Unbeaten Athens the Clear Favorite in 15-3A, But Rest of District Remains A Mystery
Only one of District 15-3A's three playoff teams from a season ago finished the 2013 non-district portion of their schedule feeling good about their chances for a return trip to the postseason.
Athens (5-0) has used a punishing rushing attack to reel off five consecutive wins to begin the season, while defending 15-3A champion Van (0-5) and runner-up Canton (1-4) have struggled out of the gate.
The league's other three members -- Mineola, Brownsboro and Mabank -- haven't fared much better, combining for a 6-9 non-district record.
The Hornets are averaging 358.2 rushing yards per game with the heavy lifting being undertaken by fullback Logan Fuller and tailback Devin Hall. Fuller leads the team with 654 yards and nine touchdowns, while Hall has rushed for 494 yards and seven scores. Athens' defense has gotten the job done as well by holding opponents to 183.4 yards and 12 points per game.
Van, in addition to being hit with several key departures from graduation, has had to contend with a few key injuries the first half of the season. The lack of wins hasn't kept a few of the Vandals' playmakers from enjoying solid starts to the season. Running back Matt Savis is among the area's leaders with 1,025 yards and nine touchdowns to his credit. Quarterback Peter Maddox has thrown for 744 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Canton has also had to overcome the injury bug. Starting quarterback Chandler Eiland was injured in the season opener, but made his return in the non-district finale to help the Eagles to their first win of the season -- a 49-44 victory over Wills Point.
Mineola (3-2) enjoyed some success in non-district, but in its losses to Tyler Grace and White Oak, the 'Jackets were outscored 92-20. Brownsboro (2-3) hopes to keep improving under first-year coach Jason Hooker, while Mabank (1-4) tries to turn things around after a winless 15-3A campaign in 2012.
[table id=685 /]
* -- denotes playoff berth.
Friday's District 15-3A Openers
- Athens at Canton
- Mabank at Brownsboro
- Van at Mineola