Region III-1A DII Bi-district
Wortham vs. Overton
7:30 p.m. Thursday
At Palestine’s Wildcat Stadium
RECORDS: District 9-1A DII third-place team Wortham is 4-6. District 10-1A runner-up Overton is 6-4.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Wortham: QB Brandon Campbell, WR/CB Brysen Rhodes, OL/DL Skylar Jordan, LB Shane Sykora, RB/FS Tyvon Freeman. Overton: QB/DB K.J. Luster, OL/LB Greg Moore, OL/DL Clay Martin, RB/LB Jamal Kelley.
UPDATE: Wortham clinched a playoff berth with a 49-12 victory over Dawson last Friday for the Bulldogs’ first postseason trip since 2004 ... Wortham’s last playoff wins came in 2000 when the Bulldogs beat Mildred (30-0) and Mount Enterprise (20-19) before losing to Beckville (48-14) ... the Bulldogs lost three straight bi-district games from 2002-04 ... Campbell took over the starting QB spot in the seventh game of the season and has passed for 958 yards and six TDs ... Rhodes, also a standout basketball player, leads the Bulldogs with 26 receptions for 516 yards and two TDs ... NT Cameron Lewis leads Wortham with 1.5 sacks ... the Hutson brothers, Blake and Steven, have combined for five fumble recoveries ... Kyle Goerner and Rhodes are tied for the team lead with three INTs each ... Overton was outscored 224-290 for the season but went undefeated at home ... tied for the district title and earned No. 2 seed based on points ... Kelley has over 100 tackles ... Luster has completed 75 of 145 passes for 1,253 yards, 11 TDs and seven INTs ... Overton beat Union Hill last week 48-14, gaining over 500 yards in offense and holding Union Hill to less than 100 ... head coach Josh Barton is in his first season ... it’s Overton’s first playoff appearance/winning record since 2005 and only its second appearance since 1995.
— Todd Wills/Jim Pitt
Region II-2A DI Bi-district
Blooming Grove vs. Jacksboro
7:30 p.m. Friday
At Burleson ISD Elk Stadium
RECORDS: District 6-2A DII third-place team Blooming Grove is 7-3. District 5-2A DII runner-up Jacksboro is 8-2.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Blooming Grove: QB/DB Jayd Kirby, RB/DB Daniel Camarillo, OL/LB Anthony Black, OL/DL Jose Camarillo. Jacksboro: QB/LB Kirk Weldon, OL/DL Jeffrey Colley, RB/LB Logan Dixon, WR/DB Nathan Zapata.
UPDATE: The Blooming Grove Lions enter the playoffs for the first time since 2007, while the Jacksboro Tigers last made the playoffs in 2009 … At 7-3, Blooming Grove had its first winning record since 1997, and the most wins since 1991 … The Lion offense will be led by senior signal caller Jayd Kirby, who has thrown for more than 1100 yards, also leads the team in rushing with 1577 yards … Tyler Morris had 175 yards and three touchdowns on only 11 carries in the playoff-clinching win last week over Millsap … Kirby and Daniel Camarillo lead the Lion defense with two interceptions each … Blooming Grove may have an edge in the return game, as Travis Whiteside and Tyler Ellis have each returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season … The Tigers, after being picked last in the preseason, were a surprise runner-up in District 5-2A DII … Weldon has thrown for over 1500 yards while completing 60% of his passes for the Tigers … DL Garrett Johnson and LB Colton Owen, who have combined for over 150 tackles and 10 sacks this season for Jacksboro, look to slow down a Lion offense that averages over 430 yards and 38 points per game.
— Jim Pitts
Region II-1A DI Bi-district
Kerens vs. Hico
7:30 p.m. Friday
At Waco Robinson’s Rocket Field
RECORDS: District 6-1A DI third-place team Kerens is 5-5. District 5-1A DI runner-up Hico is 7-3.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kerens: QB Nate Betts, WR Brett Anderson, WR/DB Kevin Townsel, OL/DL Dylan Woods, LB Mike Kline. Hico: QB Colton Stegall, WR/LB Brandon Stewart, OL Ryder Needham, OL/DL Louie Blankenship, OL/DE James Bates.
UPDATE: The Bobcats are back in the playoffs for the fifth season in a row and the 32nd time in school history, second most in the Golden Circle behind Corsicana (42) ... Kerens is 1-4 in its last five bi-district games, beating Bosqueville in 2010 ... Kerens had Valley Mills defeated last year in Groesbeck, but a late fumble as the Bobcats were running out the clock led to a 26-19 loss ... the teams do have a common opponent this season in Italy ... Kerens lost last week to Italy 40-27 while Hico defeated the Gladiators 28-8 on Oct. 5 ... Betts has recovered from that fumble a year ago against Valley Mills to lead the Bobcats in rushing and passing ... the sophomore has rushed for 1,256 yards and 12 TDs while throwing for 804 yards and 10 TDs and 13 INTs ... RB Rayvon Faulk has 692 yards and seven TDs ... Anderson has 26 catches for 515 yards and eight TDs ... Kerens has forced 24 turnovers, including 16 fumble recoveries ... the Tigers bounced back from a 24-20 loss to San Saba with a regular-season ending 9-6 upset of Goldthwaite ... Stegall passed for eight TDs in four district games ... Stewart, who also plays some in the secondary, has 131 tackles, including 21 against Goldthwaite ... Hico’s last playoff win came in 2002 in a 2A regional semifinal game against Kerens.
— Todd Wills
Region III-1A DII Bi-district
Frost vs. Detroit
7:30 p.m. Friday
At Bullard’s Panthers Stadium
RECORDS: District 9-1A DII runner-up Frost is 9-1. District 10-1A DII third-place Detroit is 9-1.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Frost: RB/DB Danial Steels, RB/DB Robert Worley, QB/DB Jacob Stroder C/LB Andrew Jackson. Detroit: RB Devontya Bell, LB Lane Manginell, L Trevor Cato, LB Devin Ervin.
UPDATE: The Polar Bears are in the playoffs for the first time since 2001, and have not won a playoff game since 1989 … Frost’s lone loss is to two-time district champion Hubbard … Steels leads the Bears with 1,239 yards rushing (9.5 per) and 20 TDs … Jackson leads the team in tackles with 53, and is tied with four sacks with Mileko Bruce … the Bears had the No. 3 offense in the Golden Circle, No. 1 in rushing at 316.7 yards per game … at 38.6 points per game, the Bears ranked only behind Mildred (59.9) in points per game in the area … Detroit’s only loss came to Overton, 34-13, two weeks ago … Bell is a speedster, Frost coach Eric Blenden said … the Eagles average 30.3 points per game, and give up 13.2.
— Raymond Linex II