Jacksonville Daily Progress
District 16-4A's playoff representatives will be determined based on the outcomes of the conference tilts, which are scheduled to begin on Friday night and run for the next five weeks.
Having won just 43.3-percent (13-of-30) of its non-district games collectively, a case can be made that the circuit is not as strong as many perceived it to be a few weeks ago.
Whitehouse, at 5-0, is the league's only undefeated squad, with John Tyler (4-1) being close behind.
The Fight'n Indians of Jacksonville sit 2-3 and figure to be in the thick of things as league plays gets under way.
What is a shock to many is the fact that Corsicana (1-4), Lindale (1-4) and Nacogdoches (0-5) have a combined 2-13 record.
“I think there are a lot of people that are surprised at Corsicana's record,” Jacksonville head coach Chris Taber said. “But when you look at some of the teams that they have lost to, it's not so surprising. They still have a real good football team.”
Corsicana has lost to Denton Ryan and Sulphur Springs, two clubs that appear on the path to the post season in their respective districts.
“With only five district games, we can't afford to go and play at level that is not at our best,” Taber said. “There isn't any second chances when you only have five district games. We've got to be ready to play at a high level each night if we expect to win.”
This week's games
Jacksonville (2-3) at Nacogdoches (0-5) — Despite being outscored 155-54 this season, the Dragons came close to earning a win last week in coming out on the short end of a 28-21 verdict against Pine Tree. “Nacogdoches would have won last Friday night except for a couple of late turnovers,” Taber said. “They have the size and the playmakers, and I feel that they are getting close to putting everything together. When that light bulb goes off, watch out.” With Whitehouse on deck, the Tribe desperately need to open conference play with a win against the last-place Dragons.
Lindale (1-4) at Whitehouse (5-0) — Lindale will be looking to end a four-game losing streak when it takes on the district's hottest team. Lindale's lone win came over Chapel Hill (31-14) in Week 0. Included in the Wildcats' bag of wins are quality decisions over Sulphur Springs (38-33) and Carthage (29-27). Lindale appears to be outmatched in this one.
John Tyler (4-1) at Corsicana (1-4) — If Corsicana can find a way to get things fixed on defense — the Bulldogs have given up 167 points, more than any other team in the district — then, look out, but until that happens things will continue to be unpleasant for the Navarro County Blue and Gold. Meanwhile, the Lions, who were ranked No. 1 in the state for a week, will be looking to avoid another upset, such as was the case when JT fell, 26-21, to Lancaster in Week 1. A big boost to Corsicana's chances would be rain on Friday, as the Lions showed their dislike for the wet stuff in a 20-10 win over Nuevo Leon, Mexico two weeks ago.