By Marvin Moore
Where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pirate Stadium
Players to Watch: QB Jamonte Gordon-West, WR Samuel Omosigho, RB Chris Abron, K Brandon Perez, WR Josh Smith (Crandall), QB Ryan Mccown, MLB Derreion Hinton, WR Devin McCuin, RB Isaiah Mallard (Jacksonville).
The Pirates topped the Indians 38-25 in last year’s season opening game to start the Kyle Hardin era on a winning note. Crandall averaged 247 passing yards a game in 2020, which ranked eighth amongst Class 5A teams in the Dallas area.
Senior quarterback Jamonte Gordon-West will direct the Pirates’ offensive attack after tossing for 1,534 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago. Samuel Omosigho — a 6-foot-2, 195 pound receiver — is a big-play threat who joins sophomore wideout Josh Smith (2020 District 8-5A Newcomer of the Year) to form a dynamic receiving tandem.
Crandall’s featured back will be junior Chris Abron, who ranked eighth among area Class 5A running backs last season with 1,055 yards on 174 carries and 12 touchdowns. Offensive linemen Dorian Maple and Jaxson Eskridge both garnered all-district honors last season, and junior kicker Brandon Perez has established himself as one of the top kicking prospects in the country.
The Indians have not won a season-opening matchup since 2017, and will look to establish the running game with Isaiah Mallard and JT Johnson. Ryan McCown will be under center and is a mobile signal-caller that impressed in last week’s scrimmage against Bullard.
Junior wideout Devin Mccuin, last year’s District 9-5A Offensive Newcomer of the Year, is the main receiving threat for the Indians.
Standout linebacker Derreion Hinton is the Indians top defensive player. The 6-foot, 195 pounder tallied 80 tackles, 11-tackle for losses, and six quarterback sacks last season at The Brook Hill School (TAPPS).
Moore’s pick: Crandall 51, Jacksonville 27
Marvin “Merv” Moore is an award-winning sports writer who served stints as sports editor and editor-in-chief of the Bethel University student newspaper. A 1984 Seagoville High School graduate, Merv has also coached baseball in Europe and Asia. He can be reached at email@example.com.