Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

November 20, 2012

HS Football Playoffs: Mildred offensive line settles in

Eagles face tough test with physical Cooper

(Continued)

MILDRED — —

Region II-2A DII Area Round

Mildred (9-1) vs. Cooper (8-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday, Lindale’s Eagle Stadium

Radio:
 The Ranch 106.9 FM (7 p.m. pregame)

Key matchup

Mildred RB Draylon Sterling vs. Cooper LB Colby Early


Sterling averages a ridiculous 13.8 yards per carry, and keys a ground game that chews up almost 280 per game. Early, just a sophomore, leads the Bulldogs with 12.5 tackles per game. Sterling has speed and will go outside, but the Eagles like to run it up the middle, too.

THREE KEYS

Handle the role


Mildred must prove it can avoid a letdown and handle the favorite role. Cooper’s record is deceiving, Mildred coach Patrick Harvell insists. Three of the teams that beat Cooper are still playing. Only one that did missed the playoffs (Mount Vernon) finished fourth in a district with Daingerfield, New Boston and Redwater.

The line of scrimmage

Harvell has a favorite saying, “the guys with their hands on the ground win games.” This game should be a good one up front. The Bulldogs are big and physical on the lines, Harvell said, and Mildred has been dominant on both sides. Expect a slugfest between two talented groups.

QB play

Mildred hasn’t had to pass out of necessity, but has done very well behind senior Nic Shimonek (120-185-4-1,963, 27 TDs), the most prolific passer in the history of the Golden Circle. Cooper’s Kasey Leatherwood has attempted 10 or more passes only four times this season, three times in losses, and completed 44 percent of his passes on the season. He has as many interceptions (5) as TD passes.

— Raymond Linex II

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