Bi-district playoff previews: Area teams to face stiff competition

The Rusk High School cheerleaders will be at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto on Friday night to root the Red and Black on to victory in a Class 4A, Division II, Region III bi-district game against Salado.

Class 4A, Division II, Region III

Rusk Eagles (8-2) vs. Salado Eagles (7-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at DeSoto's Eagle Stadium

Coaches: Thomas Sitton, Rusk; Alan Haire, Salado

Winner advances to play Bellville-Orangefield winner.

Game Analysis — Salado loves to run the football and Rusk, behind quarterback Owen McCown (verbally committed to Colorado University), is primarily a passing team. A by product of Salado's rushing attack is the team is adept at chewing up the clock and limiting the number of times their opponent gets its hands on the ball; therefore it will be important for Rusk to end drives with points and not punts. Salado opened the season by going 1-2, with losses to Grandview (32-28) and Stephenville (48-21). In its last two games Salado has outscored the opposition 142-21. Rusk will have to play better on the defensive side than it did a week ago when it allowed a 1-9 Center team to score 45 points, if it intends on advancing to the Area round.


Class 3A, Division II, Region II

Troup Tigers (7-3) vs. Omaha Paul Pewitt Brahmas (6-4)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Spring Hill Panther Stadium

Coaches: John Eastman, Troup;

Winner advances to play Waskom-Corrigan Camden winner.

Game Analysis — The Brahmas are averaging 295 yards a game on the ground and only 57 yards per game via the air. Deiontray Hill, a 6'-0”, 175-pound senior leads Paul Pewitt in rushing with 975 yards (6.4 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns. The Tigers' Kevin Pierce has tallied 980 yards on 137 carries and has run for 17 touchdowns. The Tigers, who finished second in district, behind Daingerfield, have also had success in the passing department this season, which should be a plus in a game like this. Defensively, Paul Pewitt has been giving 33.8 points a game, while the Tigers have allowed 24.4 points a game.


Class 2A, Division I, Region III

Alto Yellowjackets (6-2) vs. Thorndale Bulldogs (7-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Blackcat Stadium in Mexia

Coaches: Lance Gamble, Alto; John Kovar, Thorndale

Winner advances to play Timpson-Frankston winner

Game Analysis — Two teams that have done a fine job defensively this season are set to knock heads in this one. The Bulldogs are allowing just 12.2 points a game while Alto is giving up 18.7 points an outing. This will be the first meeting ever between Alto and Thorndale. The Bulldogs finished behind Holland and Hearne in District 12-2A-I. The Mean Sting are the District 11-2A-I runner-up.


TAPPS Division II

Grapevine Faith Christian Lions (7-2) at Brook Hill Guard (6-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Herrington Stadium in Bullard

Coaches: C.J. Wilson, Faith Christian; Scott Ryle, Brook Hill

Winner advances to play Grace Community-Dallas Christian School winner

Game Analysis —The Guard and the Lions know each other well, as Faith Christian eliminated Brook Hill from post season play a year ago by winning 14-7. Not a lot of margin for error for the Guard defense, given the amount of overall team speed the Lions have. The fact that the game is in Bullard, plus the revenge factor, could be enough to send the Orange and Navy to the winner's circle on Friday night.


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