After 10 weeks of the season, these teams stand ranked exactly as they were in the preseason.
In what is the toughest region in Division 2, with three teams ranked in the top-5 (when you mix in top-ranked Balmorhea), this game stands as a precursor to what we expect to see in the playoffs. What makes this game peculiar is the fact that the loser would actually have the easier past to the regional final by not having to potentially face Balmorhea in the second round.
“We will need to play extremely well on both sides of the ball to win,” Motley County head coach Mike Bigham said. “We will need to execute at a high level.”
“We’ve got to play a clean ball game,” Jayton head coach Josh Stanaland said. “We can’t give them any extra possessions by turning the ball over. Offensively, we have to sustain our blocks. Defensively, we’ve got to be disciplined because they are a great running team, but their play action passing game is really good too.
“This is the time of year that we typically start to peak. I don’t think we’ve played our best ball yet. That’s still in front of us. But this week, the district championship is on the line and that is always one of our goals. We want to play well, get better, and get out healthy for our playoff run.”
You may think that because this is such a big district game, these two team have a ton of history. They actually don’t. Friday night will mark only the third time these two have played since 1983. The previous two times were in 2007 when Motley County won the Division 2 State Championship. The Matadors 45’d the Jaybird in both of those games, including a 90-45 semifinal matchup.
I expect this one to be another high-scoring affair.
PREDICTION: Motley County 76, Jayton 70
OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST
All games listed below involve teams that are undefeated in district play.
Rankin at Garden City - Not the matchup it would've been the past few years but still a fight for the Division 1, District 6 title.
Groom at Wildorado - There's a question whether this one will get played, but these are the last two teams standing in Division 2, District 2 and would be the only district game played.
Blackwell at Loraine - In another district plagued with COVID and injuries, this will actually be the only official game played.
Fannidel at Trinidad - The Falcons look to complete the undefeated regular season, but Trinidad hopes to ruin that vision.
Gordon at Strawn - One of the best rivalries in the state. With both teams at 7-2 and undefeated in district, many feel they may meet again in the regional final.
Calvert at Oakwood - Somehow Calvert was able to play eight games. Oakwood only got seven in and has played once in the past month. At least they should both be healthy.
Dime Box at Oglesby - Dime Box has not played more than two weeks in a row at any point this season and has only played five games.
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