3A Division I 12:00 PM
1 State Title ('04)
Kilgore is roughly 40 miles from Carthage and the two will go at it for the 3A Division I title to kick off Friday coverage at JerryLand. I used to live 20 minutes from Carthage in a little 'burg known as Elysian Fields. So I'm practically related to the folks from Carthage and Kilgore. That's deep east Texas.
When Ron Meyer took the head coaching job at SMU, and raised the Mustangs' salary cap, he said he would recruit three areas, Dallas, Houston, and east Texas because east Texas produced the best high school athletes in the country. This game bears that out.
Kilgore boasts two thousand yard rushers, one of which is named JuJu. We are fully in support of our man JuJu. The Dogs get by with a stellar defense that gives up 13 points a game. Kilgore's defense just held defending state champion Stephenville's offense to a whopping 6 points in the state semis.
The defensive dominance begins up front where LaDarrin Anthony, D.Q. Scott, Caleb Wood, and Chad Bornes have combined for more than 35 sacks. If you can get by those guys things don't get much easier with linebackers Kris Haynes, Jake Brantley, and safety Stefun Tatum lying in wait.
3 State Titles ('08, '09, '10)
Carthage figures that not winning a title for a couple of years is long enough. The Bulldogs are led by quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, a UTSA commit who has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 55 touchdowns. Bogenschutz saved his best for last week with 6 TDs in a win over LaGrange.
Carthage obviously comes at you through the air, and they don't like to waste time scoring. O'Keeron Rutherford is a wideout who heads to UNT next season and has almost a thousand yards receiving for the Dawgs.
Carthage doesn't have the girth of Kilgore's defensive line but Carthage uses quickness to counteract size. Yes, I know kids, that's what she said.
Carthage and Kilgore are close in proximity, both wear red and black, both are nicknamed the Bulldogs, and actually scrimmaged each other in August. Now they'll drive 2 hours to Arlington to settle things for 2013.
3A Division II 4:00 PM
Argyle doesn't have far to go to get to the game on Friday. The Eagles, from just north of Flower Mound, head south to Arlington. Fun fact to know and tell, the two 3A title games feature teams with the same mascots: Bulldogs in game one, Eagles in game two. I know, my mind is blown. I'm going to sit down.
The Eagles beat Graham to advance to state and forced 3 interceptions along the way. Offensively, Tech pledge Ian Saddler paces Argyle with over 30 TDs combined rushing and receiving.
Argyle has quietly had a great run with 3 title appearances in 9 years. Now they just have to win one of these suckers.
Nice modern helmet design there Argyle. Fairfield on the other hand has gone with the classic, "hey let's just steal the Philadelphia Eagles Eagle."
Fairfield are relative newcomers to big time Texas football. The Eagles won one game back in 2009. Since then they've been building for what is now their first shot at a state title game. This is the first time the Eagles have been beyond the quarterfinals. Welcome to it Fairfield, now keep your head and don't get caught watching the big screen in Jerryworld.
Fairfield set a record for scoring in 3A, knocking Southlake Carroll's 1992 number off its perch. Yes kids, there was a time when Southlake was a tiny 3A school. Fairfield's average score this year is 57-9. That's a lot and I didn't even major in math.
Watch out for Larry Rose, Fairfield's do it all running back. He's rushed for over 2,600 yards this season. He runs behind an undersized offensive line, they way God intended it.
4A Division I 8:00 PM
Denton Guyer (13-2)
1 State Title ('12)
Denton Guyer is back to defend last season's title. By the way, is Denton County the football capital of Texas? Hard to argue against it with Guyer, Argyle, Southlake, Ryan, and the Lewisville ISD schools.
There is one man to watch this weekend and that is Jerrod Heard, the UT commit. Heard is a four-star recruit who is already claiming that he'll win a title in Austin. Good for you Jerrod, the Bud pulls for moxie like that.
Guyer is stacked with talent, so it won't be Heard all alone out there, even though it kind of was Heard all by himself in the state semis.
If you're starting a football program you might just drop the steamer trunk of cash over at John Walsh's house. The Guyer coach has taken his team to at least the state semi-finals in 4 of the last 5 seasons. Bear in mind that Guyer's first year of varsity football was in 2006.
Speaking of first years, Brennan's wasn't that long ago, 3 years to be exact. Year one was an 0-10 season, but since then the Bears have quietly built towards respectability.
San Antonio was a hotbed in the 80's with schools like Judson and Holmes. Those two played an epic at quarterfinal match-up at Alamo Stadium back in '86. You can watch that game on youtube, it's a time machine. Judson carried the cities flag for years with help from Smithson Valley recently. Things have cooled a bit but Brennan is San Antonio's hope to bring a title back this year.
Brennan's defense has given up 6 touchdowns this year, total. I'd repeat that but I'm in shock. All told the bears let opponents score 3.4 points a game this season. Jerrod Heard meet the Bears, these are angry bears my friend. This isn't a no name unit either, linebacker Grant Watanabe will head to Boulder and Derrick Roberson is a UT commit.
Brennan has its own dual threat QB in Da'Shawn Key. Key has rushed for more than 1,700 yards this year. He helps the Bears average 58 points a game. Key by the way sports a sweet hi-top fade. The Bud fully endorses the hi-top fade.
Now some would say that given Brennan's district wasn't exactly full of juggernauts, but questions about Brennan's quality of opponent will be answered on Friday night.