6 storylines heading into the UIL State Football Championships
Running back Ben Crockett and the McLean Tigers will play for a second straight Class 1A Division state championship against Blum at 11 a.m. Wednesday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. [Charla Schults/ Press Pass Sports]
1. Can McLean repeat
The McLean Tigers are the lone rep from the Texas Panhandle at AT&T Stadium this year. Many experts questioned if the Tigers could get back to Arlington to defend their Class 1A Division I crown after the loss of four very talented seniors in Chism Henderson, Cayden Mann, Kater Tate and Bradley Hannon.
The great news coming into 2019 for McLean was the return of reigning 1A Player of the Year, Ben Crockett. The powerhouse do-it-all senior, that’s surrounded by a new group of key talent, has made a statement by giving getting back to the state game, and giving McLean a chance to repeat when they face Blum.
2. Rare air
The Post Antelelopes will play in the school’s first ever state title game when they face Refugio in the Class 2A Division I championship at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. The Bold Gold, who carry a proud tradition of football through the years, have won 13 games in a season for the first time since Post went 13-2 in 1983.
3. History awaits
Richland Springs and Aledo both have a chance to rewrite the Texas High School Football record books if with an unprecedented nine state championships if both can nab wins in their respective state title games. The Coyotes and the Bearcats are currently in elite company with Katy, Southlake Carroll and Celina with eight state titles in program history.
There are some impressive postseason win streaks heading into the UIL State Football Championships, but none more so than Mart from Class 2A Division II. The Panthers are riding a 17-game playoff win streak dating back to 2017, as they try and three-peat against Hamlin for the school’s eighth state title.
Class 6A Division I power, Galena Park North Shore, and Class 4A Division I Waco La Vega have won 11 straight playoff games.
Locally, McLean has won its last nine postseason contest.
5. Duncanville vs. North Shore... Part II
Galena Park North Shore receiver Ajani Carter comes down with an incredible touchdown catch to help lift the Mustangs to a 41-36 win and a Class 6A Division I state championship last season at AT&T Stadium. [John Hamilton/ For Press Pass Sports]
The Panthers and Mustangs broke the internet during an instant classic that saw North Shore stun Duncanville on the final play of the high school football season of 2018 when Dematrius Davis Jr. connected fo Ajani Carter on a 45-yard Hail Mary as time expired giving the Mustangs an wild 41-36 win.
The two programs will now meet again in the Class 6A Division I title game at 3 p.m. Saturday. Both teams return key players from last year’s game, both have been atop the state and national polls.
A damper to this terrific matchup could be the absence of Duncanville quarterback and Texas commit, Ja’Quinden Jackson. The dynamic playmaker suffered a severe knee injury during the second quarter of a lopsided win against Rockwall during Saturday’s semifinals.
6. Player To Watch
Galena Park North Shore running back is a five-star recruit Zachary Evans is the top rated running back in the nation. [Photo via Twitter]
Anyone in attendance at Jerry World on Saturday is in for a fantastic treat. Those who haven’t seen Galena Park North Shore five-star running back Zachary Evans, will see an electric, explosive back that is touted as the nation’s top overall recruit in the country.
Out of the few schools that have a legit chance at landing Evans, his decision on where he plays for the next four years won’t come until after Jan. 2.