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AREA MENU: Stephenville-Rider highlights Week 5 slate of high school football season

By Jonathan Hull, Wichita Falls Times Record News,




When/where: 7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium

Live updates: Follow @Hull_TRN on X (formerly Twitter). Watch at Listen at

Records: Stephenville 2-2; Rider 3-1.

Last game: Abilene Wylie 42, Stephenville 32; Lubbock-Cooper 34, Rider 7

Last meeting: Stephenville 43, Rider 42 (2022) ; Stephenville leads the all-time series 5-4.

Players to watch: Stephenville, Tate Maruska (RB, Sr.), Ryan Gafford (QB, Jr.), Hudson Butchee (LB, So.); Rider, Kenji Johnson (RB/K, Jr.), Jailyn Gibbs (DL/LB, Sr.), Ryan Jones (DB, Sr.).

Why it’s tasty: These two programs have had several meaningful games in the past, including four playoff games. The Raiders and Yellow Jackets played six times from 2004 to 2008, going 3-3 against each other. … Stephenville took the series lead with a thrilling 43-42 victory against Rider last season. Rider led by as many as 21 points in the game but couldn’t put the Yellowjackets away. Stephenville running back Tate Maruska scored the game-winning touchdown with 3:28 remaining. … Both teams are coming off losses with Rider suffering its first defeat of the season against Lubbock-Cooper last week. All four of Stephenville’s games have been decided by 10 points or less. says: Stephenville by 1.

More: Graham jumps to third in latest TRN Top 10 poll



When/where: 7 p.m. Thursday, Memorial Stadium

Live updates: Follow @Hull_TRN and @Naomi_TRN on X (formerly Twitter). Watch at Listen on 100.9 FM or

Records: Iowa Park 1-3; WFHS 0-4.

Last game: Graham 67, Iowa Park 6; Canyon Randall 30, WFHS 28

Last meeting: WFHS 34, Iowa Park 7 (2022) ; Iowa Park leads all-time series 6-5.

Players to watch: Iowa Park, Parker Allen (QB, Sr.), Rody Williams (WR/DB, Sr.), Barrett Brown (TE/LB, Sr.); Ivy Kelley (DB, Sr.), Ivory Kelley (DB, Sr.), Jaocbey Clay (LB, Sr.).

Why it’s tasty: This is only the 12th meeting ever between the two Wichita County programs. The series was renewed three years ago with the Hawks winning the first two and Old High coming out on top last season. The first meeting between the Hawks and Coyotes didn’t take place until 1996. They met every season from 1996 to 2001, splitting those matchups evenly. … The Coyotes are winless, but two of their losses have come by five points or less. The combined record of Old High’s four opponents so far is 13-3. … Iowa Park’s lone win came against rival Burkburnett two weeks ago. The Hawks have also faced a difficult schedule with the combined record of its opponents also being 13-3. says: WFHS by 10.


When/where: 7 p.m. Friday, Bearcat Stadium

Live updates: Follow @trnsports on X (formerly Twitter). Listen on 94.7 FM (Jacksboro).

Records: Jacksboro 4-0; Henrietta 2-1.

Last game: Jacksboro 51, Cisco 0; Henrietta 42, Archer City 7

Last meeting: Jacksboro 41, Henrietta 0 (2022); Jacksboro leads all-time series 34-21-2.

Players to watch: Jacksboro, Lando Belcher (QB, Sr.), Cannon Valenzuela (WR/DB, Jr.), Kaleem Howard (WR/DB, Sr.); Henrietta, Garrett Blevins (QB, Sr.), Klein Essler (WR/LB, Sr.), Blaze Deaton (RB/DB, Jr.).

Why it’s tasty: This rivalry dates back to 1915 when Jacksboro handed Henrietta a 33-0 loss. The two teams have spent much of their history in the same district but not since 2017. The Tigers and Bearcats met in the bi-district round of the playoffs in 2019 and 2020, splitting the two meetings. … The game pits two of the area’s top quarterbacks against each other. Jacksboro senior Lando Belcher has completed 69 of 99 passes for 1,211 yards, 13 TDs and three interceptions. He’s also rushed for 168 yards. Henrietta senior Garrett Blevins has completed 27 of 53 passes for 565 yards, six TDs and one interception. Blevins is also the team’s leading rusher with 333 rushing yards and four TDs on 31 carries. says: Jacksboro by 15.



When/where: 7 p.m. Friday, Lion Stadium

Live updates: Follow @CoryHogueSports on X (formerly Twitter). Watch on Listen on

Records: Burkburnett 2-2; Vernon 4-0

Last game: Burkburnett 34, Bowie 21; Vernon 29, Idalou 22

Last meeting: Burkburnett 35, Vernon 30 (2022); Vernon leads all-time series 43-23-3.

Players to watch: Burkburnett, Buddy Owen (OL, Jr.), Kyler Kirkland (RB/LB, Sr.), Garrett Bailey (LB, Jr.); Vernon, Kale Sherrill (QB, Sr.), Tru Gipson (RB/DB, So.), Adarius Williams (RB/DB, Jr.).

Why it’s tasty: This is one of the area’s oldest and most played rivalries in the area, dating back to 1922. Vernon has dominated for long periods in the series’ history, but Burkburnett has won the last five meetings. The last three wins have come by six points or less. … Vernon is 4-0 to start a season for the first time since 2013. That was the last time the Lions opened 5-0, too. They went on to finish 10-3 and advance three rounds deep in the playoffs. … The ground game has been the strength for both teams, which isn’t surprising in Vernon because of its slot-T offense. Burkburnett’s primary offensive weapon has been senior tailback Kyler Kirkland. … Vernon is honoring six former Lions who went on to play in the NFL during a special ceremony at halftime. Those players include Aston Whiteside (Class of 2007), Clyde Gates (2004), James Dixon (1985), Lawrence Gaines (1972), Mac Percival (1958) and Bill Herchman (1951). says: Vernon by 16.


Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday unless noted. Schedule is subject to change.

Thursday’s Games

Iowa Park at WFHS, 7 p.m.

Throckmorton vs. Whitharral, 6 p.m. in Guthrie

Friday’s Games

District 7-2A Division II

Haskell at Windthorst, 7 p.m.

Seymour at Munday, 7 p.m.

Electra at Petrolia, 7 p.m.


Stephenville at Rider, 7 p.m.

Burkburnett at Vernon, 7 p.m.

Graham at Mineral Wells, 7 p.m.

Bowie at Childress, 7 p.m.

Jacksboro at Henrietta

Alvord at City View

Nocona at Valley View

Hamlin at Quanah, 7 p.m.

Newcastle at Northside

Crowell at Knox City

Bryson at Woodson

Forestburg at Texoma Christian

Lueders-Avoca at Harrold, 7 p.m.

Chillicothe at Guthrie, 7 p.m.

Gold-Burg at Saint Jo

Roby at Benjamin

Open: Hirschi, Holliday, Archer City, Olney, Wichita Christian

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: AREA MENU: Stephenville-Rider highlights Week 5 slate of high school football season

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