Class 4A Area Round Insider

The bi-district round is in the books and now THEOLDCOACH looks ahead to the area round of the playoffs!! Today we take a look at Class 4A!

THEOLDCOACH CLASS 4A AREA ROUND INSIDER

DIVISION I

Region I

Pampa (8-3) vs. Mineral Wells (9-2) Friday 7:00pm Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock

Andrews (10-1) vs. Brownwood (9-2) Friday 7:30pm San Angelo Stadium, San Angelo

Abilene Wylie (9-2) vs. Borger (5-6) Friday 8:00pm Lowrey Field, Lubbock

Stephenville (4-6) vs. Levelland (6-4-1) Friday 7:30pm Mustang Bowl, Sweetwater

Mineral Wells had a nice return to the playoffs with a closely contested win over Snyder, now the Rams will look to keep their dream season alive this week out at Texas Tech against a solid squad from Pampa. The Harvesters rolled past their first round opponent. A battle of traditional powers pits two explosive offensive attacks as Brownwood meets up with Andrews. Brownwood gets the edge in this one due to schedule strength, Andrews has run up an impressive record but against mostly weak competition, the Mustangs best win is over Monahans. Abilene Wylie will be heavily favored against Borger in their game Friday at Lubbock, the Bulldogs are the clear favorite to win the region behind a very tough defense. Stephenville pulled off the biggest upset of round one knocking off 9-1 Decatur, now they’ll look to a playoff rematch against Abilene Wylie if they can knock out Levelland.

Stepp’s Picks

Mineral Wells by 5

Brownwood by 13

Abilene Wylie by 25

Stephenville by 14

Region II

Kennedale (11-0) vs. Athens (8-3) Friday 7:30pm Lion Memorial Stadium, Ennis

Argyle (10-1) vs. Pittsburg (10-1) Friday 7:30pm Royse City ISD Stadium, Royse City

Texarkana Liberty-Eylau (10-1) vs. Sanger (10-1) Thursday 7:00pm Royse City ISD Stadium, Royse City

Kaufman (10-1) vs. Alvarado (9-2) Friday 7:30pm Gopher-Warrior Bowl, Grand Prairie

It was a costly win for Kennedale last week over Dallas Carter as the Wildcats lost their starting running back and number two running back in the win. The status for both players is up in the air and having to against a very good team from Athens will be a tall order for a wounded group of Wildcats. Argyle and Pittsburg both got convincing bi-district wins and now Pittsburg will look to take down an Argyle squad that has dominated in the playoffs recently, the Eagles have 12 of their last 13 playoff games. One of the few Thursday games in the state this week pits upstart Sanger against Liberty-Eylau. L-E was considered by many to be Argyle’s biggest challenger in Region II but the Leopards barley survived last week against Van. Don’t expect a lot of fancy, wide open offenses when Kaufman hooks up with Alvarado, it will be smash mouth football at its finest. Kaufman is under the radar but is a definite sleeper in the region.

Stepp’s Picks

Athens by 2

Argyle by 12

Texarkana Liberty-Eylau by 14

Kaufman by 7

Region III

Kilgore (8-3) vs. El Campo (8-3) Friday Time 7:30pm Texan Drive Stadium, New Caney

Silsbee (9-2) vs. Sealy (6-5) Friday 7:30pm Woodforest Bank Stadium, Shenandoah

Navasota (11-0) vs. Jasper (7-4) Friday 7:00pm Moorehead Stadium, Conroe

Stafford (11-0) vs. Carthage (8-3) Friday 7:00pm Turner Stadium, Humble

Maybe the best four pack of games in all of Class 4A is right in Region III Division I, the only game that looks like it could be a bit lopsided is Silsbee’s matchup with Sealy, expect the Tigers from the Golden Triangle to roll. Kilgore and El Campo have both played for a state title recently and both have hopes of a repeat run, but one of them will be going home this week. This game is about as even as it gets on paper, but we give the slight advantage to the Ricebirds. Unbeaten Navasota will get their first true test in several weeks with a good Jasper team, this could be a good ramp up to a tough round three matchup against Stafford or Carthage. Stafford has quietly put together an 11-0 campaign including a notable win over El Campo in district play, the Spartans will get a major test this week against East Texas power Carthage.

Stepp’s Picks

El Campo by 6

Silsbee by 21

Navasota by 23

Carthage by 3

Region IV

Waco LaVega (11-0) vs. Rockport-Fulton (7-3) Friday 7:30pm Rhodes Stadium, Katy

Liberty Hill (9-2) vs. Gonzales (5-6) Friday 7:30pm Hawk Stadium, Fischer

LaVernia (7-4) vs. Gatesville (5-6) Friday 7:30pm Shelton Stadium, Buna

LaFeria (8-2) vs. China Spring (10-1) Saturday 3:00pm Rutledge Stadium, Converse

It still looks like Waco LaVega and China Spring are destined for a regional final rematch in Region IV, but Liberty Hill will certainly have a say in that fight as well. All three teams are heavily favored against opponents from South Texas this week. LaFeria, out of the Rio Grande Valley got down big to Beeville but rallied in the second half for an impressive win. Gonzales, who is a big underdog to Liberty Hill had to survive a valiant effort from Rio Grande City Grulla in their win. LaVernia is the only team not from Central Texas that is favored this week, the Bears after a slow start have found their footing and could be a tough out.

Stepp’s Picks

Waco LaVega by 27

Liberty Hill by 31

LaVernia by 7

China Spring by 34

DIVISION II

Region I

Iowa Park (7-4) vs. Krum (5-6) Friday 7:30pm Tiger Stadium, Jacksboro

Sweetwater (11-0) vs. Aubrey (7-4) Friday 7:30pm Pirate Stadium, Granbury

Celina (11-0) vs. Monahans (7-4) Friday 7:00pm Shotwell Stadium, Abilene

Anna (3-8) vs. Perryton (6-5) Friday 7:00pm Bulldog Stadium, Cache, OK

There’s not much doubt in Region I that Celina and Sweetwater are locked in on another collision course in the regional finals, the two played a classic last year and it could be a repeat in 2015. Both were easy winners in round one and both will be heavily favored this week as well, but the opponents this week are much more capable of posing issues. Iowa Park will be a favorite this week over Krum, but keep in mind Krum comes from a district that was 4-0 in the bi-district round of the playoffs, so the Bobcats won’t be an easy out. Anna, who at 2-8 pulled off the biggest surprise in the region last week knocking off 8-2 Dallas Madison will travel out of state to take on Perryton in Cache, Oklahoma.

Stepp’s Picks

Iowa Park by 13

Sweetwater by 16

Celina by 28

Perryton by 12

Region II

Gilmer (11-0) vs. Mexia (7-4) Friday 7:30pm Memorial Stadium, Mesquite

Center (9-2) vs. Fairfield (8-3) Friday 7:30pm Lobo Stadium, Longview

Lorena (8-3) vs. Canton (6-5) Friday 7:30pm Newsom Stadium, Mansfield

Coldspring (7-4) vs. Atlanta (7-4) Saturday 2:00pm Bruce Field, Athens

Gilmer’s long winning streak was in jeopardy last week, but the Buckeyes found a way to escape the upset bid from Texarkana Pleasant Grove. They will need a much better effort this week against a Mexia squad that is very dangerous and has playmakers all over the field. Gilmer’s biggest challenge in the region could come from Center who rolled in the bi-district round last week, the Roughriders tangle with Fairfield this week, although Center has more talent they don’t have that big game experience that a lot of the Fairfield kids have. Will that play a factor this week? Lorena will take on surprising Canton in the second round, the Eagles surprised Gladewater with a late comeback last week. They will have their hands full with a surging Lorena squad playing their best football of the season. Coldspring and Atlanta is a pick em game, both teams have plenty of speed and firepower, whichever defense can come up with big plays should advance.

Stepp’s Picks

Gilmer by 9

Center by 3

Lorena by 12

Atlanta by 1

Region III

West Orange-Stark (10-1) vs. Wharton (8-3) Friday 7:30pm Maddry Stadium, Channelview

LaMarque (9-2) vs. Caldwell (7-4) Friday 7:30pm Falcon Stadium, Huffman

Giddings (11-0) vs. Orangefield (6-5) Friday 7:30pm The Rig, Pearland

Bellville (9-2) vs. Hamshire-Fannett (8-3) Friday 7:30pm Memorial Stadium, Klein

Regional favorite West Orange-Stark had what equates to a bye last week, the level of competition ramps up quite a bit this week as the Mustangs tangle with a strong Wharton side. The WOS defense will be key in this matchup and their playoff experience will do them plenty of good. LaMarque keeps pushing on despite the bad news off the field about the district closing, can the Cougs avoid the distractions against a dangerous squad from Caldwell? Unbeaten Giddings has run roughshod through their eleven games and the Buffaloes appear to be poised for another big win this week over Orangefield who pulled a mild upset in the first round over Houston Worthing. Bellville and their physical rushing attack will tangle with an underrated Hamshire-Fannett passing game, the Longhorns will keep this one close for a half but Bellville pulls away late.

Stepp’s Picks

West Orange-Stark by 16

LaMarque by 14

Giddings by 22

Bellville by 10

Region IV

Geronimo Navarro (10-0) vs. Yoakum (6-5) Friday 7:30pm Memorial Stadium, Bastrop

Devine (10-1) vs. Cuero (6-5) Friday 7:30pm Heroes Stadium, San Antonio

Sinton (10-0) vs. Llano (4-7) Friday 7:30pm Veterans Memorial Stadium, San Antonio

Orange Grove (10-0) vs. Wimberley (4-7) Saturday 5:00pm Memorial Stadium, Victoria

The three undefeated teams in this region highlight things as all three were dominant in the bi-district playoffs. Navarro who has been a buzz saw all year and should be able to handle a young but talented Yoakum squad. 10-1 Devine didn’t look good last week in their bi-district win, the Warhorses come in as a bit of an underdog against Cuero. Sinton will be a heavy favorite over a Llano squad that in truth is probably just glad to be in the second round. The big game is unbeaten Orange Grove who is looking to avenge last year’s playoff loss to Wimberley, the Bulldogs come in healthy and confident as they try and wrestle the Region IV crown away from Sinton who has won it in back to back years.

Stepp’s Picks

Geronimo Navarro by 25

Cuero by 11

Sinton by 37

Orange Grove by 4


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