It’s Playoff Time, These Four East Texas Games Could Be Classics
The high school football playoffs are here. The bi-district round will feature its fair share of blowout games, especially those that feature 4 seeds against 1 seeds. But, there will also be some close, down-to-the-wire games.
Here are four playoff games involving Deep East Texas teams that I believe could be some classics.
Center Roughriders vs Gilmer Buckeyes, Friday, 7 p.m. at Hallsville High School
It may take 50 points or more to win this game...and that's not an exaggeration.
Gilmer comes in scoring nearly 52 points a game, but giving up 36 points a game. Meanwhile, Center is putting up a little over 50 points a game and giving up nearly 43 points a game.
Both teams have no shortage of big-play athletes, including Center quarterback Cash Cross who's the 'real deal'. But, how much will a windy, chilly night affect the passing game for Gilmer and Center?
This looks to be an evenly matched game. Gilmer might get a slight edge because their defense has been playing better as of late, plus, the Buckeyes are playoff-tested. They have made the playoffs for over 20 straight seasons, and have advanced beyond the first round in all those years except for the 2006 season.
That tradition of success will give Gilmer a lot of confidence coming into this game.
Prediction: Gilmer 55 - Center 50
Groveton vs Shelbyville, Thursday, 7 p.m. at Nacogdoches Dragon Stadium
One thing is a certainty about this game. Whoever wins Thursday night will have beaten an opponent with a winning record for the first time this season.
Neither Groveton (7-3) nor Shelbyville (5-4) has beaten a team with a winning record this year. That's not meant to discount these two quality teams. Groveton has lost to state-ranked teams such as Lovelady and Centerville, while Shelbyville has fallen to two of the best teams in 2A (Garrison & Timpson).
When it comes to facing like opponents, Groveton and Shelbyville both have wins against Grapeland and Alto. The Indians and Dragons both made the playoffs last year and made first-round exits.
This is a tough one to call. Groveton has been the hotter team as of late, but Shelbyville's district is tougher. Plus, at game time, the temps should be in the 60s with a 70% chance of rain. The game might come down to who can best manage the weather, and limit turnovers.
Prediction: Groveton 33 - Shelbyville 26
Mount Enterprise Wildcats vs Deweyville Pirates, Friday, 7 p.m. at Shelbyville H.S.
Mt. Enterprise finished 3rd in their district, but the Wildcats were just a couple of plays away from being district champs. They lost by 5 points to second place Overton, and they came within 2 points of beating Tenaha, who finished district undefeated.
Deweyville and Mt. Enterprise have already faced each other this season with the Pirates winning 42-22. However, that game was played in Deweyville and took place two and a half months ago.
As far as common opponents go, Deweyville has beaten West Hardin by 54 and Cushing by 6, while Mt. Enterprise bested West Hardin by 50 and Cushing by 38.
Deweyville comes into this game as the favorite, but I'm going with the upset. I think Mt. Enterprise ekes out a victory in a close game in windy, chilly conditions.
Prediction: Mt. Enterprise 26 - Deweyville 23
Woodville Eagles vs Orangefield Bobcats, Thursday, 7 p.m. at Lumberton H.S.
This bi-district game is a rematch from week four of the season. That game was played in Orangefield, and the Eagles earned a hard-fought 19-7 win.
Woodville has only lost once since that game (to district champs, Diboll), and they have won four straight. The rematch with the Bobcats will be played at a neutral site.
I don't believe Woodville will run away with this game, but I do believe the victory will be more decisive than the first time these two teams met. Once again, a rainy night could throw a wrench into things.
Prediction: Woodville 34 - Orangefield 15
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