Thursday December 15, 2016 10 a.m.
Get to know Roshauud Paul. He's 46-0 as a starter. He's also one of the most dynamic dual threat quarterbacks in the state. The A&M commit has never lost a high school game. He's won two straight titles, looking for his third on Saturday. Shortly after breakfast. Paul's ultra productive career was highlighted by a 73 touchdown season last year. He may not hit that this year, but he'll leave as one of the greatest players in state history.
The rest of the Tigers aren't bad either, running back Kaidyn Peralez rushed for 215 yards in the semifinal win over Burton and on defense J.R. Rocha is a four year starter who goes both ways. He leads from his defensive tackles position with over 140 tackles and nine sacks.
Sometimes, in the course of the season, circumstances intervene that are bigger than the season. Such is the case with Iraan. Iraan (pronounced Ira-Ann) is a small town and hour and half south of Midland/Odessa and just off I-10. After the Braves quarterfinal win over Munday, the bus carrying the Braves cheerleaders was hit by a semi, killing one and injuring several others. Some of whom remain in the hospital. Football has taken a back seat, as it should, to the tragedy. The Braves have been playing with a lot on their minds, but they were able to beat Wellington and advance to their first state title appearance in 20 years. The Braves run the flexbone/veer offense and their led by senior running back Daryel Lozoya.
Up front tackle Steven Garlock garnered 1st team All-State honors and his linemate Shelion Rodriguez was named 2nd team All-State. Defensively lineman Wyatt Banner and Isaac Mendoza will try to stop Bremond's Paul. They'll get help from honorable mention All-State linebackers Clayton Kent and Ronaldo Olivo.
Thursday December 15, 2016 1 p.m.
Crawford knows one direction, straight ahead. The Pirates are a brutal downhill running team. Their Split T/veer offense is designed to pummel opponents into submission. Gage Pearson runs the show for the Pirates. He replaced a three year starter, Wyatt Griffith, this season and has turned a perceived weakness into a strength. The Pirates also boast not one, not two, but three serviceable backs in Garrett Dutschmann, Noah Bleything, and Dillon Daniel. Head coach Delbert Kelm dislikes the spread about has much as he dislikes communism. He'll run the ball and then run it again, and pass it just to keep teams honest.
2nd team All-State lineman Clayte Hickey leads the charges up front for the Pirates. On defense, Lucas Steinkamp leads the Pirates from his linebacking position. Crawford won it all in 2004, when Kelm was an assistant. Last year the Pirates ran into juggernaut Canadian in the semifinals, Canadian moved up a classification in the offseason making every one in 2A Division I breath a little easier. Crawford's suffered just three losing seasons in 30 years.
The Bobcats are the scourge of south Texas, running up the score and other teams off the field. They annihilate opponents and coach Jason Herring has been the focus of a ESPN feature on whether his tactics in the regular season are defensible. The Bobcats have frequented the state finals, including last year getting blown out by Canadian. The Bobcats are led by Jaylon Mascorro, the former Houston commit who's played quarterback the past two years, moved to running back this season. All he's done is rushed for over 1,600 yards and 29 touchdowns. Jacob Avery has moved into the quarterback role for Refugio. The Bobcats strength is without a doubt their offensive line which is big by most classifications, huge by 2A standards. Trey Upton, a first team All-State selection is the bell cow up front.
Refugio has undergone a bit of a transformation as of late. Back in 2011, the Bobcats were an air raid, chuck it 70% of the time offense. They transitioned into a run first spread team in order to use Mascorro's abilities more effectively. On defense Kobie Herring, a UTEP commit, was just crowned the 2A Defensive player of the year. He's joined by stalwart defensive lineman Trace Mascorro and rangy safety D'Mond Lafond.
By the way, think football isn't big time in Refugio? The Bobcats are prepping this week in their indoor practice facility.