Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 20, 2013

Alto playing its best football as Area test approaches

'Jackets to face Hull-Daisetta on Thur.

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress


Alto will enter Thursday night's Class 1A-I, Region III, Area game against the Bobcats of Hull-Daisetta playing, arguably, its best football of the season.

Head coach Paul Gould's boys, who sport an 8-3 record, not only have won four games in-a-row, but have come from behind in each of the last two weeks to earn victories in impressive fashion.

The Yellowjackets and the Bobcats should not be strangers to one another. After all, these two outfits met in the Area Round in 2012 and, just like last year Alto and Hull-Daisetta will be battling at Abe Martin Stadium in Lufkin, once again. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Alto will be hoping for a similar fate as happened 12 months ago when the Mean Sting brought home a 35-28 decision over Hull-Daisetta.

The 'Jackets rallied from a 14-7 halftime deficit last week in claiming a 37-20 win over Harleton in bi-district play.

Alto impressively scored 28-unanswered points last week as the Mean Sting's tandem of Zac Sturns and Jacolby Whitaker made their way through the Harleton defense like a knife in warm butter.

Sturns, the team's quarterback, carried 20 times for 144 yards and three touchdowns while Whitaker ran 19 times for 192 yards and two scores.

All total Alto bail carriers picked up 367 total yards a week ago.

The Bobcats (4-6), who had an opening-round bye after winning the District 11-1A-I championship, also like to run the ball, and run it out of the Wlng-t formation.

The Bobcats had success last year in scoring points against the 'Jacket defenders and with nine offensive starters back this year, Alto could again be challenged in having to stop an offense that is getting more and more extinct every year.

The Mean Sting and the Bobcats played one common foe this year in Groveton.

Hull-Daisetta beat Groveton 35-21 on Sep. 13, with Alto having whipped the Indians, 47-27 on Sep. 6.

Alto leads the all-time series, 3-1, against the Bobcats, with each of the meetings having taken place in the state playoffs.

Hull-Daisetta's lone win over Alto came way back in 1986 when the Bobcats prevailed, 34-13.

The winner between the Mean Sting and the Bobcats will face wither Price-Carlisle or Bosqueville late next week in a regional quarterfinal.