At Least One Area Team Will Get Knocked out the 2A DII Playoffs This Week, What About the Other 4?
SAN ANGELO, TX — The 2A DII playoff Bracket has a lot of Concho Valley flavor. Five area teams have made it to Region II with Eldorado, Christoval, and Cross Plains leading the charge as the most likely to make a run. Miles and Menard have matchups against top ten ranked teams but are not shying away from the possibility of an upset.
Here is a look at the first round slate and how each team matches up with their opponent. Two of the games take place Thursday night, so be sure to check in on live score updates Thursday and Friday night to stay up to date on all the action. San Angelo Live will be in attendance for the Christoval vs. Cross Plains game and will have a full recap shortly after the final whistle.
Christoval 9-1 vs. Cross Plains 7-3 (Thursday at 7:00, Ballinger’s Bearcat Stadium)
This is possibly the most even first round matchup in our area. Christoval lost its first game of the season in a tight 14-7 game for the district championship in Eldorado last Friday. The usually explosive Cougar offense was held in check by the 9-1 Eagles, and they could not overcome quarterback Brayden Wilcox’s four interceptions. Wilcox, a very quick and elusive runner who makes defenses pay more with his feet than with his arm, could have another tough night against Cross Plains.
Miles’ Davian Martinez, a bigger, marginally less explosive QB, is very similar in play style and tendencies to Wilcox. Martinez had his worst game of the season against Cross Plains. The Buffaloes punished him after every rush attempt and hounded him on every pass. Wilcox needs to be ready to be hit and hit often.
When these two teams played in September, Wilcox had only 71 yards passing and threw two interceptions to one touchdown. His feet won them the game. The junior racked up 225 yards and two scores on the ground. Now that Cross Plains has seen him and understands his speed, they may be more prepared for him. The Buffaloes may get winded chasing him, though. Cross Plains only has 18 players on their varsity roster, so plays off will be few and far between for their stars. Christoval beat them in week four 26-14 in Cross Plains.
Miles 7-3 at #2 Albany 7-3 (Thursday at 7:00, Brownwood’s Gordon Wood Stadium)
In order for Miles to pull off the upset, they will need to overcome this season's biggest hurdle: beating a team with a winning record. They have only had three chances to do that so far, and the Bulldogs were smoked each time. Cross Plains, Christoval, and Eldorado, who have a combined record of 25-5, outscored Miles 167-19. The closest loss was their first one. Cross Plains beat them 42-6, but it was 35-6 at halftime.
Every other game they played this year, they should have won and won by a lot, which they did. Their seven victories came against teams with 11 wins and 56 losses. None of them won more than three games this season. Miles blew through this schedule with an average margin of victory of 33 points. This easy schedule allowed them to get seven wins, but it did them no favors in terms of district and playoff preparation.
Now, they will have to play Albany, who has also lost to some very good teams. Their first loss came against Eastland, a 9-1 3A DI school that is ranked #9 in that class. The second was a two point loss at home to 2A DI's #5 ranked Hawley. Last week, they dropped their third to #6 Hamlin for the district championship. In that game, the Lions allowed Hamlin to gain 369 yards on the ground and 535 total.
Miles and Albany do have two common opponents, Menard and Cross Plains. Both teams handled 2-7 Menard, Miles by 21 and Albany by 44. Albany had no trouble with Cross Plains and beat them 41-13 in week nine.
#10 Eldorado 9-1 vs Haskell 3-7 (Friday at 7:00, San Angelo Stadium)
The 8-2A DII district champion Eagles should have no problem in this rematch. In their week six contest, Eldorado struggled through most of the game, but scored 21 points in the final 14 minutes to pull away. The win avenged last year’s 26-22 playoff loss that ended Eldorado’s season.
Since that game, the Indians have gone 1-3 with intra-district losses to #6 Hamlin, #2 Albany, and Cross Plains. Eldorado has been on an absolute tear of late and has all the momentum they could need to carry them to the second round. Kevan Covarrubiaz needs to clean up the mistakes from the Christoval game if they want to go farther than that. He threw two passes that were just lofted in the air for anyone to grab and were intercepted. He may be able to get away with it this week, but not after that.
Menard 2-7 at #6 Hamlin 7-2 (Friday at 7:00, Bangs' Dragon Stadium)
The 2-7 Yellowjackets will have their hands full Friday night. Menard beat Rocksprings 27-24 in week eight to sneak into the playoffs, and their 1-3 district record was enough to get them in over the 0-4 Angoras.
The Hamlin Pied Pipers only two losses came outside of their district to #5 Hawley and #4 Stratford. Outside of those two games, they have coasted to the playoffs winning all their games by at least 20 points. They also beat Cross Plains and Albany by 41 and 46 points, respectively. Those two teams beat Menard by 27 and 44.
Hamlin is one of the best teams in the 2A DII bracket and might not be challenged for a couple weeks. They could meet Eldorado in the third round if they both keep winning.
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