— Springtown vs. Stephenville
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Northwest ISD Stadium
1937 Texan Dr, Justin
Type: Class 3A, Division I, Region I, Area match
Last year: Did not play
Stephenville Yellow Jackets (9-1)
Season: Winner of District 7-3A (4-0)
Last week: Beat Brownwood, 49-10
Players to watch: QB Jarrett Stidham (6-4, 190, 4.6); FS Mookie Carlisle (6-2, 195, 4.6); DE Jonah Noah (6-2, 225, 4.8); TE Brock Morrison (6-1, 200, 4.8); RB Kaegun Williams.
Springtown Porcupines (6-5)
Season: Finished second in District 6-3A (4-1)
Last week: Beat Wichita Falls Hirschi, 49-27
Players to watch: LB Kolyn Waldrop (6-1, 225, 4.7), WR Ryan Hester (6-0, 190, 4.8), DB Collin Rector (5-7, 160, 4.7), RB Ryan Snow (6-1, 170, 4.6), WR Dillon Springfield (6-1, 160, 4.4), QB Landry Turner (5-10, 165), WR Dylan Ray (5-11, 160, 4.8).
Game notes: The Porcupines got over a significant hump last week, breaking its string of first-round playoff losses with the win over Hirschi. After the victory in the postgame huddle, head coach Brad Turner told his players that they would likely be playing the defending state champions and they would need to take the feeling of their bi-district win into the contest against the Yellow Jackets.
If Springtown has designs on playing a “perfect” game in 2013, this would be the optimal week to do so. It would certainly be Pojo’s signature win to date.
The passing game Springtown puts to the forefront of its offensive attack was effective enough last week, but it was the running game that sealed the win. The Porcupines eclipsed the 300-yard mark, with tailback Ryan Snow nearly topping 200 yards in 32 carries.
If Stephenville was hoping to keep pressure on quarterback Landry Turner as the singular way to halt the offense, Snow’s performance may have changed their approach. Snow has rushed past the 1,000-yard mark this season, so it was probably no great surprise to the Yellow Jackets.
As daunting as the Stephenville mystique has historically been, and last year’s title trophy hardly gathering dust, yet, the Yellow Jacket defense was anything but a shut-down unit this season ... until they got to district play.
Beating Brownwood handily was expected, and Springtown should offer a better test. But Stephenville has weapons aplenty, and while the Porcupines should be able to score at least moderately well, it will again be up to the Pojo “D” to allow Turner to throw as part of the offensive plan, and not just to play catchup.
Aledo vs. Boswell
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Birdville FAAC
9200 Mid Cities Blvd, North Richland Hills
Type: Class 4A, Division II, Region I, Area match
Last year: Did not play
Saginaw Boswell Pioneers (8-3)
Season: Finished second in District 6-4A (7-1)
Last week: Beat Wichita Falls Rider, 42-7
Players to watch: DL Dominic Hill (6-1, 280, 4.8); S Dayne Sommer (6-2, 206, 4.5); WR Scott Moody ((6-1, 165, 4.5); RB Antioine Stevenson (5-7, 185, 4.6); QB Drew Bicknell; C Treveon Kindle (5-9, 166, 4.6).
Aledo Bearcats (11-0)
Season: Winner of District 7-4A (7-0)
Last week: Beat Burleson, 76-6
Players to watch: LB Jordan Mittie (6-2, 210, 4.8), OT Cory Stitle (6-2, 265, 5.0), QB Luke Bishop (5-10, 170, 4.7), ATH Ryan Newsome (5-8, 168, 4.5), FB Daythan Davis (6-2. 218, 4.7), WR Taco Anderson.
Game notes: Although it appeared to be just another dominating performance by the Bearcats over a much-weaker opponent (and though it kinda’ was, in a sense), Aledo did turn it up a notch in the bi-district match.
The offensive play calling efficiently displayed the width and depth of the Bearcats’ weaponry, and revealed few tendencies of the lack of game repetitions being an issue.
Ryan Newsome had an impressive triad of consecutive TD’s for Aledo, scoring on a punt return, a long run and a pass from Luke Bishop.
As impressive as the ground-chewing offense was, the defense was even more awesome. After an early first down by the Elks in their opening possession, the Aledo defenders seemed to take the intrusion personal for the balance of the first half, prompting an “unbelievable” description of the defense from Aledo head coach Tim Buchanan.
Boswell’s defense also showed up in their bi-district match, holding what had been a fairly potent and efficient Rider defense to a single touchdown. The Pioneers eliminated Rider’s rushing attack while keeping the Raiders aerial attack under wraps and snagging an interception in the process.
Boswell QB Drew Bicknell has thrown for more than 1,440 yards through 11 games and is the second-leading rusher for the Pioneers. He has certainly drawn attention in Aledo’s film sessions this week and will be a prime target for the Bearcat defense.
The Pioneers will seek variety in its attack in an effort to divert the attention from Bicknell. A tall order, indeed.