Other states, and the Texas private school leagues, have crowned their champions. That leaves us with only two games this year- UIL Texas. Both games will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Wednesday December 19. Division II will kick off at 11:00 AM, Division I at 2:00 PM.
#1 Strawn vs #3 Follett
Saying that the Strawn Greyhounds are battle tested would be an understatement. They are the defending Division II champions, and they haven’t had an easy road this year. Six of the teams they played are in the top fifteen in Texas, and two of them will be facing off for the Division I title.
The Greyhounds have a multi-threat offense. Follett will have trouble deciding who to key on when Villanueva, Fraga, Hodgkins, Ruiz, and several others are capable of making big plays. Strawn is strong on the defensive side as well. No team outside of the top ten has scored more than one touchdown against them.
Follett is the surprise team this year. Not many people considered the Panthers to be a contender, but they proved us wrong. Their quiet advancement to the finals has been impressive.
Barber is obviously the stud of the team, but Follett has several other weapons in their arsenal. All six offensive starters have scored this year. Barber, Howard, Loya and Stuart tend to stand out, but Rohan and Gregory play vital roles.
There is no doubt that Follett is a quality team, but I feel Strawn is on another level. The Panthers won’t give up, but Strawn will be more than they can handle. I’m predicting that the Greyhounds win by 45.
#1 McLean vs #3 Milford
This one has the potential to be great, but I’m not sure that it will be.
Ta’ron Smith is the first name fans think of when talking about Milford, but he isn’t the only stud on the team. The Bulldogs are loaded with raw talent. Ricky Pendleton stepped up big in the semi-final game against Leakey, but he is the only Milford player that did. The Bulldogs’ lackluster performance last week has me doubting their desire to do what will be needed to compete with McLean.
McLean is Milford’s polar opposite. The Tigers don’t have as much natural athleticism, but they have something better. They have Ben Crockett and a group of above average athletes who are driven and willing to work to reach their goals. The Tigers’ intensity may be more than Milford can handle.
I’m taking McLean by 30, but if Milford shows up hungry for the win, they can make it a battle.