Crockett, Rogers clash in third round of state playoffs

Chamar Wiley-Harris was the rushing workhorse for the Bulldogs with 14 carries for 129 yards, including one touchdown, against Clifton.Chamar Wiley-Harris was the rushing workhorse for the Bulldogs with 14 carries for 129 yards, including one touchdown, against Clifton.Coming off a hard-earned victory over Clifton, the Crockett Bulldogs are now focused on derailing the Rogers Eagles.

The regional showdown is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28 at the College Station High School Stadium. Crockett is the home team.

The high-flying Eagles (10-2) are coming off a 40-14 win over Corrigan-Camden, while the Bulldogs edged Clifton 48-44.

Rogers lost its first two games of the year to Franklin (37-7) and Little River Academy (17-0), but has been on a 10-game winning streak since then. The Eagles won their remaining non-district games over Troy (21-20), Austin Hyde Park (13-7) and Ingleside (28-26).

Rogers then went undefeated in district against Marlin (29-3), Clifton (37-6), Dublin (31-14), Bruceville Eddy (32-0) and Jarrell (47-13).

The Eagles opened the playoffs by defeating Blooming Grove 35-13.

Bulldog head coach Jimmy Thompson describes Rogers as being "very well-coached, very solid and physical".

Rogers' offense isn't flashy, he said.

"Offensively, they're pretty simple. They just run the inside sweep and outside sweep. They'll mix it up some and do other things, but the sweep is their basic play."

Senior Brody Malovets is the workhouse in the Eagles' rushing attack. Malovets, a four-starter, came into this season with almost 3,000 career yards.

"He's their go-to guy. They're going to give it to him inside and outside. I'm sure after the way our defense played against Clifton, they'll try some things with the quarterback," said Thompson.

"Rogers is just a good old, hard-nosed football team like they've been for years," added Thompson.

"They're very, very solid on defense. We'll make some plays, but they want to keep everything in front of them and make you earn everything you get. They try not to give up the home run."

Rogers has a traditionally strong football program that regularly makes deep playoff runs. Last year, the Eagles finished as regional semifinalists with a 12-1 record.

"It's fun to be playing on Thanksgiving. We have a chance to do something special with this group and hopefully we'll come out ready to play," said Thompson.

Looking back at last week's game with Clifton, Coach Thompson said, "We played real well offensively and on special teams. Defensively, we played well the first half but we were non-existent in the second half. We were just able to out-score them to get the victory."

He continued, "We did enough to win, and that's about it. In the playoffs that's all you can ask for. You get to play another week. It was a good win for our kids to be able to play that poorly on defense and still win the game. That showed a lot of mental toughness, but we've got to get a lot more physical. We have to tackle better and play better defense overall. We can't just rely on outscoring our opponents."

The winner of the Crockett-Rogers game faces the winner of Newton-Franklin.