A pair of Class 5A, Division II heavyweights are set to meet this week in a game that is poised to shape the District 10 title race.
No. 10 Huntsville (4-0, 1-0) will put its perfect record on the line Friday night at Bowers Stadium against fellow undefeated No. 3 A&M Consolidated (5-0, 1-0). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The two programs have combined to win 51 of their last 60 games, including seven playoff victories. Huntsville won the league title in 2018 without a single district loss, while Consol did the same last year.
However, with multiple 2019 standouts from both teams now playing college football at the Division I level, Friday’s showdown will feature an abundance of new faces to the rivalry.
Huntsville receiver Jordan Woodberry and defensive back Cody McLerran are among the few Hornets that have played significant varsity snaps against the Tigers. The seniors note that despite this fact, their team is well aware of — and ready for — the challenge that lies ahead.
“We have to have a lot of confidence coming into this game,” Woodberry said. “We know it's an old rivalry and we know they're good, but we have a good team ourselves — a very, very good team.”
“They're a good opponent, they're well-coached and they're right there with us up in the rankings,” McLerran added. “They have 26 wins and only three losses (since 2018) … but we're one of them.”
MATCHUP TO WATCH
The Hornets haven’t been shy about their belief that they boast the best defensive line in Class 5A, Division II, and through four games they’ve made a strong statistical case to back up this claim.
Huntsville has 20 sacks through four games, with 11.5 from senior defensive tackle Edward Bobino alone. The Hornets are allowing just 11.5 points and 192.3 yards per game.
With Bobino and his brother Brian creating a 600-pound defensive tackle duo inside, and athletic ends Quaterian Riles and Seth Carroll providing pressure off the edge, an A&M Consolidated offensive line that allowed several sacks last week could have its hands full.
“I feel like our defense can shut down any team,” Carroll said. “We're sound and we're focused, and with the big Bobinos in the middle, it makes my job easy.”
DISTRICT OF DOOM
Following the most recent UIL realignment, the “District of Doom” moniker has often been used to reference a pair of powerhouse districts in the Houston and Dallas areas that currently feature five of the top-15 6A teams in the state. In Class 5A, however, it’s difficult to find a league that has produced as much firepower as District 10-5A, DII.
In addition to the undefeated starts and statewide rankings for Consol and Huntsville, District 10 has a trio of 4-1 teams in Bryan Rudder, Montgomery Lake Creek and Lamar Fulshear.
Lake Creek is up to No. 10 in the Houston area media poll after beating Fulshear, who previously held that spot, in last week’s league opener. Rudder, meanwhile, had the top passing attack of any team in Class 5A and above before running into the buzzsaw that is the Huntsville defense last Friday.
DE FACTO TITLE GAME?
The winner between Huntsville and Consol has gone on to claim outright district titles in each of the past two seasons, and although it’s only the second week of league action, this year’s meeting has a similar feel.
Huntsville has the most dominant defense the Tigers will see until the playoffs — and perhaps all year. Consol is beating opponents by an average of 31.8 points and is far and away the most well-rounded team left on the Hornets’ regular-season slate.
Something has to give in this matchup of Region III powers, and it’ll be an uphill climb to catch whoever comes out on top.