Quanah defense readies for Hutchinson, Stamford

Zach Duncan
Torin Halsey/Times Record News
Quanah's sophomore backfield of quarterback Clay Robertson (right) and tailback Craig Miles face No. 4 Stamford at 7 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium.

Torin Halsey/Times Record News Quanah's sophomore backfield of quarterback Clay Robertson (right) and tailback Craig Miles face No. 4 Stamford at 7 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium.

Even though Quanah boasts lots of offensive firepower, Jason Sims is a defensive coach first and foremost.

The Indians' leader wants his squad to be known as a hard-hitting, punishing defense.

Quanah will get a chance to prove how strong that side of the ball is when it takes on Hagen Hutchinson and No. 4 Stamford in the Region I-A Division I semifinals at 7 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium.

"It's amazing how much more physical we get every week," Sims said. "That's what I've wanted since I've been here. I don't want to be known as an offensive team; I want to be known for our defense. We know this game's going to be tough."

Hutchinson led the Bulldogs to the state finals a year ago. The son of Stamford coach Wayne Hutchinson, the senior signal-caller has thrown for 2,419 yards and 38 touchdowns while rushing for 1,118 yards and 15 scores.

Stamford's only loss was to No. 1 Munday in the second week of the season. Since then, the Bulldogs have won nine straight by an average of 36 points and drilled Tahoka last week in their playoff opener, 67-13.

Hutchinson is the team's biggest running threat and his favorite target in the passing game is James Washington, who has 63 catches for 1,046 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Indians' secondary also must account for Isaiah Llewellyn (34-523-3) and Dalton Mathis (39-444-8).

"We're not going into this game expecting to shut them down," Sims said. "(Hutchinson) is so fast and he's a playmaker. We know they're going to put some points on the board, but they're going to have to stop us, too."

Quanah runs the exact same Tony Franklin spread system that Stamford employs and has some dangerous weapons, too. Brandon Heard leads the Wichita Falls area with 68 catches for 938 yards and 12 scores.

The Indians have been averaging 190 rushing yards per game since district began behind their sophomore backfield of tailback Craig Miles and quarterback Clay Robertson.

For Quanah to hang in the game and pull an upset, it can't allow many big plays and must limit its turnovers. While Robertson (2,761 passing yards, 30 TDs) has thrown 20 interceptions, only three of those have occurred in the last half of the season.

"We turned the ball over a lot there for a while and people labeled us as that," Sims said. "We had some blown coverages in the Seymour game, but we weren't getting out-athleted. We've seen a lot of speed."

The winner advances to the Region I-A finals where it'll face either Stratford (10-1) or Panhandle (8-4). That game is schedule for 4 p.m. Friday in Amarillo.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

Quanah (9-3)

Beat Wheeler, 45-19

Beat Miles, 36-6

Beat Tulia, 51-33

Beat Henrietta, 37-35

Lost to Childress, 31-12

Lost to Wellington, 44-26

Beat Archer City, 55-6

Lost to Seymour, 44-38 (OT)

Beat Olney, 45-6

Beat Windthorst, 26-23

Beat Forsan, 41-6

Beat Sundown, 34-21

Stamford (10-1)

Beat McCamey, 34-0

Lost to Munday, 34-27

Beat Merkel, 36-0

Beat Colorado City, 34-14

Beat Cisco, 25-20

Beat Seymour, 47-20

Beat Winters, 46-0

Beat Haskell, 63-6

Beat Forsan, 41-7

Beat Anson, 54-27

Beat Tahoka, 67-13

Pigskin Prep says: Stamford by 27

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

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