Region 3 5A-Div. I Insider

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Region III-Division I
Pearland (12-0) vs. Fort Bend Hightower (11-0), 2 p.m. Saturday, Tully Stadium 
So here is the Region III D1 crown on the line and the situation could not be any better. Two undefeated teams face off on a neutral site to see who gets one step closer to the prom date hosted by Reliant Stadium. 

With the state game in sight, look for both teams to try and get things going early. But it seems like fast starts have not been what Hightower has done during this postseason. In fact, it has been the exact opposite. Other than bi-district, the Hurricanes have come from behind to defeat their opponents. 

This is largely because Hightower has one of the best (if not the best) defenses in the state. Leading the way is hard-hitting linebacker Shaun Lewis, who is joined by Phillip Stewart and Thomas Luna. And with secondary players like Colton Valencia, Dele Junaid, and Alex Francis this team is loaded speed and quickness.

So look for Pearland to start things off offensively with the workhorse in Kasey Carrier. Again this past week, Carrier went for 154 yards and four touchdowns. Carrier will need to have a similar performance to help lead his team to a victory. Of course, quarterback Sam Allen will likely find targets like Kevin Miller and Miles Kanipes to keep things balanced.

As for the Oiler defense, Jarrad Stewart snagged down a few interceptions last week and had quite a few tackles as well. With the speed that the Hightower team has, look for Stewart and the rest of the defense to be busy. They will have the tough task of containing quarterback A.J. Highsmith

With multiple weapons around him, Highsmith makes the plays when needed. And when he puts this team on his back, it usually works out favorably. And mistakes are not something that Highsmith is accustom to as he has completed 92 passes for 1,484 yards and has 23 touchdowns to only three interceptions. 

I see this game being fairly close seeing that these two teams have proven that they can turn it on in second-half play. This one is a hard toss up, but I think that the Hurricanes will make it happen. 

Hightower by 10
Big Rob's take: Pearland by 7

Region III-Division II
Katy (10-3) vs. La Porte (8-4), 1 p.m. Saturday, Rice Stadium
If high-flying, big scoring spread offense match up is your thing, then you picked the wrong Saturday to be at Rice Stadium may not be the time for you. While the Owls are more than capable of that sort of thing, Katy and La Porte have a different way of handling things.

Ground first and air second seems to be the way the game is handled in both organizations. With that said, for all of you who may be in attendance, Katy's Will Jeffrey and Michael Webber against La Porte's Kendrick Perkins will be a sight to see. All have been the workhorses of the team and I don't see things changing for this week's regional final.

For La Porte, Perkins ran wild last week against Houston Madison with 226 yards and three touchdowns. Katy's defense has faced some solid back this year, but some say that Perkins may be the best. Surely plenty of emphasis will be put into trying to shut him down.

Katy's run game had Jeffery and Webber with solid numbers last week with 265 yards between the two of them. Nothing tricky or special here, Katy will line up and run right at the Bulldogs until stopped. And as of late, many teams have not been able to do so. 

With that said, I think this game will be a fairly high-scoring game, but nothing like the 40s or 50s. Mid to high 30s at best. This will be a line them up slugfest, and I think that the Tigers roll on.

Katy by 14
Big Rob's take: Katy by 10

Regional Player of the Week: Jarrad Stewart, DB, Pearland
Even though Katy Taylor did not put the ball in the air much, everyone knows there are more bad things that can happen than good offensively. And on multiple occasions, Stewart made the Mustangs pay. He hauled in two interceptions and got great returns on each of them, one even seemed close to going the distance with one or two more blocks. Both were in the first half, but Stewart contributed more than just the turnovers. On the sweeps, he was there and laid the hat down. Many times this does not go to a defensive player, but Stewart had a huge impact in the Oilers' win.


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