Thoughts on another playoff weekend

I was able to cover three games in three places during three different days over the weekend, which is always nice to do.

The final results went pretty much played out how I thought they would. Quanah put up a fight, but Stamford was just too much.

Nocona held off a tough Gunter side in a contest that went down to the wire. And Munday had little problems with Hamlin.

But just because it played out how I thought doesn’t mean there was a lot to write about. I didn’t see Nocona and Graham’s sloppiness coming, nor did I see Rider getting in a shootout with a talented EP Burges squad.

Here are some thoughts on the weekend, including a couple notes on stat milestones:

* Munday scored seven times on 17 plays, which is ridiculous. And two of those were takeaways by the Hamlin defense. Just once I’d like the Moguls to play a full game against a decent team just to see what final score is.

* You’ve got to give Quanah some credit for hanging in there against Stamford. The Indians actually led 8-6 after the first quarter, but they gave the Bulldogs way too many short fields. 

And the Indians fought to the bitter end, which I know coach Jason Sims was proud of. Would have been easy to call it quits at 35-8, but Quanah strung together a nice drive at the end of the first half. The future is bright for the Indians.

* Hadn’t really seen Stamford QB Hagen Hutchinson play since against Archer City two years ago. And I know at the end of last year and start of this year, Hutchinson had shoulder problems.

But he looks healthy now. What a strong arm and he can run so well, too. A couple times Quanah had Stamford in third/fourth-and-long situations when the game was still close in the second quarter.

Most high school QBs wouldn’t be able to elude the rush and throw a bullet in the end zone. But Hutchinson did, and that’s why Stamford is a state title contender.

* Graham is a scary team to face right now. Sure, the Steers had five turnovers the other night, but their defense is going to get about three a game. And their offense with its hurry-up tempo can catch up quick.

* Nocona and Graham combined for eight turnovers and more than 200 yards of penalties last week. Those things will have to change this week or both won’t be playing much longer.

* I didn’t mention it in the game story, but after going back through the stats, I didn’t realize how many times Gunter threatened in the second half before getting stymied. 

The Tigers got to the Nocona 17-yard line right before Hayden Hill’s first INT. After the Tigers cut it to 15-13, Gunter drives ended on Nocona’s 29, 23, and 29-yard line. Nocona’s defense has been terrific all year and it came to play again the other night.

* For what it’s worth, Dee Paul spent a few minutes (presumably with his family) talking to a guy wearing a Texas Tech shirt after Saturday’s game.

Paul is choosing between the Red Raiders and Oklahoma State for college. With OSU having a key game against Baylor and Tech being off, I’m guessing that had something to do with one Big 12 team being represented in Abilene and the other not.

* Speaking of Paul, I had a mistake the other day regarding his rushing touchdowns. Paul did not get his 100th against Hamlin – it was in fact his 89th.

I was going off a Texas Sports Writers Association all-state ballot from last year that had his total stats, which gave him 78 rushing touchdowns. Probably somewhere along the line there was a typo since he really had 67.

I should have checked with Munday coach Patrick Corcoran before assuming the 78 was correct. That’s all on me. Corcoran did say Dee has 115 total touchdowns – counting receiving, defensive and special teams. And he can feasibly get 11 more rushing in the next three games.

* Another stat difference I’m taking an apathetic approach to because I’m not quite sure who’s correct.

According to stats Nocona turned in, Tate Fenoglio did pass 100 yards for a 19th straight game. They gave him credit for 18 carries and 112 yards (I had him 17-96).

I checked with Nocona newspaper’s Tracy Mesler and with Sherman’s sportswriter, and both had him at either 96 or 97 yards. And I went back through my play-by-play just to doublecheck.

Nocona doesn’t pad its stats like some teams have been known to do. And ours have been pretty dang close the other times I cover them (yes, I look at those things). I think the discrepancy came in the receiving stats, where Nocona had Fenoglio with one less catch for 13 less yards than I did. Maybe there was a flair pass that was interpreted differently by the coaches.

I’m not saying I’m 100 percent right. I’ve jacked up plenty of stat boxes, too. I’m just not going to mention Fenoglio’s 100-yard streak anymore because I’m not sure if it has ended or not.

* Don’t you know Frenship is really wishing it lost the coin flip last year when it was facing Rider in the first round.

The Tigers lost 42-14 a year ago on their home turf, so now they have to come to Memorial Stadium for a 2 p.m. Saturday game. That place should be rocking.

* You know Frenship, which had RB D’Maujeric Tucker go off for 386 rushing yards against Waco, is probably licking its chops after seeing Rider allow 520 rushing yards, a crazy amount.

But I have a feeling the Raiders are ready to respond with one of their best defensive games feeding off the home crowd. Anxious to see if Rider can end the state quarterfinal wall.

* What a heartbreaking way for Notre Dame’s season to end. Down by 2 and at the 10-yard line, the Knights spike the ball on fourth down because the down marker was screwed up (I’m assuming they thought it was third down). It’ll take a long time before that sting goes away.

* I drove 600 relatively drama-free miles covering football over the weekend before almost taking out a guy on a bike a few feet from my house pulling in Saturday night. Apparently the guy couldn’t be patient enough to let me turn into my driveway and swerved out of my way while passing.

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