We begin our 14th hour of Forty Hours of Football with a trip to District 8-2A, Division I. 

OUR PICKS

1. ITALY

2. KERENS

3. MARLIN

4. DAWSON

5. CAYUGA

6. AXTELL

ITALY GLADIATORS

Coach: Craig Horn (4th year, 22-12; 123-42 overall)

All-time: 557-404-34

Stadium: Gladiator Coliseum, 300 S. College St., Italy, 76651

2020 result: 10-2 (5-0 District, first), area finalist

Returning lettermen/starters: 20/13 (6 offensive, 7 defensive)

Lettermen lost: 7

Offense: Spread

Defense: 46

Notable Players: QB Jayden Saxon (6-3, 240, Sr.) ... DE Kiamana Nakoa (6-0, 225, Sr.) ... LB Gabe Martinez (6-0, 210, Jr.) ... FB Colt Horn (5-9, 170, Sr.) ... OT Omar DeLaHoya (6-2, 220, Sr.) ... RB Jaden Barr (6-0, 225, Sr.) ... RB/LB Jay'lon Hernandez (5-9, 180, Sr.) ...

2021 Outlook: The Gladiators return lots of experience after winning the district crown last season. They won their bi-district match over Rio Vista (28-21) before falling in area play against Alvord (35-7). ... The varsity finished 10-2 in 2020 and will now have the influx of a talented JV group which compiled a 9-1 mark. ... Italy opens its season at the Gladiator Coliseum on Aug. 27 against Dallas A+ Academy.

KERENS BOBCATS

Coach: Ted Patton (2nd year, 4-7; 60-67 overall)

All-time: 563-389-40

Stadium: A.G. Godley Field, 200 Bobcat Lane, Kerens, 75144

2020 result: 4-7 (3-2 District, tied for second but seeded fourth in playoffs), bi-district

Returning lettermen/starters: 16/16 (8 offensive, 8 defensive)

Lettermen lost: 7

Offense: Spread

Defense: 4-2-5

Notable Players: ATH Damarya Baxter (6-2, 185, Sr.) ... ILB Izick Smith (6-0, 160, Sr.) ... DL/TE Austin Greene (5-11, 185, Jr.) ... OL/DL Caleb Demoss (6-1, 280, Jr.) ... OL/DL Chris Jones (6-3, 320, Sr.) ... DB/WR Jaylon Harris (5-10, 155, Sr.) ... QB Brayden May (5-10, 165, Soph.) ... OL Patrick Crabtree (6-0, 215, Jr.) ... OLB Jacory Agnew (5-11, 160, Soph.) ... TE/DL Jarod Brackens (6-2, 190, Sr.) ... OL Treylynn Lindsay (6-3, 330, Sr.) ...

2021 Outlook: The Bobcats tied for second but were dealt the fourth seed and lost to eventual semifinalist Crawford in bi-district, 49-14. ... Patton said Baxter is a "versatile, athletic player who can play almost any position on the field." He threw for 143 yards and a TD on 13 of 37 attempts; rushed for 725 yards and nine TDs on 125 carries; and had 106 tackles on defense, including an interception and five forced fumbles. ... May started eight games as a freshman QB and was the district's Newcomer of the Year.

MARLIN BULLDOGS

Coach: Ruben Torres (1st year; 35-27 overall)

All-time: 581-489-36

Stadium: Legion Stadium, FM 2958, Marlin, 76661

2020 result: 4-5 (3-2 District, tied for second and seeded third for playoffs), bi-district

Returning lettermen/starters: 12/13 (6 offensive, 7 defensive)

Lettermen lost: 5

Offense: One Back

Defense: 3-4

Notable Players: ATH Trajon Butler (5-7, 168, Jr.) ... QB Derion Gullette (6-3, 220, Jr.) ... RB/SS Ty Harris (5-10, 180, Sr.) ... ATH Keyshawn Thomas (5-10, 180, Sr.) ... DE Tremayne Richardson (6-2, 225, Sr.) ... OL/NB Isaiah Sanchez (6-1, 230, Sr.) ...

2021 Outlook: The Bulldogs lost in bi-district to Bosqueville (72-8) in bi-district last season. ... Butler will line up at every offensive skill position, Torres said as well as play defensive back and return punts and kickoffs.

DAWSON BULLDOGS

Coach: Jimmy Thompson (1st year; 248-128 overall)

All-time: 453-481-33

Stadium: Ed Mitchell Field, 199 N. School Ave., Dawson, 76639

2020 result: 6-5 (3-2 District, tied for second and seeded second for playoffs), bi-district

Returning lettermen/starters: 8/8 (4 offensive, 4 defensive)

Lettermen lost: 12

Offense: Best Fit

Defense: Split

Notable Players: OL/DL Hunter Boatwright (5-10, 195, Sr.) ... OL/LB Payton McCormaack (5-11, 175, Jr.) ... QB/DB Isaiah Johnson (6-3, 170, Sr.) ... RB/DB Colby Springer (5-10, 165, Soph.) ... RB/DB Cade Onstott (5-7, 145, Jr.) ... OL/DL Eddie Guerra (5-8, 195, Sr.) ...

2021 Outlook: The Bulldogs lost a shootout in bi-district, 45-42 to Tolar in 2020. ... The Bulldogs will be very inexperience in 2021. ... Thompson takes over after seven years as head coach at Crockett.

CAYUGA WILDCATS

Coach: Jacob Magee (1st year)

All-time: 192-265-5

Stadium: Scarborough Stadium, 17750 US 287, Cayuga, 75832

2020 result: 1-8 (1-4 District, fifth)

Returning lettermen/starters: 8/15 (5 offensive, 8 defensive)

Lettermen lost: 9

Offense: Wing T

Defense: 4-3

Notable Players: Utility Chase Hearrell (5-10, 150, Jr.) ... DE/RB Khristian Roberts (6-1, 165, Sr.) ... SS/RB Braxton Killion (5-11, 160, Jr.) ... OL/DL Jacob Ingram (6-3, 285, Jr.) ... OL/DL Bo Barrett (6-2, 235, Jr.) ... QB Walker McCann (6-3, 175, Soph.) ... RB Jakobe Brown (5-10, 160, Soph.) ... RB Steven Wingfield (Jr.) ... TE Travis Robinson (Sr.) ... FB Jadan Henry (Sr.) ... T Brayden Collum (Jr.) ... WR Owen Cretsinger (Jr.) ...

2021 Outlook: Hearrell plays all over the field for the Wildcats. The junior is a defensive back, while on offense he lines up at quarterback, running back and receiver. He never leaves the field as he is on special teams as well. ... Former head coach Cody Mohan added the team will look to Roberts for leadership while Killion is a veteran player with leaderships skills. ... Ingram started every game on the offensive line and played DL too. ... Mohan stated Barrett plays center and D-line and will have a bigger impact in 2021.

AXTELL LONGHORNS

Coach: Rusty Reynolds (3rd year, 2-17; 20-39 overall)

All-time: 334-378-17

Stadium: Ellison Field, 308 Ottawa, Axtell, 76624

2020 result: 1-8 (0-5 District, sixth)

Returning lettermen/starters: 16/11 (6 offensive, 5 defensive)

Lettermen lost: 9

Offense: Double wing

Defense: 3-4

Notable Players: RB/LB Jayme Wooley (5-10, 185, Sr.) ... OL/DL Justin McVay (6-5, 300, Sr.) ... OL/DE Remington Regian (6-0, 196, Soph.) ... OL/DL Cohen Hackman (6-1, 185, Sr.) ... RB/DB Jordan Davis (5-6, 150, Jr.) ... OL/DL Luke Leathers (6-5, 235, Sr.) ... RB/DB Sam Michel (5-6, 145, Jr.) ... OL/DL Jake Dawson (6-5, 300, Jr.) ... QB/DB Cameron Campos (6-0, 150, Soph.) ... RB/LB Justin Manning (5-10, 160, Jr.) ... RB/LB Elias Sanchez (5-6, 150, Soph.) ... TE/DE Levi Strock (5-10, 165, Soph.) ...

2021 Outlook: The Longhorns have missed the playoffs the last two years and look to return to the postseason with all-around player Wooley leading the way. He rushed for 850 yards and eight TDs last year and had 72 tackles on defense. Sophomore Regian started both ways for the 'Horns and was the district's offensive newcomer of the year.

 
 

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