On Saturday NRG Stadium which is usually home to the Houston Texans, will play host to the 6A state semifinals where the Klein Collins Tigers and the DeSoto Eagles will face off. This 6A matchup pits number one ranked DeSoto against the number sixth Klein Collins in what turns out to be in Klein Collins’ backyard. The Tigers will only need to drive roughly 40 minutes to get to NRG, which I am sure is a fact that every Klein Collins fan already realizes.
DeSoto will travel well though; they have plenty of reason to believe their 14-0 Eagles will advance to the state finals. The number one ranked team in the Lone Star State boasts an offense that might appear to play in the Big 12 when looking at the stat sheet. The Eagles air it out for 250 YPG and when that game plan stalls, they simply turn to the 298 YPG on the ground to pick up the slack. The Eagles have a plethora of offensive weapons, Shawn Robinson, Kelan Walker and Jamonne Williams all have at least 11 scores on the ground in 2016, DeSoto also has three receivers with eight or more receiving touchdowns. Despite all of the talent the Eagles are undoubtedly lead by senior quarterback Shawn Robinson, the TCU commit has the experience and skill to lead such a talented team. You don’t have to look far to see Robinson’s affect on a game, he helped the Eagles defeat district foe Cedar Hill last week 55-41. In the victory Robinson had 310 yards and three scores through the air, while adding another 110 yards and three more scores on the ground. Obviously Robinson is the piston that makes the DeSoto engine go, he will need to have a solid performance if he wants to play for a state title before shipping off to Fort Worth.
Klein Collins is no slouch on O either, they may only air it out for 141 YPG, but they make up for it with pounding it out for 286 YPG on the ground. The focal point of the Tigers offense is the run game, which is what they have relied on all season. Klein Collins is lead by senior back D’Anthony Doyle, but has plenty of firepower behind him on the depth chart. The Tigers were able to squeak by Spring Westfield last Friday by a score of 21-18, this was one of only three games all season where the Tigers felt challenged. When looking at the box score, Klein Collins played well enough, but it took a decisive field goal miss by Westfield with less than 30 seconds left to punch their ticket to the semi finals. The Tigers will trot onto the field with their stout defense on hand, but they have yet to have to withstand a storm of this magnitude.
Saturday night’s game should be electric with high flying offenses accompanied by good defenses, this deep in the playoffs it may even come down to who gets the ball last. The safe bet though is going with DeSoto, they aren’t ranked number one in the state by accident, as long as Shawn Robinson plays well and the Eagles defense contains the Klein Collins running game then they should be the favorite to advance. Klein Collins may have something to say about that though, for the Tigers to pull off the upset they will need to create turnovers on defense and make plays on special teams. The Tigers will also need to somehow slow down the Eagles through the air as well as on the ground. This goes without saying the Tigers running game needs to be hitting on all cylinders as well. Regardless of which school you are pulling for in this semifinal matchup, all eyes will be on Shawn Robinson, most notably every defensive player and coach wearing navy and gold.