Fresh off of their bye week, the Wylie East Raiders suddenly have a target on their back.
The Raiders (2-0) are the lone unbeaten team remaining in District 9-6A, led by skilled players on offense and one of the top defenses in 6A through the first three weeks. Opening district play, East will host Naaman Forest (1-0, 1-2) this Friday night at Wylie ISD Stadium.
The Rangers were able to get their first win of the season in district play against Rowlett, but haven’t shown their best after being the preseason pick to win the district. With both teams hoping to make a statement for potential playoff spots, there is plenty of intrigue toward the week three matchup.
Here are the three keys to Wylie East defeating Naaman Forest on Friday night.
1. Slow down the passing game
Naaman Forest quarterback Deangelo Perales has been one of the best quarterbacks in the area through the first three weeks of the season. With a 68 percent completion rate and eight touchdowns to zero interceptions, he’s led the Rangers offense with an explosive passing game early on.
He’s also done a really good job of spreading the football around, with three different Naaaman receivers with 12 or more receptions this season. Jason Flores has been the most dangerous of the pass catchers, with four touchdowns and 18 yards per reception over three games.
While you can’t overlook Isaiah Cunning and the Naaman Forest rushing attack, the Wylie East defense needs to limit the big plays in the passing game. They’ve been able to do that through two weeks with a good pass rush and coverage downfield to limit their opponents to 176.7 yards per game, but face their biggest test yet from the Naaman Forest offense.
To win their first district game, the Raiders’ defense will need to come up big once again.