District teams go 3-2 in football openers

CODY L. HAVARD

Special to The Free Press

Diboll Lumberjacks (0-1) Last week: Fairfield 70, Diboll 13 This week: vs. Corrigan-Camden (1-0) The Lumberjacks will look to shake off a forgettable opener when they resume a long-time rivalry with the Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs in Diboll Friday night. Diboll was blitzed in the opener by a Fairfield team that is expected to contend for the 19-3A crown. Things won’t get much easier for the ’Jacks this week when they host a Corrigan-Camden team that opened the season with a dominating 47-19 win over an Elysian Fields team that is usually a threat at the 2A level. Keegan Mitchell led the Bulldogs’ attack with 166 yards on 16 carries while scoring three touchdowns. Corrigan-Camden built an early 14-point lead and held off every Yellowjackets’ threat along the way before pulling away late for the season-opening win. The Bulldogs got on the board first when Haden Armstrong ran on an eight-yard touchdown to make it 7-0. Corrigan-Camden later added touchdowns on touchdowns from Carlos Inguanzo and Mitchell to take a 20-6 lead. Elysian Fields narrowed the gap to 20-13 on a 46-yard touchdown pass and appeared to be on its way to a game-tying touchdown. However, Kevin Moore intercepted a pass and returned it 55 yards to set up another Mitchell touchdown. Corrigan-Camden cruised from there before rolling to the 28-point win. Diboll is looking for its second straight win over Corrigan-Camden. Last season, the ’Jacks got one of their two wins on the year with a 26-14 decision over Corrigan-Camden.

Huntington

Huntington Red Devils (1-0) Last week: Huntington 20, Tarkington 18 This week: at Palestine Westwood (0-1) The Huntington Red Devils got their 2013 season, and the Ryan Soderquist era, off to an impressive start by taking a hard-fought 20-18 win over the Tarkington Longhorns. The win ended a 19-game losing streak that dated back to the 2011 season opener when Huntington beat that same Tarkington team. The Red Devils will now try to make it two straight wins as they travel to take on a Palestine Westwood team that opened the season in disappointing fashion, dropping a 48-7 decision to Mineola. Westwood made the move down to Class 2A last season and finished with a 3-7 record with its only district victory being a 28-10 win over Crockett in the last week of the season. Last season was a nailbiter as the Red Devils came up on the short end of a 20-18 decision.

Carthage

Carthage Bulldogs (1-0) Last week: Carthage 42, Jacksonville 28 This week: at Lindale (0-1) It was a big week for the Carthage Bulldogs as they rolled to a 42-28 win over 4A Jacksonville and moved up to No. 1 in The Associated Press state rankings. Carthage avenged a rare loss to Jacksonville from last season as it got a balanced effort from its offensive starts in the win. Blake Bogenschutz threw for 276 yards, Tee Goree caught eight passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns and Tevin Pipkin ran for 184 yards and two scores. The game was a tight one early as Carthage got on the board with a Bogenschuts TD pass to O’Kerion Rutherford and an eight-yard touchdown run by Bogenschutz before Jacksonville answered with 14 points of its own to tie the game. The Bulldogs took a 21-14 lead just before the half on a three-yard touchdown pass from Bogenschutz to Goree. The lead grew to 28-14 on another Bogenschutz-to-Goree touchdown, this one from 44 yards out. Jacksonville cut that lead back down to seven on two separate occasions before Carthage put the game away on another Goree touchdown pass from 36 yards, making the final 42-28. Lindale opended the season with a shootout 56-37 loss. Lindale trailed 21-17 at the half before Chapel Hill ran away in the second half for the win.

Center

Center Roughriders (0-1) Last week: Buna 27, Center 7 This week: vs. Pine Tree (1-0) After finishing with an 8-3 record last season, the Center Roughriders have high hopes for the 2013 season. But that season got off to a rough start on Friday night as Buna handed the Roughriders a 27-7 setback. That loss came as a surprise after Buna was picked to finish outside of the playoff picture in 21-3A. This week, Center will look to break into the win column against a Pine Tree team that started the season with a hard-fought 42-38 win in its new stadium. The Pirates held a 42-24 lead before having to hold off a late surge from Van. Dalvin Manns had a stellar night for Pine Tree with a 16-of-19 performance for 385 yards and five touchdowns. Mason Hays had a huge night at receiver for Pine Tree as he hauled in six passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns. In last season’s matchup, the Roughriders rolled to a 42-16 win over Pine Tree.

Jasper

Jasper Bulldogs (1-0) Last week: Jasper 45, Liberty 3 This week: Jasper at Orangefield (1-0) The Jasper Bulldogs started the season in grand fashion, rolling to a 45-3 win over the Liberty Panthers. With six players returning on each side of the ball, Jasper dominated an overmatched Liberty team on both sides of the ball. Liberty was a preseason pick to make the playoffs but Jasper dominated in every phase of the game. This week, Jasper will look for a 2-0 start against an Orangefield team coming off a narrow 22-21 win over East Chambers. Orangefield outgained East Chambers 405-115 in the game but was hurt by allowing two long kickoff returns. Orangefield trailed 21-14 late in the game before Matthew Kress scored on a 37-yard touchdown in the final two minutes. Orangefield then went for two and Dustin Verrett converted for the win. In last season’s matchup, Jasper had little trouble in disposing of Orangefield, taking a 55-14 win.