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Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
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’Jackets to host Wills Point Tigers
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Even with a loss in their District 14-3A opener, the Kemp Yellowjackets have a lot of positives they can bring with them when they host the Wills Point Tigers this Friday night.
First, the ’Jackets played the defending loop champion Van Vandals to a standstill throughout regulation and through one overtime before losing 3-0 on a 21-yard field goal in the second overtime last Friday night. That has to engender some confidence.
Second, the ’Jackets came through a very physical contest without major injury, which is always good news, Kemp head coach Greg Anderson noted Monday morning.
“Of course, they were just heartbroken Friday night, to have played so well and lost,” Anderson said. “I was proud of the kids and the way they fought in the game.
“Even though we lost, and we’re 0-1 in district, there are a lot of positives we could take from that game,” he said.
Many folks looking at that 3-0 score might figure both teams played in the mud, but the fact was the Yellowjacket Stadium turf was in pretty good shape all through the game.
The Monitor’s reporter covering the game said the turf, while wet, wasn’t a factor in the contest – penalties and excellent defense by both teams led to the stalemate.
“They did a great job running to the ball, and so did we,” Anderson said. “The thing that’s most disappointing to me was we started off both overtimes with an offensive penalty. That automatically takes you out of field goal range.”
In the second overtime, the ’Jackets appeared to have the ball at the Van 8, nearly as close as a point-after-attempt kick, only to have the play wiped out by a holding penalty, moving them back out to the 35.
Kemp’s Michael Smith tried two field goals, one going wide left and the second (52 yards) falling short, Anderson said.
“Saturday morning, when we watched the film, and today in practice, the kids have responded well,” he said. “We’re ready to move on to Wills Point.”
As bad as the Tigers’ record was last year (1-9), every other 14-3A coach said Wills Point was the best 0-for team they had seen.
This year, the Tigers have shown they really are that good, racking up a 5-1 season mark, with their only loss being a 28-15 setback to undefeated Brownsboro Sept. 18.
Wills Point knocked off the visiting Canton Eagles, 28-18, in the district opener last Friday night on a sloppy Tiger Stadium turf.
“They are very athletic; probably the most athletic team at the skill positions that we’ve seen,” Anderson said.
The Tigers use a spread offense based around two key players, junior quarterback Trent Jurica and senior wideout Steven Cunigan. Both are multi-sport standouts, and were all-district selections last year.
Cunigan was the district’s triple jump champion last spring, and possesses both excellent speed and leaping ability, making him a threat to score from anywhere on the field.
“The emergence of Brandon Morris at running back has helped them tremendously,” Anderson said. “(Morris) is small, but he’s quick.”
The Tigers are playing well behind Jurica, Anderson added.
“Trent is a good, solid quarterback,” he said. “He’s not running as much this year. The scariest part, to me, is when he pulls it down and runs, but they want him to stay in the pocket and throw the ball.”
On defense, the Tigers use a five-man front, but it’s structured more like a 3-4, with the outside defensive ends standing up as linebackers, “probably because they see so much of the spread,” Anderson said.
Two key defensive players are J.K. Wilson at defensive tackle and safety Cyle Henderson.
“He (Henderson) looked really good against Kaufman, coming downhill and making tackles,” Anderson said.
The Tigers have more team speed overall, so the ’Jackets can’t afford to let down their efforts, he added.
Kemp faces four more district games, and Anderson said the ’Jackets should have opportunities to win any or all of them, just as they had their opportunities against Van.
“It’s going to take that same kind of effort,” he noted.

Healthy Bulldogs heading
to Canton for key loop contest

By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–It’s so nice to have everybody back. Just ask Eustace head coach Doug Wendel.
“We were healthier Friday night than we’ve been since the first day in pads,” Wendel said Monday.
The result was the best offensive night for the Bulldogs this season, a 58-28 blowout of the Mineola Yellowjackets in the District 14-3A opener for both teams.
That 58 points all came from the offense, too – there weren’t any defensive or special teams touchdowns.
Wendel said the Bulldogs “went back to the basics” during the bye week and the week coming up to the Mineola game, and it paid off.
“Our technique, our toughness and our conditioning at every position has gotten better in the last two weeks,” he said.
It certainly helps the offense to have three-year starter Chris Compton back at quarterback, after essentially missing his production for four games.
“CC obviously made a difference in our execution,” Wendel said. “He missed one read, and he had no fumbles. I think it was one of his best games.”
Compton had eight carries for 107 yards (that’s a little better than 13¼ yards per tote) and scored twice, on runs of five and two yards, plus three two-point conversion runs.
“All eight of his runs were options, where he made the right read,” Wendel said.
Fullback Justin Calhoun and halfback JoJo Bradburn both had breakout games.
Calhoun had 156 yards on 15 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run, while Bradburn had 121 yards on just five carries, including two long TD runs in the second half.
“I thought (Bradburn) ran hard and played well,” Wendel said. “But, he wouldn’t have had the success he had without the (downfield) blocks of the receivers and Trevan (Johnson). It was a total team effort.”
Johnson, after being forced into carrying much of the offensive load with Compton out, didn’t do much on offense Friday night, carrying just four times for 12 yards. Two of those four carries, though, were for the Bulldogs’ first two touchdowns.
Johnson’s biggest contribution may have been on defense, where he made 16 tackles from his free safety position, 13 of them in the first half.
It was Johnson’s big hit that knocked Mineola starting quarterback Tyler Drennon out of the game early in the first quarter.
“I was very pleased with our defense,” Wendel said. “I thought we flew around and hit well. We were aggressive.”
That defensive effort showed in the second half, when the Yellowjackets could muster only one scoring drive. Much of their second-half offensive production came on their last possession, moving against the Bulldog subs.
Although he was considered questionable earlier in the week, Cord Bailey got on the field for the Bulldog defense after missing six weeks with a broken foot.
“It was nice to get him in the game, even for a few plays,” Wendel said. “We’re going to play two good passing teams, and Cord needed to get in some work before we throw him into the fire this week.”
The Bulldogs will need to maintain a strong effort on both sides of the ball this Friday night, when they travel to Canton to face the 4-2 Eagles.
Canton fell to the hosting Wills Point Tigers, 28-18, last Friday on a sloppy field at Tiger Stadium.
Even though rain is forecast every day this week, Norris Birdwell Stadium in Canton has artificial turf, so field conditions won’t play much of a role in the contest, if any.
“Canton executes (the spread) extremely well,” Wendel said. “They can really put you in a bind with the spacing of their routes, their technique and their timing. They’re a good football team.”
Leading the Eagle offense is last year’s district “Newcomer of the Year,” junior quarterback Chance Wal-lace. He has two excellent receivers, Trent Termin and Roy Denbow.
“Those three guys make their offense go,” Wendel said. “However, their other two receivers and their running back are all explosive, too.
“They do a good job of spreading the ball around, and if they’re all making plays, that makes it very difficult to key on one player,” he added.
Wallace has been more of a pocket passer this season, but has the ability to run at any time, Wendel noted.
The Eagles use a 50 base defense. “Defensively, they’re playing hard, and they have good technique,” Wendel said. “They’re not a great defense, but I feel they’ll be tough on us.”
Since the Bulldogs had no yards passing against Mineola (they only threw once), one would expect the Eagles to pack eight or nine players in the box to stop the run.
“I think it will be very important for both teams to score when they get into the red zone,” he said. “I think both teams will be able to move the ball between the 20s.
“It may take (scoring in) the mid-30s to win,” he added. “We’re going to have to play as well, and maybe better than we did the other night.”

MHS faces Pirates tonight
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Two District 15-4A games, two hosings by the officials.
With just seconds left to play Friday night, the Mabank Panthers had the ball deep in the red zone against the Red Oak Hawks, but their third-down pass fell incomplete.
Well, try again on fourth down. No, say the officials.
Red Oak gets the ball, takes a knee and runs out the clock as coaches, spotters and newspaper and radio reporters in the pressbox look on in baffled amazement.
While the Panthers might have committed many penalties in their district opener at Terrell Oct. 2 – and it’s hard to believe they did all 15 they were assessed – losing a down on an official’s call in the final seconds of a one-possession game is something else again.
“They called the next morning and apologized,” Panther head coach Jimmy Cantrell said Monday. “It doesn’t help much now.”
Cantrell said the contest should not have come down to that play, because the Panthers made far too many mistakes earlier in the game – the most glaring being two turnovers (a fumble and an interception) in the end zone.
“We’ve made several mistakes, but we’ve played pretty good football, and we’re 0-2 in district,” he said.
If the Panthers can run the table in their final four games, they’ll be in the playoffs, and maybe the district champion, since it’s become clear any team in the district can beat any other team, Cantrell said.
“We’ve got to cut out penalties,” he added. “For some reason, we’re on the (officials’) radar. We’ve got to get off their radar.
“A lot of our penalties are hustle mistakes, kids trying to get to the ball,” Cantrell said. “We’re playing hard – we’ve got to play smart.”
Mabank arguably has one of the best, if not the best, defense in the district, he pointed out.
“We’ve got to be more opportunistic,” he said. “We had four (Red Oak) turnovers. We need to take advantage of those and put points on the board.
“Our red zone offense is not doing well,” Cantrell added. “Both (district) games, we’ve had more total offense than the other team, but we’ve got to put points on the board.
“We’re playing hard, and we’re playing good enough to win. We just can’t catch a break,” Cantrell said. “(Players) are playing hurt, they’re doing everything they need to do. I want to get that monkey off our back. I don’t want to be known as a whiner.”
This week, the Panthers have one less day to get ready, because they play the Mesquite Poteet Pirates Thursday night (tonight).
At 0-7 for the season and 0-3 in 15-4A play, the Pirates haven’t had much to cheer about so far this season, but they have to think the Panthers, at 0-2, might represent an opportunity to snag a district win.
Poteet lost to West Mesquite, 40-16, last Friday night.
“They’re a talented football team,” Cantrell said. “They’ve got a big offensive line, but they’ve had quarterback issues. Their starter went down early, and they’ve had several folks in there.”
Defensively, the Pirates run either a 4-2 or a stack defense much like Mabank’s.
“They remind me a lot of Athens,” Cantrell said. “They’ve got a lot of talent, but no rhythm. Like Athens, we can’t allow them to establish any type of rhythm.”
The Panthers have three things they hang their hat on, Cantrell said.
“One, we have (team) chemistry – our kids are playing together,” he said. “Two, we have relentless pursuit to the ball on defense, and three, ball control.
“We’ve done that all year, until we get inside the 20,” he added. “Early on, there was a question of whether or not we could compete. Well, these guys know we can compete. The luck part of it has gotta change, ’cause it can’t get any worse.”
Directions to Memorial Stadium in Mesquite: From Mabank, take U.S. Highway 175 northwest to the I-20/635 (LBJ Freeway) interchange (about 40 miles), and go north on 635, heading toward North Mesquite/Garland. Get off 635 at Exit 4 (Military Parkway/Scyene Road). Stay on the service road until you reach W.Main/W.Scyene Road, and turn left (west) onto Scyene Road. Follow Scyene for about 0.8 mile; the stadium will be on your left. Driving time will be about 90 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.


Do you like high school football?
Do you like to write stories?

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
  • Have reliable transportation and a good driving record
  • Have a computer with Microsoft Word
  • Have email capability

If this position interests you, please come to
The Monitor office and complete an application,
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Monitor • 1316 S. Third St., Suite 108
Mabank • Next to Groom’s
No phone calls please!



Upcoming games

Cross country

Oct. 17
MHS @ Jacksonville
KHS hosts meet
EHS hosts meet

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

Oct. 31
MHS @ 15-4A meet
(Samuell Farms, Mesquite)

Nov. 7
Region II meet (4A, 3A)
(Vandergriff Park, Arlington)

Nov. 14
State CC meet
(Old Settlers Park, Round Rock)

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

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

Oct. 15
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*

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

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



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