Under the Friday night lights: Seven Heart of Texas Class 4A, 3A, 2A & 1A teams move into the fourth round of the 2021 Texas high school football postseason with hopes of reaching state title games
As the 2021 Texas high school football season moves into the fourth round of the playoffs, the Heart of Texas will send six Class 4A, 3A and 2A teams to play in state quarterfinal games, while a single squad from the region has advanced to play in the Class 1A six-man football state semifinals.
Making their first appearance in the state semifinals since winning the state championship in 2015, the Class 1A, Division I’s third-ranked Abbott Panthers (13-0) will take on the top-ranked and undefeated May Tigers at 6 p.m. Saturday in Dublin’s Bob & Norma Cervetto Stadium. Hungry for a state title, the Tigers (13-0) will be looking to return to Arlington after losing in the state title game in 2020.
In Class 1A, Division II, perennial powerhouses Richland Springs (10-1) and Strawn (13-0) will once again clash in a state semifinal matchup at 7 p.m. Friday in Dublin’s Bob & Norma Cervetto Stadium. In a rematch of the last two state semifinal games, the Richland Springs Coyotes held on to knock off Strawn, 59-56, in 2020 after defeating the Greyhounds in the 2019 state semifinal, 62-14, on their way to a state record ninth six-man state championship.
THE SPORTS BUZZ will be on location in Dublin Friday and Saturday featuring both six-man state semifinals as THE SPORTS BUZZ Games of the Week. Be sure check out The Sports Buzz On The Air interviews with the winning coaches from the high school football playoffs, then watch for the complete game highlights of THE SPORTS BUZZ Games Of The Week every week throughout the Texas high school football season.
Despite entering the 11-man Regional Semifinal round last week with 10 teams from the Heart of Texas still alive in the Class 4A, 3A & 2A playoffs, only six squads from the region – Stephenville, China Spring, Lorena, West, Crawford and Mart – remain standing in postseason brackets.
Heading into the playoffs as the Class 4A, Division I’s top-ranked team, the Stephenville Yellowjackets (13-0) remained undefeated with a hard-fought 21-17 victory over Argyle to set up a state quarterfinal showdown with Melissa (11-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Bedford’s Pennington Field.
By dethroning two-time defending Class 4A, Division II state champion and top-ranked Carthage and snapping the Bulldogs’ 41-game win streak, fifth-ranked China Spring (13-0) advances to the state quarterfinals to face West Orange-Stark (11-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in Tomball.
Reaching the fourth round of the playoffs for the first time since 1980, the Class 3A, DI’s fourth-ranked West Trojans (13-0) will face Mount Vernon (13-0) in the state quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Friday in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.
Keeping an 11-game winning streak alive, the Class 3A, DI’s fifth-ranked Lorena Leopards (11-2) advance to the state quarterfinals to face Diboll (10-3) at 7 p.m. Friday in Bryan.
Overcoming a rash of injuries, Class 2A, DI’s fourth-ranked Crawford Pirates (13-0) advance to the state quarterfinals to face district rival Marlin Bulldogs (10-3), who will be advancing to the fourth round for the first time since 2004, at 7 p.m. Friday at Tiger Field in Belton.
Seeking yet another state championship, Class 2A, DII’s top-ranked Mart Panthers (13-0) advance to the state quarterfinals to face District 10-2A, DII counterpart Chilton (11-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in Midway.
Once again this season, THE SPORTS BUZZ will provide award-winning coverage of the 2021 Texas high school football season, focusing on Class 3A, 2A and 1A schools in the 10-county Heart of Texas region — which includes Bosque, Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, McLennan and Somervell counties.
Be sure to check in with THE SPORTS BUZZ every Thursday to find the complete schedule for teams from the Heart of Texas region. Then follow THE SPORTS BUZZ for up-to-the-minute final scores as they become available throughout the weekend.
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