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4A Div. II State Final Preview: Lancaster vs. Cedar Park
December 21, 2012By Tim Polzer of VYPE MAGAZINE - DFW
Class 4A Division II State Final
Lancaster vs. Cedar Park
8 p.m. Friday, Cowboys Stadium Fox Sports Southwest
Lancaster (14-1) is looking to add a state title to what’s already been the school’s most successful football season. The Tigers have beaten an impressive list of teams in the playoffs including Lovejoy, Prosper, Mesquite Poteet and Wichita Falls Rider. Lancaster has held together in the clutch, winning three of five postseason games by eight points or less.
The Tigers’ offense is keyed by quarterback Demarcus Ayers, who has passed for 1,697 yards and rushed for 1,304 yards while combining for 37 touchdowns. Versatile athlete Nick Harvey, a Texas A&M commit, has 53 catches for 788 yards and nine touchdowns, and has rushed for 788 yards – an 11-yard average – and eight TDs.
Defensive end Daeshon Hall, the 4A defensive player of the year, is a proven run-stopper and provides pressure off the edge with 83 tackles, including 24 for loss, 18 sacks and 20 quarterback pressures. He’s also been credited with two forced fumbles, breaking up four passes and three blocked kicks and has three touchdown catches as a tight end. Harvey does double-duty in the Tigers’ secondary.
Cedar Park (13-2), a regular playoff qualifier, is also playing in its first state-championship game after putting together a 13-game win streak in longtime assistant Joe Willis’ first year as head coach.
The Timberwolves offense is quarterbacked by Nate Grimm, who has thrown 23 touchdown passes and rushed for a team-high 747 yards. Cedar Park uses a deep corps of running backs, with seven different ball carriers scoring touchdowns in the postseason. Junior Thomas Middleton has given the offense a boost after missing much of the regular season with an injury. Athlete Ethan Fry is the team’s leading receiver with 736 yards and nine TDs, but will also take snaps at quarterback and running back.
Cedar Park’s defense has been stout of late, holding opponents to an average of less than 20 points in the playoffs, while the offense has averaged 41 points per game.