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Five things to watch this weekend

10/6/2011

Here are five things to watch this weekend around the Midlands region:

2013 QB Swoopes ready for RRR

Dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas) is one of several 2013 athletes preparing for a trip to the Cotton Bowl for Saturday’s Red River Rivalry game between Texas and Oklahoma.

He, like many other recruits, will be attending the game with two things in mind. First, he’ll look to have a good time. Second, he’ll be there to monitor the styles of play from both programs.

“I’ve never been to this game before, so I’m excited,” Swoopes said. “I think it’ll be fun going to a big rivalry game like this. I don’t know who’s going to win, but it should be a good game.”

Big-time lineman battle in Missouri

Missouri high school football followers will be treated to a clash of BCS-bound linemen on Friday, as Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West visits Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill.

West four-star offensive lineman Evan Boehm, a Missouri commit, will line up against Park Hill three-star defensive lineman Ondre Pipkins, a Michigan commit. Boehm, an Under Armour All-American is ranked No. 53 in the latest ESPNU 150, will take on a motivated Pipkins, who has been impressive throughout the season.

“It’s going to be a great game,” Boehm said. “Ondre is a great player backed up by a great team. He’s one of my good friends, and I have all the respect for him.”

Undefeated battle in Oklahoma

In the latest "unstoppable force meets immovable object" gridiron episode, East Central (Tulsa, Okla.) hosts in-town rival Central (Tulsa, Okla.) in a matchup of two 5-0 teams.

East Central features one of the state’s best defenses, which allows only nine points per game. Defensive end Damian Gibson and linebacker Jevonte Cross are big-play seniors who are playmakers. Both hold offers from Utah State, and Gibson has an additional offer from Tulsa.

The East Central defense will line up against a Central offense that is averaging 34 points per game. Sparkplug running back Tyron Garth, a senior, is the team’s go-to rusher, while quarterback Milton Harper, also a senior, controls the tempo and serves as a versatile x factor. The duo combined for 451 yards and five touchdowns last week against Grove (Okla.).

Kansas fans to witness Trojan war

The Beloit (Kan.) Trojans and the Southeast of Saline (Gypsum, Kan.) Trojans will square off Friday in a matchup of two high-scoring teams.

Beloit has won four straight after losing its opener to Concordia (Kan.), including scoring 154 points in its last two games. Beloit features quarterback Peyton Vetter and running back Alex Niemczyk, but offensive tackle Jacob English has been the talk of the team of late, as he verbally committed to Wyoming earlier this week. English chose the Cowboys over Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State.

Southeast of Saline is unbeaten and has been impressive on offense. Led by senior dual-threat quarterback Nathan Peterson, the team is averaging 50.4 points and nearly 450 total yards per game. Senior Brock Long is equally potent at linebacker as he is at running back.

Texas Fab 50 team back in action

Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) is ranked No. 19 in the latest Fab 50, but the defending four-time Texas Class 4A state champion is making its case for a top-10 spot with every game. The team returns to action Friday at Vandegrift (Austin, Texas) after being idle last week.

Lake Travis, undefeated through five games, has outscored its opponents by a combined 250-86. The team beat Dripping Springs (Texas), 54-16, in its last game on Sept. 23. Quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Cameron Wrinkle rushed for two touchdowns in the win. Lake Travis, additionally, features four-star tight end Griffin Gilbert, who has committed to TCU.

Mayfield, a rising junior, has thrown for more than 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. He’s only thrown one interception. Mayfield also leads Lake Travis in rushing with nearly 400 yards and seven touchdowns.