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High school football picks: Mix of new, familiar matchups make for exciting week around Brazos Valley

High school football picks: Mix of new, familiar matchups make for exciting week around Brazos Valley

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Week 3 of the high school football season will feature a first for the Brazos Valley as Bryan travels to face Brenham at 7 p.m. Friday at Cub Stadium. The teams haven’t played each other since Bryan opened in 1971, but that bit of history takes a back seat to job at hand for both programs seeking their first win of the season.

Bryan and Brenham welcomed back a flurry of talent and experience, but both have struggled to turn that into wins so far this year. The Vikings lost to Lucas Lovejoy 44-14 and College Park 24-14, while Brenham lost to Magnolia West 45-21 and Magnolia 20-6. Picking up a win here would give both teams something to build on before starting district play Sept. 24.

They’ll want to show they can play a full four quarters without giving up crucial points in the final moments. Offensively, it’ll be a showdown between veteran Cub quarterback Steven Stackhouse and Bryan’s run game, which has shown improvement in the last week.

Prediction: Bryan 21-17

THREE GAMES TO WATCH

1. Lexington at Rockdale, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Lexington and Rockdale are no strangers on the gridiron, but the Tigers won’t miss seeing the Eagles’ all-around playmaker Jarred Kerr, who is still out with an injury. Kerr scored every touchdown in the Eagle’s 35-34 victory over Rockdale in 2020, and his absence is already being felt this season. Lexington lost to West in the season opener and held on to beat Thrall last week, but the Eagles allowed a combined 82 points in the process.

The Tigers average 300 total yards per game thanks in part to quarterback Blaydn Barcak, and they’re backed by a solid defense led by Cruz San Migel and Davioun Scott, who have a combined 58 tackles already this year. Lexington’s Sheldon Springer and Daylon Washington stepped up in the Eagle’s 38-34 win over Thrall, but the Eagles will need some help defensively to have a chance against the Tigers on the road.

Prediction: Rockdale 49-20

2. Magnolia at College Station, 7 p.m. Friday

Magnolia’s 27-16 win in last year’s matchup stung College Station, which rebounded by winning seven straight games yet still finished second to the Bulldogs for the District 8-5A Division I crown. This time, College Station flies into the matchup and district opener coming off two blowout wins, while Magnolia (1-1) is still dealing with the aftermath of graduating four three-year starters on offense.

The Cougars’ defense has held opponents to 18 points this year, but the unit will need to bring its A game against Magnolia, regardless of the Bulldogs’ offensive changes. College Station’s offense will see its first real test against a strong Magnolia crew that features five all-district players and the all-district defensive MVP William Alexander. The multitude of Cougar playmakers should overpower Magnolia, but getting in a rhythm early will be crucial for College Station.

Prediction: College Station 35-14

3. Franklin at Cameron, 7:30 p.m. Friday

It’s far too early to order a charter bus to AT&T Stadium, but it’s been all gas and no breaks for the Franklin Lions so far in their quest to return to the state championship game. Bryson and Bobby Washington have fueled Franklin’s run game, which has generated 653 of the Lions’ 728 total offensive yards in wins against Lorena 27-20 and Hearne 55-15. The Lions still have Marcus Wade under center to utilize if needed, but they haven’t had to.

Cameron is coming off two losses, but they’ve shown fight, taking Lago Vista to three overtimes in its 64-62 season-opening loss. The Yoemen, who beat Franklin 37-8 last year, are still trying to find that special spark and might need some extra kindling against Franklin’s defense. It’ll be another week of adapting for Cameron, but regardless of the outcome, the Yoe will continue toughening up for their 11-3A-I opener at Caldwell in two weeks.

Prediction: Franklin 44-14

Abigail Ochoa’s email address is abigail.ochoa@theeagle.com.

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