A tough and potentially season-defining three-game stretch begins Friday night for the Collinsville Pirates with the Muenster Hornets headed to town.
Collinsville (2-2) finishes up non-district play against the Hornets before facing district favorites Lindsay and Alvord back-to-back immediately after.
Muenster (5-0) is looking to finish non-district play undefeated for the first time since 2017, the year the Hornets won the state championship.
Collinsville has a young team, with just one senior on the roster. The Pirates dropped their first two games but have won two-straight since. Coach Garrett Patterson said the young players’ development is a big part of turning 0-2 into 2-2.
“A lot of it has to do with confidence when you have a young team,” Patterson said. “Because a lot of times, before you even go out there, they’re already beat. Developing that confidence is something that I think they did a really good job of, coming back and winning the last two. Pretty proud of where they’re at right now.”
Muenster is undefeated halfway through the season, and only one game remained competitive into the fourth quarter. Still, coach Brady Carney said while he thinks he has a good team, there is still plenty to improve upon.
“Each week, we’re trying to figure out ways to become better,” Carney said. “When we’re watching film on Saturday, we’re always finding something we need to work on. We try to improve on it the next week. I think that’s the way any good program and probably any good coaching staff approaches it. We’re not firing on all cylinders just yet. We still think we got some potential.”
Muenster isn’t afraid to throw the ball, but the Hornets prefer to run. Junior Colton Deckard leads the team with 872 yards and eight touchdowns. Senior Eli Saucer has four touchdowns to go with 103 yards, as well.
In the passing game, sophomore Seth Stoffels played well in his varsity debut last week, throwing for 155 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. When Muenster throws the ball, it usually goes to senior Grant Hess. He has 21 receptions for 478 yards and five touchdowns.
Patterson said Collinsville will need to match Muenster’s physicality.
“They’re always known as a hard-nosed program,” Patterson said. “That’s how their kids play. It’s hard to win football games if you’re not physical, so that’s something that I look forward to, and it will kind of give us a good idea of where we’re at.”
Logan Jenkins has emerged at quarterback for the Pirates. The sophomore threw for 246 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in Collinsville’s most recent win against S&S Consolidated. Sophomore Lance Stone and freshman Garrett Trevino are both serious rushing threats. Both had over 100 yards against McKinney Christian. Collinsville tends to favor a balanced offense, so the Hornets will need to account for all three.
Carney said the thing he notices most about the Pirates is their talented skill position players.
“They’ve got two really talented receivers, two big, physical running backs and a really talented little quarterback,” Carney said. “Skill-position-wise on offense, it’s really scary for us, but it gives us an opportunity to get better in the back end, which we need before district starts. It’s a great opportunity for us to go out and see some really good receivers and a really good quarterback and gives us an opportunity to get better on defense.”
Kickoff in Collinsville is set for 6 p.m.