WICHITA FALLS — The 2016 area round contest between Childress and Cisco wasn’t exactly in the grandest of venues, but the hard-fought match made City View Veterans Field feel like a thrilling Dallas Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium, with Childress taking a 28-21 win.
There will be a lot more room for fans in the rematch however, with a post-Thanksgiving early afternoon matchup set to take place at the 14,500-capacity Memorial Stadium.
“We’re excited about playing in Wichita Falls,” said Childress coach Jason Sims. “It’s always fun to play in the big stadiums. But we’re happy to still be in the playoffs.”
The Bobcats enter this matchup a very well tested team, topping Wellington in the season opener, a solid 4A Iowa Park team, and handing a decent Henrietta team their only shutout on the season, all in a strong non-district outing.
“That was a tough non-district schedule for us,” the coach stated with pride. “All five of those teams are traditional powers. We were fortunate to come out of those games with wins.”
Four of the five teams scheduled in non-district won their bi-district round games last week, as well as two of the Bobcats opponents in 1-3A DII competition. District didn’t start out as Childress would’ve liked, dropping the opener to Panhandle powerhouse Canadian — but as a testament to the unit’s strong work this season, the defense held the Wildcats to their fewest points scored on the season. Six of Childress’ 11 games have ended in only single digit scoring for opposing teams, with three shutouts.
“I’ve been real proud of the defense,” Sims remarked. “They’ve played well all year long.”
Not to be outdone, the Bobcat offense has been just as dynamic, currently averaging 40.5 points per game. The unit is led by junior signal-caller Luke Latimer, a potent dual-threat with 2,289 yards passing, 546 yards rushing and 36 total touchdowns in 2017. Joe Dan Gambol has been the beneficiary of the majority of Latimer’s 174 completions, hauling in 77 passes for 1,124 yards and 14 scores.
“We’ve put up some good numbers on offense,” said Sims. “We’re a young football team too, a lot of juniors and some sophomores. We have a real good dual-threat quarterback, a really good receiver corps, and our O-line is starting to come along.”
The main feature of Cisco’s offense meanwhile, is a steady stable of rushers. The Loboes boast five players who have 100 or more rushing yards on the season, led by Cooper Witt with 895 yards and five touchdowns. As with Latimer, junior Witt is also a potent dual-threat passer, having compiled 1,034 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017. Not to be outdone in the run game, the most touchdowns of the group belong to sophomore Stanley Callahan, who reached paydirt 13 times on the season with 751 yards.
Though Cisco had their struggles in the win column in non-district, the offense rarely faltered, and kicked things into overdrive for district competition with a total of 216 points against their bunkmates — the unit as a whole currently averages 33 points through 11 games.
Even in their two losses, the Loboes defense played well, holding Wall to their lowest point total on the season, as well as Albany to their second-lowest. The defense also turned things up for district play, earning a pair of shutouts as well as allowing double digit scoring only twice.
“They’re a dang good football team; Coach [Brent] West does a fantastic job,” proclaimed Sims of their opponent. “Those guys are disciplined, and have lots of tradition. They’ll be a tough team to face.”
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