The Class 5A DI Region III championship will be featuring the Manvel Mavericks and the Temple Wildcats as both teams have had tumultuous marches towards AT&T Stadium and its final game to be featured on Saturday.
Temple (10-3) has not lost a game since the calendar turned to November and have the intent of carrying that streak well into December. Temple has continued to ride the strength of their defense led by Taquon Graham, Ashton Logan, and Ben Norman. The highest point total they have given up in the playoffs equates to 14 . Temple has to be pleased with their impressive resume this season as first year head coach Scott Stewart has his team playing at an exceptional level. Don’t let that surprise you too much though as Stewart was the defensive coordinator of this team the previous two seasons where his team had a 25-4 record and made an appearance in the state title game.
Senior quarterback Reid Hesse had 318 passing yards in his previous game while the offense as a whole tallied up over 400 yards against Port Arthur Memorial. Temple is stout on both sides of the ball and is sure to play with a chip on their shoulder but, so their opponents will as well.
Manvel (13-0) is coming into this game red hot as they snapped Cedar Park (last year’s 5A DII state champion) 28-game winning streak last week. Manvel has a slew of talent on the defensive side, such as safety and A&M pledge Derrick Tucker, defensive end and Indiana commit Alfred Bryant and defensive back Trent Gordon. Prior to Cedar Park scoring 35 points in the last game, the Manvel defense only allowed an average of under 11 points a game against opposing offenses. The offense is just as dangerous with quarterback Kason Martin and receiver Jalen Preston leading the charge.
Both teams present two stout units but who winds up having the better defense will be the deciding factor come Saturday.
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