It would be difficult to find a team with a more difficult schedule to start the season than Siegel.
The Stars, who are ranked sixth in Class 6A, enter tonight’s contest with Beech. The Bucs are Siegel’s sixth consecutive state-ranked opponent.
Siegel (3-2) hosts the defending Class 5A state champions at 7 p.m. today (TV: WUXP-30) at Ken Nolan Stadium in this week’s Thursday Night Lights contest.
Beech (4-1) is ranked second in Class 5A. However, the Bucs are without Tennessee commitment Jalen Hurd. Hurd had season-ending surgery after the Bucs’ Week 0 win over Station Camp.
That, though, doesn’t make things any easier.
Running back Dorian Carter has picked up where Hurd left off. Carter has rushed for 1,012 yards on 145 carries through five games. He has 14 of the Bucs’ 23 touchdowns (three of the remaining were by Hurd). Carter is a strong runner that can run between the tackles.
“The Carter kid is one of the best running backs that we are going to see this year,” Siegel quarterback Dakota Crane said. “Every game so far has been tough for us. We just have to play through it.”
The Bucs move the ball primarily on the ground. Quarterback Parker Henry has thrown for 301 yards this season. He has two interceptions and no touchdowns. Beech, though, has 1,623 rushing yards this season.
Siegel has been balanced offensively. The high-scoring attack averages 457.2 yards a game — 220.8 on the grounds and 236.4 in the air.
Quarterback Dakota Crane is 74-of-113 passing for 1,119 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. Crane has also rushed for 265 yards with three more scores. Running back Denzel Harding has 382 rushing yards on 63 carries with four touchdowns. He’s caught 13 passes for 217 yards and three more scores. Weston Hayes leads the Stars with 21 catches for 412 yards with five touchdowns.
However, defensively the Stars have struggled to stop their opponents. Siegel is giving up 440.6 yards a game, including 288.4 on the ground.
“We’ve had some tough weeks,” Siegel linebacker Nick Peters said. “But I love how our team is coming back and playing together as a team.”