Central Texas 4A Playoff Insider: Bi District

Garrett Gilbert of Lake Travis

The biggest game on the Class 4A playoff slate in the Austin area is a rematch from the 2006 postseason with New Braunfels facing Connally in the Division I bracket in Region IV. The 17-4A schools have two tough games against two of Houston's finest while Lake Travis and Burnet will meet two of their Central Texas counterparts from 26-4A.

DIVISION I

New Braunfels (10-0) vs. Connally (7-4)
These two teams meet tonight at Nelson Field in Austin in a rematch of last season's bi district game that saw the Unicorns come out on top 14-7. The rematch should be more of the same as both teams have solid offenses but their defenses should rule the day. Connally has better athletes, namely quarterback Darius Darks and receiver Chase Harper. New Braunfels however has a 4A area MVP candidate in Ryan Perez and he has been the engine in the New Braunfels machine this season. Both teams have been in plenty of big games this season, only New Braunfels has won them while Connally has close losses to Killeen, Ellison, and Lake Travis. New Braunfels offensive line is very physical, and late in the game they should be able to wear down the Cougars. The Unicorns will win in a game that should go to the wire. JEFF'S PICK: New Braunfels 17, Connally 16

LBJ (8-2) vs. Brenham (8-2)
LBJ has a great equalizer to Brenham's physical nature and that is their speed on the flanks. Derrick Grent, Stephone Mercer, and Omasha Brantley can all fly and that could give Brenham some problems. The Jags defenses has been one of the best in Central Texas this season, but they will have a tough time dealing with a Cubs running game that features Texas commit Ryan Roberson and Baylor pledge Lester Ward, as they run behind a line that features another future Longhorn in Luke Pohelmann. LBJ has had a fine season, but Brenham is simply a better football team. JEFF'S PICK: Brenham 31, LBJ 21

DIVISION II

McCallum (5-5) vs. Waller (7-3)
The Bulldogs are one of the best 7-3 teams in the state and they have some big time talent, including quarterback Jeremy Phillips and defensive lineman Eddie Brown. The Knights are limping into the playoffs after a season-ending loss to Crockett. Quarterback Kevin Lusson has carried the Knights this season, but even if he has a monster game, that still likely won't be enough for the Knights to pull out the win. JEFF'S PICK: Waller 42, McCallum 21

Schertz Steele (9-1) vs. Burnet (5-5)
The Bulldogs have overcome a lot this season and are in the playoffs in Coach Doyle Walker's first season as head coach. Steele's defense has been very good this season meaning Burnet might have to settle for field goals. That would be just fine with Burnet as kicker Ross Evans is one of the best in the state. Steele has had an amazing run, but Burnet will be ready to roll and they are tough to beat at home, giving them the edge in an upset. JEFF'S PICK: Burnet 22, Steele 21

Lake Travis (9-1) vs. New Braunfels Canyon (6-4)
The Cougars got into the playoffs with last week's win over Clemens and Hays' loss to Steele. The Cougars have given up no fewer than 24 points in each of their last five games, which is a bad sign against Garrett Gilbert and the Cougars high powered offense. Look for Gilbert and Jason Bird to connect early and often, and the Cavaliers will move into the second round with the win. JEFF'S PICK: Lake Travis 35, Canyon 21

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