Anna (14-1) vs. Tyler Chapel Hill (13-2), 11 a.m. Friday at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium
If you like high-scoring “cut the brakes” style football, this may be the game for you as two of the state’s most explosive offenses are set to battle in a DFW vs. East Texas showdown.
Anna is playing in its first title game in school history after an emphatic 38-27 win over Decatur last week, the Coyotes' second win over the Eagles this season. The Coyotes have evolved into a state power seemingly over night under third year head coach Seth Parr, who took AHS to a 13-1 mark a year ago and now has Anna on the brink of a state title.
Sophomore QB Ziondre Williams continues to impress as he threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns and added 66 yards rushing and a touchdown as well, and Edward Chumley added 130 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Anna’s defense, which doesn’t grab headlines, was stout as well helping the Coyotes out to a 38-13 fourth quarter lead before a pair of late Decatur touchdowns in the game’s waning moments.
After losing in the state semifinals in back-to-back years, Tyler Chapel Hill finally got back to the state title game (its first since 2011) as the Bulldogs used a third quarter explosion to roll past San Antonio Davenport, 56-33.
The duo of QB Demetrius Brisbon and RB Rickey Stewart, both SMU commits, were monsters for the Bulldogs as Brisbon ran for 155 yards and three touchdowns and he threw for 164 yards and a touchdown, while Stewart ran for 214 yards and three touchdowns.
Chapel Hill’s defense, which is led by LB Trevor Brooks and a very speedy secondary, contained Davenport’s offense in the second half after allowing a couple of big plays early on. Both offenses are plenty dynamic. The difference in this game will come down to defense, specifically Anna’s front seven, which is very underrated. That group will be vital in AHS slowing down Chapel Hill.
Stepp’s Pick: Anna by 7
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Ziondre Williams - Filling in for Evan Bullock was always a tall task for Ziondre Williams but the sophomore has done nothing but lead Anna to AT&T Stadium. Williams has 2,548 through the air but has the ability to take off and run as the team’s second-leading rusher with 746 yards on the ground.
WR Jacob Emmers - Williams likes the spread the ball around with six pass-catchers having over 10 receptions this season, but all eyes will be on Jacob Emmers. The three-star wideout missed a handful of games this season but still has 667 yards on the receiving and 11 touchdowns.
LB CJ Miller - Against arguably the best athletes, the Coyotes have seen this season, CJ Miller’s rangey movement is critical. Anna’s leading tackler has 182 on the year, 20 tackles for loss and eight sacks. When he gets downhill, it’s hard to avoid the senior linebacker.
Tyler Chapel Hill
RB Rickey Stewart - With nearly 3,000 yards rushing, Rickey Stewart is one of the top gamebreakers in the state. The SMU commit has 44 total touchdowns as well. When he squares his shoulders, the breakaway ability is apparent.
QB Demetrius Brisbon - Stewart isn’t the reason why Chapel Hill is perhaps the most dangerous offense in the state. The combination of Stewart AND Demetrius Brisbon is why. The fellow SMU commit Brisbon has 1,664 rushing yards and 1,939 yards passing.
LB Da’Veon Ross - If you want to see one of the most intimidating linebackers in the state with head of steam, Da’Veon Ross is your guy. The 200-pound linebacker moves like a safety in pursuit and he has 152 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
Anna QB Ziondre Williams vs. Chapel Hill DL Kendall Allen - Williams has enjoyed a standout sophomore season leading Anna to its first state championship appearance in program history. He’s thrown for 2,690 yards and 38 touchdowns to just eight interceptions, and is the team’s second leading rusher with 821 yards and nine TDs. AT&T Stadium will be the brightest lights Williams has faced, and Chapel Hill defensive end Kendall Allen is one of the best linemen he’ll see. At 6-feet-5-inches, 255 pounds, Allen is a menace in the backfield and will rush Williams’s decision-making. Can Williams make the smart reads in the face of pressure?
Chapel Hill run game vs. Anna LBs - Chapel Hill’s got a pair of SMU commits in the backfield that can take it to the house on any given play. Quarterback Demetrius Brisbon can hurt defenses through the air, but he gashes them on the ground. His read options with running back Rickey Stewart are lethal. Anna’s CJ Miller is a four-year varsity starter and First Team All-State selection with sideline-to-sideline range. He pairs well with 6-foot-1-inch, 205-pound Grayson Stewart to thump opposing teams’ run games. Both of them will have their hands full with Brisbon and Stewart.
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