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Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
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MHS hopes to rebound against Hawks
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Monday, Mabank Panther head coach Jimmy Cantrell was thinking they let one get away Friday night.
The Panthers rolled up more than 400 yards in total offense, but had two turnovers in the end zone and 15 (15!) penalties for 165 yards in a 27-20 overtime loss to the hosting Terrell Tigers.
“You can’t win with 160-plus yards (in penalties),” Cantrell said Monday morning. “I’m proud of the kids – they played really hard – but we made too many mistakes with penalties and one big turnover in the red zone.”
Because last year’s district opener in Mabank ended with a bench-clearing brawl, Cantrell said he expected the officials to call the game tight, “but it was very obvious to me that it was a little bit one-sided.”
A little bit? It’s hard to justify a personal-foul penalty when the flag is literally in the air as the ball was being snapped. Offsides? Sure. Illegal motion? No question. Illegal formation? Likely. But a personal foul before the play is underway? How is that possible?
Mabank fans knew it was going to be a long night when the Panthers were flagged for pass interference on a pass well out of anybody’s reach on the third play from scrimmage.
The Panthers had seven 15-yard penalties, most of them for unsportsmanlike conduct. They were taken out of the red zone three times by penalties.
“They may have been right on every one of them, but I didn’t see it,” Cantrell said. “I’m not going to whine about the officiating. We’ve just got to be better disciplined.”
Cantrell said he took responsibility for the Panthers’ first turnover in the end zone.
With just under nine minutes to play in the first half, Mabank lined up for a 28-yard field goal on fourth-and-goal.
It was a fake, as holder Cory Janicke (who had a huge night as a receiver) rolled out and threw into the right front corner of the end zone, only to see the ball slapped away on an outstanding defensive play.
Mabank had a second turnover in the end zone on their first possession of the second half, when Jordan Featherston’s fade pass was picked off by L.B. Williams, his second pick of the night.
“Our receiver slipped when he made his cut,” Cantrell said. “That’s just something that happens.
“We’ve just got to shake it off and get ready for Red Oak,” he added.
The Hawks come into Friday’s contest at 2-0 in District 15-4A play, having beaten Lancaster 21-16 in the Sept. 25 opener and nipping West Mesquite, 17-14, on a 37-yard field goal as time expired Friday night.
“I think this district is up for grabs, if we can rebound from Terrell,” Cantrell said. “We’re at home, and I think, judging from Friday night, a home-field advantage is going to be huge this year. We need to take care of business.”
Like the Panthers, the Hawks run a spread offense and a 3-4 defense.
“I think our offense matches up pretty well against their defense,” Cantrell said. “Offensively, their line is huge.
“The give you a lot of formations, but they only run about seven or eight plays out of them. They’re pretty balanced, run/pass,” he added.
Hawk quarterback Travis Wallis is not really big (6-1, 165), “but when they need some yards, he’s going to be toting the mail,” Cantrell said.
“They’re well-coached. (Mike) Shields does a great job with them,” he added. “They run the ball a little more than we do, but it could be a long game.”
Red Oak already has surprised some pundits, and should feel pretty good, Cantrell said.
“They should be pleased with where they are and what they’ve done,” he said. “They faced their two toughest teams right off the bat and won both of them.”
The Panthers have to take care of the ball and be more disciplined, Cantrell added.
“We can’t get inside the 20 and come away with no points,” he said. “(The Terrell loss) don’t mean nothing if you don’t learn from it.”

Defending champ Van visits Yellowjackets in loop opener
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Last week, Kemp Yellowjacket head coach Greg Anderson was planning to use an open date to do a little tweaking to the ’Jacket offense and defense in preparation for Friday night’s District 14-3A opener against visiting Van.
Unfortunately, the flu bug that has bitten folks at so many other school districts finally came to Kemp last week. Illness kept several players out of practice late last week, and may keep two or three out this week.
Judging from the forecast, it’s likely the ’Jackets and the Vandals will be playing on a wet field Friday night. How wet it will be won’t be known until game time.
“It’s going to be wet and muddy,” Anderson said Monday morning. “Looking at the extended forecast, we’ll probably be playing in (rain) Friday night.
“It seems we’ve been playing in mud for the past three weeks,” he added. “We played Rains on one of the soggiest fields I’ve ever seen. Of course, Rains is not the caliber of Van, but we executed our offense pretty well.
“We’ve been practicing in it (mud) for a couple of weeks now,” Anderson said. “Our kids seem to handle it pretty well.”
The defending 14-3A champions, Van comes into Friday’s contest at 3-2, having knocked off hosting Spring Hill 35-14 Sept. 25, while Kemp comes in at 2-2, having run up more than 1,100 yards in two straight blowout wins at Rains and at home against Palmer.
Long known as a Power I team, the Vandals have shown they can go to a spread offense and be just as effective.
“They’ve had some injuries, but they’ve had kids step in there and do real well,” Anderson said.
After senior quarterback Tyler Sharpe was lost to a season-ending knee injury, the Vandals alternated two youngsters, Tori Parsons and Michael Gates, at quarterback.
“No. 8 (Parsons) is used more as a running back. He’s a hard, physical runner. No. 14 (Gates) is a little more of a passer than a runner,” Anderson said. “I think they’ve settled on (Parsons), leaving (Gates) as a receiver.
“They were in a spread against Spring Hill, but they ran a good deal out of it,” Anderson said.
“Defensively, they’re very physical up front,” he said. “They’re a base 4-3, but at Spring Hill, they covered up all five (offensive) linemen. I think that was because Spring Hill is more run-oriented.”
The Vandals are very well-coached on both sides of the ball, and rarely make mistakes, he added.
On a wet field, turnovers are likely to be a key factor in the contest, Anderson said. “If we’re in a driving rainstorm, that could create issues. It usually limits your passing game.
“I think our kids will be ready, whatever we face,” he added. “I know they’re anxious for Friday night to get here.”

’Dogs to host Mineola
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–A week off hasn’t been quite as helpful for the Eustace Bulldogs as one would hope.
Senior quarterback Chris Compton is now healthy and looks to be at full speed for Friday night’s District 14-3A opener against the Mineola Yellowjackets at Bulldog Stadium, which should be a big help.
However, the Bulldogs may have a defensive lineman out with an injury suffered in a non-school event over the weekend, and a couple more may be lost to grades, a rare occurrence, head coach Doug Wendel reported Monday morning.
Compton, who missed two games after suffering a severe muscle bruise against Edgewood Sept. 11, was able to participate in practices this past week.
“As expected, he was a little rusty the first day,” Wendel said. “By Thursday, he had picked up right where he left off, so he should be ready to go.”
Other players who had minor hurts are now healthy, he added.
“We were hoping to get Cord Bailey back, but he hasn’t practiced yet,” Wendel said. “He’s a difference-maker on defense, but he’s been out six weeks (broken foot), and I don’t expect him to play this week.”
Report cards come out Tuesday, and Wendel said it’s possible two varsity players may be lost – something that usually doesn’t happen – so the Bulldogs “may be a little short-handed on the defensive line,” he said.
Wendel said he believes Friday’s district opener against the Yellowjackets “will be a tight, close ballgame, very similar to last year (a 7-6 loss in Mineola).
“Turnovers, field position and special teams will be critical,” he added.
In last year’s contest, the Bulldogs had an extra point blocked, and fumbled twice in the final four minutes – one fumble coming inside the Mineola 5 after the Bulldogs had taken most of the fourth quarter to drive the length of the field.
“I feel we may have a little more speed, so we’ll be looking to get field position on our punts and kickoffs,” Wendel said.
Wendel, who has been known to gamble on fourth down, said he probably will call a more conservative game against the Yellowjackets.
“Mineola is a solid team, and they don’t beat themselves,” he said. “They play sound, solid defense, very rarely giving up big plays.”
Senior Colt Bickerstaff, one of the district’s top athletes, plays fullback and defensive end “at a very high level” for the Yellowjackets.
“He was a great defensive end last year, and I’m sure he’s just as good this year,” Wendel said. “He’s an all-district performer.”
Wendel added he was impressed with Tyler Avant. “He may be the best defensive lineman we’ve seen to this point,” he said.
Mineola doesn’t throw the ball much, but wide receiver Brian Meankins is a tall (6-2), rangy target who does a good job going up for passes, Wendel said.
“The head coach’s son, Tyler Drennon, is the quarterback, and he reads the option well, protects the ball and is throwing better than he did last year,” he added.
While Bickerstaff is a threat at fullback, the running back position has been filled by a couple of players, who have the luxury of playing behind a large, tough offensive line, Wendel said.
With both teams geared toward running the ball, it should be a very quick game. Last year’s contest was over in less than two hours.
Neither team will have all that many possessions – maybe eight or nine – so every possession will be crucial.


Do you like high school football?
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The Monitor is looking for reporters to cover the Eustace, Kemp and Mabank High School varsity football games this season.
As a reporter, you would:
  • Attend Eustace, Kemp or Mabank’s home and away varsity football games on Friday nights
  • Keep statistics of the game and email them to the paper Friday night after the game
  • Write a story about the game and email the story to the paper Friday night after the game
    An eligible reporter, must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age
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  • Have email capability

If this position interests you, please come to
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Upcoming games

Cross country

Oct. 10
MHS @ Jacksonville
KHS @ Jesuit Classic
(Norbuck Park, Dallas)
EHS @ Union Grove

Oct. 17
KHS hosts meet
EHS hosts meet

Oct. 26
EHS, KHS @ 14-3A meet
(4 Pines Ranch, Eustace)

Oct. 31
MHS @ District 15-4A meet

Oct. 9
MHS vs Red Oak*
KHS vs Van*
EHS vs Mineola*

Oct. 13
MHS @ West Mesquite*
KHS @ Mineola*
EHS @ Wills Point*

Oct. 16
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*
KHS vs Wills Point*
EHS @ Canton*

Oct. 20
MHS bye
KHS vs Canton*
EHS @ Van*
(*district contest)

Oct. 9
MHS vs Red Oak*
KHS vs Van*
EHS vs Mineola*

Oct. 15
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*

Oct. 16
KHS vs Wills Point*
EHS @ Canton*

Oct. 23
MHS vs Forney*
(*district contest)



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