Six-Man State Title Previews
Posted by Leman Saunders on 14 December 2012
Leman Saunders offers an expansive preview of the six-man title games this weekend.
DII – Richland Springs Coyotes (14-0) v Follett Panthers (9-4)
These two towns, 424 miles apart, will be meeting for the first time on the grid iron in the schools’ history…but they coaching staffs are not that unknown to each other…you see Follett head coach Harley Ethridge was once on staff at Richland Springs back when his son Tyler Ethridge was setting records and leading the Coyotes to 3 of their 5 Six-Man State Championships.
Follett is making its third appearance in a State title game having won a State Title in 8-Man in 1974 beating La Pryor 28-22, and advanced in to the title bout in 6-Man back in 2008, losing to Strawn in Division 1 58-29. The Panthers have four losses on their record…however they have all come at the hands of division 1 opponents, including #1 ranked Throckmorton. Star player Dakota Woods will be the workhorse for the Panthers as he has been all season.
The Coyotes on the other hand will enter into Shotwell Stadium in Abilene with a 44 game win streak, having last lost in the Quarter-Final round of the 2009 playoffs. The current coaching staff at Richland Springs has never lost a State Final game…they are 5-0 in title matchups and the school is 5-1 having finished as Runner-Up in 2001. With a win this season Richland Springs will surpass Fort Hancock in championship victories at the six-man level. Richland Springs is led by Chance Bush who has amassed 3,599 yards of total offense, rushing for 50 TDs and passing for 21 more.
DI – Throckmorton Greyhounds (13-1) v Abbott Panthers (21-2)
This game is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Semi-Final playoff game won by Throckmorton 78-52 on their way to a State Title. This trip to the Championship marks the fourth time Throckmorton has reached the finals…all at the 6-Man level, having won the title last year and in 2005 while finishing Runner-Up in 2010. Abbott is making its first appearance in the State Championship game after being eliminated in the Semi-Final round 3 times (2011, 2008, 2002).
Abbott will feature a strong running game with shifty Tyler Russell, who accounted for 9 TDs in last week’s win over Gordon, and power back Dilon Beims. Together the two have rushed for 3,419 yards and 79 TDs this season.
Throckmorton features a more balanced offensive attack. As a team the Greyhounds have 2,533 yards with 61 TDs rushing and 2,644 yards with 49 TDs passing.
The question is can Abbott’s ground attack wear down the Throckmorton defense? The Greyhounds have faced powerful running games in the playoffs in the form of Rankin and Valley, plus the Greyhounds played and beat class 1A Windthorst, which featured a strong running game, in a half 11-Man/half 6-Man game earlier this season. As a side note…Throckmorton’s only loss this year came at the hands of Dallas The Covenant 80-76…a team that Abbott beat 44-36.
Leman Saunders is with SixManFootball.com and is a special contributor to Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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