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A&M Consolidated to face Barbers Hill in surprising area matchup
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A&M Consolidated to face Barbers Hill in surprising area matchup

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A&M Consolidated vs. Mount Pleasant

A&M Consolidated’s Keshun Thomas rushes during the Tigers’ Class 5A Division II bi-district playoff game against Mount Pleasant last Friday at Tigerland Stadium.

Many thought the A&M Consolidated football team would have to go through state contender Fort Bend Marshall in the area round of the playoffs this season. But as last Friday’s bi-district scores started rolling in, the Tigers realized they’d be facing a different opponent in the second round: Barbers Hill.

Amid a week of major upsets across the state, District 12-5A Division II’s fourth-place Barbers Hill upset 11-5A-II champion and second-ranked Fort Bend Marshall 42-21 by dominating the second half. Fort Bend Marshall had beaten its opponents by an average of 51.2 points with its most narrow win being a 27-point victory, but the Eagles (6-5) knocked out the Buffalos and set up an area-round matchup with the Tigers, who opened the playoffs with a 55-21 win over Mount Pleasant.

“We have a lot of respect for them since they came out and pretty much shocked the whole state of Texas because people either had Fort Bend Marshall either going to state or really far,” Consol senior receiver Wyatt McDougal said. “They’re going to be a good team to play. It’ll be a fun game.”

The Tigers (9-2) will face the Eagles at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium in Cypress. The winner will face either Crosby and Marshall in the regional semifinals. Consol is looking to advance to the third round of the postseason for the first time since 2016.

“Now that we’re in playoffs, even today, it was obviously a difference,” Consol senior linebacker Tyndall McNamara said. “We were going hard in the weight room. Practice was a lot more up-tempo, and we’re just ready to roll.”

While Barbers Hill is on cloud nine after its monumental win, Consol is feeling good about where it’s at after putting together a complete win last Friday that included touchdowns in all three phases — offense, defense and special teams. Consol also welcomed back sophomore running back Keshun Thomas, who missed five games due to injury. Thomas rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

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“It’s always great when you get your guys back healthy,” Consol coach Lee Fedora said. “He got out there and had a great game, and he’s 100% back, so we’re good to have him back.”

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On defense, Fedora said the Tigers did well to force Mount Pleasant to pass. In turn, Consol junior safety Mo Foketi had two interceptions, including one he returned 41 yards for a touchdown.

“He had the most athletic play I think I’ve ever seen,” McNamara said. “He intercepted the ball, hurdled a guy, and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this video of Lamar Jackson in high school ... he jukes this guy and just walks into the end zone, and [Foketi] did that. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Freshman quarterback Will Hargett made his fourth start of the season and completed 7 of 9 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.

“We expect Will to be great going all through high school and college possibly, so I feel like he’s finally settled down in the role, and he’s very comfortable back there,” McDougal said.

Fedora said his message to the Tigers this week is to not take any team lightly, pointing at Barbers Hill’s upset victory last Friday. The Eagles are led by quarterback Brent Holdren and running back Garrett Hagler. Wide receiver Josiah Herndon is listed at 6-foot-4 and has 15 touchdown catches this year.

“On their offensive side, they’re a pretty balanced team,” Fedora said. “They’ll throw the ball. They’ll run the ball a lot. They’ve got some good athletes out there. On defense, they like to bring a lot of blitzes, play some man, do some different mixtures on their defensive front, so we’ve got to be prepared to pick up all the different blitzes.”

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