We are still learning about the teams outside of our home state, so I expect to be wrong on several picks each week. Our rankings, and my personal picks, will become more accurate as we gather more information. If you have first hand knowledge of any team I mention here, please tell us.
NSI Academy vs Guernsey-Sunrise
3:00 PM Saturday Sept 22 at NSI Academy
Guernsey-Sunrise was picked to win last week, but they fell short. With two losses and only one win this season, I have to wonder- did we have the Vikings overrated, or has their schedule been that tough? We should get that answer this week when they face the NSI Academy Wolves.
NSI Academy is 3-0 this season, but their opponents haven’t been as tough as those faced by the Vikings. NSI is picked to win by 19, but if they can win by 30 or more, they have a chance to move into Wyoming’s top five.
2. New Mexico
Springer/Maxwell vs Animas
7:00 PM Friday Sept 21 at Socorro
Springer/Maxwell looks to be solid. The Red Devils beat the spread last week, but that will be more difficult against Animas. They come into this one as 45 point underdogs. I’m including this game anyway because of what I’ve been told by someone who knows New Mexico six-man.
Animas is sitting at #1 in New Mexico. The Panthers are the team to beat but so far no one has been able to do it. I don’t believe Springer/Maxwell is the team to do it, but I do think they can beat the spread.
Arthur County vs Creek Valley
7:00 PM Friday Sept 21 at Creek Valley
According to our spreads, this will be one of the most competitive games this week. Arthur County is only a one point favorite- but Creek Valley has home field advantage. It’s also Creek Valley’s homecoming game so they have even more incentive to get the win.
I’m going against the system on this one and picking Creek Valley by 12.
Cheyenne Wells vs Granada
7:00 PM Friday Sept 21 at Granada
Although I have almost no knowledge of these teams, the spread piques my interest. Sixmania has Cheyenne Wells picked to win by 10. Based on their scores against a common opponent, I think that will likely be accurate. I’ll be looking for film on this game regardless of the outcome.
Chilton vs Conecuh Springs
7:00 PM Friday Sept 21 at Conecuh Springs
With the exception of #1 Victory Millbrook, the top teams in this league have proven to be extremely competitive. #2 Conecuh Springs is only a two point favorite over #3 Chilton, so it could easily go either way. PATs will be critical, and will likely determine the outcome of this one.
Ashland vs Pawnee Heights
7:00 PM Friday Sept 21 at Ashland
This is another game that I know very little about the teams. I don’t even have a spread on this one because we don’t have Kansas in the system yet. I’m not sure why, but while looking through the schedules and scores, this matchup drew my attention. I’ll take a guess at it and take Pawnee Heights by 30.
With my six game format, I can’t get every game I want to mention, so I’m doing two this week- one for Texas, and one for the other states.
1. Dell City vs El Paso FAITH
7:30 PM Friday Sept 21 at El Paso FAITH
I’m a little partial to teams that never seem to give up, and the Dell City Cougars fall into that category. They aren’t contenders for the title, but they have been competitive.
El Paso FAITH’s only game this season was a mercy rule loss to Grandfalls-Royalty.
Dell City is a one point favorite, but I’m going out on a limb and picking the Cougars by 45.
Dell City Head Coach Joey Czubinski
“We played well offensively in our first game and we played well defensively in our second game. This week we’ll be looking for a complete package. We only have ten players, so hopefully we don’t get gassed before it’s over. Faith has a good passing game, so we will have to play well defensively to win.”
2. Crowell vs Motley County
7:30 PM Friday Sept 21 at Crowell
Both of these teams are traditional powerhouses, but they are also down a little from recent years. They have faced off more than fifty times, the first time I know of was in 1930, and Crowell has won more than two-thirds of the time. This year, Crowell is once again the favorite and I believe the seven point spread will be reasonably accurate.
Crowell Head Coach Tom McVey
“Games between these teams are always great. Both teams lay it all on the line every meeting. It should be an exciting game for fans to watch and for us to participate in!”
Motley County Head Coach Mike Bigham
“We are a young team and this will be a big challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to the journey.”
3. Follett vs Happy
7:30 PM Friday Sept 21 at Happy
Happy was a top tier team last year, but they lost a lot to graduation. While still good, they don’t seem to be able to match their former glory. They have squared off against Follett eleven times since 2000, but they have only won two of those.
Follett is almost always in the conversation when high quality six-man teams are being discussed. This season they have been exceeding my expectations. The spreads have them as a four point favorite, but I believe they will get a decisive victory over Happy.
4. Gorman vs Zephyr
7:30 PM Friday Sept 21 at Gorman
The Gorman Panthers have been reasonably strong since joining the six-man ranks in 2015. In fact, they earned playoff spots in both 2016 and 2017.
Zephyr is a name most Texas six-man fans know. A perennial powerhouse, the Bulldogs have been in the playoffs fifteen times in the last 20 years. They are a six point underdog according to our rankings, but I’m predicting a different outcome. I think Zephyr wins by 16+.
Zephyr Head Coach Brent Williamson
“Each week we have improved on both sides of the ball and we’re hoping to continue that this week. Gorman is fundamentally sound and has some speed. Coach Dixon will have a great game plan for us coming in.”
Gorman Head Coach Jeb Dixon
“Zephyr is a perennial power. We will have to control the line of scrimmage and tackle well. We are beat up so we need some kids to step up.”
5. Hermleigh vs Ropes
7:30 PM Friday Sept 21 at Hermleigh
These schools are only two hours apart, so I was surprised when I couldn’t find a record of them every playing one another. Both are consistently solid competitors who should never be underestimated. By the numbers, Ropes is favored by six. Personally, I give seven points for home field advantage in games expected to be close- which makes Hermleigh a one point favorite. This game has the potential to be a slobber-knocker, and if fans are lucky it will go into overtime.
Hermleigh Head Coach Sammy Winters
“After the way we played last week, which was the most physical game I have seen us play in five years, we expect the boys to play like that the rest of the year. Everyone was flying to the football and bringing once they get there. We are learning and getting better each week. They come ready to work and learn every day. We’re hoping that Ropes is a stepping stone towards doing everything right and taking care of business. Ropes is a great quality opponent that will give us tests and fits so we hope to do things right against them. Our players are hungry for the playoffs and know this is a game that will get us ready for it. We’re excited for Friday.”
Ropes Head Coach Lane Jackson
“I think this will be the best team we’ve played so far. They’re coming off a loss to Sterling City, so they will be more focused. We will have to play excellent defense and execute well with a balanced offense to get the win.”
6. Union Hill vs Aquilla
7:30 PM Friday Sept 21 at Aquilla
I had a hard time deciding if I should include this game. Union Hill is a 45 point favorite, but my thoughts on Aquilla should help you understand why I chose to add it.
Union Hill has been a contender since Shane Mallory took over the program. They didn’t live up to expectations last season, but this is a new year and the Bulldogs seem to be hungry.
Shad and I have labeled Aquilla as the most inconsistent team in six-man football. The Cougars seem to struggle in games they should easily win, but play extremely well against teams ranked well above them.
Since this is the type of match-up Aquilla seems to do well in, I expect the Cougars to have a great game. I do see Union Hill winning this one, but I think they win by less than 20.
Union Hill Head Coach Shane Mallory
“It should be an interesting matchup. Aquilla is huge up front and have really good backs to run behind them. Both teams play physical football, and have been improving from week to week. It will be a good test for both teams to see where we are as we get closer to district play.”
Aquilla Head Coach Josh Ball
“It’s going to be a tough game. Union Hill is going to test the limits of our offense and defense. They are a solid team and our key to success will be eliminating mistakes and working together.”
Underdog Pick of the Week
Covington over Morgan
Sixmania rankings have Morgan as a 24 point favorite.
By Garrett Ross
Walnut Springs- Gordon (2-1) jumped out to an early lead on Walnut Springs (1-2), but the Hornets dug in for a fight. The Longhorns would score three unanswered touchdowns and wrap the victory up early in the fourth quarter 70-24.
The first quarter set the tone, Gordon took a 30-8 lead on the road over Walnut Springs and made the mercy rule seem inevitable.
Seth Schilling of Walnut Springs had no intentions on going home early and it showed in his performance.
Schilling would have a hand in all three of the Hornets touchdowns, while chipping in on nine tackles from the defensive side.
After Gordon scored on a 7-yard pass play in the first quarter, Schilling took the ensuing kickoff 54-yards for a Walnut Springs touchdown, cutting the Longhorns lead to 14-8.
The Longhorns would find the end zone two more times before the Hornets got another opportunity.
Schilling connected with Tristan Whitt on a 27-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but Gordon still held a 30-16 lead over the Hornets.
In what seemed to form a pattern, Gordon would score two more touchdowns before Walnut Springs could get on the board.
Once again it was Schilling that would tack on points for the Hornets. The Senior got loose on a 12-yard run, which would be the final touchdown of the night for Walnut Springs.
This week Walnut Springs will host Avalon and Gordon will host Iredell, both games are set for Friday at 7:30pm.
This weekend wasn’t quite as hectic for me, so I’m actually able to write about the outcome of my games to consider.
Conecuh Springs Christian vs Clay County Christian
Conecuh Springs was a one point favorite, and I predicted that they would destroy the spread. They did beat the spread, but winning by five, 36-31, is far from destruction. Kudos to Shad’s system on this one.
Stratton/Liberty vs Peetz
I went against the spreads and picked Peetz in this one, but Stratton/Liberty proved me very, very wrong. The Knighted Eagles dominated the Peetz Bulldogs 60-21. That’s what I get for picking an underdog when I’ve never seen either team live.
Minatare vs Cody-Kilgore
Minatare went into this one as a four point favorite according to the spreads, and I felt like it could be anyone’s game. Unfortunately for Cody-Kilgore, the Minatare Indians were far more dominant than that. The Indians get a 61-34 win that will likely move them up several spots in our Nebraska rankings.
4. New Mexico
Vaughn vs Springer/Maxwell
Springer/Maxwell was a two point dog, but I predicted they would lose by more than that. Like others this week, they proved me wrong. They beat the spread by 12, with a 52-42 victory over Vaughn.
Garden City vs Balmorhea
Garden City showed us they are more than three points better than Balmorhea. The Bearkats defeated the Bears 53-21. I expected them to beat the spread, but not by this much. Keep an eye on Garden City.
Guernsey-Sunrise vs Kaycee
This wasn’t my underdog pick of the week, but it should have been. Kaycee started this season off with a loss, but they are obviously fixing the problems. The Buckaroos beat the spread by 36 points- defeating Guernsey-Sunrise 60-29.
This week I’m doing something a little different. With Sixmania expanding beyond Texas, I decided to start including games from other states. The ranking number for the teams is their place in their own state. For their place in the national rankings, go to http://sixmania.com/rankings/national-rankings-pre-season-2018/
#2 Conecuh Springs Christian vs #4 Clay County Christian
7:00 PM Friday Sept 14 at Conecuh Springs
Conecuh Springs is only a one point favorite, but they will be out to redeem themselves for last week’s 46-0 loss to #1 Victory Millbrook. If my guess is right on this one, they will destroy the spread.
Due to the league schedule, Clay County has only played one game this season and the outcome wasn’t in their favor. They will need to step up their game if they want to come out on top.
#1 Stratton/Liberty vs #4 Peetz
2:00 PM Saturday Sept 15 at Stratton/Liberty
A championship rematch with a 15 point spread? This is a game every sixman fan should want to see. Peetz took home the trophy last year with a 38-28 win over Stratton/Liberty. This time, Stratton/Liberty is the favorite, but as we all know that isn’t a big spread in sixman. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out- it’s my underdog game this week. I’m picking Peetz by six.
#8 Minatare vs #9 Cody-Kilgore
Friday Sept 14 at Minatare
Both teams come into this game at 2-0. Cody-Kilgore has played slightly better opponents, but they barely got by #13 Arthur County. Minatare has handled their opponents easily, but they haven’t faced a top 15 team. Our ranking system has Minatare as a four point favorite, but this is anyone’s game. It should be a good test for both teams.
4. New Mexico
#4 Vaughn vs #5 Springer/Maxwell
7:00 PM Friday Sept 14 @Springer/Maxwell
If you’re starting to see a trend here, you are on the right track. Like the other games I’m recommending, this one is two top 10 teams with very close power rating numbers.
Springer/Maxwell is a two point underdog, but I’m not positive they can keep it that close. Although they have improved since their opening game loss, I don’t think they are ready for Vaughn. Vaughn showed a lot of potential last week against #2 Elida, and if they come into this one healthy they could win by a couple of touchdowns.
#4 Garden City vs #8 Balmorhea
7:30 PM Friday Sept 14 at Garden City
A three point spread between two Texas powerhouses should pique anyone’s interest. Garden City has rolled through their opponents so far this season, but they haven’t faced a highly ranked team. Balmorhea is in the same situation. Both teams have top-tier coaches, but Garden City may be slightly more talented. I’m usually a Balmorhea fan, but I think they come up short in this one, and possibly by a larger spread than predicted.
#6 Guernsey-Sunrise vs #7 Kaycee
7:00 PM Friday Sept 14 at Guernsey-Sunrise
Kaycee’s win streak ended at 30 with their first game of the 2018 season. They have fallen in the rankings every week this season and I think they may continue to fall. Kaycee has won the last two meetings with Guernsey-Sunrise, but expect this year to have a different outcome. The spreads show Guernsey-Sunrise as a five point favorite, and I think they will easily cover that spread.
By Garrett Ross
When the #1 Eagles of Victory Christian Academy, Millbrook Alabama, took the field on Friday night they were expected to be in a dogfight, after all they were facing the #2 Conecuh Springs Eagles on the road.
Millbrook used the experience of their five seniors, as well as help from underclassmen to cruise to a 46-0 victory and left no doubt who the best team in the state was.
“The seniors were a very vital part of the victory, because they’ve been in my program for a while and they understand the way we like to do things,” said Millbrook head coach Jim Hardy. “I think it’s very crucial in a game like the one against Conecuh Springs that we have that experience on the field.”
The Eagles took a smash mouth approach and pounded to ball on the ground for 161-yards on 15 carries, while scoring two touchdowns. Millbrook never threw a pass during the game, but that doesn’t mean passing isn’t a part of their game plan.
“I feel like you have to make your offense from year to year work for the style of players you have,” said Hardy. “If I wanted to say that for all six years I’ve coached at Millbrook, we’ve ran the spread that would be false. My offensive philosophy is built around what you have.”
In Alabama, every team in the state plays each other once and then the top four teams at the end of the regular season play for the championship.
The dominant performance by Millbrook will likely get the attention of teams across the state. Coach Hardy isn’t worried about sending a message, he’s worried about getting the most out of his kids.
“I’m not a message guy, I’m a team guy,” said Hardy. “I send a message to our team that we did our job for that day, I’m not focusing on the other teams to say I’m trying to prove a point to them or whomever is watching. I want people to know at the end of the day when they see our score, that our team did our job.”
The Eagles (3-0) will look to stay undefeated, as they head to Hueytown, Al on Friday for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff against Brooklane Baptist (0-2).
From McLean’s jump to number one by defeating Strawn, to Knox City’s impressive second half domination of Jayton, week one offered sixman fans some outstanding games. This week I’ll look at six games that will hopefully be just as exciting.
1. Loraine at Bronte
Loraine is an 18 point favorite in this one, but since it’s Bronte’s second six-man game the numbers may not be accurate. Loraine should be a good test for the Longhorns, and it should give us a better idea of where they belong in the rankings. I’m so intrigued with this one that I’ll be in Bronte to watch it.
2. Rotan at Eden
Eden is a seven point underdog, but as we all know that means it could be anyone’s game. I’m not sure why, but I have a feeling that Rotan comes up short. Even if I’m wrong about who wins, this should be an exciting game. Count it as one of my underdog picks.
3. Follett at Valley
A clash of perennial powerhouses. The names alone should create interest in this one. To make it even better, Valley is only a two point favorite. As much as I love supporting the underdog, I just can’t do it this time. I think the Patriots destroy the spread and win by 20+.
4. Blackwell at Highland
Highland is only an 18 point underdog, but I think they will be hard-pressed to keep the score that close. In my opinion, Blackwell is an underrated team that is flying under the radar. Don’t be surprised if they win by 36 or more. On a side note, Blackwell is my pick to represent division two West at AT&T stadium this year.
5. Sterling City at Buena Vista
Buena Vista is expected to have another good season, but Sterling City isn’t a creampuff. They will expose weaknesses in each other’s gameplay- something every team needs this early in the season. It should be a battle, but Buena Vista will likely win by a couple of touchdowns.
6. Ropes at Nazareth
This is my true underdog pick of the week. Nazareth is a nine point favorite, and they have home field advantage, but I’m going with Ropes by 14. I can’t explain why I’m picking the Eagles, it’s just a gut feeling. If I’m wrong, I’ll claim it was indigestion.
If you attend one of these games, please send me end of quarter scores. (254) 659-7340
By Garrett Ross
Abbott- Behind a well balanced offensive attack the Avalon Eagles soared to a 38-14 victory over the Abbott Panthers to start the 2018 season.
Miguel Padron led the charge for Avalon, as he scored four of the Eagles five touchdowns.
Pardon was able to connect with Gabriel Pacheco on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter to give Avalon the initial lead of the game. The PAT from Marcos Kinser was good, making the score 8-0 Eagles.
Avalon would find the end zone once again in the second quarter, as Rhett Newton hit Marcus Kinser on a 14-yard strike with 7:22 remaining. Bryan Faber nailed the PAT, which gave the Eagles a 16-0 lead.
The defenses finally decided to show up late in the second quarter and neither team was able to accumulate any more points.
Abbott finally put together a successful drive late in the third quarter, which was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Kaydan Johnson. The Isaac Terrazas PAT was good, but the Panthers now trailed 22-8.
Miguel Pardon exploded for a 31-yard touchdown scamper on the previous Avalon possession. The Eagles elected to use their third PAT kicker on the night, Zach Anthony, but his attempt was no good.
Pardon would throw back-to-back touchdowns on the Eagles next offensive possessions.
Pardon hit Marcus Kinser for a 31-yard strike, followed by connecting with Vany Lopez on a 57-yard bomb. After a failed two-point conversion and connecting on a PAT, Avalon held a sound 38-8 lead.
Abbott never stopped fighting however, as you might imagine any Terry Crawford coached team would never do.
Isaac Terrazas would find a crease in the Avalon defense and he was off to the races for a 78-yard touchdown run; his PAT attempt would be no good.
Avalon finished the game with 299 yards of total offense, 168 passing and 131 rushing. The Eagles turned the ball over once during the game.
Abbott finished the game with 182 yards of total offense, 39 passing and 144 rushing. The Panthers turned the ball over twice during the game.
The player of the game was Miguel Pardon form Avalon.
Pardon was 7-9 passing with 3 touchdowns, he also carried the ball 14 times for 85-yards and 1 touchdown. Defensively he had 5 tackles and 1 interception.
Avalon will host Iredell next Friday, while Abbott travels up I-35 to Milford.
The 2018 season is about to start and I’m excited. There are a few big games that have the potential to effect rankings at the top of the list. A few others are worthy of attention for different reasons. Here are six games you should consider watching, and why they are on my list.
1. #10 McLean vs #1 Strawn
8:00 PM Saturday Sept. 1 in Jayton
Strawn is expected to be THE powerhouse in six-man this season. The Greyhounds are the defending division II champions, and return a load of experienced players, but they won’t underestimate McLean. The Greyhounds will be fast, physical, and well coached.
In 2017, McLean made it past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1990. The Tigers earned a reputation as a physical team last year, and they return almost everyone. They are hungry, and ready to test themselves.
Our system has Strawn winning by 41, but I think McLean keeps it tighter than that. Expect some hard-hitting football.
2. #2 Borden County vs #14 Union Hill
8:00 PM Friday Aug 31 in Jayton
Back to back division I champion Borden County graduated several key players from last year’s team, but they have enough experienced players returning to keep them near the top of the rankings.
Big things were expected of Union Hill last season, but they weren’t able to put everything together at the right times. They have a good group of senior leaders with big game experience.
The spreads say Borden County by 41. I think this will likely be accurate, but the final score won’t tell the whole story about this one.
3. Dell City vs Fort Davis
7:30 PM Friday Aug 31 in Dell City
Some will think I’ve lost my mind for including this game, but they don’t look at things the way I do. I love competitive games and our predicted spread on this one is Dell City by 2. What more do I need to say?
4. Coolidge vs Zephyr
8:00 PM Saturday Sept 1
If you’ve read my stuff in the past, you know I love the underdog. In this case, Coolidge is a 9 point favorite, but I have a feeling that Zephyr gets the win. If you want a competitive game between perennially strong teams, this one is for you.
5. Leakey vs Rochelle
5:00 PM Thursday Aug 30 in Rochelle
This will be Leakey’s first sixman game in decades. Our ranking system has them as 45 point favorite. With the talent they have that could be possible- if they have gotten past some of their crowded field habits. If they haven’t, Rochelle’s sixman experience may be enough to get a win.
6. #9 May vs #11 Richland Springs
7:30 PM Friday Aug 31 in May
Richland Springs is in a position they aren’t accustomed to- they are the underdogs. It’s not a large spread, May is favored by 6, but it will be interesting to see what happens. Personally, I think May gets the win, but a six point spread is anybody’s game.
By Jimmy Armendarez Jr.
When football season began in 2017 several articles came out on which teams would make that November December push towards Dallas Texas. However down in Rankin the only article of note that mentioned The Red Devils was a blogger upset over his teams low Ranking in the Polls. The subject of teams that play cupcake teams like Rankin was mentioned. That soon turned into a rally cry for the Red Devil faithful “Come and Get Your Cup Cakes!” Was the new battle cry. Rankin quietly started the season Ranked in the low 60’s but throughout the ups and downs of a season were Ranked as high as 12th in a few polls and ended the season around 18th in the state with a record of 8-4. The season ended in a Hollywood fashion 40 – 54 Playoff loss to Garden City. In a game that was little more than a footnote article mentioning Garden City as the favorites in a 45 point halftime spread leading up to the game. As the Red Devil team left for home with the Senior Class completely heartbroken an old feeling came back to the little community of Rankin. A sense of pride and self-belief took the place of question like what if and were replaced with thoughts of what’s next.
In 2018 Rankin brings back 7 seniors and standout (Jr) QB Titan Quigg along with an eager Sophomore class of pit bulls hungry to make the Varsity team. They will be led by First year head coach and AD Garrett Avalos. Avalos is no stranger to Rankin having played QB for the Red Devils from 04-08. Then Returning as an assistant coach in 2014. It is truly a time of new begging’s in Rankin as they set their sights on what’s next.
Jimmy Armendarez Jr. is a contributor to Sixmania. He is from Rankin.