BGC Game of the Week Preview: Wagner vs. Smithson Valley

Two run-first teams go head-to-head to begin district play

District 27-6A play kicks off with a huge showdown between the undefeated Smithson Valley Rangers and the Wagner Thunderbirds on Friday night at 7 p.m.

SPRING BRANCH – District play officially kicks off in Week 4 of the 2021 high school football season with a heavyweight matchup between a pair of 27-6A teams: the undefeated Smithson Valley Rangers (3-0) and the Wagner Thunderbirds (2-1).

The Rangers are ranked as the third best team in KSAT 12′s Top 12 and have posted convincing wins over El Paso Eastwood, Madison and Warren. Running backs Travis McCracken and Malachi Lane headline a dominant rushing game that averages over six yards per carry and has racked up nearly 800 yards over the first three games. The man at the center of it all is junior offensive guard Colton Thomasson, who has committed to Texas A&M. He and the rest of the O-line will look to keep quarterback Chase Senelick upright against a stout Wagner defensive front.

After coming up short in a hard-fought, season-opening loss to Johnson, the Thunderbirds rebounded with back-to-back blowout victories over Stevens and Laredo Alexander and enter Week 4 riding a surge of momentum. As usual, Wagner’s offense relies heavily on a multi-faceted ground game. Four players have already topped 100 rushing yards this season, led by senior running back Quentin Owens with a whopping 449 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Isaiah Williams has only thrown the ball nine total times in three games, but he has been vital in the run game with 130 yards and five touchdowns.

Wagner emerged victorious in the most recent matchup between these two squads 27-24 in overtime last season. The game marked the Thunderbirds’ return to 6A play after two years competing at the Class 5A level. Prior to that result, Smithson Valley had won the previous seven meetings against Wagner from 2011 to 2017. We’ll see who comes out on top this Friday night at Ranger Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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About the Authors:

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.

Greg Simmons is the sports director and a sports anchor for KSAT 12.