Knights take on state champions

Notre Dame seeks first trip to state final

Zach Duncan
Jason Palmer/Special to the Times Record News
Cody McElroy and Notre Dame play Heritage in the TAPPS Division II semifinal today in Zephyr.

Photo by Jason Palmer, Jason Palmer/ Freelance Photographer

Jason Palmer/Special to the Times Record News Cody McElroy and Notre Dame play Heritage in the TAPPS Division II semifinal today in Zephyr.

Jason Palmer/Special to the Times Record News
Cody McElroy and Notre Dame play Heritage in the TAPPS Division II semifinal today in Zephyr.

Photo by Jason Palmer

Jason Palmer/Special to the Times Record News Cody McElroy and Notre Dame play Heritage in the TAPPS Division II semifinal today in Zephyr.

Notre Dame is the No. 1 team in TAPPS Division II and the favorite heading into today's state semifinal against Fredericksburg Heritage.

That doesn't hold much stock with Knights coach Don Carlson.

"People say we're No. 1, but Fredericksburg Heritage is the defending champs," Carlson said. "As far as I'm concerned, they're the team to beat because they're the state champs. They're the type of team that absolutely has no quit in them."

The Knights (10-0) will be taking the field at 1 p.m. in Zephyr today with a chance to advance to its first football state title game.

In this round last year, Fredericksburg Heritage (10-2) ended the Knights' season, 60-12. But while Notre Dame returns almost everyone from a year ago, Heritage graduated several key players.

Still, Carlson warned that the Eagles are not to be overlooked.

"They're real well-disciplined, and they have a quarterback who's more like a running back," he said. "They run out of multiple sets and shift around. They try to catch you off-guard and run where you're not."

Carlson thought the Knights looked a little rusty last week after a long layoff. Still, they came out and bullied their way for 347 rushing yards and pulled out a 58-8 victory.

Notre Dame won't be able to push around Heritage's 3-3 defense quite as easily. Still, the Knights have multiple offensive weapons — tailback Cody McElroy (1,290 yards, 26 TDs) and quarterback Danny Otto (962 passing yards, 21 TDs) to name a couple.

"They're bigger than Fulton was," said Carlson, whose team has played only two games that went the distance. "We'll try to mix it up. We'll run some spread and some tight formations."

McElroy leads the Knights with 57 tackles and five sacks, while Otto (47 tackles), Hunter Wolfe (41 tackles, three sacks) and Cobi Niedzwiecki (41 tackles, 3 INTs) are other defensive standouts.

With history on the verge of being written, Carlson said his squad is excited about this opportunity. He said it has been a long week waiting for the semifinal.

"If you can't get pumped up for this, then you don't have blood flowing in your body," Carlson said.

The winner will face either Seguin Lifegate (12-0) or Orange Community Christian (10-2) next Saturday in Zephyr to play for the TAPPS Division II state championship.

Notre Dame (10-0)

Beat Bryson, 52-20

Beat Chillicothe, 72-50

Beat Harrold, 62-8

Beat Northside, 44-34

Beat North Central Texas Academy, 64-18

Beat Saint Jo, 72-0

Beat Brownwood Victory, 76-12

Beat Wichita Christian, 67-0

Beat Plainview Christian (1-0, forfeit)

Beat Heath Fulton, 58-8

Fredericksburg Heritage (10-2)

Beat SA Atonement, 46-0

Lost to SA FEAST, 64-14

Beat Round Rock Christian, 36-28

Beat SA Castle Hills, 58-27

Beat Hill Country, 50-0

Beat N. Braunfels Christian, 52-30

Beat SA New Life, 81-34

Beat SA Town East, 48-0

Lost to Seguin Lifegate, 65-26

Beat SA River City, 51-6

Beat Alvin Living Stones, 56-7

Beat EP Jesus Chapel, 60-14

Sixmanfootball.com says: Notre Dame by 42.

© 2012 Times Record News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Season leaders

Passing:

1. Ben Davis, Graham (2,690Yds, 28TDs)
2. Chase London, Rider (2,389Yds, 28TDs)
3. Taylor Thomas, Olney (2,303Yds, 11TDs)
4. Zach Barton, Seymour (2,036Yds, 31TDs)


Rushing:

1. D. J. Thomas, Jacksboro (1,488Yds, 20TDs)
2. Cedric Battle, Hirschi (1,323Yds, 19TDs)
3. Michael Bishop, Electra (1,281Yds, 17TDs)
4. Marquis Askew, Burkburnett (1,254Yds, 8TDs)


Receiving:

1. Davon Allison, Rider (1,366Yds, 14TDs)
2. Bryce Reeves, Graham (1,043Yds, 11TDs)
3. Mike Clark, Olney (910Yds, 5TDs)
4. Dalton Jackson, City View (675Yds, 7TDs)
5. Cody Adams, Seymour (670Yds, 8TDs)


>> See complete stats


Tackles:

1. Zack Ballard, Olney (201)
2. Brady Brunson, Burkburnett (152)
3. Corey Luster, Vernon (135)
4. Gage Robinson, Bowie (132)
5. Elijah Hull, Hirschi (125)
6. Marcus Leija, Quanah (122)
7. Tristan Sherman, Holliday (113)
8. Garrett Johnson, Jacksboro (112)
9. Austin Martinez, Quanah (112)


Sacks:

1. Justin Silva, City View (10)
2. Treston Shepherd, Seymour (7)
3. Daytona Politakis, Nocona (7)
4. Kevin Stallcup, Bowie (7)
5. Cody Fletcher, Henrietta (7)
6. Garrett Johnson, Jacksboro (9)
7. Baltazar Castro, Seymour (6)
8. Logan Carter, Henrietta (6)
9. Tristan Willard, Nocona (6)


Interceptions:

1. David Stretcher, Jacksboro (6)
2. Brad Slade, Bowie (5)
3. Jay Ward, Bowie (5)
4. Hagen Hughes, Graham (5)
5. Mikey Feeze, Graham (4)


>> See complete stats


Passing:

1. Mitchell Parsley, Crowell (1,708Yds, 30TDs)
2. Cody McElroy, Notre Dame (1,677Yds, 33TDs)
3. Bryson Oliver, Throckmorton (1,286Yds, 27TDs)
4. Tyler Mays, Newcastle (922Yds, 18TDs)


Rushing:

1. Cody McElroy, Notre Dame (1,579Yds, 35TDs)
2. Trinity Haggard, Throckmorton (1,326Yds, 21TDs)
3. Aaron Baker, W. Christian (1,320Yds, 20TDs)
4. Chris Lewis, Knox City (1,214Yds, 19TDs)


Receiving:

1. William Hogan, Crowell (422Yds, 13TDs)
2. Nathan Wilson, Newcastle (419Yds, 8TDs)
3. Hayden Farquhar, Throckmorton (413Yds, 10TDs)
4. Michael Fantini, Notre Dame (410Yds, 4TDs)
5. Nathan Riley, Throckmorton (369Yds, 8TDs)

>> See complete stats


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