Texas Panhandle area round games to watch: Tascosa-Bowie, Pampa-Andrews highlight big Friday night
Class 6A Division II area
The game: Tascosa Rebels (8-3) at Arlington Bowie Volunteers (8-3).
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls.
The matchup: It was a year ago at this point of the playoffs when the Rebels magical run began. Tascosa updended then undefeated Arlington High on the same turf they get set to face Arlington Bowie Friday night. Like Tascosa, the Volunteers are run-heavy team that puts up 300 yards a game, led by quarterback Drevonn Ponder. Ponder’s a 6-foot, 200 pound junior speedster that’s ran for 1,133 yards and thrown for 1,179 yards with a combined 28 touchdowns.
Tascosa’s flexbone has been rough on teams all year. During a 41-7 win against El Paso Pebble Hills last week, quarterback Joseph Plunk ran for 176 yards with four TDs in the first half. Bowie will have to key on Plunk ( 2,009 yards on the year ) to slow down the Tascosa ground.
Class 5A Division I area
The game: Amarillo High Sandies (9-2) at Colleyville Heritage Panthers (7-4).
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Shotwell Stadium, Abilene.
The matchup: Amarillo High is back in the area
round for the first time since 2014. The Sandies have been on a tear, currently riding a eight-game win streak that included a 44-7 rout of El Paso Chapin in last weeks bidistrict round.
The offense gets a lot of praise, but it’s been the AHS defense has slid under the radar.
Linebacker Beau Mitchell has made 114 tackles with six sacks. Brett Ewing is also a force with 92 tackles and two sacks.
Heritage (7-4) is coming off a thrilling 27-20 overtime win against Crowley.
The Panthers have a balanced attack offensively, led by quarterback AJ Smith ( 2,039 passing yards ) and slot back Isaac Shabav. Shabav ( 1,044 total yards ) is a versatile threat that runs and catches extremely well.
Class 4A Division I area
The game: Andrews Mustangs (10-1) vs. Pampa Harvesters (9-2).
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Greyhounds Stadium, Portales, N.M.
The matchup: Anyone that likes high-tempo offenses and loves points will want to be in attendance. The Mustangs are averaging 38.4 points a game to Pampa’s 36.4 ppg.
It’s also a meeting of two of the most prolific gunslingers in West Texas.
Andrews QB Brett Leach is 242 of 383 (71.5 percent) for 3,330 yards with 41 touchdowns. Pampa’s Tucker Bridwell is 222 for 356 (62.3 percent) with 32 TDs throwing for 3,373.
Andrews is 2-0 against District 3-4A DI oppenents this year, beating Canyon and Hereford.
The Harvesters are looking for their first 10-win season since 2003.
Class 2A Division II area
The game: Sudan Hornets (11-0) vs. Vega Longhorns (8-3).
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Bobcats Stadium, Dimmitt.
The matchup: The Hornets are having a season similar to their run throughout the 1990’s, marching over anyone in their way.
However, they may not have played a team as physical and talented as Vega. Yes, the Longhorns have three losses, with those coming to the likes of Panhandle, Stratford and Gruver. Look for explosive players to highlight this contest.
Vega quarterback Carson Kirkland is doing it all this season, as the senior has rushed for 800 yards, thrown for 1,363 yards for a combined 34 touchdowns.
Sudan runs through quarterback Christian Montes. The speedy Montes is a 1,000-yard passer and rusher who’s contributed to 49 of the Hornets 69 touchdowns this year.
Notable area games
Class 5A Division II
Randall vs. Canutillo, 7 p.m. Friday, Mustang Bowl, Andrews.
Class 4A Division I
Dumas vs. Seminole, 7 p.m. Thursday, Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldogs Stadium.
Class 3A Division I
Bushland vs. Whitesboro, 7 p.m. Friday, Hawks Stadium,Iowa Park.
Class 3A Division II
Abernathy vs. Childress, 7 p.m. Friday, Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.