While there were a couple causalities, several area teams made it through the second round of the playoffs unscathed this weekend.
There were a lot of impressive wins. It’s hard to figure out who had the most impressive.
Was it Graham, which scored touchdowns on its first six possessions (often with long drives) against a Glen Rose team that was among the region’s favorites?
Or Nocona, which put on a rushing clinic against a dangerous Edgewood team? The Indians rushed for about 400 yards and gained 510 total, completed all but one pass and didn’t commit a turnover.
I figured Throckmorton would beat undefeated Water Valley by a touchdown or two in one of those down-to-the-wire six-man games. Instead, the Greyhounds mercy-ruled them in the third quarter.
And don’t forget Newcastle, which started off rather poorly this season before coming on strong. The Bobcats, like Throckmorton, knocked off an unbeaten team in Aspermont.
Whichever team you choose as most impressive, you can’t go wrong. And this doesn’t include Rider, Quanah, Munday and Notre Dame – all of which advanced to the next round.
Some more quick thoughts from this weekend:
* Vernon and Jacksboro had great turnarounds, going from 2-8 to 9-3. That much improvement takes a lot of hard work and perseverance.
So it was no surprise to me that neither quit once they trailed in the second half of their playoff games Friday. Vernon was down 17-0 at half but scored 28 in the second half and lost by 12.
And Jacksboro, which was tied at 7-7 versus Clarksville, gave up 29 straight points to start the third quarter. But the Tigers played hard to the final buzzer and lost 43-31 after winning the fourth quarter 24-7.
* I haven’t talked to Seymour coach Keith Ivy yet, but by looking at stats and turnover ratio, it looked like the Panthers didn’t play very well and were out of sync against Panhandle.
And I bet not playing for basically three weeks is partially to blame. While you go into it healthy, it’s tough to simulate the intensity and emotions of a game in practice. Tough way for the Panthers’ season to end.
* Speaking of Seymour, Friday afternoon’s loss also ended an era in the radio booth. For the past 10 years, Jeff Gregg and Curtis Priddy have called almost every Seymour radio game together (I think Gregg has missed the occasional one for out-of-town work).
But with Gregg’s youngest daughter graduating this year, he decided it was time to step down. He had been calling Seymour games for 22 years total. It sounds like Priddy may also step aside. These guys were really entertaining, and if you never listened to their broadcasts, you missed out.
* Oh, the numbers Dee Paul and Roddrick Taylor would put up if only they got 10-12 carries per game. That doesn’t happen now since those guys score so quickly and get up by so much. Both are averaging seven carries per game.
Those guys have a combined 153 carries for 2,357 yards and 45 touchdowns. And Taylor has scored touchdowns on all four catches this season.
* Memorial Stadium will be a busy spot this weekend with Stamford-Quanah (Thursday), Abilene Wylie-Stephenville (Friday) and Birdville-Lubbock Monterey (Saturday).
The Friday game is the best of the bunch. It’s one of the most talked about games in the state regardless of any classification and should draw a huge crowd. If I didn’t have a dog in the hunt, I’d try to get out there if I were you.
* I know it’s purely coincidental and not because I lobbied coaches all week about it, but it’s nice not to have all of our area teams playing on one day like we had last week.
Because of it, I’ll get to cover Quanah, Nocona and Munday all in the same week. And Andy will be heading out west for the Rider-Graham roadswing.
I’m sure teams will go back to Fridays next week. Munday, especially, doesn’t want to get stuck on Saturdays since the Class A Div. II title game is at 12 p.m. Thursday.
* Haven’t talked to many coaches yet, but I think Nocona-Gunter will be best game of the weekend. Rider shouldn’t have much problem with EP Burges, and Munday will have its way against Hamlin.
Quanah could put a scare into Stamford, but I like the Bulldogs to come out ahead by double digits. Graham-Greenwood also could be a pretty decent game, but I think the Indians have the most competitive matchup on paper.