District 7-4A will have plenty to watch in 2018.

Rusk looks to be the favorite entering Jowell Hancock's third season at the helm. The Eagles return several key playmakers that should help them earn the district title.

It won't be easy, however. There are several challengers, including Wills Point and Canton, both of which will have their eye on the title. Brownsboro drops down from Division I and should be a tough opponent for each of the teams in district.

even Bullard has a chance to make the playoffs in this five-team district. Without further ado, here is ETSN.fm's predictions.

District 6-4A Division II Preview

Wills Point RB/LB Savion Kellum. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

PLAYMAKERS

  • WR/DB Joseph Francis, Sr., 6-2, 180, Rusk
  • OL/DL Jermaine Lewis, Sr.., 6-3, 265, Rusk
  • RB/LB Savion Kellum, Jr., 5-10, 180, Wills Point
  • FB/LB Justin Edwards, Sr., 5-10, 215, Wills Point
  • QB/DB Demontre Hill, Sr., 5-11, 165, Wills Point
  • QB McGwire Martin, Sr., 5-11, 175, Canton
  • LB Simon Miller, Sr., 6-2, 195, Canton
  • RB/DB Ashton Williams, Sr., 5-10, 156, Brownsboro
  • RB/DB Saul Williams, Sr., 5-11, 170, Brownsboro
  • OL/DL Dakotah Walsworth, Sr., 5-11, 200, Bullard

TOP GAMES

  • Rusk at Wills Point, Nov. 9
  • Canton at Rusk, Nov. 2
  • Rusk at Henderson, Sept. 28
  • Brownsboro at Bullard, Nov. 2
Rusk OLB/WR Sean Rogers. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

1. Rusk Eagles

  • Coach: Jowell Hancock
  • 2017 finish: 9-3 (4A D-II area finalist)
  • Returning starters: 5 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • WR/DB Joseph Francis, Sr., 6-2, 180
  • OL/DL Jermaine Lewis, Sr.., 6-3, 265
  • RB/LB Byron Johnson, Sr., 5-10, 180
  • QB Connor Ellis, Sr., 6-0
  • WR/LB/K Tevin Taylor, Sr., 5-6
  • WR/DB Semaj Johnson, Sr., 6-4, 173
  • LB/WR Sean Rogers, Jr., 6-1, 180
  • OL/DL Nick Acker, Jr., 5-8, 230

Offense: Rusk will look to carry its success from 2017 over to this season. The Eagles averaged 39.5 points per game this past season behind quarterback Darrian McDuff.

Rusk OL/DL Jermaine Lewis. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Although McDuff graduates, Rusk will be in good hands. Connor Ellis takes over at quarterback and will have Joseph Francis and Semaj Johnson as targets. Look for Byron Johnson to make some plays in the backfield, too.

Defense: Francis will lead the way for the defense from the secondary.

Rusk WR/SS Joseph Francis. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Jermaine Lewis will  provide size up front to create some problems. The Eagles will be solid on the defensive end.

2018 outlook: Rusk finished 9-3 in Jowell Hancock's second season and should continue to trend upward. The Eagles lose a few key players on offense and defense, but return enough to compete. This district isn't particularly tough, and Rusk should have no problems making is mark.

Wills Point RB Stephon Bradley. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

2. Wills Point Tigers

  • Coach: Greg Cranfill
  • 2017 finish: 6-5 (4A D-II bi-district finalist)
  • Returning starters: 6 offensive, 10 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/LB Savion Kellum, Jr., 5-10, 180
  • FB/LB Justin Edwards, Sr., 5-10, 215
  • QB/DB Demontre Hill, Sr., 5-11, 165
  • RB/DB Stephon Bradley, Sr., 5-10
  • WR/DB Josh Davis, Sr.
  • TE/DE Cameron Penney, Jr., 6-3, 245
  • RB/DB Klayton Spencer, Sr., 5-11, 180

Offense: Wills Point returns its entire offensive line from this past season, so creating space should be no problem.

Wills Point RB/LB Klayton Spencer. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Finding players to run through the holes will be the challenge. Savion Kellum looks primed to take over at running back, but Justin Edwards, Stephon Bradley and Clayton Spencer will all get chances, too. Demontre Hill will hope to show off his athleticism at quarterback.

Defense: The Tigers return all but one starter from 2017. They will have plenty to improve upon after allowing 27.7 points per contest.

Wills Point MLB Justin Edwards. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Linebackers Kellum and Edwards combined for more than 250 tackles a season ago. Hill's four interceptions from last season show he is proven at defensive back. Expect Wills Point to have a strong season on defense.

2018 outlook: The Tigers are poised to make the playoffs once again. After a 6-5 effort in 2017, they should see an increase in victories. The offense needs to find skill players, but is experienced up front and should once again put up big numbers. The district is winnable for Wills Point, though Rusk is the favorite to start things off.

Canton QB McGwire Martin. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

3. Canton Eagles

  • Coach: Robert Ivey
  • 2017 finish: 6-5 (4A D-II bi-district finalist)
  • Returning starters: 6 offensive, 5 defensive

Players to watch

  • QB McGwire Martin, Sr., 5-11, 175
  • LB Simon Miller, Sr., 6-2, 195
  • LB Tyler Bryant, Sr.
  • RB/DL Brandon Melton, Sr.
  • OL/DL Will Brock, Sr., 5-11, 260
  • OL Garrett Wycough, Jr.
  • DL Carlos Rivera, Sr., 5-10, 195
  • WR Chris Hobbs, Jr.

Offense: McGwire Martin finished with more than 3,000 total yards and 26 touchdowns this past season.

Canton WR/ATH Cooper Smith. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

His return means good things for the Eagles' offense. Top receiver Chris Hobbs also returns, along with running back Brandon Melton. Look for the Eagles to once again be solid with Martin leading the way.

Defense: Tyler Brant leads the defense after posting 80 tackles in 2017.

Canton DE Carlos Rivera. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

He'll get help up front from Will Brock and Carlos Rivera as well as fellow linebacker Simon Miller. The Eagles were by no means defensive juggernauts a year ago, but should maintain their respectable play.

2018 outlook: Canton should once again be good enough to earn a playoff bid in 2018. Martin is a true athlete and will be the heart of the squad. As long as he remains healthy, Canton can at least repeat its performance from a year ago, if not improve.

Brownsboro OL/DL Wyatt Green. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

4. Brownsboro Bears

  • Coach: Greg Pearson
  • 2017 finish: 5-6 (4A D-I bi-district finalist)
  • Returning starters: 6 offensive, 8 defensive

Players to watch

  • RB/DB Ashton Williams, Sr., 5-10, 156
  • RB/DB Saul Williams, Sr., 5-11, 170
  • RB/LB Hayden Estridge, Sr.
  • DL/RB Luke Wellman, Sr.
  • OL/DL Wyatt Green, Sr., 6-5, 255
  • OL/DL Bobby Posey, Sr.
  • WR/DB Chris Simons, Jr., 5-11, 150

Offense: Saul Williams returns after a a 1,000-yard campaign in 2017. He'll lead the backfield and receive help from fellow running backs Ashton Williams and Hayden Estridge.

Brownsboro RB/DB Saul Williams. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

They'll have an experience line to run behind headed by 6-foot-5 Wyatt Green. The Bears offense appears to be in good shape with the return of six starters from a year ago.

Defense: Ashton Williams will lead the way from the secondary.

Brownsboro RB/DB Ashton Williams. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Saul Williams is the team's returning tackler after putting up 72 last season. Green will play on the defensive line and Estridge will get time at linebacker. The defense might be in an even better spot than the offense with the return of eight starters.

2018 outlook: Brownsboro made the playoffs last year and now drop down from 4A Division I. The slight drop in competition could be enough to propel the Bears to a winning record. Certainly it will be enough to get them back into the playoffs, especially on the back of a player such as Saul Williams.

Bullard OL/DL Tanner Fowler. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

5. Bullard Panthers

  • Coach: Scott Callaway
  • 2017 finish: 3-7
  • Returning starters: 2 offensive, 7 defensive

Players to watch

  • OL/DL Dakotah Walsworth, Sr., 5-11, 200
  • QB Garrett Esposito, Jr., 6-6, 195
  • RB/LB Reece Ricketts, Sr., 5-11, 177
  • WR/DB Whitney Parks, Sr.
  • WR/DB Nicholas Hooley, Jr., 5-7, 140
  • WR/DB Landry Lasseter, Sr., 5-10, 180

Offense: Garrett Esposito will make plays at quarterback given his 6-foot-6 Fram.

Bullard WR/DB Landry Lasseter. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

He'll have more than a few targets in Whitney Parks, Nicholas Hooley and Landry Lasseter. Bullard won't be anything special on offense, but if there's anybody to watch, it will be Esposito and the passing game.

Defense: The defense returns seven starters from 2017.

Bullard WR/DB Whitney Parks. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Reece Ricketts looks to be a playmaker at linebacker while all the receivers also play in the secondary. Dakotah Walsworth will use his 200-pound frame to make a difference on the line.

2018 outlook: Bullard likely won't see much improvement from a 3-7 effort after losing 13 starters from 2017. Of all the teams in this district, the Panthers are the least likely to make a playoff appearance.