In making it to the state semifinals, Lovelady has made school history by having a program best record at 14-0 and it's just their second time ever making it this far. The first time was back in 2006.
There's a tough game ahead of the Lions. They'll be playing Refugio who will be making their third trip in five years to the state semifinals. The Bobcats have also been ranked second in the state for most of the year and there’s a good reason for that.
“I would say they're by far the most balanced team we've seen as far as ability to run, pass and play defense,” said Lovelady head coach Kerry Therwhanger.
It all starts with Refugio’s 6’2’’, 225 lbs quarterback who's helped lead their offense to a 43 point average.
“He's a big guy, makes good plays. He's a playmaker and that doesn't just go for him, it's the whole team,” said defensive end Taylor Connell.
“He's a heck of an athlete,” said Therwhanger. “He’s very quick. I think he started last year so he has experience under his belt. He doesn’t panic on film. He just keeps his eyes downfield even when you put pressure on him and makes throws a lot of kids at this level can't make.”
With how much Refugio likes slinging the ball, Lovelady's secondary has been putting in extra work this week.
“We have a game plan. Our secondary I feel is up for the challenge so we just have to go out there, perform and see where we stand,” said running back Emanual Williams.
“They like to throw it deep but at the same time their running back does a good job in getting out in space. You just have to be solid defensively and tackle well,” said Therwhanger.
Lovelady has the edge offensively averaging over 45 points a game and they'll be looking to break through a defense that has held teams to just 12 points a game. That is the same average Lovelady holds as well.
The Bobcats will have their hands full stopping one of the leading running backs in the state, Lovelady's Williams, who has rushed for 2,434 yards and 48 touchdowns.
“I go into every game, every week with the same mindset. Whether it’s a two yard run, a 20-yard run or an 80-yard run, you just get what you can and let the offense run and system continue to prove it's one of the best systems out there,” said Williams.
The running back feels he’s not the only one able to put points on the boards as Lovelady has options throwing the ball to as well.
“Our receivers can catch the ball and our quarterback can throw the ball out there really well. So it's more of can they stop the offense more than can they stop the run,” said Williams.
These two will tangle Friday night in Georgetown starting at 7 p.m.
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