Frisco ISD varsity football teams continue their push into the second season this Thanksgiving weekend, as the UIL State 5A playoffs continue with the Area Round.
The contests will feature home cooking for the Reedy Lions and the Frisco Raccoons in a Friday doubleheader and a trip over the (Brazos) river and through the woods to Grandma (Bear's) house for the Lone Star Rangers Saturday afternoon.
FIVE Things to Look Forward to in Each Game
Reedy Lions (11-0) vs. Midlothian Panthers (9-2)
Reedy defeated Ennis 47-21 in the 5-A Division 2 Bi-District round last weekend. Midlothian beat Red Oak 42-13.
1. Roaring Along Undefeated
The Reedy Lions are enjoying a historic season. Just in the third year of their program they are rolling along at a perfect 11-0 and hope to claw their way to their first state title. Reedy Head Coach Chad Cole is a nominee for the Landry Award Coach of the Year.
2. The Foskey Factor
Reedy senior quarterback Josh Foskey is the first and only field general in the program's history. The dual-threat passer is creating a leonine legacy, coming off a roaring junior campaign in which he passed for 2,676 yards and 24 touchdowns. This year he threw for 2,007 yards and 17 touchdowns and completed over 65 percent of his passes. His leadership has been the pride of Reedy football. (Enough lion references for you?)
3. Reedy By Air and By Land
The Lion passing game is a major strength and QB Foskey has a troop of targets. Senior wide receivers Ryan Middleton (5 TD, 447 yards), Bennett Meacom (3 TD, 667 yards) and Arizona State commit Nolan Matthews (7 TD, 604 yards) are all game-breakers. On the ground, senior running back Michael Ferrara leads the attack with 22 touchdowns (20 rushing), 1,104 yards rushing and a 100.4 years-per-game average.
4. The Walls vs. Wrecking Balls
Both teams feature high scoring offenses backed up by stingy defenses. Reedy has scored an average of 43.4 points per game while allowing only 13.9. The Lions have gained an average of 419.6 yards per game while holding opponents to an average 201.5. Midlothian has tallied an average of 39.1 points per game and an average of 331.6 yards per game. The Panthers defense has held opponents to 19.2 points per game and a per-game average of 245.7 yards. Newton said every action creates an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, something's got to give.
5. Austen's Powers
Midlothian senior quarterback Austen Thomas is a dual-threat athlete and a spark plug in the Panther attack. He leads the team with 11 rushing touchdowns and is second with 5 passing TDs, one less than junior QB Tate Corbin. Thomas is second on the team in rushing with 500 yards, including a scamper of 66 yards and a take-it-to-the-house TD run of 100+ yards.
Game Details: Friday, November 23, 2018, 3:00 pm, The Ford Center at The Star
South Oak Cliff Golden Bears (10-0) vs. Frisco Raccoons (7-4)
Frisco defeated Sulphur Springs 41-14 in the 5-A Division 2 Bi-District round last weekend. SOC triumphed over Everman 40-7.
1. Defend The Star
Frisco ISD football teams have the decided advantage of playing games at the Dallas Cowboys indoor practice facility, The Ford Center. It's an NFL-caliber home field advantage that must be used as an edge against star-struck opponents. (“Hey…is that Dak Prescott?”)
2. All-In and Erase the Slate
To say the 2017 varsity football campaign was unkind to the Frisco Raccoons would be an understatement of trash panda proportions. They played 10 games and lost every one. Then, as if to add insult to injury the UIL realigned District 5A into two divisions, putting the Raccoons in with powerhouses Lake Dallas, Lovejoy, Denison and budding juggernaut Frisco Reedy.
Denton Braswell, moving up to 5A from 4A, was predicted to win more games than Frisco. That prognostication stung even more considering Braswell had previously won only two varsity games…in its history. Frisco Head Coach Vance Gibson introduced five core values to guide the team's climb up from obscurity, including positivity, servanthood, accountability, sacrifice and commitment.
The Frisco staff coined a new motto for 2018: “All In.” The Raccoons bought into the new attitude and won 6 regular season games. Not only that, they clinched the number two seed in the district. Last week, the Raccoons dominated Sulphur Springs in their first Bi-District win since 2013.
3. This Time We Really Mean All-In
Frisco High football has come a long way in a year. They have met challenges and overcome them. The SOC Golden Bears will be their toughest test yet. It will take a monumental effort to prevent a mauling. First of all, there's the potent SOC offense, scoring an average of 50 points a game in 2018. Frisco allowed an average of 28.5 points per game.
The Golden Bears defense is fierce, too, allowing only a minuscule 5.4 points per game. The Raccoons tallied an average of 28.5 points per game, though, so there's hope there. Yards gained per game is way closer, with Frisco averaging 385.1 and SOC averaging 388.1 yards per game. However, the Raccoon defense was more giving, allowing an average of 341.1 yards per game. South Oak Cliff held opponents to 114.3 years per game on average.
4. The Intangibles
Every big game has 'em. Those little things that can't be found on a score sheet or a scouting report. Things like pride, and hope, and while we're at it, positivity, servanthood, accountability, sacrifice, and commitment. Things that help a team climb out of an 0-10 hole towards respectability. The Frisco Raccoons have all of these.
5. Snap the Streak
South Oak Cliff rolls into the game riding a perfect 10-0 overall and 7-0 district record. They've scored 500 points while allowing only 54. They have had their fun. Time to fall. Maybe. Well, the Cowboys have won two straight games on the road and no doubt have left some mojo for their prep counterparts on their indoor practice gridiron. We hope.
Game Details: Friday, November 23, 2018, 7:30 pm, The Ford Center at The Star, Frisco
Lone Star Rangers (9-2) vs. Lufkin Panthers (10-1)
Lone Star defeated Mansfield Legacy 41-6 in the 5A Division 1 Bi-District round last weekend, avenging their 4-point loss in the Regionals last year. Lufkin downed McKinney North 50-27.
The Dallas Morning News lists this matchup in the Baylor Bear's sparkling riverside stadium as one of the best second-round games in the state. The Lufkin Panthers are currently ranked No. 10 in the state 5A rankings and No. 2 in 5A-1 and is riding a 10-game winning streak. Lone Star is currently ranked No. 41 in state 5A rankings and No. 8 in 5A-1.
The Rangers are coming off an impressive 35-point win over Mansfield Legacy in the opening round. Lone Stars' two losses came in a 10-7 squeaker to 5A-1 top-ranked Highland Park in week 2 and a 21-14 last-second loss to The Colony in week 6. Lone Star ran off four straight wins after The Colony game, propelling it into the postseason. The Panthers are undefeated in division play.
1. Heartbreak Hotel
The Rangers and the Panthers hope there are no rooms available this year, after falling just two steps short of the state championship game in 2017. Both lost close games in the Regionals, the Panthers falling to Longview 33-32 and the Rangers 24-20 to Mansfield Legacy.
2. Rangers Air Attack
Lone Star features one of the best receivers in the state, Marvin Mims. The standout junior is a four-star college prospect with 52 catches for 919 yards and 11 touchdowns. Rangers junior quarterback Julian Larry has passed for 1,847 yards and 19 touchdowns. The QB is also the top Ranger rusher with 646 yards and 7 touchdowns.
3. Panthers Defense
Lufkin has a standout junior of their own, four-star free safety Jerrin Thompson. Senior nose guard/tackle Carl Williams anchors the Panthers defensive line and is pledged to play college football at Arkansas.
4. The Irresistible Force vs. The Immovable Object
Lufkin features one of the most potent offenses in the state, averaging 43.9 points per game. The powerful Panthers scored more than 60 points this year. Lone Star counters with a stout defense – in second best in the Dallas area – allowing only 8.9 points per game. The Rangers held the defending state 5A-1 champions Highland Park to 10 points in a 10-7 loss.
5. Three-Headed Panther
At the State Fair of Texas it would cost you at least 12 coupons to see something like this, and it would be made of papier mâché. The trio of Lufkin playmakers, however, are real and dangerous. Led by senior quarterback Kewone Thomas with 25 touchdowns (combined running and passing), the Panther attack also features junior 785 yard rusher Qu'Vontae Smallwood at running back and high-flying senior wideout Titan Williams, with 11 touchdowns rushing and receiving.
Game Details: Saturday, November 24, 2018, 2:00 pm, Baylor University McLane Stadium
Ticketing sales and information for all Frisco ISD playoff games available HERE.
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