Class 3A State Playoff Insider
Alvarado (12-1) vs. Henderson (11-2) Friday 7:00pm Tiger Stadium, Corsicana:
Alvarado has been on quite the run this year despite flying under the radar as a 3A school in the middle of the DFW area.
The Indians rely on a physical brand of football which is a reflection of their head coach. Zach Ripley and Wayne Onderdonck pace the ground game but the Indians real game breaker is speedy Tyler Bates who gets it done on both sides of the ball.
Henderson has dropped down from Class 4A and taken full advantage of the drop with an impressive resume. Last week the Lions took advantage of a slower Lovejoy squad rolling past LHS 36-14. Quarterback Del Barnes shredded the Lovejoy defense with 290 yards passing and four touchdowns, but when Henderson needs to run the football they are more than capable with several speedy backs.
Henderson's combination of size and speed will be too much for a slower Alvarado squad to keep up with in this matchup.
Matt's Pick: Henderson by 17
Tyler Chapel Hill (12-1) vs. West Columbia (12-1) Friday 7:30pm Berry Center, Cypress:
There will be no shortage of speed on the field when these two get together in the Greater Houston area. Chapel Hill has an impressive resume with their only loss coming at the hands of 4A Area Finalist Whitehouse.
The Bulldogs speed last week led them to an impressive 42-14 win over Navasota as Lairamie Lee ran for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Andrew Tucker is another speedy back who can scare opposing defenses.
West Columbia has gone through a tough playoff road with several close games which is unlike their opponent. The Roughnecks jumped out early on Somerset last week but had to hold on for a 36-27 win. Daymond Lewis led the way with 242 yards and four touchdowns. West Columbia will be able to match Chapel Hill's speed but it's the play in the trenches that makes the big difference in this one.
Matt's Pick: Tyler Chapel Hill by 12
Brownwood (13-0) vs. Monahans (13-0) Friday 7:00pm San Angelo Stadium, San Angelo:
What a big matchup of unbeaten teams who have contrasting styles. Brownwood's high flying offense has put up some big time numbers en route to their unbeaten season.
Texas commit WR Jaxon Shipley has been the catalyst but if you ask a lot of Brownwood fans the irreplaceable part may be QB Graylon Brown who is the unquestioned leader for the Lions on offense. It's a pretty high standard to set when a 35-6 win (last week over Borger) was considered an "off night."
Brownwood's got an underrated defense but when they need to step up look for SMU commit Derek Longoria to be a factor.
Monahans and their Wing-T offense had no trouble knocking off Snyder for the second time last week 26-7. The Loboes defense and ball control offense will be key this week and they got a good test in holding the powerful Snyder offense to just 84 passing yards. The challenge will be much greater this week as Brownwood's been the unstoppable force in Class 3A this year.
Matt's Pick Brownwood by 20
Argyle (13-0) vs. Carthage (11-2) Friday 7:30pm Rose Stadium, Tyler:
If there's such a thing as a quiet 13-0, then Argyle fits the bill. The Eagles after a disappointing end to the 2009 season in round three exercised some East Texas demons last week blasting a solid Gilmer squad 41-14.
Junior QB Austin Aunne passed for 302 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while RB Layton Lowrey ran wild with 159 yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Eagles are a complete team with solid skill kids and a good line led by Trey Keenan.
Carthage, the two time defending state champion in Class 3A has had some up's and down's this year battling injuries early on.
On defense, the Bulldogs are healthy with LB Kendall Thompson and junior DB Edward Pope leading the way. On offense, the Bulldogs have a solid QB Anthony Morgan who led CHS to the title last year and big play WR Jalen Claiborne.
Look for a knockdown drag out matchup between two evenly matched teams. Argyle has had a decided advantage in the trenches most of the season, but that advantage won't be as prevalent this week against a Carthage squad known for being physical. Carthage will have the advantage at the skill spots and that will be the difference in what is an otherwise even matchup.
Matt's Pick: Carthage by 6
Athens (11-2) vs. Coldspring (12-1) Friday 7:30pm Bowers Stadium, Huntsville:
Excitement is at an all time high in Henderson County as Athens advanced to the State Quarter-Finals for the first time in school history with a thrilling 29-26 win over Brookshire Royal.
Superstar junior RB Kendall Sanders battling a knee injury tried to play but missed the entire second half as it was obvious he was not 100%, but Nick Monmouth stepped up in a major way with 123 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries to lead the Hornets.
AHS will need Sanders in the fold this week to take out a Coldsprng squad who has won 12 in a row. Last week the Trojans knocked off Kirbyville who gave Coldspring their only loss of the year in Week 0 27-20. After trailing 20-8 in the second half the Trojans scored 19 straight points to get the win as Sherman Gilbert and Cody Cummings combined for over 400 yards rushing in the win.
Both teams have played very tough schedules and on paper are evenly matched, if Sanders was healthy I'd take Athens. However, with Sanders not being 100% I'll go with Coldspring.
Matt's Pick: Coldspring by 6
Geronimo Navarro (11-2) vs. Wimberley (13-0) Friday 7:30pm Shelton Stadium, Buda:
Wimberley hasn't missed a beat this year despite battling injuries and off the field issues but the Texans have still gone 13-0.
Quarterback Brady Lambert led the way for the Texans with 195 passing yards and two touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown in the 42-17 win over Sweeny. Navarro will look to avenge a 42-28 loss to the Texans in district play and their Slot T offense is what gives other teams fits.
Last week Navarro won a close battle over a solid Mathis squad 24-21. After falling behind 21-17 to Mathis with less than five minutes left the Panthers battled back as QB John Bormann hooked up with Bryan Aguilar for a long touchdown to put the Panthers in the quarter-finals.
Wimberley has advantages position by position across the board, but Navarro's scheme and outstanding coaching will keep them in it , but in the end talent wins out.
Matt's Pick: Wimberley by 12