Melissa vs. Texarkana Pleasant Grove
What: Class 4A Division II
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Paris (Wildcat Stadium)
Records: Melissa 12-1; Texarkana Pleasant Grove 13-0
Last week: Melissa beat Gilmer 35-23; Texarkana Pleasant Grove beat Celina 33-14
Series: First meeting
Players to watch: Melissa: RB Ja’Bray Young, LB Marvin Jordan: Pleasant Grove: RB Chauncey Martin, WR Carson Cox
Notable: Melissa carries a school-record 12-game winning streak into the match-up…A win by the Cardinals would match the school record, set during the 2011 championship season…Melissa is trying to make the state semifinals for the second time…The Cardinals need nine points to join the 2011 squad as the only ones to score at least 600 in a season in school history. Melissa will set the record with 14 more points…Young had 17 carries for 156 yards and four touchdowns as Melissa outscored Gilmer 35-9 in the second half to advance…Pleasant Grove picked up a revenge win against Celina in the same round to make the region final for the first time since 2001. The Hawks have never reached the state semifinals since the program was established in 1984…Pleasant Grove held Celina to just 107 yards last week…The other common opponents between the schools are Gilmer, which Pleasant Grove beat, 41-39, in district play, and Aubrey, a 56-28 win for Pleasant Grove in the second round.
Looking ahead: The winner of this game will face the Bushland-Graham winner in the 4A Division II state semifinals.
Gunter vs. Winona
What: Class 3A Division II
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Royse City
Records: Gunter 13-0; New Diana 10-3
Last week: Gunter beat Holliday 48-7; New Diana beat Jacksboro 49-48
Series: First meeting
Players to watch: Gunter: RB Dylan Jantz, LB Zach Lowe; New Diana: QB Jackson Sampson, LB Cole Willeford
Notable: Gunter will go for its 30th straight victory…A victory would give the Tigers their second region title…Gunter surpassed 600 points in a season for the second time, and needs 34 points to break last season’s record of 671…The Tigers have scored at least 43 points in 11 of 13 games…Gunter has still not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game and given up just 66 total points…Jantz crossed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season last week as Gunter went past 4,000 rushing yards as a team…The Tigers are allowing just under 130 yards per game…Sampson had the game-winning touchdown against Jacksboro with 12 seconds remaining. He finished with 453 yards and six touchdowns…New Diana has almost won as many games this season as the previous four years combined (13)…The Eagles have won at least 10 games in a season for the first time since 1995…New Diana has made it this far in the playoffs just one before, in 1972.
Looking ahead: The winner of this game will face the Canadian-Childress winner in the 3A Division II state semifinals.
Tioga vs. Jonesboro
What: Class 1A Division I
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Records: Tioga 11-1; Jonesboro 12-1
Last week: Tioga beat Union Hill 44-40; Jonesboro beat May 57-50
Series: First meeting
Players to watch: Tioga: ATH Cade Kimbrell, K Javier Rivera; Jonesboro: QB Wyatt Young, DL Andy Sarmiento
Notable: Tioga is in the state semifinals for the first time in school history…A victory would give the Bulldogs the school record for wins, surpassing the 11 they matched from 1934…Rivera kicked a 32-yard field goal with 2.6 seconds left last week to give Tioga the revenge win over Union Hill…Kimbrell ran for 155 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries and was 7-of-8 passing for 75 yards and a TD…The 44 points was a season-low for Tioga while the Bulldogs allowed at least 40 points for just the second time in 2017…Union Hill was held to its season low in points and lowest total in 23 games…Jonesboro was last year’s state runner-up, losing 60-12 to Borden County. Jonesboro beat Union Hill, 50-44, in last year’s semifinals….Since 2010, the Eagles have lost more than one game in a season just one – 2012 – and in the past five years are a combined 60-5…Jonesboro’s only loss was 71-44 against Milford, which is playing in the Division II state semifinals.
Looking ahead: The winner of this game will face the Borden County-Happy winner in the 1A Division I state championship.