Fasten your seatbelts, District 21-6A opens for the Deer Friday night
Phase II to the high school football season debuts Friday night for new head coach Austin Flynn and the Deer Park varsity football team.
The accomplishments and mistakes of non-district must now be placed in a manilla folder and put away because the District 21-6A campaign is here.
Three of the opening four assignments are on the road and that tough stretch begins with a trip to Channelview’s Ray Maddry Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Deer Park comes in as a reigning district champion, but that was in another district. Now there’s six brand-new district opponents and they could care less that the Deer are reigning district champions.
Both the Deer and Falcons have an identical opponent that gave the two the same kind of hair-raising contest.
Clear Creek is that common opponent. Of course, everyone remembers Deer Park’s 52-48 come-from-behind win, while Channelview was nipped by the Wildcats 41-39 the following week.
“They’re explosive. They putting a million points up every week. They’ve got some skill guys that are impressive on tape. It’s something we’re putting our eyes on. We’re going to try and eliminate that as much as possible. Defensively, we have our hands full, that’s for sure,” Flynn said Wednesday.
The Falcons, owners of the same 1-2 non-district record as Deer Park, feature an attack that is run-oriented, averaging 220 yards per game so far. Compare that to a passing attack that’s averaging 115 yards.
Channelview’s run game is led by Alton Lott, who has had his number called over five dozen times already. That busy-as-a-bee workload ranks Lott fourth in the district with 410 yards to go with three touchdowns. His average per rush of 6.51 yards is among the best in 21-6A.
Their other ballcarrier is Kadarius Taylor, who owns the district’s longest run from scrimmage, a 98-yarder.
Zion Webb is projected to be Channelview’s starting quarterback. It’s apparent the Falcons aren’t putting too much on the junior’s shoulders when it comes to moving the chains with the passing game.
He’s averaging 14 passes per contest or a little over four passes per quarter.
In other words, he’s no Jalen Hurts just yet, the Channelview quarterback of three seasons ago who lit up secondaries to the tune of 131 completions, 26 touchdowns and 2,209 total yards, sparking a scholarship to Alabama.
However, Flynn calls Falcons receiver Devin Jennings one of the best in the district, who leads 21-6A with five touchdown receptions. Jennings also doubles as the team’s punter, who has gotten off a 44-yarder.
Defensively, Channelview is struggling, yielding 405 yards, a stat that has the Falcons ranked last. But Deer Park’s run defense is yielding just as much as Channelview’s at the moment.
“Defensively, they have a bend but don’t break-type defense. They’ve given up some points, but they’re capable and hopefully they won’t figure it out this Friday,” Flynn said.
Deer Park will be bringing to the game, the district’s top-rated passing attack that has compiled 726 yards. Opponents have dented Channelview’s run defense, but quarterback Broc Weidner will likely look for flaws in the Falcons secondary faster than flaws in its run defense.
Channelview’s defense against the pass is yielding 170 yards a game, while the Deer are averaging 242 yards in the air.
The Tyrek Saylor-led running game however needs its best game of the season because one-dimensional offenses in 21-6A may wind up on the endangered list unless that one dimension is extremely potent and Deer Park’s isn’t.
“We’ll have to be ready to go. We’re going to have to play a complete football game,” Flynn said.