Mavs, Deer set for battle
Pasadena Memorial has accomplished a lot in its relatively short football history, including winning its first district championship last season. But there's one thing it's never done — beat Deer Park.
The Deer are 6-0 against the Mavericks, who've beaten just about everybody at least once, except for the Deer. And if the Mavs want to win another crown, they'll likely have to get it done this year.
But that's easier said than done.
Deer Park knocked off rival La Porte in a showdown that vaulted it into the ranks of the elite Class 5A teams in the Houston area, and it's done nothing since to suggest that it doesn't belong there.
ABOUT THE GAME
• Matchup: Pasadena Memorial vs. Deer Park
• When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22
• Where: Abshier Stadium
• What's at stake: The District 22-5A championship. Pasadena Memorial shared it with Pearland, which it upset, last season and was the odds-on favorite to repeat as champs in a district weakened by UIL realignment. Deer Park, on the other hand, has been surprisingly good for a team whose offensive struggles last season continued into the first part of this year.
• Memorial players to watch: QB Ethan Dillon, RB Jacolby Hopkins, RB Thaddeus Stewart, OT Dylan Socie
• Deer Park players to watch: QB Austin Rainer, WR Darian Banks, TE Payden McVey, DE Taylor Freimuller
• Memorial: The Mavericks were 3-3 through six games. Besides Texas City they beat Channelview, a team that's played several opponents close but doesn't have the depth to compete on an elite level, and Sam Rayburn, a lesser district contender. Their 40-14 win over the Texans in Week 6 featured a 27-0 start. Memorial led 40-7 early in the third quarter and finished with 398 total yards. Thaddeus Stewart scored two rushing TDs and Nathan Mourik had four receptions for 137 yards and two scores, giving him six receiving TDs on the season. … Stewart was one of the top RBs in Houston through six games, with 810 yards and nine TDs on 102 carries for a 7.9 yards per carry average.
• Deer Park: Deer Park was just a middling 5A team after being blown out by Clear Creek in Week 2, but it rebounded with a 35-28 win over Westside before upsetting La Porte 21-19 at home in Week 4. La Porte was undefeated and ranked at the time and Deer Park was unranked.