Can you believe it? Every team in our coverage area playing in the third round won this week (with one still to play). Can’t say I saw that one coming (looking at you, Krum!). I think it’s safe to say this is the most teams we’ve ever had playing in the fourth round of the playoffs, and it’s come in a year we expected to be a down year for the area as a whole when the season began.
Without further delay, let Steve and I take you on a trip down memory lane to just a couple of days ago with our weekly recap.
Guyer vs San Angelo Central
AB: For a quarter, it looked like Guyer would once again literally run away with another playoff victory. Myron Mason had two touchdown runs early, including a long one, to give the Wildcats a pretty quick 14-0 lead over the seemingly overmatched Bobcats from West Texas. Then, Guyer allowed a kickoff return TD, and it was game on. Shawn Robinson wasn’t himself, and even got benched for a series in the third quarter, but to his credit he came back in and busted his one big run of the day — an 80-yarder —to set up a remarkable Hail Mary from 3 yards out (if that’s possible) to freshman wide receiver De’Vion Harmon to take the lead for good. Guyer pushed its lead to two scores in the closing minutes with a 75-yard score from Mason but Central rallied and had the ball throwing to the end zone to tie it as time expired. It was a gutty win for Guyer, whose offense wasn’t at full tilt, but the Wildcats got a great performance from its defense, led by PJ Broussard, Michael Carrillo and Dio Williams, against a really potent Central passing attack. Now, it’s on to the fourth round, a round in which Guyer is 5-0 all-time.
SG: Guyer found itself in a dogfight against San Angelo, saw its starting quarterback benched for a short period in the second half, and still found a way to come out with some late-game heroics in a 35-27 win. I wasn’t at this game so I’m not going to speculate on the reasons why Shawn Robinson was pulled in favor of Luke Stillwell. But whatever the reason may be, I expect Walsh and Robinson to figure it out by the time this Saturday’s game against Mansfield comes around. The Wildcats are still alive to fight another day, but Robinson and his ability to do the near impossible are a key factor in whether or not Guyer moves on to the state semifinals. This isn’t the time to let inner strife get in the way.
Ryan vs Amarillo Tascosa, Today
AB: My buddy Steve had to play the waiting game, and what seemed like a logical conclusion the whole time was finally reached officially on Saturday morning. Now, the Raiders finally get to hit the field in Amarillo on Monday afternoon against a 10-2 Amarillo Tascosa team with its throwback offense, similar to the one run by Amarillo against Guyer in 2013. Those old-school West Texas squads aren’t as athletic as Guyer or Ryan, so they try to play keep-away and keep their team in games, and that’s what Tascosa will do today. Ultimately, I think Ryan will be too much for Tascosa, they’ll improve to 13-0 on the season and have a battle of undefeated teams on Saturday against Allen. That’ll be fun.
SG: I’m here in Amarillo and in a few short hours I’ll be covering the third-round Class 6A Division I slugfest between Ryan and Tascosa. It’s hard to tell just how good Tascosa (10-2) really is. The Rebels run a triple option attack, which if you didn’t know, isn’t used often. That will be a challenge for the Raiders’ defense, plus the fact there are no common opponents to compare against. I have to believe Ryan is ready for this showdown, and for the first time in quite some time, I think many of my fellow experts agree. Offensively, Ryan has proved itself time and time again and picked up big wins over Plano East and South Grand Prairie to set up this showdown. Should Ryan win this game, too, it will set up a quick turnaround to face Allen on Saturday. It will be the toughest challenge the Raiders face, but first, you got to knock off Tascosa. Follow me for updates on Twitter (@NewspaperSteve) starting at 3 p.m.
Lake Dallas vs El Paso Eastlake
AB: A big, hearty congrats to Coach Michael Young and his staff and players for their first-ever third-round playoff win. Pundits said Eastlake was good, even coming from a traditionally bad football city, and they proved to be so for a while. Then, Lake Dallas just proved to be too much thanks to dual-threat QB Dagan Haehn and do-it-all receiver/running back/whatever-he-needs-to-be Keegan Brewer. You get the feeling this team has something special in it, and with each passing week now, they’re making school history.
SG: Lake Dallas is in the fourth round for the first time. Congrats to coach Mike Young, his coaching staff and a roster loaded with a ridiculous amount of talent. It’s no wonder why quarterback Dagan Haehn wanted to work so hard to recover from last May’s ACL injury, because after falling short so many times in recent years, this year’s team has all the pieces to win now. Haehn only threw four incomplete passes en route to 207 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for 117 yards and a score.
Argyle vs Kennedale
AB: After covering this game last year, I knew it was going to be an entertaining game. And as I was following it on Twitter, it seemed to be living up to the hype. Then, Argyle’s balanced offense took over and was too much for the run-heavy Kennedale team to contain. Taylor Sweatt went for more than 100 yards on the ground, and Drew Estrada had darn-near 300 total yards, including a play that has seen the video of it teeter on viral status after Estrada leap-frogged a Kennedale defender en route to the end zone. Now, it gets really good, as Argyle has another rematch on its hands against Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, which took Argyle to the brink last year and is, by all accounts, loads better than last year.
SG: I covered this same matchup last year and it ended in a wild finish that was clearly too close for comfort for Argyle even though it escaped with the win. This year, it appeared the Eagles were going to be in another back-and-forth battle until they exploded for 21-unanswered points in the second half to extend what was a three-point lead going into halftime. Now it’s on to face Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, another barnburner matchup from a year ago.
Krum vs Sweetwater
AB: Back to the Lake Dallas writeup, speaking of school history, Krum is shattering it. The Bobcats are in the fourth round of the postseason in remarkable fashion — a shutout win over an unbeaten Sweetwater team that would qualify as a powerhouse in Class 4A, at least from West Texas. No one other than Gary Robinson and his kids could’ve seen this one coming, but it wasn’t even close, and it was very impressive. Now, they get arguably the best 4A team in DFW, regardless of Division I or Division II, in Celina. Celina whipped Krum earlier this year and is the one team that beat Argyle this year. But Krum has now shocked the world once, so who’s to say they can’t do it again?
SG: I’m pretty sure none of us saw this coming. Krum was a .500 team for most of the regular season but has hit its stride at just the right time. Not only did the Bobcats dominate previously-unbeaten Sweetwater, but it shut the Mustangs out while outgaining them 356-119. Now it’s on to Celina, which dominated Krum during district play. Can Krum do it again? That’s why we play the game.