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Hearne, Normangee top Brazos Valley's area playoff matchups this week

Hearne, Normangee top Brazos Valley's area playoff matchups this week

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It could be a heck of a Thanksgiving weekend in Hearne and Normangee if both teams win their area playoff football games this weekend.

The Hearne Eagles (9-0), ranked eighth in Class 2A Division I by the Harris Ratings, will play the Beckville Bearcats (8-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday in Athens. The ninth-ranked Normangee Panthers (10-0) will play the Price Carlisle Indians (7-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Palestine Westwood. The winners of those two games will meet next week in regionals. It would be a titanic matchup between Hearne and Normangee, considering what both already have accomplished.

Hearne went 0-10 five seasons ago. The Eagles, a two-touchdown favorite over Price Carlisle, are gunning for their first 10-win season since 1961 when the Eagles went 11-1. They’ve already secured just their fifth nine-win season since then. Hearne hasn’t won back-to-back playoff games since 2006 when it reached the quarterfinals after beating Salado and Altair Rice before losing to Cotulla, ending at 8-5.

With its 43-20 victory over Thrall last week, Normangee matched the best start in school history. The 1989 team under Erwin Reagan also went 10-0 before losing to Frost 41-32 in bi-district. The Panthers, a 17-point favorite over Price Carlisle, are trying to tie for the most victories in school history. The 2004 team went 11-2. Normangee has reached 10 wins for just the fourth time — the 2015 team went 10-3.

The Leon Cougars (7-3) are coming off a 40-34 victory over Thorndale and will play third-ranked Timpson (11-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Palestine Westwood in the 2A Division I area playoffs.

Franklin (8-2), ranked third in 3A Division II, will play Natalia (7-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cedar Park’s Gupton Stadium.

Bremond (8-3) will play the Tenaha Tigers (8-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in Mabank in a battle of former state champions. Bremond won its first state title in 1981 and won three straight from 2014-16. Tenaha won state in 1998 and 2011. The two last met in the 2016 state quarterfinals with Bremond winning 31-7.

Lexington, the fourth-place finisher in District 13-3A Division II, is coming off a surprising double-overtime victory over East Bernard. The Eagles (7-3) will play the Taft Greyhounds at 7 p.m. Friday in Yoakum.

The Snook Bluejays (6-4) will be looking to win consecutive playoff games for the first time when they play the Yorktown Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Altair Rice in 2A Division II play.

Rounding out the Brazos Valley teams in action is Calvert (8-2), the fourth team from Robertson County in the playoffs. The Trojans will play the Cherokee Indians at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in 6-man Class A Division II play.

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