Rivalries are one of the most exciting parts of the high school football season, and this week Houston County football fans will get a chance to see an exciting one between the Grapeland Sandies and Lovelady Lions. The 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were dominated by Grapeland whenever these two programs faced off, but that has certainly not been the case over the last six years.
Lovelady has swept Grapeland since the Sandies began playing the Lions again after dropping to 1A in 2006. In the seven games the two teams have played over the last six years the Lions have outscored the Sandies 247-89 with Grapeland averaging only 12 points per game.
The Lions first two games of the season were away games versus Colmesneil and New Waverly. Lovelady stomped Colmesneil 44-14 in week zero, and fell to a talented New Waverly squad 12-6 last Friday night. Even after losing a lot of seniors to graduation the Lions will still pose a serious threat to every team on their schedule. Young talented players like Taylor Golden and Emmanuel Williams have shown a lot of promise since the beginning of two-a-days, and veteran leaders like Dustin Rodriguez and Justis Kelly are doing their part to maintain the standards that have been set for the program by Coach Kerry Therwhanger and his staff.
Grapeland dropped their first two games to Centerville and Trinity, but both of these opponents are a bit tougher than they have been in years past. After beating Grapeland 47-18, the Centerville Tigers beat the 2A Div II #9 Mildred Eagles 70-22 the following week, and the Trinity Tigers beat a very good Groveton Indian’s team 21-13 in their game prior to playing the Sandies.
The Sandies defense showed a lot of improvement versus Trinity last week, but so far the second quarter has been their Achilles heel. Grapeland must cut down on mistakes and penalties in order to win this game on Friday night. Lovelady will have solid advantage versus the Sandies because this will be their first home game of the season, and the players, fans, and coaches will be ready to take on the Sandies. This will definitely be a game you won’t want to miss.
Players to watch:
Lovelady (1-1) -
- Justis Kelly – QB,DB – Kelly is a proven leader, and has made the move from running back to quarterback this season. If Kelly shines, then so will the Lions.
- Emmanuel Williams – RB, DB – Williams has been a very explosive and impressive addition to the Lions football team as just a freshman.
- Taylor Golden – RB,DB – Golden is a speedy sophomore, and can be very dangerous if he gets into the open field.
Grapeland (0-2) -
- Shaun Demetri Walker – RB,DB – Walker leads the Sandies defense with 16 tackles and 1 interception, and knows howto run the football averaging 5-yards per carry.
- Patrick Walker – ATH – Walker plays a little bit of everything for the Sandies, and in two games has racked up 466 totals yards including kickoff returns.
- Jacolby Simpson -WR,DB – Simpson leads the Sandies in receiving, but more interestingly is the fact that Simpson played the same position for the Lions last season. Simpson’s battle at wide receiver versus his old team should be one to watch.
The game will be played at Lion Stadium in Lovelady on Friday, Sept. 14 starting at 7:30 p.m. Fans may want to arrive a little early because the stands will probably be packed for this game.