District season begins for area teams

Pearland Oilers vs Alief Taylor Lions

Friday, September 28 at The Rig at 7:00 p.m.

Pearland Oilers

The No. 8 area-ranked Oilers enter District 23-6A action with a 3-0 mark after defeating Cy-Springs (47-10), Spring Branch Memorial (21-17) and Cinco Ranch (56-28).

Pearland will host Alief Taylor who is looking for their first win of the season after falling to Klein Collins (47-13), Westfield (53-6), and Fort Bend Bush (41-13).

Pearland is heavily favored to win the game, but any team can beat another on any given night.

Alief Taylor

Alief Taylor shouldn't be counted out of the playoff race with five offensive and three defensive players returning with 20 lettermen.

If senior QB Charlie McFarland can limit his turnovers from a year ago, the Lions could be very dangerous after he had 1,617 yards passing and 17 TD passes. Add WR Shea Whiting (6-2, 180, 4.6) who had 556 yards receiving and 7 TDs and they can be a potent pair on offense.

Defensively, Taylor will be led by LB Ezrah Thibodeaux (6-2, 235) who had 64 tackles; LB Isaiah Wheeler (5-8, 175) who had 35 tackles; and DB Montrell Winters (5-11, 190, 4.5) who had 54 tackles and 3 INTs. 

Dawson Eagles vs Strake Jesuit Crusaders

Friday, September 28 at Clay Stadium at 7:00 p.m.

Dawson Eagles

Dawson enters 23-6A competition against Houston Strake Jesuit. The Eagles are 2-1 on the season with wins over Oak Ridge (34-21) and Summer Creek (34-14), but fell to a very strong Dickinson squad 34-6.

Strake Jesuit opened the non-district season with a 3-0 mark with wins over St. Thomas Catholic (56-32), Beaumont West Brook (55-40), and Eisenhower (34-3).

Houston Strake Jesuit

Strake Jesuit is the newcomer to District 23-6A and is on the pre-season bubble for the playoffs. The Crusaders have seven offensive and five defensive starters returning with 25 lettermen and are no strangers to stiff competition having been competing against the schools in the Katy district.

The Crusaders were 8-3 last season and were 6A Div. II area finalists. Strake Jesuit is on its third head coach in three years. They will be looking for some leadership at quarterback from either Michael Hansen or Matthew Sanders.

RB Michael Wiley (6-0, 185, 4.5) should be a threat on the ground while WRs Nathaniel Beal (6-5, 190, 4.5) and Dylan Campbell should be strong targets along with TE Thomas Gordon (6-5, 235).

LB Jett Bush (6-2, 215) will lead the defense and get strong help from DB Denzel Blackwell (6-1, 175, 4.5). 

Texas City Stingarees vs Friendswood Mustangs

Friday, September 28 at Henry Winston Stadium at 7:00 p.m.

Friendswood Mustangs

No. 7 area-ranked Friendswood is 3-0 for the season after recording strong wins over Dayton (33-20), Clear Brook (17-6), and La Porte (44-7). 

Texas City is 1-2 this season with a win over Clear Lake (24-9) while falling to El Campo (28-21) and Clear Falls (35-28). However, Texas City and Friendswood are old district rivals and both teams will be up for this matchup.

Texas City Stingarees

Texas City has always been competitive and they have a long rivalry with Friendswood. The Stings were 5-6 last year and advanced to the 5A Div. II area round. They have seven returning offensive starters and only one defensive starter with 17 lettermen.

Junior QB Phillip McDaniel (6-0, 185) will return after gaining 1,851 total yards and 14 TDs while RB Jo'vel McDaniel (6-0, 200, 4.6) returns after rushing for 611 yards. Athlete C.J. Yell returns from an injury last year and should be a factor on offense.

The defense will be led by LB Mykahl Brow (5-10, 190, 4.5) who has the speed to cover the defensive territory. Brow had 120 tackles and 12 sacks last season.     One of the biggest transitions for the Stings is replacing the offensive and defensive coordinators who left to become head coaches at other schools. Replacing 10 defensive starters will also present a challenge to begin the season.