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Preview: Tom Landry Classic Two-Step
August 31, 2012By Tim Polzer of VYPE MAGAZINE - DFW
The 7-Eleven Tom Landry Classic has earned a reputation for showcasing four of the area’s top teams in a Zero Week season kickoff. This year’s classic promises much the same with four highly ranked teams meeting at SMU’s Ford Stadium.
This year’s Tom Classic format will be bit different. Instead of playing a doubleheader, the two games will be split into two evening games. The new schedule will help keep fans out of the sun and make for a more comfortable game day experience.
Since 2000, the Tom Landry Classic has honored the legendary Dallas Cowboys and Hall of Fame coach by providing a first-class game experience for area’s high school teams and fans, while also raising scholarship aid for game-day participants including players, trainers, band and drill team members, and cheerleaders.
No. 6 ALEDO vs. No. 2 HIGHLAND PARK
Friday, Aug. 31 7:30 p.m.
The Highland Park Scots enter the game ranked No. 2 in the VYPE DFW 4A Power Rankings. Coach Randy Allen brings the area’s winningest 4A program back for a 10th straight Landry Classic appearance. The Scots are 9-1 in Classic games. Highland Park will feature a new dual-threat quarterack in Jet Tuma. He’ll have WRs Charles Hubbard and Anthony Vallera as targets. OL William Barns is anchor up front. The Scots defense will throw DB Hayden Greer, Matt Bannon, as well as, LBs Bryce Green and Guy Tom Kellogg at Aledo’s offense
The Aledo Bearcats, No. 6 in VYPE DFW’s 4A Power Rankings, are transitioning from three straight 4A state titles. Three-year stars such as running back Johnathan Gray and quarterback Matthew Bishop have graduated, but the Aledo program is too strong and deep to crater. RB Caleb Frysinger and QB Pate Davis will get a chance to step up in the Aledo offense. WR Willie Gibson is back as a proven playmaker and deep threat. LB Gunner Johnson is the leader on defense on our Game Changers list. DBs Shea Wood and Clayton Lowe add to the list of veteran Aledo defenders who will be called upon to try to stop Highland Park’s prolific offense.
LONGVIEW vs. No. 17 COPPELL
Saturday, Sept. 1 7:00 p.m. (note updated start time)
The Coppell Cowboys will make their first Classic appearance. They’ll start thes season at No. 17 in VYPE DFW’s 5A Power Rankings. Coach Joe McBride appears to have another dominating defense in 2012. The Cowboys D will be led by Game Changer Solomon Thomas and William Udeh as bookend DEs. Coppell’s offense will feature a new look and veterans at key positions. Bridgeport transfer Colby Mahon will start the season at quarterback for the Cowboys. Running back Luke Jenner also returns as a key to the running game.
The Longview Lobos are a perennial East Texas powerhouse making their first Classic appearance. Longview is ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press 5A preseason state poll. Longview will rely on QB Bivins Caraway who passed for more than 2,400 yards and 22 TDs in 2011. Look for RBs Tory White and WR Dorian Leonard to be big contributors on offense. Longview’s defense will feature LB DeMarkus Lathan, the team’s leading tackler.
Pre-sale tickets -- $6 for students and $8 for adults -- are available at participating schools one week prior to game. All tickets are $10 at the gate on game day.