Regional Finals MEGA Preview: 4A-2A

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

Stephenville (11-2) vs. Anna (12-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday at North Richland Hills’ Birdville Fine Arts/Athletics Complex: It’s a rematch of an area round playoff game a year ago when Anna bested the Yellow Jackets.

Stephenville’s defense carried the day last week in a 7-3 slugfest over Celina. The ‘Jackets needed a little trickery to get that one score as WR Tristan Gentry threw a touchdown pass to Ryan Gafford to give SHS the win.

Anna got pushed in a major way last week, but the Coyotes were able to score late and take down Frisco Panther Creek, 42-38. WR Jacob Emmers had 169 yards receiving and three touchdowns, while RB Edward Chumley ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns.

Emmers’ 30-yard touchdown reception from QB Ziondre Williams lifted Anna to the win with 10 seconds remaining.

Stephenville’s lack of offensive output the past few weeks is a major concern. RB Tate Maruska, who has been such a huge part of the Stephenville offense the past two years, only had three carries last week. If he’s not able to play or help carry the load, Anna’s got too much for Stephenville in this one.

Stepp’s Pick: Anna by 10


Kilgore (12-1) vs. Tyler Chapel Hill (11-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Longview’s Lobo Stadium: Kilgore and Tyler Chapel Hill meet for the third straight year with a spot in the state semifinals on the line as East Texas continues to dominate 4A Division I Region III.

This will be the seventh meeting between these two since 2020 with each team winning three times. The key stat in this series is Chapel Hill has taken both playoff meetings in 2021 and 2022. Kilgore, however, won this year’s meeting quite easily in a 40-16 rout in Tyler.

Kilgore knocked off a solid Needville squad last week, 35-14, thanks to a second half shutout. RB Rayshaun Williams led Kilgore with 152 yards rushing and a touchdown, while three other Kilgore backs saw the end zone.

Chapel Hill’s offense was clicking last week as it knocked off previously unbeaten Iowa Colony, 42-21. SMU commits Demetrius Brisbon and Rickey Stewart combined for two touchdown connections through the air and Stewart added a rushing touchdown to pace CHHS.

Chapel Hill’s defense played its best game of the year as well, which should give its fans more confidence going into this one.

One big question for Kilgore going into this game is the status of QB Derrick Williams, who left the game with an apparent injury and did not return.

Kilgore’s defense is the key in this one. It’ll be closer than the regular season meeting, but defense wins football games in December.

Stepp’s Pick: Kilgore by 7

Canyon West Plains (12-1) vs. Glen Rose (9-4), 6 p.m. Friday at Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium: Second-year program Canyon West Plains will look to take the next step and win a regional title, but to get to the semifinals they’ll need to go through the defending Region I champions in Glen Rose.

West Plains pulled away from previously unbeaten Monahans last week, 42-21. QB Reid Macon threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Wolves offense along with RB Jordi Hernandez, who ran for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Glen Rose has bounced back nicely from its slow start as the Tigers have won eight in a row after knocking off West Plains’ district rival Seminole, 48-34.

West Plains’ offense is just too dynamic. Despite the improvements and growth from Glen Rose’s young team, the Tigers don’t have the firepower to keep pace.

Stepp’s Pick: Canyon West Plains by 9


Paradise (12-1) vs. Brock (10-3), 7 p.m. Friday at Mineral Wells’ Ram Stadium: The rematch theme is real across the state this week as the two top teams in 4-3A Division I meet up as Paradise looks to take down the biggest bully in Region I in Brock.

Paradise went to Brock in the regular season and, despite playing tough, the Panthers couldn’t get it done. Last week PHS had a tough matchup, but they were able to roll past a good Bushland squad, 36-14.

QB Austin Iglesias relied on his arm while he battled injuries, and he was able to throw for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Brock’s been an absolute wagon in the playoffs scoring at least 59 points in all three playoff wins. That includes topping 70 points the past two weeks, including last week’s 75-14 win over Clyde.

WR Carson Finney accounted for four touchdowns to lead Brock in the easy win where the Eagles erupted for 61-straight points after the game was tied 14-14.

Paradise’s defense will have to keep them in it, but a hobbled Austin Iglesias may not be able to lead Paradise to their first ever state semifinal.

Stepp’s Pick: Brock by 18


Jacksboro (13-0) vs. Gunter (13-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Denton’s Collins Stadium: Unbeaten Jacksboro will look to do the unthinkable this week by taking down the juggernaut that is Gunter, who has spent most of the year as the state’s top team in 3A-Division II.

Gunter has absolutely dominated Region II in its quest for an eighth consecutive Region II title.

Jacksboro was taken to the limit in an absolute 49-48 overtime classic against Holliday last week. Kasey Ray Swan caught the game winning touchdown pass and two-point conversion in overtime to send JHS to the regional final.

QB Lando Belcher had another big night for the Tigers throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns, while also adding 121 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

Gunter didn’t throw up the eye-popping numbers most are used to seeing as a tough Comanche squad made the Tigers work for a quarter before the floodgates opened up in a 45-0 win. QB Walker Overman led a balanced Gunter attack with 161 yards and two scores; he added a rushing touchdown as well. Gunter’s defense held Comanche to just 170 yards of offense in the victory.

Jacksboro’s offense will be an interesting test for Gunter, and I think they’ll put up an early score or two before Gunter’s depth and talent simply overwhelms JHS.

Stepp’s Pick: Gunter by 24


Stratford (13-0) vs. Hawley (11-2), 6 p.m. Friday at Lubbock’s Lowrey Field: Unbeaten Stratford will look to take down defending state champion Hawley in a showdown that features the brute force of Stratford against the dynamic playmaking of Hawley.

Stratford rolled past New Deal last week, 53-16, as the Elks erupted with 40 first half points to put the game away by halftime.

QB/LB Bryce Braden did it all for SHS with 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns; he added 88 yards and a passing touchdown and an interception on defense all while not playing in the second half.

Hawley rolled past Sonora, 31-8, behind a stellar game from QB Keagan Ables, who threw for 232 yards and a touchdown and ran for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Hawley has enough up front to slow down the bulldozer that is Braden and the Stratford attack and the Bearcats have a bit too many weapons at the skill spots for SHS to control for four quarters.

Stepp’s Pick: Hawley by 10


Albany (13-0) vs. Collinsville (12-1), 7 p.m. Thursday at Iowa Park’s Hawk Stadium: Region II runs through defending state champion Albany and for the second straight year, upstart Collinsville will look to dethrone the Lions.

Albany got pushed in a major way last week, but survived Muenster, 19-14.

Cason Fairchild saved the Lions from Muenster’s upset bid with a pair of touchdown receptions and a game sealing interception with less than a minute remaining.

Albany’s defense will definitely have its hands full dealing with Collinsville QB Logan Jenkins, who leads an offense that averages just shy of 52-points per game. Last week CHS blew past Roscoe 50-12 as Jenkins threw for 356 yards and five touchdowns and added a rushing TD.

The big key was Collinsville’s run defense, which limited Roscoe to just 64 yards on the ground. It they can put forth a similar effort this week, Collinsville’s got the offense to pull the upset.

Stepp’s Pick: Collinsville by 3


Quick Picks

Brownwood (12-1) vs. Decatur (9-4), 7 p.m. Friday at Waco’s McLane Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Decatur by 5

San Antonio Davenport (10-3) vs. Port Lavaca Calhoun (9-4), 7 p.m. Friday at San Antonio’s Alamodome Stepp’s Pick: San Antonio Davenport by 11

Gilmer (10-3) vs. Carthage (13-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Tyler’s Rose Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Carthage by 17

Bellville (13-0) vs. Jasper (9-4), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Shenadoah’s Woodforest Bank Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Bellville by 24

Wimberley (13-0) vs. Sinton (10-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Von Ormy’s Southwest Legacy Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Wimberley by 14

Edna (10-2) vs. Blanco (11-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Bastrop’s Memorial Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Edna by 9

Wall (11-2) vs. Canadian (13-0),6 p.m. Friday at Lubbock’s Pirate Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Canadian by 14

Daingerfield (10-3) vs. Newton (11-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Jacksonville’s Tomato Bowl Stepp’s Pick: Newton by 6

Tidehaven (12-0) vs. Poth (12-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Victoria’s Memorial Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Tidehaven by 8

Tolar (12-1) vs. Marlin (11-2), 7 p.m. Thursday at Midlothian’s Midlothian ISD Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Tolar by 20

Ganado (11-2) vs. Refugio (12-1), 7 p.m. Thursday at Victoria’s Memorial Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Refugio by 15

Clarendon (10-3) vs. Sunray (11-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Canyon’s Happy State Bank Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Sunray by 6

Mart (13-0) vs. Lovelady (13-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Athens’ Bruce Field Stepp’s Pick: Mart by 23

Falls City (10-3) vs. Chilton (12-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Buda’s Shelton Stadium Stepp’s Pick: Chilton by 3


Last Week Record: 41-7 85.4%

Playoff Record: 122-22 84.7%

Season Record: 277-67 80.5%

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In