams. Each of the 10 teams has been divided into two zones. One week of competition the teams will play across the zones. The other four weeks will be used to determine the team’s placement for the district race.
The top two teams from each zone will play for the district championship and will automatically qualify for the playoffs.
The second place teams from each zone will play the third place team from each zone with the winners of the two match ups advancing to the football playoffs.
Next year could bring a change when Harlan, the newest Northside school, begins a varsity schedule. If the UIL classifies Harlan as a 6A school then Northside will have 11 schools in the district and UIL rules limit districts to 10 schools—so UIL would have to change their rule or Northside will be divided up between UIL districts for competition sake only.
Also Stan Laing, Executive Director of Athletics has said the zone alignment will be on the table for reconsideration next year.
Clark opened the 2017 season with the Gucci Bowl
Churchill stormed into Farris Stadium using a powerful running game to amass over 200 yards in offense. Churchill reached the quarterfinals in last year’s playoffs behind their running game. The Chargers demonstrated last night that the legs were still moving on the running backs.
However surprising was the passing game. Using a dual of juniors, Derek Perez and Hudson Head, their combined arms completed 18 of 19 passes for another 235 yards of offense.
The Cougar quarterback proved to be the most valuable player for Clark in the season opener. He rushed for two touchdowns over 67 yards and completed a touchdown pass to Luke Gibson to add seven to the board.
Flores was intercepted in the waning minutes of the first quarter allowing the Charger defense to add to the early lead in the game.
The Cougars behavior on the field also helped the Chargers earn 95 yards in offense as the referees reached for their yellow hankies. Five of the penalties were for personal fouls.
Clark has lost the last 8 Gucci bowls. The Cougars will play Roosevelt next Saturday.
Taft watches as an early lead is erased in the fourth quarter
The Taft Raiders marched into Gus Stadium Thursday night ready to start a new season and prove that Taft could be a district contender. Taft drew first blood when Raider No. 5 stripped the ball from the Volunteer receiver in the end zone. He advanced the ball out to the 20-yard line to allow the Raider quarterback to take over.
Raider quarterback handed the ball to No. 20 Justin Stevenson who took off and outran his opponents over 60 yards for the first touchdown of the game.
The Raiders added three points to the board later in the first quarter behind the leg of kicker No. 34.
The second quarter witnessed a bunch of miscues by both teams. However, the Lee quarterback connected with No. 11 for a pass reception into the end zone cutting Lee’s lead to 3.
With five minutes to go in the second Lee is intercepted by Taft, however Taft later fumbles and is not able to score on the defensive interception.
Taft forces Lee to punt with less than a minute thirty to go in the first quarter and Lee muffs the bad snap. Taft is able to take over the ball on the Raider 20. Taft is able to convert the bass snap into seven points allowing Taft to enjoy a 17-7 lead at half time.
The Raiders control the ball most to the third quarter and drive down to kicking range with 5 minutes left in the third. The Raider kicker connects for a 42-yard field goal adding three more points to the Raider lead.
Then momentum in the stadium changed. Lee was able to drive down with in kicking range at the end of the third to punch 3 on the board making the game 20-10 Taft.
In the fourth quarter, Lee’s offense found their rhythm and the Raider defense was not able to turn the tide. Lee scored two touchdowns and prevented the Raider defense offense from answering the Lee charge.
Taft fell 24 to 20 in one of the best games Lee has played since their near victory over O’Connor two years ago.
In other action across town, Holmes new head coach Juan Morales enjoyed his season opening victory against the Sam Houston Hurricanes.
There was not Hurricane Harvey in the Rock pile Thursday night
The Huskies controlled the ball, the field, and the Hurricanes all night. The Huskies opened to an early lead in the first quarter continued to add points on the board.
The defense stifled the Hurricane movement and prevented any traction during the fist half with a 28-14 lead for the Huskies.
The Huskies continued to move the ball on offense and the defense continued to dominate the Hurricanes as Sam Houston was only able to score eight points in the second half of play.
The Huskie offense added another ten points to the board during the second half to guarantee victory for the night.
Northside continues games on Friday and Saturday of this week.
Brandeis plays Johnson at Heroes on Friday night. O’Connor plays McArthur at Farris Stadium on Friday; Marshall will travel to Laredo LBJ for action; Warren travels to Del Rio; and Stevens travels to Kerrville for a game against Tivy. All kickoffs will be 7:30pm.
Saturday, Brennan will play Reagan at Farris, Jay plays Harlandale at Harlandale, and kickoff will be at 7pm.
For images from the area games log onto: https://jwilliamphotography.pixieset.com/taftvsiwishihadanameschool2017/