Quick draw

Farmers to duel with undefeated Cowboys


Emily Honey

Quarterback Ethan Terrell (7) prepares to pass the ball to a teammate at the game against Mesquite on Friday, Sept. 9.

Boasting District 6-6A’s two best records, the varsity football team (3-1, 1-0 conference) is set to open its homecoming weekend against undefeated Coppell (4-0, 1-0 conference). 

Averaging 44 points through the first four games, the Cowboys lead the district in scoring; this is facilitated mostly by senior quarterback Jack Fishpaw. Fishpaw’s athleticism allowed him to record 950 total yards and 10 touchdowns in his first three games, and he threw another two touchdown passes in a 46-35 win over Plano West

Coppell’s success early on could deliver another productive season, as they finished fifth in the district in 2021. New head coach Antonio Wiley could merit further success this season, as Flower Mound started its district schedule with a loss. Last season, Wiley led Wichita Falls Hirschi to the verge of a state championship, and he brought in transfer linebacker Amari’a Wiley. The junior was a strong part of Hirschi’s defense in 2021, finishing his sophomore season with 106 tackles, four for loss.

Wiley will join a defense headlined by senior linebacker Ikenna Odimegwu and highly touted safety Braxton Myers. Myers, who graduates in 2023, recently decommitted from the University of Southern California and has offers from 34 programs. Odimegwu fills an edge rusher role for the team, finishing last season with eight sacks and 92 total tackles.  

Despite the implications of playing on homecoming, the Farmers insist that the crowd and situation won’t add any pressure, possibly even adding to the morale.

“The crowd’s gonna be a lot bigger,” junior running back Viron Ellison said regarding playing at homecoming. “The atmosphere is gonna be crazy [but] we’ll treat it like a regular game.”

Ellison is coming off of a career best contest against Flower Mound in which he ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. He hopes to keep his foot on the accelerator, mentioning that he wants to “maintain his yards per carry and try to score two or three touchdowns” per game. 

Ellison, however, gives credit to his defense for helping the Farmers escape Flower Mound with a 28-21 victory. 

“Our DBs came in clutch when we needed them most [such as] on third-and-longs,” Ellison said. 

The team’s secondary features star cornerback junior Jaydan Hardy and senior safety Brian Perez who also plays in the slot as a cornerback. The defensive backs have combined for eight passes deflected and have only allowed one touchdown in man-to-man coverage. Hardy has also found value on offense, converting three two-point-conversions against Mesquite and catching a 15-yard receiving touchdown in the final seconds of the first half against Flower Mound.

However, it is the defensive line’s consistent pressure that impacts just how much the opposing offense can do. Last week, senior nose guard Rendell Carter sacked Jaguars quarterback Yale Erdman twice and finished with seven total tackles. His efforts tie him with fellow senior pass rushers Carl Malvo and Mason Johnson for the team lead in sacks, with two. Johnson, a team captain, also leads the team in tackles for loss with eight and total tackles with 25. 

“Through the first three games, I don’t think we allowed over 60 rushing yards,” Carter said regarding the defensive line’s impact on the defense as a whole. 

Carter also described his own skills as well as the strength of the line as “solid [and] physical.”

The team’s defense continues to be one of the strongest units in District 6-6A. After allowing only 65 points throughout four games, the team is the only defense to have allowed less than 100 points this season. Regardless, any player or coach will make it clear that this is a full team effort.

The team hopes to capitalize on an excited home crowd and an undefeated opponent in high school football’s equivalent of primetime football.

“[We hope] to make the city proud with a win on homecoming,” Ellison said.