Whitesboro

Whitesboro faces Boyd for homecoming Friday night.

The Whitesboro football team will be home Friday for just the second time this season.

Whitesboro (2-2 overall, 1-0 District 4-3A-1) is set for its district home opener Friday night after beating Ponder on the road last week.

Boyd (0-4, 0-1) is having an uncharacteristically rough start to the season. The Yellowjackets won their first seven games last year and haven’t started 0-4 since 2016.

The Bearcats had their first home game Sept. 10. Three weeks later, they have their second. After a lot of early-season travel, Whitesboro coach Cody Fagan said it will be great to be back in front of the home crowd.

“It’ll be a great homecoming environment,” Fagan said. “A lot of people there, packed house. I know Boyd normally travels pretty well too, so should be pretty packed on both sides.”

Whitesboro junior quarterback Mac Harper has done well throwing the ball. He is averaging 152 passing yards per game and has thrown three touchdown passes. Rather than favoring one target, he spreads the ball around. Junior Jace Sanders leads the team with 187 receiving yards and a touchdown, followed by seniors Jacob Hermes and Torran Naglestad.

Whitesboro is dealing with some injuries, but Fagan said several players have stepped up when needed.

“It’s one of those deals where when you invest a lot into something, it’s easy to see how a kid’s going to step up and do what we need,” Fagan said. “A kid like Asher Contreras has stepped up and started playing defensive end for us, and then Friday night… ended up stepping in and taking over the running back duties for the rest of that night. Just a whole bunch of kids have stepped up in a lot of ways, but Asher’s the one that sticks out to me right now.”

Boyd has generally taken a balanced offensive approach. Sophomore quarterback Braden McIntire has two games so far of more than 200 passing yards. Senior Rendyn Lamance had a slow start to the year but rushed for 368 yards in the past two games to go with four touchdowns.

Fagan said Lamance is who the Bearcats’ defense needs to focus on most.

“He’s been a pain in our side for the last couple years as a sophomore and junior,” Fagan said. “We had a lot of trouble tackling him last year, so I anticipate seeing a lot of him just because of the results he’s put out against us over the years. He’s a tough, hard-nosed kid that runs really hard. He sticks out in my mind as a guy we’re going to have to stop on Friday.”

Boyd generally hasn’t had trouble moving the ball, but the Yellowjackets have committed 12 turnovers. If the Bearcats can contain McIntire and Lamance and take the ball away once or twice, they should have a good chance to win.

Fagan said the Yellowjackets are still trying to find their identity under new coach Brandon Hopkins.

“They’re still a physical football team,” Fagan said. “That’s what they’ve been about at Boyd for a long time. They’ve put together good drives. They’ve done good things. They just haven’t finished inside the red zone. Hopefully, we can continue to keep them from finishing at least for another week.”

Kickoff in Whitesboro is set for 6 p.m.

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