CLASS 2A DIVISION II, REGION I BI-DISTRICT
San Saba Armadillos (8-2)
vs. Wall Hawks (7-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday — Early’s Longhorn Stadium
The District 8-2A runner-up San Saba Armadillos will make their first postseason appearance since 2003 Friday when they battle the Wall Hawks, the runner-up out of District 7-2A.
San Saba carries a three-game win streak into Friday’s contest, and the Armadillos’ only losses this season have come at the hands of a pair of undefeated teams — 8-2A champion Brady (22-18) on Oct. 9 and Class A No. 4 Goldthwaite (27-7) on Sept. 11.
Wall had a four-game win streak snapped this past Friday by 7-2A champion Colorado City (9-1), which picked up a 25-16 victory. The Hawks’ other two losses came against Brady (41-9) in the season opener and Crane (26-20) in the pre-district finale. Wall is averaging 34 points per game — and scored at least 42 points in each of its four district victories — while allowing 21 points per outing.
Defense has been the biggest strength for the Armadillos this season, as San Saba yields an average of 12.3 points per contest and has surrendered no more than 27 points in a game this year. In district play, San Saba gave up only 9.3 points per game.
Offensively, the Armadillos are sparked by a ground attack led by Gary Gant, Jack Whitten, Hayden Oliver and Anthony Salinas. Ryan Pannell anchors the passing game at quarterback, while Chase Key and Chance Gotcher have been the leading receivers for San Saba this season.
The Hawks are led by Brett and Brent Rasberry in the backfield, Justin Walling and Brandon Willman at receiver and Kyle Conaway at quarterback.
The other common opponent between Wall and San Saba is Early. Wall defeated Early at Longhorn Stadium, 32-21, on Sept. 5 in a game delayed a day by weather. San Saba picked up a 31-0 win over the Longhorns at Rogan Field on Oct. 16.
Friday’s winner will face either Cisco (10-0) or Holliday (8-2) next weekend.
CLASS 2A DIVISION II, REGION I BI-DISTRICT
Comanche Indians (8-2)
vs. Colorado City Wolves (9-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday — Abilene’s Shotwell Stadium
The Comanche Indians are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2005, and the first time under head coach Jeryl Brixey, as they attempt to end both the five-game win streak and the season for the District 7-2A champion Colorado City Wolves.
Comanche opened the season with seven straight wins, but dropped two of its last three contests to slip into third place in the final District 8-2A standings.
The Indians feature one of the most explosive offenses in the state this year, averaging 38 points and 412 yards of total offense per game. Defensively, the Indians surrender 19 points and 295 yards per outing.
Comanche has been led all season by its “big three” — quarterback Jerick Roberts (1,131 passing yards, 20 TDs; 230 yards rushing, 3 TDs), running back Josh Feaster (1,867 rushing yards, 17 TDs; 13-322, 5 TDs receiving) and receiver Cody Biggs (23-505, 6 TDs).
Colorado City earned its first district championship since 2005 this season. The Wolves’ only loss came at the hands of Cisco (47-6) on Sept. 25.
The Wolves average 23 points and allow 15 per game.
Quarterback Derek Gainey had thrown for 869 yards and nine touchdowns through nine games, while rushing for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Jamarcus Brooks is the top ground gainer with 707 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games, and also leads the team with 11 receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown.
Friday’s winner will face either Henrietta (10-0) or Eastland (6-4) next weekend.
CLASS A DIVISION I, REGION IV BI-DISTRICT
No. 4 Goldthwaite Eagles (10-0)
vs. Thorndale Bulldogs (8-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday — Marble Falls’ Mustang Stadium
The two-time defending District 25-A champion and fourth-ranked Goldthwaite Eagles are planning to begin their postseason run in the same fashion as last year — with a victory over the Thorndale Bulldogs.
Goldthwaite notched a 42-10 bi-district victory over Thorndale in 2008.
The Eagles carry a perfect record into Friday’s game, averaging 32.7 points per game while allowing just 8.2 points per contest. Defensively, the Eagles have posted five shutouts this season, including last week’s 35-0 win over Meridian in the regular-season finale.
Goldthwaite averages 397 total yards per game — 317 rushing and 80 passing — led by running backs Jonathan Williams (133-1,327, 14 TDs rushing; 18-330, 2 TDs receiving) and James Harden (142-980, 13 TDs rushing), as well as quarterback Tyler Horton (42-of-82, 699 yards, 6 TDs).
Thorndale, the District 26-A champion, has reeled off six straight victories since its last loss — which came at the hands of Chilton, 24-6, on Sept. 18. Goldthwaite defeated Chilton, 38-30, on Oct. 16 in McGregor in a game that decided the District 25-A championship.
The Bulldogs average 27 points per game and allow 16 points per contest. Thorndale is coming off a season-high 54-point outing in a 40-point win over Holland last week. Thorndale piled up 629 total yards, including 568 rushing. Quinton Ware led the way with 230 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine carries.
Friday’s winner will face Shiner (9-1), which has a first-round bye, next week.
SIX-MAn DIVISION I REGION III BI-DISTRICT
No. 6 Richland Springs Coyotes (9-1)
vs. Gustine Tigers (8-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday — Bangs’ Memorial Stadium
The No. 6 Richland Springs Coyotes, who uncharacteristically bowed out in the first round of the playoffs last season, will attempt to make sure that doesn’t happen again Friday against the Gustine Tigers.
Richland Springs, which has captured three state championships since 2004, carries a nine-game win streak into the postseason since suffering a 76-62 loss to Division II top-ranked Borden County.
The Coyotes are averaging 55 points and 434 total yards — 170 rushing and 264 passing — per game, while allowing 12 points and 152 yards of total offense — 66 passing and 86 rushing — per outing.
Spread back Haustin Burkhart leads the Richland Springs offense with 1,149 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns on 83 carries, while completing 66-of-105 passes for 1,382 yards with 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Leading receivers for the Coyotes are Stephen Fowler (17-271, TD), Randy Couch (15-289, 6 TDs), Denim Reeves (9-291, 5 TDs), Tommy Hollon (9-202, 8 TDs), David Vietch (7-123, 4 TDs), Bryan Torres (6-184, 4 TDs) and Ben VanCleave (6-101, 3 TDs).
Gustine is coming off a 50-0 loss to No. 5 Strawn, the defending state champion which ousted Richland Springs from the postseason a year ago. The Tigers’ only other loss came at the hands of 5-5 Blanket, 68-42, on Oct. 16.
The Tigers average 46 points and surrender 23 per outing. Gustine has given up 200 points in its last five games after allowing just 34 points over it first five contests.
Friday’s winner will face Saint Jo (6-3), which has a first-round bye.
SIX-MAn DIVISION II REGION IV BI-DISTRICT
No. 3 Sidney Eagles (10-0)
vs. Paint Rock Indians (6-4)
7:30 p.m. Friday — Zephyr’s Bulldog Field
The No. 3 Sidney Eagles are back in the playoffs for the second year in a row, and this time head coach Shannon Williams’ troops are eyeing a state championship.
The first hurdle in the District 14 champion Eagles’ path is the Paint Rock Indians, who finished second in District 13. The Indians’ lone district loss came at the hands of No. 7 Panther Creek by a 60-14 count — a team Sidney defeated 53-6 on Sept. 11.
Sidney’s defense has been one of the stingiest in the state this season, allowing just 13 points per contest with six opponents held to less than 10 points. Offensively, the Eagles are tallying 58 points per contest and have scored no less than 47 in any game this season.
The Eagle offense is sparked by running back Stephan Ortiz, who has rushed for 2,371 yards and 43 touchdowns on 154 carries. Andrew Santibanez has chipped in 694 yards and 19 touchdowns on 44 carries, while Ethan Smart has completed 25-of-40 passes for 493 yards with seven TDs.
Santibanez also leads Sidney’s defense with 131 tackles, seven forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Jacob Crim has tallied 89 tackles with six interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a pair of touchdowns. Francisco Munoz leads the Eagles with 10 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 81 takedowns.
Friday’s winner will face Leverett’s Chapel (8-2), which has a first-round bye.
SIX-MAn DIVISION II REGION IV BI-DISTRICT
Mullin Bulldogs (9-1)
vs. No. 7 Panther Creek Panthers (8-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday — Cross Plains’ Buffalo Stadium
The Mullin Bulldogs are making their first playoff appearance since 2003, and will be facing their second consecutive state-ranked opponent Friday night.
Mullin, under first-year head coach Tony Mathison, has had two weeks to prepare for Panther Creek due to a Week 10 district bye for the Bulldogs.
The last outing for the Bulldogs was a 52-38 home loss to Sidney, which defeated Panther Creek by a 53-6 count on Sept. 11. Mullin and Panther Creek both played Cherokee as well, with the Bulldogs earning a 50-42 victory and the Panthers cruising to a 74-24 win last week.
Mathison has stated the Bulldogs are not keeping stats this season in an effort to further emphasize team unity. Players to keep an eye on, however, include Randy Sims, Zach Maxey, Stetson Chesser, Paul Knight and Mark Bernal, among others.
Panther Creek is led by Ethan Griffin, who against Brookesmith and Zephyr alone rushed for 560 yards and nine touchdowns.
Friday’s winner will face No. 4 Walnut Springs (10-0), which had a first-round bye, next weekend.
TAPPS SIX-MAn DIVISION II FIRST ROUND
Victory Life Warriors (4-6)
vs. No. 2 Seguin Lifegate Falcons (10-0)
2 p.m. Saturday — at Seguin’s Lifegate Field
The Victory Life Warriors are in the playoffs for the second year in a row, and hope to keep their positive momentum going after snapping a three-game losing streak last week against winless Wichita Falls Christian.
The Warriors, who fell in the first round of the playoffs last season, face another daunting task in the No. 2 Seguin Lifegate Falcons.
The Falcons average 59 points per game with a season-best of 84 in their season opener. Seguin Lifegate allows 24 points per game, but gave up 44 in its last outing two weekends ago — a nine-point victory over No. 7 Fredericksburg Heritage.
Victory Life, which averages 39 points and allows 43 per game, is coming off a 58-13 triumph over Wichita Falls Christian last week. Tyler McDaniel led the charge with 149 yards passing and four touchdowns, to go along with 90 yards rushing and another TD.
Saturday’s winner will face either No. 1 Brenham Christian (10-0) or Longview Trinity (2-7) in the second round next weekend.