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Sulphur Springs Wildcats Football Preview Part 7

Sulphur Springs Wildcats Football Preview Part 7
  • PublishedJuly 27, 2022

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We return, for our seventh installment of this Sulphur Springs Wildcats 2022 football preview, for those of you that missed the first six parts, we’ve got you covered with links below. In this one, the Wildcats have their first road match in the district portion of the schedule and will be going up against a team who has seen success in recent years.

Week 7, @ Mabank 

Friday, Oct. 14, hopefully the weather is cooling down, Halloween decorations are begging to be put up. Horror movie marathons are on movie channels, and the Sulphur Springs Wildcats will be going up against the Mabank Panthers. 

Mabank has been the definition of consistent over the last few years, going 6-4 in each of their last three seasons. Even more consistent, they have gone 2-4 in district play in each of the last two seasons, going 4-0 in the non-district portion of their schedule.

Moving to a different district could obviously prove to be a saving grace for the Panthers, as they look to reach the postseason for the first time since 2007, despite going 18-12 over the last three years. Will Mabank be able to break their playoff drought and start winning in district play? Or will they continue their streak for another year?

One of the main obstacles the Panthers will face is replacing most of their offensive production. Mabank was a run-first team in 2021, with senior Caleb Goforth leading the way. Goforth, who is now a linebacker at South Western Oklahoma State University, led the team with 703 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, picking up 7.3 yards per rush.

Senior quarterback Beau Kilgore also played a big role in the run game, finishing with seven rushing touchdowns, to go along with his nine passing touchdowns to just one interception. The Panthers will be losing 23 of their 36 rushing yards and 100% of their snaps at the quarterback position.

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Though Mabank wasn’t a very pass heavy team, they will also be losing four of their top-five pass catchers from a year ago. Finding replacements for that level of production could be tough, though they will have six games before facing the Wildcats to figure it out.

Defensively, the Panthers are in a similar position, as a huge majority of their leaders last season were seniors. Goforth, who we mentioned previously is now a linebacker at South Western Oklahoma State University, had an amazing season, leading the team in tackles (115) and tackles for loss (11). 

They also lose 19 of their 20 sacks from last season, including seven from Samuel Bowker and six from Kaizen Burrows, who also had an impressive 13 QB hurries.

Their saving grace defensively will come from a pair of players, JJ Flores and Carson Manning. Flores was just a sophomore last year and led the team with four interceptions. Manning also played a big role, finishing with 52 tackles from the corner back position. With those two returning in the Panthers secondary, they could prove to be trouble for opposing offenses.

Sulphur Springs should have the advantage in this one, in terms of returning production at least. The Wildcats return their leading passer, leading rusher, leading receiver, as well as leaders in tackles for loss, sacks QB hurries and interceptions. 

After largely winnable games to this point in the season, going out and grabbing a district win on the road would be huge for the Wildcats. With three tough matchups to end their season, the Wildcats will be looking to pick up as many wins and as much momentum as possible. 

All stats are provided by Maxpreps

Other articles in this series include:

Week 1 vs Jacksonville

Week 2 vs Mount Pleasant 

Week 3 @ Hallsville

Week 4 @ Van Alstyne 

Week 5 vs Liberty-Eylau (Homecoming) 

Week 6 vs Community (District Opener)

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Written By
Tyler Lennon

Tyler Lennon is the sports editor for Front Porch News and Chad’s Media. Previously with the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram, Lennon has now covered sports in Hopkins County for four years. He also covers the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers and has media credentials for both the Rangers and the Mavericks. On top of his writing, Lennon is also the lead play-by-play broadcaster for Chad’s Media. He has been the lead broadcaster for Sulphur Springs football, volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball and more. He is also the host of the sports talkshow Down & Out on Chad’s Media, along side Korey Hankins and Ryan Humphries. You can follow Down & Out on all social medias @Downandout903