The Canadian Wildcats (12-0) will meet the Anson Tigers (6-5) in the third round, Regional Championship game on Thursday, November 26th, 2:00 p.m., at Plainview’s Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium. The rare high school Thanksgiving Day game came about due to a reschedule of the original Friday schedule, which had been put in jeopardy by the possibility of dangerous road conditions. Although Canadian usually experiences more games in a season below 40* than most teams south of Lubbock, neither team has played in significantly bad weather this season. One predicted forecast timeline has a 50% chance of showers and 66* at game time.
Anson enters the contest with a fresh recharge of confidence with impressive wins in the Bi-District and Area rounds of the playoffs, defeating Christoval 44-6 in Bi-District round and outscoring Panhandle in last week’s Area round 37-29. The only opponent Anson can compare with Canadian is Panhandle, which had a 56-7 loss to the Wildcats in District play.
The Tigers are also known for running a fast paced offense and have skill players ready to pitch and catch on Canadian with any snap of the ball. In the Christoval game WR Israel Aguirre (603 yards rec on the year) went 5-for-112 yards with 4 TDs and added a fifth TD rushing as a scatback. QB Cade Baker, who delivered those TD passes has 2,283 yards passing this season with a completion rate of 57.7% and leads the team with 712 yards rushing. RBs Dustin Moore and Nicholas Tanner have contributed almost 600 rushing yards each this season.
On the Canadian offensive side, production from QB Tanner Schafer has reached 3,063 yards of passing completing 218 of 282, or 77%. Most of the passing yards are divided up between WR Cameron Copley (1,219 yards, 19 TDs), WR Sawyer Cook (735 Yards, 11 TDs), WR Manny Ramsey (407 Yards, 4 TDs) and WR Ryan Royse (351 yards, 3 TDs). From his RB position, Chance Cook has tallied 314 yards receiving and 4 TDs. The Wildcat offensive line has opened up defenses for a bona fide rushing attack that has turned RB Chance Cook loose for 1,522 yards on 156 carries. All of these yards and TDs translate into a 50.8 point per game average.
As in all playoff or Championship games, defense will play a major role in the success of the winning team. Not only will Anson be faced with cutting that 50 point-per-game average of Canadian in half to stay in the game, but will also will need to have a plan to crack the Wildcat defense that only allows a little over 6 points per game.
Anson is riding a wave of wins and doesn’t want to waste their opportunity to dethrone the defending State Champions in Class 2ADI; and what better day to do it than on Thanksgiving Day? The only thing missing will be John Madden and a six legged turkey after the game for the winners, but advancing to the next playoff round will be celebration enough for either team.
Next week the winner will face either Wellington or Stratford, the remaining District 1-2A contenders along with Canadian, in the Quarter-final (Regional Final) round. This sets up a possible repeat of last season’s Regional final with District rivals Stratford and Canadian.
By Jerry Brunson, Class 2A and Canadian Wildcat Correspondent
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