Regional Semifinals MEGA Preview: 4A-2A

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Frisco Panther Creek (11-1) vs. Anna (11-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Frisco’s Ford Center: Two non-traditional powers meet up in a power-packed matchup inside the cozy confines of the Ford Center Friday night and the winner gets a trip to the regional finals.

For second year program Frisco Panther Creek, this is all new territory. Before last year’s 13-1 run for Anna, this would have been totally new to them as well.

Last week Panther Creek took down Waco La Vega, 49-21, as ATH Sentel Simpson had a breakout game rushing for 113 yards and three touchdowns. QB Braxton Roberts threw for 119 yards and two scores and ran for two other touchdowns to lead PCHS.

Anna exacted a measure of revenge last week as it took down two-time state champion China Spring, 45-21, to avenge a regional final loss in 2022. Sophomore QB Ziondre Williams had a monster game with 153 yards and two touchdowns passing and added 110 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.

Anna’s defense doesn’t get discussed much, but the Coyotes are fast and good on all three levels. If the offense plays the type of game they played against China Spring the Coyotes will be in their second straight regional final.

Stepp’s Pick: Anna by 6


Monahans (12-0) vs. Canyon West Plains (11-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Lubbock’s Pirate Stadium: It’s a Permian Basin vs Panhandle showdown Friday night as unbeaten Monahans takes on second-year program Canyon West Plains in a game that could be an absolute shootout.

Monahans blasted Sweetwater 56-13 as QB Cheno Navarette had another monster night for one of the top offenses in the state.

West Plains got a big test last week, but the Wolves passed with flying colors taking down Graham, 35-17. RB Jordi Hernandez led the Wolves with three rushing touchdowns and the WPHS defense pitched a second half shutout against an explosive Graham offense.

Both offenses are capable of putting points up. The difference for this game is that West Plains defense; they’ll get stops in key moments and eliminate Monahans.

Stepp’s Pick: Canyon West Plains by 10


Paradise (11-1) vs. Bushland (11-1), 6 p.m. Friday at Vernon’s Lion Stadium: Paradise will look to take out its second straight team from the Panhandle, but the hill is much steeper this week as it takes on a strong Bushland squad in a battle of 11-1 teams.

Paradise rolled past Dalhart last week, 61-14, as it outscored the Golden Wolves 34-0 in the second half. QB Austin Iglesias accounted for six touchdowns in the win (three rushing and three passing).

Bushland ripped Whitesboro 60-19 a week ago as the Falcons scored on eight of their 10 drives in the game. QB Dawson Jaco threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns, while RB Easton Fuentes tallied three scores on the ground (all in the first half) for the Falcons. Expect this to be a shootout with two of the state’s best signal callers going at it. This is a total toss-up with the slight edge going to Bushland.

Stepp’s Pick: Bushland by 3


Lorena (10-2) vs. Columbus (12-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Hutto’s Memorial Stadium: Lorena, who comes into this game as possibly the hottest team in the state at the 3A-Division I level, takes on the state’s top-ranked team in unbeaten Columbus in a rematch of a classic bi-district matchup a year ago.

Lorena rolled to the third round of the playoffs last week with a 55-24 win over Palestine Westwood. RB Braylon Henry led the Lorena attack with 167 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.

Columbus got pushed last week, but the Cardinals defense stepped up in a 24-7 win over Woodville. Ty’vone Whitehead ran for two touchdowns and Baylor commit Adam Schobel had a touchdown pass to lead Columbus.

Despite the Cardinals offense getting much of the press, their defense is state title good, and they’ll slow Lorena down enough to win a close one.

Stepp’s Pick: Columbus by 3


Jacksboro (12-0) vs. Holliday (11-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Graham’s Newton Field: Unbeaten Jacksboro made quite the statement last week as it blew past Bells 45-6 in an area round playoff game that featured two teams who were state ranked at the end of the regular season.

RB Luke Sams rushed for 132 yards and four touchdowns, while also catching three passes for 79 yards and a score. QB Lando Belcher threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tigers offense.

Holliday rolled past Leonard 42-6 as the Eagles defense completely shut down a dynamic Leonard offense. First year head coach Kyle Atwood’s squad appears to be getting into the swing of things in their new offensive system, but this Jacksboro offense is just on a different level late in the year.

Stepp’s Pick: Jacksboro by 10


Sonora (11-1) vs. Hawley (10-2), 6 p.m. Friday at San Angelo’s San Angelo Stadium: When operating at peak efficiency, Sonora is a team that’s dangerous enough to push the defending state champions. The Broncos appeared to be playing that way in last week’s 42-14 win over Farwell.

Jaime Buitron threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another score, while RB Edgar DeLuna tallied his 39th touchdown of the season on a pass from Buitron. The Broncos’ defense was stout as well holding Farwell to just one score in each half.

The challenge this week is a big one as Hawley is coming in playing its best football of the season. Last week the Bearcats drilled a good Panhandle squad 59-16. QB Keagan Ables was sensational in the win for HHS throwing for 281 yards and four touchdowns.

This Hawley team is much more reliant on the passing game than the past two years, which featured plenty of balance. That may be a better matchup for Sonora, but is it enough to push the Broncos to an upset? Last year’s game in the third round was a 31-point Hawley win. I don’t think this year will be quite that lopsided, but Hawley still has enough.

Stepp’s Pick: Hawley by 12


Timpson (12-0) vs. Honey Grove (10-2), 1 p.m. Friday at Athens’ Bruce Field: Unbeaten and top ranked Timpson will look to take care of upstart Honey Grove and push through to its fourth straight regional final appearance.

The Bears rolled past Honey Grove’s district opponent Wolfe City last week, 58-20. Five-star QB/DB Terry Bussey was in rare form in the win as Bussey threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns, he added 212 yards rushing and four touchdowns along with 11 tackles on defense.

The story with Timpson right now are injuries as the Bears were without the services of RB/LB JJ Garner for the second straight week and they lost a key piece on the offensive line with an injury during the game.

Honey Grove, which is led by sophomore sensation Ryelan Morris and a stout defensive line, could present some real challenges for THS. Honey Grove took out Centerville in a thriller last week, 40-36. Morris ran for 244 yards and six touchdowns and added a pair of interceptions.

I expect Honey Grove to hang around this game for about three quarters until Timpson’s playoff experience and Bussey take the game over late.

Stepp’s Pick: Timpson by 18


Granger (10-2) vs. Chilton (11-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Belton’s Tiger Stadium: It’s a rematch of a 13-2A Division II showdown that resulted in a last second Granger win at home in Week 8.

Granger was workman-like in a 27-0 win last week over Brackettville. QB Chase Edwards tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the win. It was Granger’s first playoff shutout since the 1997 state title game when future Oklahoma Sooner Brandon Everage led the Lions attack.

Chilton thumped an overmatched Agua Dulce squad last week, 68-6, as QB Isaiah Redd and the Pirates speed was too much for their opponents from South Texas.

These two being district opponents know each other quite well; there are no secrets in this showdown. Getting Granger away from home is a big edge for the Pirates, whose speed will be the difference in unlocking a tough Granger defense.

Stepp’s Pick: Chilton by 10


Quick Picks

Springtown (9-3) vs. Brownwood (11-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Fort Worth’s Crowley ISD Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Brownwood by 14

Lubbock Estacado (10-2) vs. Decatur (8-4), 1 p.m. Friday at Abilene’s Shotwell Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Decatur by 16

Stephenville (10-2) vs. Celina (11-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Mansfield’s Newsom Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Stephenville by 3

Kilgore (11-1) vs. Needville (10-2), 2:30 p.m. Friday at Porter’s Randall Reed Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Kilgore by 9

Tyler Chapel Hill (10-2) vs. Iowa Colony (12-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Shenandoah’s Woodforest Bank Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Tyler Chapel Hill by 3

San Antonio Davenport (9-3) vs. La Vernia (10-2), 7 p.m. Friday at San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium Stepp’s Pick: San Antonio Davenport by 3

Port Lavaca Calhoun (8-4) vs. Alice (10-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Seguin’s Matador Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Alice by 7

Seminole (11-1) vs. Glen Rose (8-4), 2:30 p.m. Friday at Abilene’s Wildcat Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Seminole by 6

Aubrey (9-3) vs. Gilmer (9-3), 4 p.m. Friday at Commerce’s Memorial Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Gilmer by 8

Jasper (8-4) vs. Cuero (12-0), 3 p.m. Friday at Iowa Colony’s Freedom Field Stepp’s Pick: Cuero by 10

Wimberley (12-0) vs. Ingleside (11-1), 2 p.m. Friday at San Antonio’s Heroes Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Wimberley by 22

Sinton (9-2) vs. Geronimo Navarro (9-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jourdanton’s Indian Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Geronimo Navarro by 7

Clyde (11-1) vs. Brock (9-3), 1 p.m. Friday at Graham’s Newton Field Stepp’s Pick: Brock by 24

Winnsboro (11-0) vs. Whitney (11-1), 1 p.m. Friday at Kaufman’s Norville Field Stepp’s Pick: Winnsboro by 6

Grandview (11-1) vs. Malakoff (12-0), 2 p.m. Friday at Mesquite’s Hanby Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Malakoff by 11

Little River Academy (10-2) vs. Franklin (11-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Tomball’s Tomball ISD Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Franklin by 14

Vanderbilt Industrial (8-3) vs. Edna (9-2), 1 p.m. Friday at Bay City’s Memorial Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Edna by 9

Goliad (10-2) vs. Blanco (10-2), 1 p.m. Friday at Seguin’s Matador Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Goliad by 10

Lubbock Roosevelt (9-3) vs. Wall (10-2), 5 p.m. Friday at Sweetwater’s Mustang Bowl Stepp’s Pick: Wall by 11

Canadian (12-0) vs. Idalou (8-4), 2 p.m. Friday at Amarillo’s Bivins Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Canadian by 27

Comanche (8-4) vs. Gunter (12-0), 12 p.m. Friday at Arlington’s Choctaw Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Gunter by 35

West Rusk (10-2) vs. Daingerfield (9-3), 6 p.m. Friday at Hallsville’s Bobcat Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Daingerfield by 13

Gilmer Harmony (10-2) vs. Newton (10-0), 6 p.m. Friday at Lufkin’s Martin Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Newton by 7

Rogers (9-3) vs. Tidehaven (11-0), 4 p.m. Friday at Cypress’ Cy-Fair FCU Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Tidehaven by 6

Poth (11-1) vs. Lexington (9-3), 6:30 p.m. Friday at New Braunfels’ Cougar Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Poth by 5

Stratford (12-0) vs. New Deal (9-3), 6 p.m. Friday at Amarillo’s Bivins Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Stratford by 13

Tolar (11-1) vs. Italy (7-5), 3 p.m. Friday at Waxahachie’s Lumpkins Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Tolar by 16

Tioga (9-3) vs. Marlin (10-2), 1 p.m. Friday at Fort Worth’s Crowley ISD Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Marlin by by 3

Cooper (11-1) vs. Garrison (11-1), 1:30 p.m. Friday at Tyler’s Rose Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Garrison by 4

Holland (12-0) vs. Ganado (10-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Brenham’s Cub Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Ganado by 3

Refugio (11-1) vs. Weimar (10-2), 7 p.m. Friday at San Antonio’s Farris Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Refugio by 20

Gruver (10-2) vs. Clarendon (9-3), 2 p.m. Friday at Borger’s Bulldog Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Clarendon by 1

Wellington (9-3) vs. Sunray (10-2), 6 p.m. Friday at Canyon’s Happy State Bank Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Sunray by 6

Muenster (8-4) vs. Albany (12-0), 1 p.m. Friday at Weatherford’s Kangaroo Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Albany by 17

Roscoe (10-2) vs. Collinsville (11-1), 2 p.m. Friday at Springtown’s Porcupine Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Collinsville by 12

Deweyville (10-2) vs. Mart (12-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Huntsville’s Hornet Field Stepp’s Pick: Mart by 34

Tenaha (10-2) vs. Lovelady (12-0), 2 p.m. Friday at Henderson’s Lion Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Lovelady by 4

Bremond (9-3) vs. Falls City (9-3), 6 p.m. Friday at Cedar Park’s Gupton Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Falls City by 7


Last Week Record: 81-15 84.4%

Playoff Record: 81-15 84.4%

Season Record: 236-60 79.7%

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