High School Football: Bi-District Round Preview
SAN ANGELO, TX-- The regular season has finally come to a close. For some teams, that means gearing up for basketball season. For others, that means the dream of playing in Arlington is still alive. It's win or go home.
For us, that means looking at every matchup involving a team from the Concho Valley.
Class 6A Division II
San Angelo Central (10-0) vs. El Paso Pebble Hills (8-2), 7 p.m. Friday, San Angelo Stadium: Central defeated a tough Tascosa team on Friday night and survived a massive scare to their perfect record. El Paso Pebble Hills won their first eight games of 2017, but are currently on a two-game losing streak. Pebble Hills lost their last game of the season on Thursday to a then-6-3 El Dorado team. Central has not lost a playoff game to an El Paso school in the playoffs since their 2012 Bi-District loss to El Paso Franklin.
Class 3A Division I
Wall (10-0) vs. Friona (7-3), 7 p.m. Friday, Sweetwater: Wall completed their season in the same dominant fashion they've played all year with a 56-0 win over Kermit. Friona won their first seven games before losing their next three and falling from title contender to fourth in their district. Wall has not lost a Bi-District round game since the 2009 loss to San Saba.
Grape Creek (1-9) vs Shallowater (9-1) 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Snyder: The first year of the Justin Mueller era at Grape Creek has been filled with challenges. Despite the challenges, the Grape Creek Eagles were able to make the playoffs thanks to their week eight win over Tornillo. This marks the first time in school history that Grape Creek has made playoffs in consecutive years. But the playoffs may be short lived for the Eagles. They get a tough Shallowater team that easily mowed through their district en-route to a district title.
Class 3A Division II
Sonora (10-0) vs. Coleman (3-7), 7 p.m. Thursday, San Angelo Stadium: Sonora is poised to make another deep run into the playoffs after their perfect regular season. Last season, Sonora lost to Canadian in Regional Final of the playoffs. The Broncos are on a path where they could avenge that loss in the same round in 2017. Coleman had their struggles in 2017 after going 9-4 a year ago. But after starting the season with three losses, the Bluecats got two wins in district play to make it into the playoffs. The last time these two teams met Sonora blanked Coleman 35-0 to close out the regular season in 2011.
Reagan County (5-5) vs. Eastland (7-3), 7 p.m. Friday, Colorado City: On paper this is a second place vs a third place matchup. On the field, Reagan County may be outmatched by a tough Eastland team. The Owls of Reagan County was able to book their ticket thanks to a pair of wins in the first half of their district schedule, but dropped their final two games to Alpine and Sonora. Eastland is coming off a 35-7 loss to Cisco in a game that decided the District 4 championship.
Ballinger (3-7) vs. Cisco (8-2), 7 p.m. Thursday, Brownwood: Ballinger is in to the playoffs for the third straight season. Their win over TLCA in week nine booked their ticket into the playoffs. However, that was the only district win for Ballinger. Cisco has been really good all year. The Loboes are on a five game win streak and have won six of their last seven games. Earlier this season, Cisco held Wall to their lowest point total all season at 21 points.
Class 2A Division I
Christoval (4-6) vs. Hawley (7-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Bangs: Christoval is in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive year. All five appearances ended in the first round. Will this be the year the Cougars get past the Bi-District round? Christoval had a great run of form through the middle of the season, winning four games in a row. But Christoval has lost their last two games, bumping them from second to third in the final district standings. These two teams met last year in the first round with Hawley winning a close game 29-20.
Mason (10-0) vs. Rosebud-Lott (6-4), 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Marble Falls: Mason is the most dominant team in the state, regardless of classification. Mason has allowed just 40 points through 10 games, including four shutouts. The Punchers are also putting up an average of 51 points per game. Rosebud-Lott was able to knock off Moody and Normangee in district play to secure the fourth spot from their district. However, Rosebud-Lott has not faced a team like Mason this season and will have an uphill climb this Thursday.
Junction (3-7) vs. Thorndale (4-6), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Marble Falls: Junction pulled off one of the biggest surprises this season by claiming second place ahead of Sabinal. For the greater part of the season, it looked as though Junction would take third or fourth place. But by defeating Sabinal, Junction was able to claim second place and the head-to-head tiebreaker with Sabinal. Thorndale took third in their district. Thorndale also had a tough schedule, falling to state contender Lexington in week two and defending champ Bremond in week five. This could be one of the best Bi-District matchups in the area.
Class 2A Division II
Menard (8-2) vs. Miles (2-8), 7 p.m. Friday, Ballinger: Menard had a tremendous season. They knocked off state runner-up Iraan in week 10. The Yellowjackets had to survive a scare from Wink last week. But they walked away with an undefeated district record and are on a four game win streak. Miles faced their fair share of challenges just a year after going 5-6. The Bulldogs got the help they needed in the final week of play from Albany and Winters to knock Baird and Bronte out of playoff contention. Menard got the better of Miles earlier this season with a 27-6 win in week five.
Irion County (4-6) vs. Albany (10-0), 7 p.m. Thursday, Sweetwater: Just a year after going 1-9, Irion County has found their way back to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Their lone district win, which also booked their place into the playoffs, came against Van Horn. The Hornets will be up against it when they face Albany. The Lions are allowing an average of eight points per game while also putting up an average of just over 53 points on offense.
Winters (5-5) vs. Wink (6-4), 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Big Spring: The Winters Blizzards are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2014. That year, Winters made it to the Area Round before being knocked out by Albany. This year Winters broke a two year streak of two win seasons and will look to at least break even with another playoff run. Wink has been playing teams close as of late with four of their last five games finishing with a one score or less difference.
Class 1A Division I
Sterling City (6-4) vs. Borden County (10-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Roscoe: Sterling City had to win two of their three district games. It came down to their final game against Westbrook on Friday where the final playoff spot was decided in District 6. Sterling City will now face another defending State Champion. The Eagles faced Richland Springs earlier this season and were mercy ruled. Borden County is on a 21 game win streak and is the hottest team in six-man football. Last year, Borden County mercy ruled Sterling City 56-6 in the Bi-District round of playoffs.
Water Valley (5-5) vs. Rankin (7-3), 7:30/8 p.m. Friday, Robert Lee: According to Water Valley coach Keith Woolf on Saturday, this game will take place at 7:30 or 8 pm depending on scheduling of another six-man game. Regardless of time, this is a game the Wildcats want. Rankin got the better of Water Valley a couple of weeks ago and the resurgent Wildcats want to avenge that loss. Rankin had District 8's number during the regular season, mercy ruling Veribest along with the win over Water Valley.
Veribest (6-4) vs. Buena Vista (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Lenorah Grady: Veribest came up just short of the school's first ever district championship in their loss to Water Valley on Friday. But the Falcons are in to the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in school history. Veribest will take on a Buena Vista team that did the exact same thing as Water Valley did, win their district title on the final day of the regular season. Buena Vista's only loss came to Garden City. If Veribest is able to get a win, it would be an unsurprising upset considering the tough schedule Veribest had in 2017.