I did well with my quarter-final picks, only missing one game. Tioga kept me from having a perfect week with an impressive 44-40 victory over Union Hill. They beat the spread by 36 points and won the game with a 30+ yard field goal- something rarely seen in six-man.
Hopefully I’ll get 100% this week, but it’s going to be tough.
Borden County vs Happy
4:00 pm Saturday, December 9
Happy gets a shot at redemption for last year’s 92-58 semi-final loss to Borden County. Both teams are undefeated this season, and both have held the top spot in the rankings.
Happy is an offensive power, averaging 77.17 points per game. On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys seem to be a different team. Their defense allows an average of 28.67 points.
Borden County’s offense doesn’t appear to be as strong, only averaging 59.15 points per game. However, their defense is a force to be reckoned with. The Coyotes have given up an average of 5.69 points per game- 74 total points in 13 games.
My mentor, Don Hardin, was a firm believer that “defense wins championships”, and he passed that belief to me. I expect this to be a nail-biting game, but Borden County’s defense will win the game.
Jonesboro vs Tioga
5:00 pm Saturday, December 9
Like most others, I didn’t expect Tioga to make it this deep into the playoffs. Luckily for the Bulldogs, the winner is decided on the field- not in the minds of the “experts”.
A forfeit due to unusual circumstances gave Tioga the only mark in their loss column this season. The Bulldogs’ clock-control/power offense doesn’t put up a lot of points, but it has gotten the job done all season. Tioga will need to use the momentum from the Union Hill win to keep their season going.
Jonesboro has had a much tougher schedule, but division two powerhouse Milford has been the only team to defeat them. The Eagles playoff road hasn’t been easy either- they’ve had to go through Bryson and May to get here.
I’ve had Jonesboro picked to win the east since the last week of district play, so I’m sticking with them. The Eagles will play in AT&T Stadium again this year.
Balmorhea vs Valley
7:30 pm Friday, December 8
at Sterling City
Balmorhea has dominated all but one opponent this year. The one game they didn’t win by mercy rule, was a 37 point victory over Garden City. With a senior heavy team, this could be their shot at a title.
Valley fell to Balmorhea in the 2016 semi-final game, and will be looking for payback. A 94-48 quarter-final win over Follett, and a trip to Arlington on the line, will have the Patriots primed and loaded for Bear. They will put up a fight, but the Bears are hungry for a title. Balmorhea will come out on top.
Milford vs Strawn
7:30 Friday December 8
Strawn is good- extremely good. For most of this season, the Greyhounds have been my favorite to represent Division II East. They have won all 13 of their games by mercy rule, and allowed a total of 80 points. Their weak schedule makes this appear less impressive, but that’s how Coach Lee likes it- he enjoys it when opponents underestimate his team.
Milford has been strong all season, and they have been stepping up their game. They have been giant slayers this year, taking down Jonesboro, Garden City, and Richland Springs. I predicted this match-up before play-offs began, but originally I had Strawn winning. I’m flipping now and picking the Bulldogs to win.