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Crockett’s Non-District Gridiron Schedule Features Familiar Foes

Three of Crockett's five non-district opponents for 2014 are new on the schedule, but they are all familiar gridiron rivals from previous seasons.

Rusk and Madisonville. who've been on the Bulldogs' schedule for several years, will be joined by Alto, Diboll and Shepherd.

Crockett competed in the same district with Diboll for a number of years and previously played Shepherd in non-district. The Bulldogs have scrimmaged against Alto the past two years.

Four teams on the schedule are larger classification schools (Class 4A DII) than Crockett (Class 3A, DII). Alto is in Class 2A, DI.

Before officially starting their 2014 campaign, the Dogs will scrimmage two former district rivals-- Elkhart on Aug. 15 and Westwood on Aug. 21.

Here's a quick look at Crockett's non-district foes:

Week 1 – Aug. 29
Alto - Home
The Yellow Jackets are picked to win District 11-2A DI, which includes Cayuga, Price Carlisle, Kerens, Malakoff Cross Roads and Grapeland.

Alto reached the third round of the Class A, DI (now 2A DI) playoffs last season with a 9-4 record and is ranked No. 19 in Texas Football's preseason poll.

The Yellow Jackets return six starters on both sides of the ball from a regional semifinalist team that finished with a record of 4-1 and 9-4 overall.

Linebacker Tyarius Hackett (85 tackles and 11 sacks) is the District Preseason Defensive MVP.
Alto must find a replacement quarterback, but Hackett and several other returning defensive standouts should keep the Jackets in games until the offense is settled, says Texas Football.
Running back Jyran Shaw logged 600 yards and seven rushing touchdowns last year, and lineman Luis Alvarado, who had 72 knockdowns, are "solid building blocks on the offensive side," the magazine says.

Week 2 – Sept. 5
Rusk - Away
Coming off a 2-8 season, the Eagles are looking to turn their program around with seven returning starters on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Eagles' attack will feature two running backs with over 500 yards last year and another with over 300 yards.

Rusk is picked by Texas Football to finish last in a tough district that includes the 2013 3A DII state finalist Fairfield, Waco Connally, Lorena, Mexia and Groesbeck.

Crockett and Rusk were district foes for many years and continued their rivalry four years ago when the Bulldogs dropped in classification.

Since their non-district series began, the Bulldogs have won three of the four meetings. Crockett prevailed 22-14 in 2013, 32-29 in 2011 and 54-6 in 2010. Rusk won the 2012 meeting 35-13.

Week 3 – Sept. 12
Diboll - Home
The Bulldogs renew an old rivalry with the Lumberjacks that ran from 2004 until 2007.

Diboll recorded 1-10 record last year, but one district win was enough for the Lumberjacks to slip into the playoffs.

The Jacks are picked to finish fifth in District 8-4A DII, which includes Coldspring, Shepherd, Madisonville, Cleveland and Huntington.

New head coach Blake Morrison, former defensive coordinator at Coldspring, will build the Lumberjacks' multiple wing offense around five returning starters. Only four returning starters are back on the defensive side.

Week 4 – Sept. 19
Madisonville - Away
The Mustangs are looking for a return trip to the state playoffs, but have only four starters back on offense and three on defense from a team that posted a record of 5-6 overall and 1-3 in district.

Longtime Mustang head coach Greg Morgan expects an improved passing game from quarterback Jaylen Smith, who gained valuable experience starting seven games as a sophomore. Smith threw for 688 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

Week 5 – Sept. 26
Open Date
With four games under their belts, the Bulldogs will take a breather before their non-district finale.

Week 6– Oct. 3
Shepherd – Home
The Pirates come to town on the Bulldogs' homecoming night to renew a non-district rivalry after a six-year hiatus.

Crockett and Shepherd last squared off in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and the Dogs dominated both games 64-0 and 46-0.

Shepherd's program has been on an upswing in recent years, and the Pirates are forecast to make their first playoff appearance since 1999. By the way, Shepherd's post-season run ended that season with a 47-0 rout at the hands of the Crockett Bulldogs in the first round.

The Pirates, who compete in the same district with Madisonville and Diboll, are picked to finish second behind No. 6 Coldspring.

Shepherd will benefit from a more experienced squad after posting a record of 6-4 overall and 2-4 in district last season with only two returning starters on offense.

The Pirates are building this year's team around eight returning starters on offense and six on defense.

Lady Panthers Shine in TAAF Regional Track

Regional Medalists—Houston County Lady Panthers track team captured a number of medals in the TAAF regional meet Saturday, July 12 and qualified for state competition in six events. Pictured are (left to right) Deja Payne, Shabess Johnson, Garlanisha Gilbert, Kevonna Johnson, Kristen Clinton, Rosalind McCoy, Jocelyn McCoy and Jakara Jackson. Not pictured is Jada Lockhart.Regional Medalists—Houston County Lady Panthers track team captured a number of medals in the TAAF regional meet Saturday, July 12 and qualified for state competition in six events. Pictured are (left to right) Deja Payne, Shabess Johnson, Garlanisha Gilbert, Kevonna Johnson, Kristen Clinton, Rosalind McCoy, Jocelyn McCoy and Jakara Jackson. Not pictured is Jada Lockhart.

The Houston County Panthers girls track team brought home a collection of medals from the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) Region 6 Meet and qualified for the upcoming Games of Texas in six events.

Regional competition was held Saturday, July 12 in Tatum.

First, second and third place regional finishers earn a spot in the state meet slated July 31 through Aug. 3 in College Station.

The 4x100-meter relay team of Rosalind McCoy, Jocelyn McCoy, Jakara Jackson and Kristen Clinton blazed to victory in the 18-under division with a time of 51.1 seconds.

Rosalind McCoy, competing in the 18-under division, qualified for state in two events with second place finishes in the 100-meter dash (12.7 seconds) and 200-meter (26.24).

In field competition, Shabess Johnson took first in 14-and-under discus with a distance of 66'4".

Garlanisha Gilbert, competing in the 14-and-under division, will advance to state in the 400-meter dash with a third-place time of 1:06.6 at regional. Gilbert also placed fourth in the 200-meter at 26.64.

Jada Lockhart is also headed to state in the 14-under division with a third place finish in the 100-meter with a time of 13.07.

Team member Deja Payne also competed at regional in the 16-under division and placed fourth in both the 100 (13.28) and 200-meter.

Competing in the 14-under division, Kevonna Johnson finished seventh in the 100-meter at 18.28 seconds.

Dogs will carry 7-on-7 success into fall season

Jubilant Bulldogs gather for a photo after qualifying for the championship bracket in the state 7-on-7 tournament in College Station Thursday, July 10 and Friday, July 11.

Crockett gridmen start summer workouts on Aug. 4 riding momentum from an impressive showing in the Texas 7-on-7 Division II Championships held Thursday, July 10 and Friday, July 11 in College Station.

On Thursday the Bulldogs won Pool F with a 2-1 record. After handling Argyle 26-22, Crockett fell to Sealy 20-18 but bounced back with a 40-27 win over Dublin to advance to the championship bracket.

In their first game Friday, the Bulldogs edged Booker 26-24, but were ousted from the single-elimination championship bracket with a 40-34 loss to Prestonwood Christian Academy of Plano. Prestonwood progressed to the championship game before falling to defending state champion Graham, 47-45.

This was Crockett's fifth trip to state in school history and its deepest run in the championship bracket.

Bulldogs competing in the state tournament were: Latreveounce Bell, Lucky Daniels, Tyler Dowell, Dee Epps, Rasheed Epps, Von Evans, Don Gilbert, Vunterrius Leonard, Michael Hall, Chamar Wiley-Harris, Brandon Martinez,Ozzy Ory, AJ Phillips, Case Robinson, Latariyon Tryon, Jordan Washington and A.D. Watkins. Casey Robinson coached the squad.

Panthers Dominate TAAF Regional Track

Houston County Panthers displaying their regional medals are (left to right) Damien Richardson, Rkelian Wiley, Ricktavius Lomax, Jordan Washington, Jamarquis Burton and Nicholas Harris.Houston County Panthers displaying their regional medals are (left to right) Damien Richardson, Rkelian Wiley, Ricktavius Lomax, Jordan Washington, Jamarquis Burton and Nicholas Harris.

Qualify For Games of Texas In August

For the second year in a row, the Houston County Panthers No. 1 Team dominated the track during the TAAF Region 6 Meet on Saturday, July 12 in Tatum.

The 4x100-meter team of Ricktavius Lomax, Jamarquis Burton, Rkelian Wiley and Nicholas Harris ran to a first place finish with a time of 42 seconds.

Lomax destroyed the competition in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.75 placing him in first.

Damien Richardson finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.3 seconds just ahead of Burton, who posted a third place time of 11.37.

Burton also had a first place finish in the 400-meter with a time of 55.86 and Richardson placed third in that event with a time of 59 seconds.

Jordan Washington, competing for the third straight year, added two more gold medals to his trophy case bringing his total to five. Washington ran a 14.55 in the 100-meter hurdles and a 40.18 in the 200-meter hurdles.

The team next will compete in the TAAF (Texas Amateur Athletic Federation) Games of Texas in Bryan-College Station on Aug. 2-3 vying for a spot in nationals next summer in Lincoln, Neb.

All the Panthers have to do is finish first through third in their events at the state meet to punch their ticket to Nebraska.

Dogs’ State Title Run Ends In Second Round in second round of championship bracket

The Bulldogs cleared their first hurdle in the championship bracket of the state tournament Friday morning by beating the Booker Kiowas 26-24.

But Crockett's championship dreams were shattered in the second round of the single elimination tournament with a 40-34 loss at the hands of Prestonwood Christian Academy of Plano.

Prestonwood won its next two games over China Springs 42-19 and Eastland 31-20 to reach the championship game.
Prestonwood then fell to defending state champion Graham 47-45 in a battle for this year's Division II state crown.

Crockett 7-on-7 Reaches Championship Bracket

Leaping Touchdown Grab— Crockett’s Michael Hall (16) and A.J. Phillips (5) go up to make a catch in the endzone against Dublin in Thursday’s pool play at the 7-on-7 State Championships. Hall pulled down the ball to seal a 40-27 victory that sent the Dogs to the championship bracket.Leaping Touchdown Grab— Crockett’s Michael Hall (16) and A.J. Phillips (5) go up to make a catch in the endzone against Dublin in Thursday’s pool play at the 7-on-7 State Championships. Hall pulled down the ball to seal a 40-27 victory that sent the Dogs to the championship bracket.Crockett Bulldogs won their pool with a 2-1 record on Thursday and earned a slot in Friday's Division II championship bracket at the state tournament in College Station.

Taking on a highly touted Argyle squad in their first game, the Bulldogs took care of business and prevailed 26-22.

After falling short against Sealy 20-18, the Bulldogs knocked off Dublin 40-27 to propel them into the championship bracket.

Argyle finished second in the pool with a 2-1 mark and joined Crockett in the championship bracket. Sealy and Dublin went to the consolation bracket after going 1-2 in pool play.

Crockett 26,
Argyle Eagles 24
Argyle was considered one of the tourney favorites after finishing as last year's Division II runnerup. Argyle was the 2013 undefeated UIL class 3A state champion and has garnered a No. 5 Preseason Ranking in Class 4A Division I this year.

The Bulldogs weren't intimidated by Argyle's credentials as they jumped out to as 12-0 lead on touchdown strikes from quarterback Case Robinson to Brandon Martinez and AJ Phillips.

Crockett would hold a 20-7 halftime lead after a TD catch by Michael Hall and two-point conversion toss to Phillips.

Argyle cut the lead to six, but Robinson again connected with Martinez to make it 26-14.

The Bulldogs were unable to score on their next two possessions, but kept Argyle out of the end zone with a defensive stand and an interception by Lucky Daniels.

Argyle scored a touchdown and conversion to make it 26-22 with 3 1/2 minutes left, but the Bulldogs were able to chew up most of the remaining time on their next possession.

Sealy Tigers 20,
Crockett 18
Facing another Class 4A, DI squad, the Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead when Don Gilbert returned an interception all the way.

Sealy scored on its next two possessions for a 13-6 halftime lead and then stretched it to 20-6.

The Bulldogs narrowed the gap on a Robinson touchdown strike to Michael Hall but the conversion play was unsucessful.

Another pick-six by Gilbert made it a 20-18, but Sealy was able to hold on for the victory.

Crockett 40,
Dublin Lions 27
The final pool match-up, pitting two Class 3A Division II squads, was close all the way until the Bulldogs scored two late unanswered touchdowns.

After falling behind 7-0, Crockett scored on a short Robinson-to-Phillips toss.

The Lions added a touchdown and extra point to lead 14-6, but Crockett would take a 19-14 halftime lead on a pair of strikes from Robinson to Hall and Rasheed Epps.

Dublin opened the second half with a touchdown drive to slip in front 20-19, only to have Crockett respond with another TD by Hall and two-point conversion by AD Watkins for a 27-20 edge.

After the Lions knotted the score at 27-all, the Dogs went back in front 33-27 on TD by Watkins.

Crockett put the game away in the closing seconds with Robinson connecting with Hall on the touchdown and Phillips on the conversion.

Pool F Scores
Crockett 26, Argyle 22
Dublin 27, Sealy 25
Argyle 34, Dublin 14
Sealy 20, Crockett 18
Argyle 20, Sealy 6
Crockett 40, Dublin 27

Final Pool Standings
1. Crockett 2-1
2. Argyle 2-1
3. Dublin 1-2
4. Sealy 1-2