The calendar reveals that Sept. 22, 2017 was only a little more than two months ago. But in the mind of Crawford head football coach Delbert Kelm, it might as well be a date to study in the history books.

“It was so far ago it almost feels like last season,” Kelm said, referring to the Pirates’ first meeting with Bosqueville. “It’s far enough back that it kind of feels that way.”

Crawford-Bosqueville is one of three playoff games coming up on Friday involving Central Texas teams that are rematches from earlier games this season. District foes China Spring and Liberty Hill will meet in the Region III-4A Division I semifinals, while West and Rockdale will square off in Region III-3A semifinal action, some three months after they met in the season opener.

Rematches wipe away some of the mystery an opponent might usually carry. Nevertheless, Kelm said, you’ve always got to be on your toes for a new development.

“You’ve got to be ready for anything out of the ordinary,” Kelm said. “We’ve played Bosqueville enough, and I’m sure Coach (Clint) Zander feels the same way, that there’s not a lot of room for secrets. You may show a little different wrinkle here or there, but for the most part you know what you’re going to see.”

Crawford pulled away for a 55-38 win in the first matchup with Bosqueville, thanks to a pair of huge returns for touchdowns. The Bulldogs pulled to within 42-38 on Marcell Estell’s SportsCenter-quality 45-yard touchdown run with 3:58 to play in the game. However, the Pirates were able to ice it when Charlie Adamick broke loose on a 90-yard return for a TD on the ensuing kickoff.

Crawford also benefited from a 31-yard interception return to paydirt from linebacker Koby Smith.

Sometimes, the rematch truly does pit two different teams. That’s kind of the case in the West-Rockdale duel. In the season opener on Sept. 1, the Trojans tallied a 42-24 home win over the Tigers, scoring 21 unanswered points to close the game.

But Rockdale was without several starters due to injury in that game, including Oklahoma-committed receiver Jaquayln Crawford, who has scored 17 touchdowns in the nine games in which he’s played.

Fortunately for West coach David Woodard, his team has displayed ample explosiveness, as it scored on three plays of 50 yards or more in blowout of Hitchcock last week.

If the China Spring-Liberty Hill sequel lives up to the original, it’ll make for some high-quality entertainment. The Panthers won the first clash, 59-58, on Nov. 3, when China Spring’s attempt at a winning field goal missed.

China Spring has won three straight games since that defeat to set up the redemption battle with Liberty Hill, with the winner to move on to face either La Vega or Comal Canyon Lake for the regional title.

This one may come down to who gets the ball last. And if the Cougars have it at the end, watch out for versatile senior Tyrick James, who has scored 20 touchdowns on the season — 10 on receptions and 10 on runs. James hit the end zone turnstiles four times in the previous meeting with Liberty Hill.

Crawford, Blum lead Centex all-state volleyball haul

To the volleyball victors go the spoils. Crawford and Blum, which both reached the UIL state championship games in their respective classifications, combined for 12 honorees on the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s All-State Volleyball Team, which was released Wednesday.

Crawford, the state champions of Class 2A, placed five players on the all-state squad: seniors Haley Vaughn, Morgan Claxton and Baylee Griffith, junior Camille Ward and sophomore Anne Williams.

Blum, which lost to Bronte in the Class 1A final, notched seven all-state performers: seniors Gentrye Munden, Payton Miller and Hannah Shields, juniors Mattie Rosenboom and Savannah May and sophomores Kylie Sanders and Emma Rodriguez.

The only other Central Texas player to pick up TGCA all-state honors was West’s Mia Pokluda (310 kills) in Class 4A.

The Tribune-Herald will publish its 2017 Super Centex Volleyball Team on Dec. 10.

Teague girls climb to No. 1 hoops ranking

Off to a blistering 7-0 start to the season, the Teague girls basketball team has ascended to the No. 1 ranking in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 3A poll.

Teague missed out on a spot in the UIL state tournament by a buzzer-beating shot from Buffalo last year, but returned the nucleus of that team intact. The Lady Lions will next play Reicher on Friday.

Elsewhere in the TABC rankings, Midway is ranked 10th in Class 6A and Temple is No. 9 in 5A. The Class 4A poll features a trio of Central Texas district rivals — No. 18 Gatesville, No. 20 Connally and No. 22 Lorena. Iredell comes in at No. 24 in Class 1A.

On the boys’ side, Connally, a regional semifinalst in 2016-17, sits at No. 8 in the Class 4A poll. Teague is ranked 16th in Class 3A and Coolidge is at No. 20 in 1A. In TAPPS 4A, Reicher holds the No. 8 ranking and Vanguard is at No. 10.

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