HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Predictions For Every Bi District Playoff Game In Wichita Falls Area

Last week I started the process of listing five teams I hope to see on the final schedules for all three WFISD football teams after UIL realignment in February.

Wichita Falls High was first up, and I think I came up with a strong five for the Coyotes. You can find that list in the link below.

More: HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Predictions for every Week 11 game in the Wichita Falls area

This week I’m moving onto the Huskies. Unlike Rider and WFHS, many of Hirschi’s biggest rivals are within the area. That’s the benefit of staying around the same size of many of the current Class 4A programs in the Wichita Falls area for most of the program’s history. Wichita Falls High and Rider didn’t have that luxury and were forced to travel further for both district and non-district games.

I’ll repeat the few caveats I gave myself for these lists.

I am not including crosstown rivalries. Those clearly top my list, and as I mentioned last week, it does seem unlikely Hirschi will play Rider and WFHS in the next two years. It’s unfortunate, but the scheduling hasn’t matched up. At least, not yet.

If I’m 75 percent certain Hirschi will be in the same district as an opponent, then it won’t make the list. That excludes Graham this time around. It’s very likely the Huskies and Steers will be grouped together as Hirschi makes the move down to Class 4A Division II next season.

But as you’ll see with this list, Graham is the only sure thing when it comes to Hirschi’s district mates for the next two seasons.

Here are five opponents I hope to see on Hirschi’s schedule in the final two seasons of the program’s existence.

5. Burkburnett – There is a chance the Huskies and Bulldogs aren’t in the same district next season with Hirschi dropping to Class 4A Division II. Burkburnett could also drop, but there’s a good chance the Bulldog state in 4A Division I. If that’s the case, this game should be on the schedule. Right now, I’m not sure that it is. These two teams have played 59 times. To put it in perspective, Rider and Old High just played for the 60th occasion. While the divide between Hirschi and Burk seems significant right now, this rivalry has been pretty even with Hirschi holding a 33-26 advantage.

4. Brownwood – Some of the Huskies’ biggest wins ever came against Brownwood. Most recently, the Huskies started a run to the state quarterfinals by beating Brownwood 44-34 to open the 2017 playoffs. Brownwood represented a major hurdle for the Huskies to overcome during the 1980’s, knocking them out in the bi-district round in 1980, 1981 and 1987. Hirschi final beat Brownwood in the playoffs in 1989, then again in 1992. Another run to the state quarterfinals included a thrilling 23-21 victory over the Lions in 1998.

3. Vernon – The only team Hirschi has played more than Vernon is Burkburnett. As it is with the Huskies and Bulldogs, the gap between these two teams is big, but this was one of the area’s best rivalries in the 1980’s and into the early 1990’s. There is a good chance Hirschi and Vernon are in the same district for this upcoming realignment. But it’s also possible Vernon drops to Class 3A Division I.

2. Iowa Park – The friendship between former Hirschi coach Danny Youngs and Iowa Park coach Aubrey Sims came at the cost of what could have been some of the most memorable matchups in the past five seasons. Youngs and Sims came up the coaching ranks together and decided they’d rather scrimmage one another than play in the regular season. It always made for a competitive scrimmage, but the games could have been great. I’m particularly thinking about the 2018 season when Hirschi had a great senior class headlined by Daimarqua Foster and Iowa Park had a group that made a run to the state semifinals. Like Burk and Vernon, Hirschi and Iowa Park could end up in the same district. Or Iowa Park could join Vernon in Class 3A Division I. The Huskies and Hawks haven’t played since 2015. And there’s less competitive division between these two programs than Hirschi has with Vernon or Burkburnett. This is a game I will be disappointed to not see on Hirschi’s final two schedules.

1. Decatur – A few years ago, no one would have considered Hirschi and Decatur a must-see game. It’s been near the top of my list every season since 2017 when the Huskies finally broke through and beat Decatur for the first time ever. Since then, each game has been memorable, and Hirschi is 4-2 in the last six meetings after losing the first 12 against the Eagles. These two teams will not share the same district. And there’s all sorts of uncertainty around the Decatur program. But I feel like this matchup will be on the Huskies’ final schedules.

Next week, I’ll put a wrap on this series of lists with Rider. I’m sure many of you can guess a couple obvious choices for the Raiders.

On to this week’s picks!

We’ve made it to the postseason with 20 teams from the area earning the right to play for at least one more week. How many make it through the bi-district round?

Here are my takes on each game. And be sure to check out the selections by the rest of the TRN Sports “expert” panel below.

CLASS 5A

Grapevine 30, WFHS 19 – This will be closer than the 30-point spread PigskinPrep is predicting. The Coyotes had a poor showing against Rider, but one consistent aspect about this team under coach Grant Freeman is its ability to bounce back from bad losses. That said, I can’t talk myself into picking the Coyotes to win. But will it surprise me if they do? Absolutely not.

More: HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Previewing Thursday's Wichita Falls area bi-district playoff games

Rider 46, Carrollton Creekview 21 – Creekview likely hits some big plays as it has some legit big-time weapons at receiver. But Rider has more ammo.

CLASS 4A

Hirschi 52, Pampa 24 – The Harvesters are giving up an average of 59.7 points over its last three games. That’s bad news when facing the explosive Huskies.

Iowa Park 28, Van Alstyne 14 – The Panthers have struggled to get out of the bi-district round despite qualifying for the playoffs in seven straight years. Iowa Park has not. These Hawks may not put up the point totals of recent versions, but they play great defense. Van Alstyne will struggle to finish drives, and Iowa Park’s win will seem methodical.

Graham 30, Sanger 13 – See what I just wrote about Iowa Park and a methodical win? Graham will win in similar fashion.

Jonathan HullCory HogueMindy Brown
TRN Sports writerTRN Sports freelancerTRN Sports clerk
Twitter@Hull_TRN@CoryHogueSports@TRNSports
Last Week17-316-418-2
Season202-41197-46196-47
WFHS at GrapevineGrapevineGrapevineGrapevine
Holliday vs. JacksboroHollidayHollidayHolliday
Windthorst at HicoWindthorstWindthorstWindthorst
Archer City vs. CrosbytonArcher CityArcher CityArcher City
Seymour vs. LockneyLockneySeymourLockney
Olney vs. RallsRallsRallsRalls
Quanah vs. RoscoeRoscoeRoscoeRoscoe
Carrollton Creekview at RiderRiderRiderRider
Hirschi vs. PampaHirschiHirschiHirschi
Graham vs. SangerGrahamGrahamGraham
Iowa Park vs. Van AlstyneIowa ParkVan AlstyneIowa Park
Henrietta vs. MillsapMillsapMillsapHenrietta
City View vs. EastlandEastlandEastlandEastland
Petrolia vs. SantoSantoSantoSanto
Newcastle vs. Union HillUnion HillNewcastleNewcastle
Benjamin vs. JaytonJaytonJaytonBenjamin
Throckmorton vs. FannindelThrockmortonThrockmortonThrockmorton
Knox City vs. Borden CountyBorden CountyKnox CityBorden County
Gold-Burg vs. Lueders-AvocaGold-BurgGold-BurgGold-Burg
Tobin McDuffEmily BjorklundMJ Baird
KFDX Sports DirectorKAUZ Sports DirectorKFDX Sports Reporter
Twitter@tobinKFDX@EBjorklundKAUZ@MJ_Baird17
Last Week22-319-622-3
Season182-41162-61180-43
WFHS at GrapevineGrapevineWFHSGrapevine
Holliday vs. JacksboroHollidayHollidayHolliday
Windthorst at HicoWindthorstWindthorstWindthorst
Archer City vs. CrosbytonArcher CityArcher CityArcher City
Seymour vs. LockneyLockneySeymourSeymour
Olney vs. RallsRallsOlneyRalls
Quanah vs. RoscoeRoscoeQuanahRoscoe
Carrollton Creekview at RiderRiderRiderRider
Hirschi vs. PampaHirschiHirschiHirschi
Graham vs. SangerGrahamGrahamGraham
Iowa Park vs. Van AlstyneIowa ParkVan AlstyneIowa Park
Henrietta vs. MillsapHenriettaMillsapHenrietta
City View vs. EastlandEastlandCity ViewEastland
Petrolia vs. SantoSantoPetroliaPetrolia
Newcastle vs. Union HillUnion HillUnion HillUnion Hill
Benjamin vs. JaytonJaytonBenjaminBenjamin
Throckmorton vs. FannindelThrockmortonThrockmortonThrockmorton
Knox City vs. Borden CountyBorden CountyKnox CityKnox City
Gold-Burg vs. Lueders-AvocaGold-BurgGold-BurgGold-Burg

CLASS 3A

Holliday 37, Jacksboro 18 – The Eagles have faced one team that threw the ball prolifically. That was Henrietta, and the Bearcats threw four interceptions to the Eagles. I can’t help but think this veteran defense will do the same thing to a Jacksboro offense that has played well late in the season but is still prone to turnovers.

Millsap 34, Henrietta 33 – The first meeting in Week 2 was a thriller with Henrietta rallying to a 41-40 win. But the Bearcats are coming into the playoffs with two straight losses. Millsap has been in playoff mode for two weeks already and accustomed to playing close games.

Eastland 33, City View 20 – I can argue for the Mustangs to matchup well with the Mavericks. Both can run the ball effectively, but if City View is relying on its best defensive player – middle linebacker Jourdain Durham – to also play quarterback, how long can they stay effective? And Eastland can throw the ball efficiently, too. City View hasn’t shown that consistently.

CLASS 2A

Santo 35, Petrolia 27 – This is the best Class 2A playoff matchup in the area. The Pirates have some injuries that concern me when it comes to their ability to hold up against Santo’s flexbone offense.

Lockney 41, Seymour 23 – Lockney hasn’t won a playoff game since 2004. If I knew Seymour would have Keegan Gilbreath at 100 percent playing quarterback, defensive back and returning kicks, then I’d predict that streak to continue. But Gilbreath is three weeks removed from knee surgery? That’s hard to trust.

Roscoe 41, Quanah 17 – Roscoe is one of the better stories in the region. The Plowboys have gone from being a one-win team that Quanah beat in the bi-district round last season to a one-loss team. And they can start this year’s postseason by beating the Indians. Quanah played better toward the end of the regular season, but it won’t be enough to beat Roscoe.

Archer City 54, Crosbyton 0 – This is a hefty mismatch. Expect to Archer City to cruise into the second round.

Windthorst 51, Hico 0 – Speaking of hefty mismatches. The Trojans can name their score once again. And set up an Archer County playoff rematch with the rival Wildcats.

Ralls 37, Olney 16 – Ralls’ slot-T beats Olney’s flexbone.

SIX-MAN

Borden County 54, Knox City 50 – The Greyhounds are a year away from making a strong playoff run.

Gilmer Union Hill 45, Newcastle 42 – The resumes are very similar, but I’m trusting Union Hill to get the big stop.

Jayton 60, Benjamin 35 – I’m doubting Benjamin again. I trust Jayton’s pedigree more. The Jaybirds have played better competition.

Throckmorton 52, Fannindel 0 – Gold-Burg mercy-ruled Fannindel, so Throckmorton should too.

Gold-Burg 57, Lueders-Avoca 24 – The Bears may have to play a full four quarters to get it, but they should have the program’s first ever playoff win by the end of the night.

Source : https://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/sports/high-school/football/2021/11/11/high-school-football-predictions-for-every-bi-district-playoff-game-in-wichita-falls-area-2021/6383190001/

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