Class 3A, Division II quarterfinals - Gatesville (13-0) v. Graham (12-1)
When and Where: at Memorial Stadium, Stephenville, 7:30 p.m. tonight
On the Line: The winner is crowned the Region I champion and advances to the final four of the Class 3A, Division II playoffs, where it will be just two victories away from earning a state title – something Gatesville has not won since its undefeated season in 2000. Graham reached the state final in 2009, losing 13-12 to Carthage.
Preview: When the Hornets and Steers take the field, the squads will see a lot of themselves in each other. Both teams are extremely balanced offensively with dual-threat quarterbacks, who can easily transition from passing to running as the situation dictates. Both offenses average close to 400 yards and 40 points per game, but Graham has a pair of running backs with at least 800 yards to complement its mobile quarterback, while two players have accounted for all but 235 of the Hornets’ total rushing yards. Defensively, the Steers are fast enough to quickly collapse on runners from a wide pass defense, while recovering 14 fumbles and intercepting 24 passes. Both defenses hold opponents to less than 20 points per game, but Gatesville has produced far fewer turnovers with 22 total.
Key Players: Gatesville – QB Cole Edmiston (187-299-4-2,700 30 TD, 162-1,094 20 TD), RB Jake Kee (189-1,278 13 TD), WR/DB Tyler Jaynes (44-905 13 TD, 46 TKL, 4 INT, 2 FmbR), WR Danny Byrd (43-487 4 TD), OL Elijah Crosby (178 TKL, 4 TFL, 2 FmbC), K Sebastian Corrales (11-12 FG, 61-66 PAT). Graham – QB Ben Davis (211-306-7-2,790 22 TD, 99-318 11 TD), RB Dillon Gonzales (189-1,268 22 TD, 37-440 4 TD), RB Hagan Hughes (140-826 7 TD, 23-173), WR Bryce Reeves (64-956 9 TD), LB Spur Hearne (115 TKL, 3 sacks), DB Jerrod Mahan (68 TKL, 1 sack, 7 INT, 3 FmbR).