Week 8 Preview: No. 9 Wall, No. 10 Jim Ned clash for district title hopes; Central hosts rival Abilene

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No. 9 Wall vs No. 10 Jim Ned, 7:30 p.m. at Indian Stadium
It’s hard to find another game with the level of implications quite like this one. Sure there are other big district games on this week’s docket, but how many are between two Top 10 teams with a district title more than likely on the line?

As many expected, No. 9 Wall (4-2 overall, 1-0 in district) sailed past TLCA 72-0 in its District 3-3A Div. I opener last week. Junior fullback Dominic Garcia led a host of ball Hawks’ carriers with six carries for 89 yards and three touchdowns, while their defense grabbed five interceptions against a struggling Eagles’ offense.

After falling the final minute of its season-opener against Ballinger, No. 10 Jim Ned (4-1, 1-0) is riding a four-game winning streak with wins over 2A Division I No. 10 Cisco and once ranked Hallettsville. In their district opener, the Indians balanced offensive attack gained 494 yards in a 46-14 victory over Early last week. Junior quarterback Tate Yardley threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns, while junior running back Xavier Wishert rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

The Hawks have won nine straight district titles and are the favorites to claim their 10th straight this season, but an emerging Indians’ squad could get in the way. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has Jim Ned favored by 13, while the Harris Poll has Wall as three-point underdogs. The Hawks have won the past six meetings, including a 14-7 victory last season.

Abilene vs Central, 7 p.m. at San Angelo Stadium
While these classic rivals were in a district together for the past two seasons, it’s only fitting their first district contest back in the Little Southwest Conference (District 2-6A) is against each other. Dating back to 1910, this matchup is one of the oldest in the state and this season marks the 96th meeting between the two teams.

After starting with three road games, Central (0-3) plays its first home game of the season and its first at San Angelo Stadium since last October’s contest against L.D. Bell. The Bobcats are coming off their best game of the season in a hard-fought 40-35 loss to 5A Division II No. 3 A&M Consolidated, where they held a lead midway in the fourth quarter last week. Senior quarterback Malachi Brown threw for 224 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Abilene (0-2) had a bye last week and is looking to bounce back from two close losses. The Eagles fell to Amarillo Tascosa 26-20 in Week 1 and lost to crosstown rival Abilene Cooper 30-20 in Week 2. Led by junior quarterback Abel Ramirez and senior running back Phonzo Dotson their offense is averaging 288.5 yards per game.

Dave Campbells has Central as seven-point favorites, while the Harris Poll has this game as a toss-up. Central has won four straight against Abilene

Other games to watch:
Junction vs Miles, 7:30 p.m. at Gary Krejci Memorial Stadium 
This game has big playoff implications. While it’s just the second game of District 14-2A Div. II play for both teams, it looks like Christoval, Eldorado, and Rocksprings are at the top of the district this year. Menard is still winless, leaving Junction and Miles potentially battling for the fourth and final playoff spot. Miles (2-4, 0-1) lost its district opener 35-6 to Eldorado last week, while Junction (4-2, 1-0) cruised to a 73-6 win over Menard.

Eldorado vs Rocksprings, 7:30 p.m. at Angora Field
For a second consecutive season Eldorado’s matchup with Christoval next week could be for a district title. But in order for that to happen, the Eagles first need to take down a surprisingly successful Rocksprings squad who kept pace with the Cougars last week. Eldorado (2-4, 1-0) is coming off a 35-6 win over Miles, while Rocksprings (4-1, 0-1) fell to Christoval 32-20 last week.

Sonora vs Brady, 7 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium
Sonora (2-4, 1-0) is looking to keep its two game winning streak alive, while Brady (2-4, 0-1) gets to play its first district game after having to forfeit last week’s contest to Ballinger.

Bronte vs Robert Lee, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Griffith Stadium
The Coke County rivalry dates back to 1927 and for the 103rd time this season these two teams face off. Bronte (1-5, 0-1) dropped its district opener 62-0 to No. 2 Sterling City last week, while Robert Lee (1-4) is coming off a bye. The Steers have won the past two meetings.

Remaining games:
Grape Creek vs Ballinger, 7 p.m. at Bearcat Stadium

Menard vs No. 8 Christoval, 7:30 p.m. at Jack Pardee Memorial Stadium

Brackettville vs Ozona, 7:30 p.m. at Lion Stadium

Mason vs Johnson City, 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Field

Veribest vs Water Valley, 7:30 p.m. at Diddle Young Field

Paint Rock vs Irion County, 7:30 p.m. at O.K. Wolfenbarger Stadium 

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