Written by SportsDayDFW.com
High school football: Week 6 preview
For years, while surrounding towns and cities came alive with the bright lights and clashing of teams fighting for their playoff lives, there wasn't much reason to get overly worked up in the town of Ponder.
Today, that early-October apathy will finally come to an end.
After spending the past few years building its football program from the ground up, Ponder will finally play in its first district game when it travels to Callisburg to open District 5-2A play.
The Lions (2-3) enter their inaugural district season off a 34-21 win over Perrin-Whitt in their highest scoring effort of the season. After failing to exceed 17 points in its first four games, Ponder's offense came alive behind 171 yards passing and three touchdowns from quarterback Dalton Brown.
After having troubles kick-starting the passing game in losses to Whitewright and Wichita Falls Hirschi, Brown has shown flashes of potential in throwing for a combined 409 yards and four touchdowns in the Lions' two wins over Perrin-Whitt and McKinney Christian. In Ponder's losses, however, the offense has averaged just 54 passing yards.
Brown will need another big night throwing the football as the Lions should be challenged by a Callisburg team that has seen plenty of postseason success in recent years and went to the Class 2A state quarterfinals in 2009.
Even with a solid history, however, the Wildcats (1-4) look plenty vulnerable this season. Callisburg is coming off of a 64-20 thrashing at the hands of Grapevine Faith and has lost games to Bonham, Fort Worth All Saints and Gunter this year. Its sole win was 21-20 over Goldthwaite in its third game of the season.
Still, a win by Ponder in its first-ever district showdown would be considered a historic upset. If the Lions hope to make a run at the playoffs in their first attempt, a win over Callisburg is necessary. At the end of nondistrict play, 5-2A had two unbeaten teams in Paradise and Pottsboro and a one-loss team in Howe at the top of the standings.
-- Marshall Moore
Guyer looking to start new winning streak
After falling 31-14 to Coppell last week, Guyer is looking to get back to its winning ways against an upstart Keller Central team.
Guyer (3-2, 1-1) is led by quarterback J.W. Walsh, who didn't throw his first interception of the season until the closing seconds of last week's game and has thrown for 1,049 yards and eight touchdowns to go with his 470 yards on the ground and eight scores.
Guyer's defense has been relentless in pressuring opposing quarterbacks, and the Chargers have a solid quarterback in Tanner Tausch, who's thrown for 960 yards and 10 touchdowns to go with four interceptions. But the Chargers (4-1, 2-0) are balanced behind running back C.J. Kirk, who's rushed for 703 yards and six touchdowns.
The Chargers have been a high-scoring team this year, averaging nearly 27 points per game while Guyer has allowed 23.6 points, including 42 and 31 in losses to Cedar Hill and Coppell, respectively.
-- Adam Boedeker
Broncos look to rally after disappointing loss
After one of its most promising starts in recent memory, Denton will look to rebound and climb back in the District 4-4A playoff race when it takes on Little Elm at home.
The Broncos (2-3, 1-1) got off to a solid start this season with wins over Carrollton R.L. Turner and Fort Worth Brewer but took a step back to open district play last week when it fell 20-14 to Wichita Falls at home after turning the ball over four times.
The Broncos will try to use the athleticism of quarterback Dentton Hudspeth and a running game led by Denzell King to upset a Little Elm squad fresh off of a 28-21 win over The Colony last week.
King has 375 yards and five touchdowns on the year while averaging over five yards a carry, while Hudspeth has four rushing touchdowns and another five through the air.
-- Marshall Moore
Falcons looking for first district win
It's been tough sledding so far this season for Lake Dallas.
The Falcons are sitting at 1-5 and are still seeking their first district win after losses to the district's top two teams in Ryan and Wichita Falls Rider.
Lake Dallas narrowly missed that milestone last week when it fell at Rider, 23-15.
The Falcons are still trying to get their passing game in order under first-year quarterback Dalyn Williams, who's completed just under 50 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and six interceptions.
But the Falcons rushing attack has been formidable behind Williams (103 carries for 493 yards) and Tyler Waller (43-233).
The Colony (4-2, 1-1) is led by quarterback Garrett Simpson, who's thrown for 1,533 yards and 17 touchdowns.
-- Adam Boedeker
Aubrey, Argyle ready for district play
Argyle's defense has picked up where it left off last season, when it was one of the area's top units, and it's done so with mostly new faces.
The Eagles (5-0) have allowed just 11.4 points per game through nondistrict and look to continue the trend when they host Aubrey (3-2) to open District 9-3A play.
Argyle quarterback Austin Aune has been a model of efficiency, throwing for nearly 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one interception (in the season opener).
Running back Layton Lowry has led the Eagles on the ground with 547 yards on 74 carries and five scores, but the Eagles will have to contend with Aubrey's workhorse in the backfield.
Justin Griffin leads Aubrey on offense, racking up 570 yards on 73 carries with six trips to the end zone as the leader of a Chaparral rushing attack that has five players with at least 100 yards.
-- Adam Boedeker
Sanger, Pilot Point set for district opener
There's nothing new about Sanger and Pilot Point squaring off in the regular season.
The situation surrounding the game, however, couldn't be more different.
The Indians and the Bearcats will open District 9-3A play in Pilot Point in very different positions than when they met during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
In previous years, Sanger has played the role of the scrappy underdog in the series while Pilot Point took the part of the perennial state power. This season, however, the roles are reversed as Sanger (5-0) enters the game unbeaten while Pilot Point (2-3) is looking to climb back to the .500 mark.
The Indians have looked impressive so far this season, beating opponents by an average score of 42-7 behind a stout defense and the arm of Dane Evans, who has thrown for 1589 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing over 70 percent of his passes.
The Bearcats, meanwhile, are trying to build on last week's 57-26 win over Boyd and will try to spoil Sanger's impressive start just as the Indians did to them in 2008.
That season, Sanger beat Pilot Point 7-6 to in the Bearcats' only regular-season blemish.
-- Marshall Moore
Lions seek to remain perfect in district
Calvary will look to remain unbeaten in district play when it hosts Brownwood Victory Life at Bronco Field. The Lions snapped a three-game skid when they opened the district schedule with a 60-14 mercy-rule win at Granbury Happy Hill a week ago.
Victory Life (4-2, 1-0) enters the game with a three-game winning streak during which it is averaging almost 70 points per contest, including a 66-27 road win at Wichita Christian last week.
The Lions (2-4, 1-0) won last year's nondistrict matchup between the two teams, 50-14 in Brownwood.
-- Todd Jorgenson