DUBLIN – The Jim Ned Indians went undefeated in district and now will take on Pilot Point at Cervetto Stadium in Dublin, Texas this Friday.
It was a weird season for Jim Ned. Head Coach Matt Fanning has built a machine in Tuscola over the past few seasons which earned him, and his team, a state championship in 2020 over Hallettsville 29-28.
Fanning had guys like running back Xavier Wishert and quarterback Tate Yardley who have since graduated. Now guys like senior Troy Doran and junior Brayden Shipman have stepped into those shoes.
This season, the Indians started off 0-3 after losing to Hawley, Holliday, and Wall. All three of those teams made the playoffs as the first seed and Hawley and Holliday are undefeated. Wall dropped one to Cisco but only allowed three points to Jim Ned in Week 3.
The team was beat up and they had to deal with injuries but now everyone who can be back is back and Fanning is preparing his guys for one week at a time.
“Pilot Point is a good football team,” Coach Fanning said, “But we have to be us.”
Jim Ned had two guys take snaps at quarterback in senior Troy Doran and junior Grant Glidewell. Those two combined went 44-85 for 831 yards, 12 touchdowns, and eight interceptions while rushing the ball 126 times for 812 yard and 13 scores.
Indian running back, sophomore Brayden Shipman, rushed for 933 yards and eight scores. Junior Carter Wood and senior David Rodriguez are the two wide outs and have 267 yards and four scores.
When asked how they planned on stopping the Pilot Point offense, Coach Fanning simply said, “We’re going to play good defense,” which should’ve been the suspected answer.
Jim Ned certainly has guys who play solid defense for him in senior Tanner Hussman and sophomore Trey Hicks who have 77 and 86 tackles respectively. Junior Davis Soben comes in third with 70.
Sophomore Carter Lange leads the team in sacks with seven of the Indians 19 total followed by Rodriguez with three. Doran, senior Braydon Walker, and sophomore Grey Beasley have seven interceptions between the three of them. Hicks, Hussman, senior Cooper Mascorro each have one apiece.
Jim Ned and Pilot Point have had a similar season. It was a strange one for the Bearcats as well, going 3-7 overall. Pilot Point has played the Indians in recent memory, losing to Jim Ned while they were four games in on their way to a state championship. The year before, the Bearcats beat the Indians in the opening round.
Senior quarterback Wyatt Smith has gone 119-234 for 1,847 yards, 19 touchdowns, and three interceptions this season. The Bearcats have a couple dangerous weapons in sophomore Gage Anderson, who leads the team in yards with 650, and rushing touchdowns with six
Out wide, Smith has another big-time game breaker with senior Asten Kirby, who has 64 receptions for 1,033 yards and 16 touchdowns. Behind Kirby, junior Crew Chandler has 436 yards and three scores.
On defense, senior Collin Lynch is a tackling machine with 121 total on the year and senior Cale Martin has 90 tackles. The Bearcats have 10 total sacks this season with Martin and Junior Servin each getting home three times. Chandler and Kirby have five of Pilot Point’s six interceptions.
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