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Playoff Week #3 Notes

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* #18 1A Sundown gets another crack at a #4 Stratford team that knocked off the Roughnecks in Week 2, 44-10.  Stratford has allowed just 26 points in its last four games.   The Elks have played for three state championships in the last eight years and been to the semifinals two other times. 

* Wolfforth Frenship gets a return match against Denton Ryan from a state semifinal playoff loss at Texas Stadium back in 2000.   Since 2005, Frenship that has been to two state semifinal appearances and a regional final shot in 2007. 

* Saturday’s game against Cisco will be the third playoff game this season for Roosevelt, equaling the total number of games played from 1973 to present.

* The Division I state quarterfinal between Clyde (11-1) and Muleshoe (12-0) at Wolfforth Frenship will be the biggest game in probably either schools history.  Neither team has played in a championships game.    Muleshoe's high-powered spread offense is averaging just under 49 points per game.

* The Stephenville Yellow Jackets started off 0-2 and had a 56-3 mid-season loss to Everman -- but the  are still playing.  Last week's 31-6 whipping of Wichita Falls Rider not only kept the Jackets' season going, but it avenged back-to-back season-ending losses to the Raiders.

* They may not have the same frames but both of the quarterbacks from Alice and Austin Lake Travis win games.   Alice's senior quarterback A.J. Benavides has led his team to an undefeated record (12-0) and to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1999.  They are set to face defending state champion Austin Lake Travis (12-0) and their prolific passer Garrett Gilbert in a Class 4A Division I regional semifinal Friday night at the Alamodome.  Gilbert, who at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds has passed for 3,630 yards and 43 touchdowns with only three interceptions in 320 attempts    The 5-9, 150-pound Benavides   is 159 of 264 for 2,145 yards and 26 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. 

* The #33 Sunray Bobcats (7-4) may not have a great record but they are battle tested.  They made it through a brutal District 1-1A to take the third playoff spot behind #4 Stratford and #7 Canadian, which was the pre-season #1 team.  The will suit up for a Class 1A Division II regional semifinal against 12-0 and fifth ranked Iraan this weekend.  Their preseason schedule was pretty tough, as all five teams made the playoffs.  

* #4 Odessa Permian has outscored its opponents 118-35 in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but El Paso El Dorado and Burleson were fourth-place teams in their respective districts.   Allen will be a much tougher challenge.  The Eagles (11-1) are ranked currently the fifth ranked team.   Allen lost to #1 Euless Trinity at home, 24-14 this year.

*  The Katy Tigers are joined by Cinco Ranch and Katy Taylor in the regional semifinal round of the football playoffs this year, marking the first time Katy ISD has had three teams advance to the third round.  For the first time since 2002, the Tigers didn’t win the district title.  Cinco Ranch (11-1), won it for the first time in its school history.  Another sign of the strength of Katy ISD was its record against non-Katy ISD schools, a combined 19-5.   Nobody had a losing record coming into district.

* The Longview Lobos have returned 6 INTs for TD's this year

* Last season, the Arp football team's dreams of reaching the state semifinals ended in heartbreak fashion. During the final moments of a quarterfinal with Elysian Fields, the Tigers fell victim to a Hail Mary touchdown and 19-13 defeat.   The Tigers last reached the semifinals eight years ago.  They will be playing a very tough Kirbyville team.  Kirbyville is in the third round for the second straight season. The Wildcats, who went 11-3 in Class 3A last year.

*  Waco Midway Panthers’ defense  is playing lights out.   In the last five games, all against teams that made the playoffs, Midway has held the opposing team to an average of 18.6 points below its season pace.   Forney was scoring 37 points per game before Midway held the Jackrabbits to 12. Last week, a Texas High offense that had put up 39 per game managed just 10 against the Panthers.    So now, Midway (11-1) steps up to face one of the most offensively productive programs in the state when the Panthers play Highland Park (11-1). 

By Michael Wright
Lone Star Gridiron
www.lonestargridiron.com

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