Heights/Neartown Roundup: Merren relishes stint as Spartan coach
Merren was a late hire as Scarborough's new head football coach. The coaching staff and players' positions were already established, which didn't allow him much time to make any wholesale changes. The Spartans suffered a setback when senior wingback Carlton Picot, their best offensive player, went down with a broken collarbone in the first half. The defense has given up big chunks of yardage, but Merren said the Spartans continue to mature under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Marcus Gabriel. Westside head football coach Mark Byrd believes the District 20-5A title picture will become a lot clearer after the Wolves' clash with Lamar at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Delmar Stadium. Both Westside (3-1, 1-0) and Lamar (2-2, 1-0) are undefeated in league play, making it the must-watch game in the Houston Independent School District this weekend. [...] Westside rallied from a 17-15 half-time deficit to wallop Westbury 56-29 in its league opener. Against Westbury, senior running back Ben Catalon ran 15 times for 208 yards and three touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Deante Gray scored on a 76-yard kickoff return and a 49-yard run. Lamar head coach Tom Nolen said the Redskins' defense, anchored by senior defensive end Chima Uzowihie, junior linebacker Jack Anderson and senior cornerback Daniel Lopez, must find a way to stop Catalon and Gray. [...] don't feel too sorry for the Redskins, who have a solid running attack featuring the tandem of seniors London Kirby, Steven Sannoh and Bradley Ward They all contributed in Lamar's 42-16 rout against Chavez, with Kirby (19 carries for 84 yards) and Sannoh each running for two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Darrell Colbert was efficient, completing 11 of 16 passes for 184 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. In particular, senior nose guard Jordan Osho and the rest of Westside's defensive line must gain an advantage over Lamar's big offensive line. [...] Byrd is expecting big performances from senior linebackers Devon Bethea and Elisio Ramon and the Wolves' secondary, which includes senior Ashton Palacious at safety and juniors Hypolito Corporan and Ali Rasheed at cornerback.
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