Photo via Thomas Metthe, Abilene Reporter-News

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Picks

Abilene Wylie – III

Carthage – I

Advantage

Abilene Wylie, three picks to one

Reasoning

Abilene Wylie has a treasure trove of kids that just play hard. Head coach Hugh Sandifer is excellent at getting the most out of his kids, year in and year out. Everyone has counted Wylie out at some point this season, there have been few that picked them to go this far. Their first big playoff test was Argyle, a test they passed with flying colors. Then, Wylie shut down Nick Gerber and Levelland, a feat that not many can do. After that, Wylie capitalized on Kennedale’s mistakes to squeeze out a victory in the semifinals. The Bulldogs are perennially counted out, but not any more.

Carthage has had to overcome disbelief as well. A district-opening loss to Henderson had many thinking that the tide had turned in the rivalry, but Carthage upended Henderson in the playoffs. Carthage has made their home in close games, beating Silsbee in the opening round by four, Henderson in the third by two, then edged Stafford by one, and most recently beat China Spring by six in triple overtime.

This is going to be a great game played by two teams that have been counted out at every turn. Very few expected them to make it this far.

Carthage can score, but we like the Abilene Wylie defense in that matchup. The true test will be Carthage’s defense against the Wylie offense. If the Wylie offense can grind the ball out, this should tilt in Wylie’s favor. We like Abilene Wylie in a close one.

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