THROCKMORTON (9-1) vs. WATER VALLEY (11-0)
Game Site: Early
Kickoff Time: 6 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Both teams mercy-ruled their opponents by similar scores. Throckmorton beat Rotan for the second time this season 64-16, while Water Valley whipped Garden City, 64-18.
Game Summary: No. 4 Throckmorton faces the first of what could potentially be all three of the teams ranked higher than the Greyhounds this week. The Wildcats were 11-0 when they lost in this round a year ago to Ira. Quarterback Kellen Kirkland is the Wildcats' top player, and Throckmorton will want to force the ball out of his hands and make his teammates beat them. The Greyhounds have a hard-nosed backfield and a big-play threat in wideout Gary Farquhar. Water Valley is well-balanced and hasn't been tested much this season, but the Greyhounds have more experience in big games like these after two runs to the title game.
Players to Watch: (T) QB Bryson Oliver; RB/LB Levi Taylor; (WV) Connor Copley; WR Cade Latham.
Coach's Quote: "They send one more than you're blocking, which can lend itself to some big plays. We feel like the teams we have played have gotten us to where we need to be." — Throckmorton's Mike Reed
Sixmanfootball.com says: Pick'em.
SIX-MAN DIVISION II
NEWCASTLE (7-4) vs. ASPERMONT (11-0)
Game Site: Throckmorton
Kickoff Time: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: Newcastle rushed for almost 600 yards in a 94-48 win over Sidney. Aspermont cruised past Northside, 51-6.
Game Summary: Aspermont has thrived at the Division II level this year, mercy-ruling all but two opponents and holding them to 8.5 points per game. The Hornets can throw the ball but prefer to run it behind a line that blocks well. Newcastle is playing its best football of the season and will have to be patient running the ball with Michael Moreno (1,328 yards, 26 TDs) and company. If the Bobcats can string some long drives together and force turnovers, then they'll have a chance.
Players to Watch: (N) RB/DE Tyler Mays; LB Preston Hobbs; (A) RB Ryan Reid; RB Joseph Hernandez.
Coach's Quote: "They're just solid. They have six or seven seniors and have been pretty good the last few years, but they were playing Division I." — Newcastle's Ty Spitzer
Sixmanfootball.com says: Aspermont by 45.
TAPPS DIVISION II
NOTRE DAME (9-0) vs. HEATH FULTON (9-2)
Game Site: Mineral Wells' Miller Stadium
Kickoff Time: 2 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Heath Fulton beat San Antonio Town East in a shootout, 70-53. Notre Dame was supposed to host Plainview Christian, but the visitors forfeited three days before.
Game Summary: Because of last week's forfeit, Notre Dame hasn't taken the field in three weeks. The Knights must shake off the rust quickly and get ready for a Fulton spread offense that depends on sweeps, reverses and play-action passes. Notre Dame hasn't been challenged by a TAPPS school this year and will rely on five two-way starters. The Knights can be a tough matchup because Cody McElroy (1,100 yards, 23 TDs) can run and Danny Otto (892 yards, 20 TDs) can pass the ball.
Players to Watch: (ND) SE/OLB Cobi Niedzwiecki; RB/S Wes Brinkman.
Coach's Quote: "I think our speed matches up with theirs and I think we are a little more physical. The boys haven't played in three weeks, but I do believe we will be ready to play a physical football game." — Notre Dame's Don Carlson
Sixmanfootball.com says: Notre Dame by 45.— Zach Duncan