Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 321.33
Water Temperature:
na degrees - top
68 degrees - bottom




Panthers to host Crandall
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Dropping a second District 13-3A contest last Friday won’t make it any easier for the Mabank Panthers to make the playoffs.
Now at 1-2 in district play and 3-5 on the season, the Panthers have to win their final two games, at home Friday against the Crandall Pirates and on the road against Kemp in the season finale Nov. 9, to have a shot at any playoff berth.
If the Panthers can secure a playoff berth, they automatically will be the district’s Division I (big-school) representative, and would face the District 14-3A Division I representative.
That probably would be Chapel Hill, assuming the Bulldogs make the playoffs, which is far from certain in the scrambled 14-3A race.
Big plays have hurt the Panthers all year, and there were more than a few big plays in last week’s 52-47 shoot-out loss to the hosting Ferris Yellowjackets.
“When you get into a shoot-out like that, when neither team can stop the other, it always comes down to mistakes,” Panther head coach Jimmy Cantrell said.
“(Ferris) put the ball on the ground several times, but they always got it back,” he said.
The biggest Panther mistake was a blocked punt, and it’s always difficult to survive a blocked punt. “It’s a tremendous momentum-changer,” Cantrell said.
“Ferris is what I call a powderkeg team, and they certainly exploded on us,” he added. “All we can do is win out, and hope we get in (the playoffs).”
In last Friday’s contest, Ferris had the speed to get outside against the Panthers’ defense, while the Mabank offense did its job – racking up nearly 500 yards and 47 points, which ordinarily would be enough to win.
“You have to give Ferris credit,” Cantrell said. “They’re doing all the right things.”
Crandall also comes into Friday’s contest at 3-5 on the season, but the Pirates are 2-1 in district play, having beaten Ferris and Kemp before losing to Eustace, 21-14, last Friday night.
“You’ll think you’re seeing an intrasquad scrimmage, because they run the same offense and defense we do,” Cantrell said.
Crandall tends to run out of the spread more than the Panthers – although the Panthers have done a lot of running the last two games – behind quarterback Tayler Jones and running back Jared Pellman.
Cantrell noted the Pirates do a lot of counter runs and some option plays, with Jones running down the line and keeping, or tossing the ball to Pellman, or pulling up to throw a short pass to a crossing receiver.
“They really do well on fast screens,” he added.
Jones’ favorite receiver is Cale Barnes, who also starts on defense. In Crandall’s wild 38-30 shoot-out win over Kemp Oct. 19, Barnes caught six passes for 157 yards (including a 93-yard touchdown), and intercepted two passes.
The Pirates have been mistake-prone, surviving four interceptions against Kemp, but coughing up two fumbles against Eustace.
“When you have two evenly matched teams, it’s always going to come down to execution,” Cantrell said.
“Our offense has been doing well the last couple of games,” he added. “Defensively, we’ve just got to go back to what we were doing. Early in the season, we were gang-tackling and running to the ball, and we just didn’t do that Friday.
“It’s going to be an interesting two weeks, both here and in District 14-3A,” Cantrell said.

’Dogs face Kaufman next
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–What a difference a year makes.
With two games left to play last year, the Eustace High School Bulldogs were limping toward the conclusion of a 1-9 season, and a number of players clearly were already thinking ahead to basketball, soccer or baseball.
This year, not only are the Bulldogs in the hunt for a playoff spot, if things fall right, they could have a shot at the District 13-3A championship.
Last Friday’s win over the Crandall Pirates was a key stepping-stone for the Eustace program, but the way the Bulldogs won was yet another proof – if any more was needed – that the team has come together under new head coach Doug Wendel.
“It was a great team effort on our part,” Wendel said Monday. A number of players were out with illness during the week, including quarterback Chris Compton and running back Trevan Johnson, both of whom missed the first half.
“We talked all week about players taking advantages of opportunities, and we had role players come in to play roles,” Wendel said. “Without exception – and you can see it on the film – every player on the team made a contribution to the win.”
With the Bulldogs running the ball, and the Pirates doing a lot of running out of the spread formation, it was a fast-moving contest, clocking in at just about two hours. By comparison, Mabank’s 52-47 shoot-out loss to Ferris last Friday lasted more than three hours.
“We did a good job with ball control, and when they had the ball, they ran it a lot,” Wendel said. “The clock ran, and that was to our benefit.”
This Friday’s contest against the league-leading Kaufman Lions also looks to be a quick game, as the Lions don’t throw the ball much, either – just one pass against Kemp last week.
The Bulldogs really don’t have to win Friday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“I think it’ll come down to the Ferris game,” Wendel said. “Based on what it (the district race) looks like to me, the winner of the Ferris game goes (to the playoffs).
“We could beat Kaufman, but it won’t have any bearing on the playoffs,” he added. “But, if we beat Kaufman and Ferris, we’d be district champs.”
That certainly would be nice, but beating Kaufman won’t be easy.
So far in district play, the Lions’ closest game has been their district-opening win over Mabank, 27-21. The Lions beat Ferris by 13 the next week, and won by 29 over Kemp last Friday night.
“Kaufman is a good football team,” Wendel said. “They’re very physical, and very sound. We’ll have to play our best game to beat them.
“When you play Kaufman, you better play hard, because they will play hard, and they will hit you,” he added. “I think it’s going to be an interesting ballgame. I’m looking forward to seeing how we play against a physical team.”
The Lions’ rushing attack begins with quarterback Justin Kapp, who had 23 carries against Mabank, and carried 12 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns against Kemp.
“We’re concerned about (Kapp),” Wendel said. “He makes that offense go, him and that offensive line.”
While Kapp can throw effectively, as he showed against Mabank, the Lions prefer to have him run, or hand off to one of several fleet-footed backs.
Kevin Dotie was the leading rusher for the Lions against Kemp, racking up 120 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, while sub Rory Turner finished with 116 yards and one touchdown on just seven carries.
When the Lions need some tough running inside, they turn to fullback Hippo Perea, who had 61 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries (all up the middle) against Kemp.
Both Kapp and Dotie also start in the defensive backfield, which gives the Lions enough speed to match up one-on-one with any receiver in the district.
“They are very sound in what they do defensively,” Wendel said. “They’ve got a very good defensive line.
“Their front seven are almost identical to what we ran in Plano,” he added. “It was geared to be sound against the option, so it will be a tremendous challenge for us to move the football.”

Courtesy Photo/Rusty Rhodes
Eustace Bulldog senior Garrett Rhodes (52) sacks
Crandall Pirate quarterback Tayler Jones (8) during
 the Bulldogs’ come-from-behind 21-14 win over the
visiting Pirates last Friday.

It’s ’Jackets vs ’Jackets as Kemp travels to Ferris
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–After a third straight District 13-3A loss, the Kemp Yellowjackets are out of playoff contention, and can only play spoiler in the last two games of the season.
Now 1-7 on the season, the ’Jackets will head to Ferris Friday to face another set of Yellowjackets.
“They (Ferris) got a big win against Mabank last week, and they have us and Eustace left. I’m sure they feel pretty good about where they are,” Kemp head coach Greg Anderson said Monday.
Ferris nipped Mabank 52-47 in a wild shoot-out last Friday that went down to the final play, while Kemp saw league-leading Kaufman roll up a 41-12 halftime advantage and cruise to a 55-26 win.
“(Kaufman) came right at us,” Anderson said. “We dug ourselves a big hole that we couldn’t get out of.”
Kemp has had problems stopping the run all year, and the Lions rushed 49 times for 377 yards, throwing only one pass from scrimmage.
“They (Ferris) are going to be very similar to Kaufman,” Anderson said. “They’re going to have their big fullback (Hayden Bertrand) banging right at you.
“Their quarterback (Tristen Green) has good speed, and they’re going to try to get him on the edge. He’s certainly one we’re going to have to keep contained,” he added.
Against Mabank last Friday, Green gained 239 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns, while Bertrand had 25 carries for 176 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’ve got to do a much better job at defending the run,” Anderson said.
Against Kaufman, the ’Jackets made some halftime adjustments and did better against the Kaufman running attack in the second half, although they still gave up one big play, a 45-yard scoring scamper by Lion sub Rory Turner.
Kemp’s offense did move the ball against the Lions, particularly on an 88-yard scoring drive that took 20 plays and most of the third quarter.
“I thought Matt Brown (10 catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns), Matt Carr (14-of-27 for 217 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) and Josh Carr (15 carries, 63 yards, one touchdown) all did well,” Anderson said.
Brown, in particular, made at least four highlight-reel catches, all for big gains or touchdowns.
“We’re averaging about 28 points per game, but we’re giving up too many on the other side,” Anderson said.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kaufman Lion defensive back Kevin Dotie (white uniform)
 twists away from Kemp Yellowjacket receiver James
Trim (4) after intercepting a Kemp pass. Dotie returned
the theft 33 yards to the Kemp 37, setting up a touchdown.
Dotie had a second interception to stop a Kemp threat, and
also rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns during
the Lions’ 55-26 win over Kemp Friday.



Upcoming games


Nov. 2
MHS vs Crandall*
KHS @ Ferris*
EHS vs Kaufman*

Nov. 9
EHS vs Ferris*
(end regular season)

*District 13-3A contest

MLLFA games
Games: Midgets 4, Pee-Wee 6, Little League 8 p.m.

Nov. 3
Wild Card @ Forney

Nov. 10
Playoffs @ Kemp

Nov. 17
Superbowl @ Kemp