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Itâ€™s taken awhile, but all three Nolan County football teams outside of Sweetwa-ter are hitting their stride.
The good news for Roscoe is twofold: not only are the Plowboys off to a 2-2 start after winning a total of two games the past two seasons, but â€” and much more im-portantly â€” they are 1-0 in District 7-1A, Division II after a 47-6 win over Baird this past Friday.
Roscoe will now travel to Cross Plains â€“ also 1-0 in district â€” on Friday as the Plowboys try to build on last weekâ€™s success.
Blackwell and Highland are one week away from their annual showdown in Blackwell. Highland (2-3) is coming off its second straight win, 63-14 against Trent, and plays Saturday at Lueders-Avoca (4-1).
Blackwell (5-0), mean-while, stayed unbeaten after holding on for a 48-34 road win at Blanket last week. The Hornets will celebrate their homecoming on Friday by facing a Veribest team that is 2-3 so far.
Roscoe coach Jake Free-man isnâ€™t downplaying his teamâ€™s victory. â€śItâ€™s very important to start district with a big win,â€ť he said. â€śWe didnâ€™t want to fall to 0-1 and have to try and battle back into the district race, especially with some really tough opponents ahead.â€ť
Freeman said that Cross Plains is a power run team that will line up in the I for-mation and try to pound the football. â€śLike last week against Baird, we have to make them throw the ball and get them out of their game plan,â€ť he said. â€śDefen-sively, they will line up in a split and show a few differ-ent coverages. We will just make adjustments to what they give us.â€ť
The one bit of bad news for Roscoe is that the team will be without Vincent Pan-toja, who suffered a broken collarbone last week. But Freeman is looking ahead.
â€śI tell the kids the past is the past, and we are proud of what we are doing, but we cannot be satisfied with winning two ballgames,â€ť he said. â€śOur goals are much higher than that.â€ť
Highland coach Jeff Shel-ton said Lueders-Avoca will be a good test for his team on Saturday. â€śThey run a pretty good mix of spread and tight, and they play very aggressive on the defensive side,â€ť he said.
â€śThey have everyone back from last year and they expect to make a deep run in the playoffs this year. Theyâ€™re a very good football team that is playing with a ton of confidence.
â€śWe need to continue to take care of the football, stay patient with our game plan, read our keys and play proper technique on the defensive side of the ball.â€ť
Blackwellâ€™s coach, Clint Lowry, said he is â€śvery hap-pyâ€ť with the progress his team is making. Blackwell has already equalled its win total from last year, when the Hornets advanced to the playoffs for the first time in four years. Blackwell quarterback Matthew Lowry, the coachâ€™s son, is 14-0f-16 through the air the past two games for 301 yards and eight TDs. â€śMatthew is seeing the field better and getting used to our system,â€ť his father said. â€śHe has become more relaxed, plus he has some receivers that can catch the ball.â€ť