201811220_Malakoff_vs_Grandview_State_Football_Championship_032 copy.jpg

Malakoff quarterback Darion Peace (3) runs the ball during the high school football Class 3A Division 1 state championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Class 4A Division I Regional

Carthage (12-0) VS. Crandall (10-2)

Time: 2 p.m. Friday

Stadium: Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother France Rose Stadium, Tyler


Crandall: Joe Dale Cary (6th season, 36-30-0)

Carthage: Scott Surratt (13th season, 161-28)

Last week: Crandall 24, Orange Little Cypress-Mauriceville 7; Carthage 55, Lumberton 17

Up next: Winner will meet either Palestine or Midlothian Heritage in the Class 4A, Division I state quarterfinals. Palestine (7-5) and Heritage (8-4) meet at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Waco Midway.


Players to watch

Crandall: QB Holt Reese ... RB Damerian Wigenton ... RB Chris Abron ... WR Billy Myers ... WR Sha'brun Booker

Carthage: LB Rayvon Ingram (93 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 INTs) ... Jai Brazier (82 tackles, 6 TFL) ... DL Quinton Owens (79 tackles, 10 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 FF) ... DL Kylon Lister (79 tackles, 8 TFL) ... DL Quan Brown (7 TFL) ... DB Miles Halton (3 INT) ... S Cole Whitlock (64 tackles) ... DB De'Aundre Bowman (8 PBU, 2 INT)

Keys: Crandall is steady on offense with a multi-look attack with weapons for quarterback Reese and a physical back in Wigenton. Carthage's defense has been downright stingy and disruptive with a combined 58 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and held opponets to 3.4 yards per carry and 872 total passing yards this season. A few key stops and getting pressure on Holt, paired with the Bulldog offense, could put Crandall playing catch-up, a game that the Pirates don't want to get into.


Players to watch

Crandall: LB Carl Johnson ... DL Calob Davis ... LB Damerian Wigenton ... LB Gabe Cortez

Carthage: OL Tykiest Crawford ... OL Cade Johnson ... OL Conner Davis ... OL Karston Williams ... OL Tee Kellum ... QB Kai Horton (189-313-4, 2,797 yards, 38 TDs) ... ATH Kelvontay Dixon (57 catches, 860 yards, 13 TDs) ... RB Mason Courtney (1,156 yards, 12 TDs; 25 catches, 330 yards, 2 TDs) ... WR Kel Williams (41 catches, 748 yards, 8 TDs) ... WR Craig McNew (25 catches, 372 yards, 5 TDs)

Keys: Crandall hangs its hat on its defense, a unit that has held opponents to 16 points per game, including seven points through the first two rounds. Surratt said that the Pirate defensive line 'is one of the best one's we've seen in a while,' according to the Panola Watchman and that it starts with Davis. The Bulldogs need to stay on schedule and grind out some possessions to wear the Pirate defense down.

Did you know: Carthage is the home team ... The Bulldogs are looking to advance to the fourth round for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons ... The two teams have four common opponents this season (Chapel Hill, Palestine, Athens, Kilgore) .. Carthage went 4-0, outscoring all four 181-39 ... Crandall went 8-1 with a 87-84 scoreline, including a 42-0 shutout loss to Chapel Hill, a team Carthage beat 40-14

Twitter-sized preview: The Bulldogs are humming along in the postseason and, with its weapons on both sides of the ball, can keep that going with a crisp showing.


Class 4A Division I Regionals

Palestine (7-5) vs. Midlothian Heritage (8-4)

When/Where: 2:30 p.m. Friday; Panther Stadium, Hewitt

Keep an eye on

Palestine: QB Christian Hutchinson … RB Jeremiah Davis … WR Marquis Thompson … Quinton Cook

Midlothian Heritage: QB Cade Sumbler (143 of 249 passing, 2,246 yards, 27 TDs, 13 INT) … RB Latray Miller (97 carries, 745 yards, 7 TDs) … RB Cullen Stone (99 carries, 747 yards, 12 TDs) … WR Jay Wilkerson (58 receptions, 1,093 yards, 13 TDs) … LB Konner Jones-Searcy (127 tackles)

Did you know: This is Palestine’s deepest run in the playoffs since 2004 … This is Palestine’s first postseason appearance since 2013 … Sumbler is an Oklahoma State baseball commit … Midlothian Heritage would be on a seven-game winning streak, but had to forfeit a 23-7 win over Crandall on Oct. 25.

Last week: Palestine 19, Huffman Hargrave 14; Midlothian Heritage 26, Navasota 14

Up Next: The winner will face either Crandall or Carthage in the Class 4A Division I state quarterfinals


Class 4A Division II State Regionals

Gilmer (9-3) vs. Waco Connally (12-0)

Time: 7 p.m., Friday

Stadium: Eagle Stadium, Allen


Gilmer: Matt Turner (5th season, 52-16)

Connally: Shane Anderson (5th season, 30-25)

Last week: Gilmer 56, Fairfield 35; Waco Connally 54, Spring Hill 14

Up next: Winner will meet either Texarkana Pleasant Grove or Sunnyvale in the state quarterfinals. Pleasant Grove (11-1) and Sunnyvale (12-0) meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.


Players to watch

Gilmer: RB Darrell Bush (165 carries, 981 yards, 4 TDs) ... QB Mason Hurt (140-262-18, 2,124 yards, 18 TDs) ... WR Dylan Fluellen (38 catches, 642 yards, 6 TDs) ... WR Eddie Ray (31 catches, 493 yards, 8 TDs) ... WR Jaydon Griffin (21 catches, 339 yards, 3 TDs) ... ATH DJ Shead (49 carries, 345 yards, 6 TDs) ... QB/ATH Brandon Tennison (65 carries, 322 yards, 7 TDs; 12 catches, 163 yards) ... OL Devon King ... OL Blake Olivares

Connally: CB Korie Black (2 INTs) ... CB Jordan Nichols ... LB Trey Walker ... DB Kavian Gaither (INT) ... DB John Barron (2 INTs) ... DL Albert Morales ... DB Perrish Cox

Keys: Gilmer's ground game will need to come up big as the Cadet secondary is stacked with Black, an Oklahoma State commit; Nichols, who has pledged to North Texas; and Gaither, the two-way standout that has Division I attention and projects as a defensive back at the next level as well. Gilmer is averaging more than 200 yards a game on the ground and doing that will enable Hurt and his weapons out wide, led by fellow underclassman Fluellen and Ray, to keep Connally on its toes.


Players to watch

Gilmer: LB Grant Couture (101 tackles, 12 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 FF) ... LB Malik Williams (5 TFL) ... DL Matthew Burton (91 tackles, 11 TFL, 4 sacks) ... DL Brycen Jimmerson (12 TFL, 2 sacks) ... CB Marshae Spraglin (4 INTs) ... CB Jaydon Griffin (2 INTs) ... S Davion Smith (10 PBU, INT) ... S DJ Shead

Connally: QB Kavian Gaither (45-73-3, 881 yards, 10 TDs; 198 carries, 1,662 yards, 21 TDs) ... RB Jay'Veon Sunday (239 carries, 2,093 yards, 33 TDs) ... WR Je'Juan Forward (13 catches, 344 yards, 5 TDs) ... OL Trent Pullen (6-2, 271)

Keys: It's no surprise what is coming from Connally and that's the one-two punch of Gaither and Sunday in a potent ground attack. Pullen, an Oklahoma State commit, leads the way up front. Gilmer's defense has progressed and been stingy of late. The Buckeyes have a number of weapons in the front seven, including a big year from Couture at linebacker as well as Northwestern State commit Williams. Jimmerson and Burton lead the defensive line and will need to win some battles with the status of Casey Irons uncertain heading in. Playing gap sound as well as open-field tackles will be crucial for the Buckeyes.

Did you know: Gilmer is in the third round for the 13th-straight year and last advanced to the state quarterfinals in 2016 ... Connally is in the third round for the first time since 2005 and advanced to the regional final that season ... Connally averages 38.3 points and 426.1 yards (75.8 passing/350.3 rushing) per game while allowing 21.4 points and 220.8 yards (95.2 passing/220.8 rushing). The Cadets are 12-0 against opponents with a combined 54-69 schedule, including six playoff teams and two still playing in the postseason ... Gilmer averages 36.1 points and 398.3 yards (177 passing/221.3 rushing) and allows 18.9 points per game. The Buckeyes are 9-3 against opponents with a combined 68-54 record including six playoff teams and three still playing

Twitter-sized preview: This has the makings off a big third-round clash and, on paper, appears to be an evenly-matched one as well. Gilmer is going to need to execute at a high level on both sides but especially on defense against a potent Cadet ground game to help its offense out.


Class 3A Division I Regionals

Pottsboro (12-0) vs. Malakoff (11-1)

When/Where: 2 p.m. Friday; Wylie ISD Stadium, Wylie

Keep an eye on

Pottsboro: QB Braden Plyler (126 of 194 passing, 1,831 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INT: 125 carries, 746 yards, 14 TDs) … RB Cy Shope (199 carries, 1,740 yards, 32 TDs) … WR Titus Lyons (58 receptions, 906 yards, 13 TDs) … LB Zach Wideman (131 tackles) … DE Silas Barr (81 tackles) … MLB Jackson Lipscomb (78 tackles)

Malakoff: QB Darion Peace ... RB Dedric Davis ... RB Duce Hart … FB Keevie Rose ... WR Andreas Garrett … K Hector Romero

Did you know: Davis had 225 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries against Jefferson … Peace was 10 of 12 for 142 yards against Jefferson … Malakoff had 419 yards rushing and 561 total yards against Jefferson … Malakoff has won 109 games in Jamie Driskell’s tenure and advanced all the way to the state finals in 2018. Malakoff won 49 games the previous 11 campaigns to Driskell’s arrival ... Driskell has guided the Tigers to postseason all 11 of seasons and won four district crowns ... Driskell is the son of legendary Texas High School coaching icon Monte Jack Driskell ... Malakoff has outscored its opposition 607-134. Pottsboro is outscoring opponents 576-186 … Pottsboro has four games of at least 60 points this season with a high of 63. Malakoff has scored at least 70 points five times this season with a high of 84 … Plyler threw for 214 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for 127 yards and two scores against Sabine … Shope had 115 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries against Sabine … This is Pottsboro’s third season of at least 12 wins in program history — all under head coach Matt Poe, who took over in 2006 following two straight 0-10 seasons by the Cardinals.

Last week: Pottsboro 47, Sabine 35; Malakoff 53, Jefferson 41

Up next: The winner will face either Winnsboro or Gladewater in the Class 3A Division I state quarterfinals.


Gladewater (9-3) vs. Winnsboro (8-4)

Time: 2 p.m. Friday

Stadium: Sam Parker Field, Mount Pleasant


Gladewater: John Berry (6th year, 46-24)

Winnsboro: Josh Finney (1st year 8-4 at school, 94-36 overall)

Last week: Gladewater 72, Van Alstyne 43; Winnsboro 28, Dallas Madison 20

Up next: Winner plays the winner of Pottsboro vs. Malakoff

Players to watch

Gladewater: QB Tristan Holmes (28 of 78 passing, 564 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INT; 32 carries, 207 yards, 4 TDs) … RB Eligia Carter (137 carries, 1,018 yards, 17 TDs; 7 receptions, 209 yards, 1 TD) … RB Malachi Gordon (128 carries, 717 yards, 8 TDs) … FB Devin Walker (72 carries, 379 yards, 3 TDs) … WR D.J. Allen (12 receptions, 361 yards, 5 TDs; 35 carries, 221 yards, 3 TDs) … DB Robert Hodges (101 tackles) … DB Nicklaus Lincoln (7 INT) … OLB Eli Kates (6 sacks) … ILB Austin Moran (100 tackles) … ILB Zach Villareal (149 tackles)

Winnsboro: QB Tryston Stout … QB Keen Glover … RB Dominique Allen … RB Landry Deaton RB … Zeb Fulmer … RB Leekedrian Jones … RB Tayshun Runnels … WR Elijah Bolton … OL Brandon Noll … OL John McCurdy … OL Grant Newton … OL Julian Anaya … OL Davis Jones … OL Ross Pruitt … OL Jed Carroll … OL Logan Torres … LB Landry Deaton … LB Rance Brown … DB Keiner Hart

Did you know: This game has the potential to be over in an hour and a half. Both teams rely heavily on the ground attack. Winnsboro scrimmages from the Slot-T and has chewed up more than 4,000 yards this season. Gladewater, likewise, prefers a downhill offense, but has developed a pretty scary passing game. The Red Raiders cycle through a bundle of ball carriers led by Dominique Allen and Landry Deaton. They shuttle between two signal callers — Tryston Stout and Keen Glover — and don’t put the ball in the air a lot. When they do, Elijah Bolton is the preferred pass catcher. The Bears made a switch at QB midseason and moved Tristan Holmes to the full-time slot. Holmes started last year before giving way the ever-athletic D.J. Allen. Allen has since moved to wide out and given the Bears a big-play threat in the vertical game. He averages 30 yards per haul and has scored on five of a dozen receptions. Of course, the running game is led by Eligia Carter, who went over 1,000 yards last week in a 29-point win over Van Alstyne. A good chance of rain in the forecast should have little to no effect on either team’s planned strategy. It’ll be like stepping back in time to the mid-70s and watching a good old fashioned slugfest. Who blinks first?

Twitter-sized preview: It was exactly nine weeks ago Friday Gladewater and Winnsboro locked up in their District 8-3A DI opener. The Bears came away with a hard-fought 16-12 decision. It was Allen’s 2-point conversion for the Bears that helped make the difference in victory and defeat. Allen led all ball carries with 80 yards on seven carries. Finney, a graduate of Winnsboro, has successfully rebounded the Red Raiders from a 2-8 debacle in 2018. Berry has the Bears in the playoffs for the fifth time in six years at the helm. Gladewater scored a 42-27 bi-district win over Winnsboro in 2000. The Bears’ next playoff victory will be their 40th in school history


Class 3A Division II Regional

Daingerfield (10-2) vs. Newton (11-1)

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Stadium: Homer Bryce Stadium, Nacogdoches


Daingerfield: Davin Nelson

Newton: Drew Johnston

Last week: Daingerfield 36, Blue Ridge 7; Newton 48, Troup 14

Up next: Winner faces either Omaha Paul Pewitt or Bells in the state quarterfinals next week

Players to watch

Daingerfield: QB Zaylon Jeter (98 of 176, 1,541 yards, 17 TD, 6 interceptions; 120 carries, 774 yards, 16 TD) … Jakobie Craver (183 carries, 1,670 yards, 18 TD; 17 catches, 217 yards, 2 TD) … Dee Lewis (19 of 37, 374 yards, 3 TD; 54 carries, 366 yards, 7 TD; 101 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles) … Tyrese Grant (38 catches, 782 yards, 9 TD; 5 interceptions) … Zavien Parker (23 catches, 384 yards, 4 TD; 45 tackles, 2 sacks) … Martez Allen (19 catches, 229 yards, 3 TD) … Evan Peel (144 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries) … Chad Reeves (109 tackles, 9 sacks) … T.J. Williams (68 tackles, 3 interceptions) … Tyke Black (8 sacks)

Newton: DeAnthony Gatson (165 carries, 1, 720 yards, 10 TD) … Kevin Watson (72 carries, 514 yards, 7 TD) … Valdarion Fowler (127 carries, 797 yards, 21 TD; 20 catches, 248 yards, 2 TD) … Dominique Seastrunk (19 catches, 339 yards, 5 TD) … Dreshawn Spiles (101 tackles, 8 sacks) … James Sylvester (74 tackles, 19 TFL, 11 sacks) … Israel Bowen (60 tackles, 15 TFL, 11 sacks)

Did you know: Daingerfield and Newton are meeting for the fourth time in the playoffs. In 2008, Daingerfield defeated Newton 21-18 in the fourth round and went on to defeat Cisco two weeks later in the state championship game. In 2009, Daingerfield defeated Newton 27-6 in the fourth round, winning another state title two weeks later. Newton earned a 21-0 win over the Tigers in 1998 in the Class A Division II championship game, and a year ago Newton rolled to a 79-12 win over the Tigers in a fourth-round playoff game held in Lufkin … Daingerfield has scored 457 points and allowed 211 this season, while Newton has scored 582 points and allowed 181 … Daingerfield opened the season with a 22-21 loss to Gunter. The Tigers’ other loss was a 35-28 decision to DeKalb back on Sept. 20, and Daingerfield has won eight in a row since that setback … The Tigers have won their two playoff games by a combined score of 54-7 … Daingerfield has been in the playoffs five straight seasons and 12 of the last 13 years … Newton is a two-time defending state champion. The Eagles had won 33 straight games dating back to the 2017 season before falling to Gilmer, 16-0, back on Sept. 27

Twitter-sized preview: Daingerfield turned the ball over eight times – six in the first half – last season and never game themselves a chance against Newton.


Class 3A Division II Regional

Omaha Paul Pewitt (11-1) vs. Bells (9-3)

Time: 6 p.m. Friday

Stadium: Prim Stadium, Sulphur Springs


Paul Pewitt: Triston Abron

Bells: Dale West

Last week: Paul Pewitt 55, Harmony 24; Bells 14, Elysian Fields 6

Up next: Winner will face either Daingerfield or Newton next week

Players to watch

Paul Pewitt: La-Jathan Allen (177 carries, 1,777 yards, 25 TD; 95 tackles, 4 interceptions) … Cross Holder (115 carries, 880 yards, 14 TD; 16 of 80, 392 yards, 6 TD, 1 interception) … Deiontray Hill (121 carries, 857 yards, 8 TD; 40 tackles) … Kadrien Johnson (78 carries, 770 yards, 12 TD; 73 tackles, 3 interceptions) … Keiuntray Hawkins (79 carries, 736 yards, 7 TD; 88 tackles, 12 sacks, 13 TFL, 4 fumble recoveries) … Tannor Mines (116 tackles, 4 sacks) … Colby Frost (90 tackles) … Dillon Coffey (3 catches, 144 yards, 3 TD)

Bells: Wrangler Priest (207 carries, 1,578 yards, 19 TD; 1 TD pass; 2 TD receptions; 113 tackles, 14 TFL) … Bo Baker (161 carries, 970 yards, 9 TD; 100 tackles) … Kaden Pyle (100 tackles)

Did you know: Paul Pewitt has scored 523 points and allowed 246 this season, while Bells has scored 362 points and allowed 231 … Paul Pewitt’s lone loss this season came on Nov. 1 against Daingerfield (42-38) … Bells opened the season with back-to-back losses and lost three of four to open the year before reeling off eight straight wins … Paul Pewitt has been to the playoffs 12 straight seasons and 24 of the last 25 years

Twitter-sized preview: Neither team makes much of a secret of what they want to do. Paul Pewitt has rushed for 5,097 yards and 68 touchdowns, and Bells has 3,717 yards and 41 rushing TDs.


Class 2A Division I Regionals

Harleton (10-2) vs. San Augustine (11-0)

When/Where: 7 p.m. Friday, Lion Stadium, Henderson

Records: Harleton 10-2; San Augustine 12-0

Keep an eye on

Harleton: QB Grayson Handlin (47 of 84, 744 yards, 6 TDs, 8 INTs) … RB Hunter Wallace (275 carries, 2,098 yards, 30 TDs) … FB Cole Ring (101 carries, 810 yards, 9 TDs) … WR Kobe Ferguson (14 catches, 227 yards, 2 TDs) … DE Jaydn Salazar (68 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 3 sacks) … DE Taber Childs (86 tackles, 24.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries) … DE Brady King (84 tackles, 26.5 TFL, 11 sacks, 3 forced fumbles) … DB Blake Weaver (22 tackles, 5 Ints, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 TDs).

San Augustine: QB Jayden Hicks (77 of 128, 1,694 yards, 25 TDs, 3 INTs; 70 carries, 766 yards, 14 TDs) … RB Kevorian Barnres (101 carries, 1,794 yards, 28 TDs) … RB Tijay Thomas-Davis (79 carries, 948 yards, 15 TDs) … WR JaVarius Miller (23 carries, 546 yards, 9 TDs) … LB Donta Barnes (120 tackles, 8 TFL, 1 sack, 2 INT, 1 forced fumble) … DT Eulalio Carranza (68 tackles, 7 TFL, 1 sack) … DL Cory Clifton (54 tackles, 5 sacks).

Did you know: The last time these two teams met was in the first round of the 2014 playoffs where the Wolves came away with the 24-13 victory. If the Wildcats beat the Wolves this time around, there’s a good chance they could meet Joaquin in a rematch of the District 9-2A D-I championship. Expect a heavy dose of run from the Wildcats. Their defense will have the tough task of trying to contain a dual-threat quarterback in Jayden Hicks.

Last week: Harleton 29, Carlisle 27; San Augustine 84, Normangee 46

Up next: Winner gets the winner of Joaquin and Groveton


Class 2A Division II Regional

Mart (9-3) vs. Grapeland (10-2)

When/Where: 2 p.m. Friday; Eagle Stadium, Fairfield

Keep an eye on

Mart: QB Kyler Martin … RB Roddrell Freeman … WR Kiyderion Campbell … WR De’traevion Medlock … Tonny Sanchez-Yanez

Grapeland: QB B.J. Lamb … RB Cadarian Wiley … LB Cooper Sheridan … WR Cooper Ward … WR Deco Bryant … DL/LB Damieon Smith … WR/DB Keizon Ashford … Josh Black … Kaden Dupree … Justin Bobbitt

Did you know: Mart is the defending Class 2A Division II state champion … Mart defeated Grapeland 64-22 in the 2018 playoffs … Lamb was 9 of 16 for 226 yards with two touchdowns passing, and he ran for 116 yards and four touchdown on 11 carries in the win over Cumby … Sheridan has 177 tackles this season … Mart has 582 points scored this season … Freeman has rushed for 1,542 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Last week: Mart 53, Detroit 0; Grapeland 54, Cumby 22

Up next: The winner will face either Muenster or Dawson in the Class 2A Division II state quarterfinals


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

Recommended for you

Load comments