Troup Tigers (7-4) vs. Newton Eagles (10-1)
Class 2A, Region III, Area
7:30 p.m. Friday at the Historic Tomato Bowl in Jacksonville
What to Watch For — Troup will be propelled by the momentum of its six-game winning streak. The Tigers, the third-place outfir out of District10-3A-II thumped Leonard, 42-22, last week to advance to play Newton. The Eagles, whose only loss (16-0) was a non-district setback suffered at the hands of Gilmer on Sept. 27, clipped New Diana, 52-42, last week, in a game that was much closer than many anticipated, given the fact that New Diana finished fourth in the 10-3A-II standings. Newton was missing at least two starters for that game. Those young men are expected back this week. The Eagles, who are the defending Class 3A, Division II state champion, love to run the football and are averaging 316 rushing yards per outing. Sophomore DeAnthony Gatson (5'-10”, 198-pounds) is the leading Newton rusher. He has racked up 1,550 yards and 27 touchdowns this fall. Defensively, Troup has gone about its business in a rather quiet fashion and has managed to fly under the radar for the most part. The Tiger defenders are allowing just 22 points a game and have played well. Newton is, perhaps, the best team Troup has seen this season, but the Tigers seem to running like a well-oiled machine at this time.
Alto Yellowjackets (10-0) vs. Joaquin Rams (9-2)
Class 2A, Region III, Area
7:30 p.m. Friday at Abe Martin Stadium in Lufkin
What to Watch For — Fans that like defensive-oriented football should be in hog heaven in Lufkin on Friday night. The Alto defenders are allowing just nine points a game, while Joaquin is giving up 12 points a night. Joaquin, finished second behind a strong Harleton team in conference play, while the Mean Sting are the District 10-2A-I champs. The Rams' losses came to Harleton and Shelbyville (by a single point) in the regular season. Joaquin avenged that loss by beating Shelbyville 39-0 in the bi-district round last week. At the same time, the Jackets were racking up a 62-0 rout of Cayuga. Joaquin is probably the toughest team that the Jackets have faced this year. Alto's mental approach to the game could make, or break, the 'Jackets in this one. This one should be worth the price of admission.
Brook Hill Guard (8-3) vs. Cedar Hill-Trinity Christian Tigers (10-1)
TAPPS, Division II Regional
7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bruce Field in Athens
What to Watch For — It's a shame that these two district rivals — Cedar Hill-TCA finish as the Division II-2 runner up and Brook Hill came in third — must meet in the second round of the playoffs. It was all Tigers when the two clubs locked horns on Nov. 8 at the Tigers' home field where Cedar Hill-TCA won, 44-7. The Guard must figure out a way to limit the effectiveness of Tiger quarterback Shedeur Sanders (6'-0”, 175-pound, Jr.), son for former Dallas Cowboys' standout and Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Deion Sanders. In the first meeting against the Guard Sanders passed for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He is a 75.4-percent passer. Brook Hill defense faces a stiff test this week.