The district-champion Sealy Tigers have an area round showdown with the Center Roughriders, third-place finishers from District 10, tonight at Waco ISD Stadium with a trip to the regional quarterfinals on the line.
Sealy will be the visitors following its 41-0 win over Orangefield in the first round while host Center used a walk-off field goal to claim its bi-district trophy over Waco Connally, 31-30. The winner of this matchup will face the victor of the area tilt featuring district-champion West Orange-Stark against third-seeded China Spring.
The Roughriders finished the regular season with a 7-3 overall record and a 3-2 mark in district play with losses coming only to Carthage and Jasper, who finished the season at No. 1 and 4 respectively in “Dave Campbell’s” Class 4A-D2 state rankings. The Tigers finished ranked ninth in the state and West Orange-Stark finished ranked second.
All season long, Center has relied on the legs of senior running back KeAmodre Horace who collected 2,208 yards rushing and scored 32 touchdowns on 197 carries and had just one game without at least 100 yards rushing.
Junior quarterback Jake Hanson has completed 108 of 206 passing attempts for 1,387 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. Classmate Makel Johnson was on the receiving end of six of the touchdowns as well as led the team with 410 receiving yards with sophomore Mar Mar Evans not far behind with 395 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season.
The Roughriders defense has been led by a pair of senior classmates who have registered over 100 tackles – Colton Crawford with 124 and Jake Liker with 111 – while another senior, Marques Hall, has tallied 99 tackles through 11 games. Crawford also has a team-high 20 tackles for a loss with junior Chase Adkinson right behind with 19 and has totaled 80 tackles.
Crawford also leads the team in sacks with 11 and was credited for six quarterback hurries. Classmate Jumarcus McCollister was next with five sacks and ranked third in tackles for a loss with 17 and compiled 69 total tackles on the season. Hall and classmate Keshun Hoyt lead the secondary with a pair of interceptions each while senior Jermaine Preston and sophomore Da’Nijhalon Gipson have each recorded one interception in 11 games.
On the other side, through 10 games Sealy’s sophomore quarterback D’vonne Hmielewski completed 118 of 176 passing attempts for 1,803 yards with 23 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 910 yards and 11 touchdowns while senior Alvin Nunn totaled 583 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.
Leading the receiving corps has been senior classmates Draper Parker (55 catches for 852 yards and 13 touchdowns) and Jakobe Davis (27 catches for 421 yards and six touchdowns) who each average over 15 yards per catch.
Defensively, Tyler Hennessey is the Tigers’ lone tackler in the triple digits with 100 total tackles in eight games as well as two tackles for a loss. Four defenders registered more tackles for a loss with junior Brooks Redden leading the way with seven tackles for a loss as part of a 44-tackle season. Senior Clayton Prazak recorded five tackles for a loss as part of 48 total tackles to his credit and classmates Lane Holley (four tackles for a loss with 59 total tackles) and Stevie Alvarez (three tackles for a loss with 28 total tackles) also recorded tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Redden leads the team with three sacks and has four teammates who registered one sack each including Francisco Reyes, Chris Price, Prazak and Alvarez. Grabbing interceptions were Haden Wernecke, Callen Rabius, Gage Grigar, Connor Krenek and Holley.
Prazak is also credited with recovering two fumbles and Holley led the team with two forced fumbles and also recovered one. Price and Hennessey have also forced a fumble, as has junior Thomas Clark who is credited with a forced and recovered fumble to go along with a team second-high 84 total tackles in seven games played. Also recording more than 50 tackles were sophomore Mason Klotz (78 for third-most) and senior Jackson Osborne (53 for fifth-most).