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2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:22 pm
by granger
BY LEMAN SAUNDERS

1A/6-man Semi-Final Matchups:
DI
West: Happy (13-0) v Borden County (13-0) – Saturday Dec. 9th 4pm in Levelland
The game many have been talking about and looking forward to all season. No matter which ranking you’ve been looking at, they all have one thing in common, all season these two schools have been #1 and #2.

Last season these two met up in the west’s semifinal and the Coyotes’ offense could not be stopped, as BC won 92-58. This year it seems like Happy’s offense is the most potent. They are averaging almost 78 points per game and put up 94 points in only two quarters of play just two weeks ago.

Everyone knows their playmaker is Colton McCarley, who has scored 150 points by himself in Happy’s three playoff games, and that is not taking into account his touchdown passes. Last week, he had his usual game, rushing for 278 yards and seven touchdowns on 15 carries. However, Jayton Walden and Jayden Bressler are also key players for the Cowboys offensively. Against McLean, Walden had a big game, rushing for 147 yards and four touchdowns on just eight carries.

Borden County is known for possibly having the best defense in all of class 1A, allowing just five points per game this season. They have 45’d every opponent and have held eight of them scoreless. Defensive Ends Ryan Willborn, Ben Justice and Nick Allen are formidable up front with size and quickness. LB/S Trace Richey is a big hitter and quite a ball hawk that lets very little past him in the secondary.

Offensively, Nick Proulx is a speedster out of the backfield and with the big boys up front leading the way he is hard to get a hand on. In last week’s win over Garden City, Proulx rushed for 254 yards with four touchdowns, while Payton Merket rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown as well. Willborn led the way with 20 tackles and Allen had a big second half finishing with 15 tackles, four for loss and two sacks. In the secondary, Richey recorded 18 tackles and Morgan Wilson 17.

Happy will need McCarley to have the game of his life, or other players to step up, if the Coyote defense shuts him down. Borden County will need to be ready for a full four quarter contest and get stellar performances from their offensive backs, while their defense needs to keep doing what they have been doing, as they try to slow down McCarley.

It should be a great game and obviously a virtually pick’em… I’m sticking with my pick of Borden County, but certainly won’t be shocked if Happy wins.
LEMAN’S PREDICTION: Borden County 74, Happy 62

East: Jonesboro (12-1) v Tioga (11-1) – Saturday Dec. 9th 5pm in Springtown
Jonesboro is back in the semifinal game and this is the furthest Tioga has ever advanced. Both teams won last week in dramatic fashion, Jonesboro beating May 57-50 and Tioga upsetting Union Hill, 44-40. Both teams will be riding high on momentum going into this DI East showdown.

Both teams favor the ground attack and have great blocking up front, creating holes for their backs. For Tioga those backs are Cade Kimbrell and Kaleb Scott. Kimbrell leads the team with 1,489 yards and 31 touchdowns on the ground this season, and Scott has 852 yards with 17 touchdowns. However, Scott has become a go to guy in the playoffs, rushing for 379 yards and six touchdowns in the Bulldogs three playoff games.

Jonesboro has the two-way go-getter Wyatt Young, who has rushed for 2,333 yards 38 touchdowns this season, while also recording 162 tackles, defensively. The Eagles are no one man show, however, as Ethan Lilljedahl and Alex and Andy Sarmiento all played huge roles in their big win over May last week. Lilljedahl rushed for four touchdowns and threw for three more.

Tioga has the edge defensively, having allowed just 16 points per game to Jonesboro’s 31, but Jonesboro has played a more brutal schedule, which lends itself to giving up more points. Remember, Tioga’s only loss came in that controversial game against Fort Worth THESA, a game in which Tioga forfeited at halftime with the lead, due to player safety.

One sure edge Tioga has is numbers. They turned in a whopping 141 for their snapshot number and will be in 2A next year, while Jonesboro only counted 82 students.

Jonesboro is itching to get back to the title game after being beaten last year by Borden County and I think they have a little bit more to prove.
LEMAN’S PREDICTION: Jonesboro 50, Tioga 40

DII
West: Balmorhea (12-0) v Valley (12-1) – Friday Dec 8th 7:30pm in Sterling City

This is a rematch of last year’s west semifinal game in which Balmorhea won 74-52.


Both teams have multi-threat offenses. Balmorhea running back Kyle Garcia is speedy, fullback Marcos Mendoza is quick and stout, and quarterback Marco Martinez can drop passes in with ease, keeping defenses honest. Garcia has rushed for 1,572 yards with 35 touchdowns on just 89 carries this season. This includes 24-490 yards and 11 touchdowns in the Bears three playoff games. Mendoza leads the team with 96 tackles, while Garcia has 82 on the season.

For the Valley Patriots, the offense is balanced between the pass-and-catch tandem of quarterback Parker Carson, one of the best in 1A, and receiver Jayton Smith (904 yards, 20 TDs receiving) with the running game, led by Dax Allen. In last week’s win over Follett, Allen rushed for 311 yards and six touchdowns, while Carson threw for 156 yards with two more scores.

Valley’s special teams play is excellent, with Jayton Smith having the ability to run any kickoff back he gets his hands on. Their PAT kicking game may also be slightly better than the Bears. At this stage in the season, special teams play can be a key to victory.

However, the difference in this game I think will be defensive play, and Balmorhea has a big edge there. The Bears have allowed 10 points a game to Valley’s 21. The Balmorhea front line is tough to get around, and once you do, Kyle Garcia and Josiah Garcia (8 interceptions) in the secondary are so fast, very few can out run them.

I’m sticking with Balmorhea to win this game and think it will play out much like last season -- a competitive game, with Balmorhea winning by a few scores.
LEMAN’S PREDICTION: Balmorhea 72, Valley 56

East: Strawn (13-0) v Milford (13-0) – Friday Dec. 8th 7:30 in Springtown
A huge showdown between two undefeated perennial playoff teams out east! It’s Strawn’s defense, led by JW Montgomery, Tanner Hodgkins and company versus Milford’s offense, led by the dual-threat Taron Smith.

Strawn is only giving up an average of 6 points per game! The Greyhounds have mercy ruled all 13 of their opponents, shutting out seven of those as well. As mentioned, JW Montgomery and Tanner Hodgkins are two of their big play makers on defense. Offensively, Strawn is nothing to be laughed at, as they average just under 62 points a game, behind a running attack founded on excellent line up front blocking for backs Julian Fraga and Carlos Villanueva.

Milford is averaging right at 60 points per game, with Taron Smith being their main offensive threat. Smith has now passed for over 2,000 yards with 44 touchdowns and rushed for over 1,600 yards, adding 27 more touchdowns on the ground. A solid receiving core surrounds Smith, with Ricky Pendleton and Jasean Brooks having eclipsed the 500-yard receiving mark and James McIntyre not far behind with over 400 yards. DE Corbin Schrotke is the life-blood of the Bulldogs defense and notched 180 tackles during the season, including 23 last week against Iredell. Milford will allow some points, as opponent’s average 26 points a game against them.

Strawn’s defense will have to find some way to slow Smith down and force someone else play the hero offensively. Last week Milford slipped early against Iredell and had to fight back. The Bulldogs cannot have a repeat of last week, if they want to advance to state. Milford seems to be the favorite in this game, but I’m a big fan of defense.
LEMAN’S PREDICTION: Strawn 64, Milford 60

It is worth noting that really any of these teams remaining have a great chance at winning their games this week.

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:14 pm
by Leman Saunders
bump

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:49 pm
by WTexas
Great games this week, really feel like any of them could go either way!

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:01 pm
by Leman Saunders
WTexas wrote:Great games this week, really feel like any of them could go either way!

Completely agree! Any of these 8 teams can win this weekend

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:32 am
by Leman Saunders
What Game is going to be the best??? Hard for me to decide???

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:16 pm
by WTexas
I’m going with Strawn and Milford. I feel like this game could go either way by a touchdown!

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:31 pm
by BuffaloCountry
I’ll be at Happy vs Borden County! Cannot wait! Don’t know if Happy can knock off Borden County, BUT if they finally do, I’ll be there to see it!

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:40 pm
by Tioga061
Tioga has had two exciting, come down to the wire games the past two weeks. I don’t expect the game vs Jonesboro to be any different.

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:41 pm
by BDOG89
Two great games at Springtown this weekend, if you wanted to make a weekend out of it you could see both...Milford vs Strawn Fri. 7:30 and Tioga vs Jonesboro Sat 5:00. Should be exciting!!!

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:36 pm
by 51eleven
Does anyone know who's Home and who's the guest at these games. I'm meeting someone at the game and would like to plan in advance.

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:47 pm
by Leman Saunders
Jonesboro (H) Tioga (V)
Strawn (H) Milford (V)

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:03 pm
by 51eleven
Leman Saunders wrote:Jonesboro (H) Tioga (V)
Strawn (H) Milford (V)


Thank you sir.

http://www.texasbob.com/stadium/stadium.php?id=1294

For those of us (thankfully) who don't have SIRI.

https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9703484 ... 122,15.16z

The Old porcupine stadium, by the jr hi, is one of the places I found out how little I know about coaching trying to be an assistant at a pee wee game in the late 90's.

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:22 am
by Leman Saunders
got a poll going on twitter asking which game this week will be the closest/best/most highly contested contest!

https://twitter.com/LemanSaunders/statu ... 9396168705

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:32 am
by granger
going to be a good weekend of games... bump

Re: 2017 Semifinal Previews

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:53 pm
by rycomc
When will broadcast information be put up for these games?