Does Christoval Stand a Chance Against a Texas Football Powerhouse?
CHRISTOVAL, TX — The Christoval Cougars have had a fantastic 2019 season. Head Coach Casey Otho has taken last year's 8-4 team to the next level and turned them into a one-loss, state championship threat. They have play-makers at every position and one of the best play makers in the region at the most important spot.
The Cougars overpowered a very talented Cross Plains team last week with a true team effort. The defense had three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, and allowed only 7 points until the Buffaloes cut the lead to 14 with two minutes remaining in the game.
Christoval's defense has been good all season. They have three shutouts, and their opponents average just 10 points per game. No one has been able to break 28 points. Even in their one loss, they held an Eldorado team that averages 42 points to only 14.
Brayden Wilcox, Beau Jolly, and Clayton Edmiston are three very good defensive backs to patrol the secondary. The front seven is a group to be feared as well. Brendon Wilcox and Westen McAllister are two big bodies that wreak havoc on opposing offenses. Dustin Shriver and Tristan Bratton are two more defensive lineman that have had great seasons. Josh Fava and freshman Ketcher Joiner back them up as athletic linebackers that can make plays all over the field.
Wilcox is an obvious standout on defense with his game-breaking athleticism, but the unit plays as a whole. They swarm to the ball as a group and rarely have to make one on one tackles in open space. The interceptions against Cross Plains were excellent plays by the defensive backs but all three were a product of the defensive line getting pressure on the QB. Everyone contributes.
Offensively, it is the Brayden Wilcox show. They have a good offensive line and solid performers at the skill positions, Jolly, Edmiston, and Fava play both sides, but the Cougars will go as far as Wilcox can run. Christoval played well in his first quarter absence last week. Freshman backup Kyle Loehman was able to move the chains a few times in his half of a possession at the helm, but the feel of the game changed significantly when Wilcox made his return.
An adequate thrower, Wilcox makes his presence known in the run game and can score on any play at any time.
So far this season, Christoval has only been slowed down by one team, Eldorado. Wilcox threw four interceptions in that 7 point showing, and a plethora of offensive penalties put them behind the sticks and cut drives short.
Excluding that game, they average 42 points per outing. They have scored at least 28 each time, scored over 40 seven times, and over 50 twice.
They have not played any one like Wellington, though. The #4 Skyrockets are one of the more impressive teams in 2A this season and have loads of talent under first year Head Coach Greg Proffitt. One standout is their 6'5", 220 pound, Texas Tech commit at tight end, John Holcomb.
Here is a rundown on how their season has gone so far:
Wellington started out with two non-UIL opponents from New Mexico and Oklahoma. They beat both 44-0 and 34-15, respectively. The team from NM finished the season 1-9, and the team from OK is 9-2, so take that as you will.
From there, they were smoked by the #5 team in Class 3A Division II, Abernathy, 51-6 on the road. The Abernathy Antelopes finished the regular season 9-1 and with a district championship. They cruised past Reagan County 75-0 in the first round last week.
Wellington bounced back from that inter-class match up, and beat 2A DI's #10 ranked team, West Texas, 28-12. The Comanches went on to go 8-2 and win their district championship. Their only other loss was to 3A DII's #1 team Canadian in week one. The score was 36-22. West Texas beat Olton 79-26 to advance in the playoffs last week.
In Wellington's final non-district game, they beat 8-3 Panhandle 60-41. Once district play started, it was obvious they were the team to beat. Quanah (5-6), Munday (3-6), Shamrock (3-8), Memphis (1-9), and Wheeler (9-2) were outclassed and beaten by an average of 43 points.
The game against Wheeler, Eldorado's next playoff opponent, was by far the closest, but they still won 38-18. The other four games were decided by 44 points or more.
Last week in their playoff game, the Skyrockets put up 56 to 5-6 Electra's 12.
Christoval will have their hands full. Wellington has proven that they are for real against several top-notch programs across the state and have not relied on an easy non-district schedule to boost their record.
The game will take place in Sweetwater's Mustang Bowl, about an hour and a half from Christoval. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 Friday night.
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