A contrast of styles awaits San Marcos Baptist Academy (SMBA) when it makes its first Division II football playoff appearance Friday night (7:30 p.m.) at Houston Lutheran North.
The Bears clinched their first such playoff appearance last Friday night with a 25-14 win at home against Hyde Park Baptist. The win pushed SMBA to 6-4 overall and 2-3 in Division II District 3 for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS).
Within their district, the Bears finished in a three-way tie for third place, along with Hyde Park and San Antonio Christian. SMBA and Hyde Park won the tiebreaker for the last two playoff spots.
Leading the way for the run-oriented Bears is quarterback Anthony Richardson, a do-it-all performer who rushed this year for 1,074 yards and 15 touchdowns, passed for 379 yards and six touchdowns, and even caught a pass for nine yards.
The Bears rushed for 250.9 yards per game this season. Also sharing the running load are Mark Hamm (524 rushing yards), Michael Young (449 rushing yards) and Michael Latham (311 rushing yards).
SMBA passed for only 43.2 yards per game. Hamm is the leading receiver with 12 catches for 215 yards.
The Bears defense has been through its ups and downs. In three games, the Bears allowed eight points or fewer, while they also gave up 34 points or more in three games. Young is the leading defender with 36 tackles and five sacks.
Unlike the ground-oriented Bears, who rely very heavily on the production of one player, the Houston Lutheran North offense widely varies its tactics and ball handlers. The Lions throw just about as much as they run, capturing 181.3 yards per game in the air and 157.4 yards per game on the ground.
Yet, the Lions’ top rusher, B.J. Williams, has 502 yards, right ahead of Justin Lee with 475. The other 498 yards comes from a cast of thousands with many fewer carries. No receiver on the team averages better than 2.5 catches or 56.4 yards per game, but they’ve got four receivers averaging at least one catch per game.
Lutheran North quarterback Kevin Hatrick is less than dazzling in his 55.21 percent completion rate (90 of 163 for 1,574 yards), but he has thrown 16 touchdowns against three interceptions.
The truest reason why Lutheran North is 9-1 overall (5-1 in Division II District 4) is a defense that dominated the local competition. In their last five games, the Lions have allowed only 144.6 yards per game, while making ten interceptions.
The winner of Friday night’s game will play next weekend against the winner of Saturday’s game between Tyler Grace Community and Argyle Liberty Christian at Argyle Liberty Christian.Email | Print