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November 12, 2008

Road to the Championship: 4A Bi-District

CLASS 4A BI-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS

4A DI -DENTON RYAN (7-3) VS. BIRDVILLE (7-3)

Denton Ryan probably has the most powerful offense in the area and has put up some strong numbers all season. However, the Raiders head into their bi-district match-up against Birdville Friday night at Boswell high school coming off a regular season loss to cross town rival Denton Guyer.

The Raiders are led by junior quarterback Scotty Young who leads the area in passing. Young has thrown for 3,374 yards so far this season and connected for 52 touchdowns. Ryan has a couple of good receivers in D.J. Beshears and Bud Sasser, both approaching the 1,000 yard mark in receiving yards.

Jay Catlin leads the Ryan running attack with 1,226 yards and nine touchdowns and Ryan should have the advantage with their "Big Men" up front. The Raider offensive line has proven to be one of the best to ever come through head coach Joey Florence's program. The Raider offensive line averages 289 pounds per man and has been able to provide excellent protection for Young and has opened running lanes for Catlin.

Birdville is also coming off a regular season loss to Aledo, but has the weapons just as their opponent. Led by quarterback Josh Dorman who has also put up strong numbers this season, the Hawks have a strong passing game. Dorman has completed 70% of his passes for 3,240 yards and 31 touchdowns and has only thrown six interceptions. Clarke Renfro, Cory Hines and Jonathan Dents lead the Hawks' receiving core and have been the three go-to guys for Dorman.

Birdville's defense has three strong linebackers that have played from sideline to sideline. William LeBlanc, Justin Burton and Calvin Lakes lead a defense that only allowed 290 yards per game and gave up only 23 points per game.

With both teams relying on their passing game, this should be a high scoring affair, but it might come down to which team can maintain a running game and keep the opposing defense off balance.

Winner: DENTON RYAN

DI -DENTON GUYER (8-2) VS. SAGINAW BOSWELL (5-5)

Guyer heads into uncharted ground on Thursday night as they make their first post-season appearance in school history. The Wildcats meet Saginaw Boswell in bi-district action at Dragon stadium in Southlake and are coming off an exciting win over Denton Ryan.

With the power running game of Jaimaine Wilhite and Deandre Wilson, Guyer will rely on this duo to roll up the yards just as they have all year. Wilhite leads the tandem with 1,000 yards for the season and has scored 15 touchdowns.

Marquis Smith and J.W. Walsh will split time at quarterback and try to keep the Boswell defense off balance. Smith, who came in mid-season for Walsh who suffered an injury, has thrown for 872 yards and seven touchdowns.

Defensively, the Wildcats are led by one of the best defensive lineman in the business, Taylor Bible. Bible is big, strong and quick and can make trouble for any offense.

Boswell is coming off a 41-35 loss to Springtown and could be venerable heading into the game. Quarterback Henry Munoz runs the Boswell offense that averages 340 total yards a game and relies mainly on the running game and running back Kerry Gooden will carry that load. Gooden has totaled up 653 yards and 10 touchdowns. When Munoz goes to the air his favorite receiver this year has been Dwayne Lawrence and look for that duo to hook-up for some possible big plays.

Defensively, Boswell has had a fairly good season only giving up and average of 11 points-per-game and has been able to hold teams to under 300 yards of total offense this season.

Both teams have relied highly on their running game, so this may come down to whichever team can connect on the big pass play. Either way, it should be a hard fought battle for both.

Winner: DENTON GUYER

4A DII -WF Rider (7-3) VS. Springtown (6-4)

The Raiders head into their bi-district contest with Springtown Friday night in Mineral Wells as the District 5-4A winner after finishing their second consecutive undefeated district championship.

Rider's quarterback Malcom Carter, who stepped in for the injured Shavodrick Beaver, has taken total control of the Raider offense that averages 333 yards a game. Helping Carter out is running back Will Tolliver who has tallied up 591 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Rider also has a potent air attack with wide receiver Eric Ward leading the way with 654 yards and five touchdowns.

Defensively, WF Rider is led by James Chambers who has recorded 99 solo tackles this season and has a big time player in Mason Deerinwater who has 57 solo tackles. The secondary is led by Jurell Thompson who has three interceptions and leads the Raider's defensive backs.

Springtown heads into the contest as the fourth seed coming out of District 6-4A. Led by quarterback Caden Cowan, the Porcupines have a solid offense and rely on the strong arm of Cowan to make things happen. Cowan has completed 54% of his passes this season and totaled up 2,174 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Cowan will use two primary receivers in Clayton Cooper and Rhett Ballard. Cooper has 814 receiving yards with seven touchdowns and Ballard has 634 yards with five touchdowns. Springtown can hurt opponents with their running game led by Dylan Gathings who has 876 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns for the season.

Defensively, Springtown has a playmaker in Caleb Bankston. Bankston leads the team in interceptions with three for the season. However, the defense as a whole has given up 32 points-per-game and is allowing 37 points to their opponents.

If Rider gets their offense in gear and the Raider defense is on, it could be a long night for the Porcupines.

Winner: WF RIDER

4A DII -LAKE DALLAS (7-3) VS. ALEDO (10-0)

Lake Dallas has their work cut out for them as they face Aledo Friday night at Pennington Field in bi-district action. The Falcons' offense has made some noise this season and it is due to the play of quarterback James Franklin.

Franklin is as good as they get at quarterback, rushing for 1,074 yards, passing for 2,292 yards and 39 touchdowns. Joey Knight leads all receivers with 1,203 yards and 15 touchdowns and is Franklin's primary target, however with most teams doubling up on Knight, look for Franklin to go to his second top receiver Marcus Drayton.

The key to the Falcon offense has been the play of the offensive line. They have been big all season and have given Franklin the protection he has needed.

Aledo will bring a powerful group into the contest Friday night led by quarterback Tanner McDonald. McDonald has thrown for 918 yards, rushed for 681 and has 19 touchdowns.

The Bearcats will bring a balanced attack with running back Johnathan Gray who has 794 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns for the season. Aledo's offense is averaging 42 points-per-game and 372 yards of total offense.

The advantage in this game could be the Bearcats' defense that has only allowed 8.3 points-per-game and is only giving up an average of 201 yards. The secondary of Aledo could cause Franklin and the Falcons trouble. Kyle Bottom, Justin Peters and Ryan Riney each have two interceptions and will have their eyes on Knight all night.

The winner of this one could come down to which team makes the least mistakes or which offense can make the big play.

Winner: ALEDO

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