Smithson Valley no typical fourth-place playoff team

Smithson Valley no typical fourth-place playoff team


Smithson Valley no typical fourth-place playoff team


Smithson Valley quarterback Josh Adkins, passing against Stevens last week, has completed 167 of 246 attempts with six interceptions for 2,556 yards and 26 touchdowns this season.

Smithson Valley quarterback Josh Adkins, passing against Stevens last week, has completed 167 of 246 attempts with six interceptions for 2,556 yards and 26 touchdowns this season.

If you’re looking for further proof of the overall strength of the football programs in District 25-6A – beyond the fact that all four of its playoff teams have advanced to the state quarterfinals – you needn’t look further than what Smithson Valley has done in its first two postseason games.

The Rangers had allowed only seven points in the playoffs before beating Harlingen 35-20 in the third round Friday. But the team’s defensive handiwork becomes even more impressive when one considers it shut down two teams with high-scoring offenses.

Smithson Valley defeated unbeaten 26-6A champion Reagan 17-7 in the first round and Stevens 35-0 last week.

Here’s the kicker: The Rangers finished fourth in 25-6A.

Smith Valley was 7-3 in the regular season and went 3-3 in district, losing to league champion Steele (42-16), third-place Clemens (57-56) and runner-up Judson (27-23).

The Rangers’ (10-3) victory over Harlingen set up a rematch with Judson, which improved to 12-1 with a 45-0 rout of Laredo United earlier Friday.

Smithson Valley and Judson meet in the state quarterfinals at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Alamo Stadium.

Division II Steele and Clemens also won third-round games Friday, with the Knights beating Del Rio 28-10 and the Buffaloes defeating San Benito 41-15.

Steele (13-0) and Clemens (11-2) clash next Saturday at the Alamodome. A kickoff time hasn’t been determined.

(Region IV third-round playoff pairings are listed below this story.)

Smithson Valley senior wide receiver Derek Housler had seven catches for 166 yarrds and one TD in the Rangers' 35-0 playoff win over Stevens last week.

Smithson Valley senior wide receiver Derek Housler had seven catches for 166 yarrds and one TD in the Rangers’ 35-0 playoff win over Stevens last week.

Smithson Valley coach Larry Hill was asked if he thinks playing in such a tough district sharpens a team heading into the playoffs.

“It either sharpens you or kills you,” he said this week. “It keeps you up at night. We all know and we all have lived with the reality that we could coach, play pretty well and improve by 15 to 20 percent. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to win. That’s tough.

“At the same time, you also know that if you go out there and do less than your best, you’re almost certainly going to lose. It makes it difficult, and it makes it tough to get in the playoffs. At the same time, if you’re one of the fortunate ones that do, you feel like you’re ready for the level of play and the atmosphere the playoffs bring. That’s not true of every district.”

A Smithson Valley-Judson game, tentatively set for Alamo Stadium next Saturday, would be a rematch of the regular-season finale for both teams. The Rangers led 23-20 until Judson quarterback Julon Jones ran for a 10-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Smithson Valley has bounced back from the tough loss to Judson to reach the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

“It’s a very resilient group of young men, a very tough-minded group,” Hill said. “They realize, we all realize, with the schedule we play that you can’t have overwhelming success all the time. Sometimes improvement is hard to see in measurable terms when you’re playing those kind of folks.”

“There’s really nothing magical going on. We moved a lot of kids around. We really tinkered with our lineup throughout the season. It’s become a little more stable. We think we’ve got the people where they belong now. With that, I think they’ve gotten a little more comfortable with that position and with those roles. In many cases, it was different roles.”

With the Rangers’ offense in good hands with steady junior quarterback Josh Adkins at the controls, most of the lineup changes Hill talked about have been on defense.

Adkins has been outstanding this season, passing for 2,556 yards and 26 TDs and rushing for 14 TDs. He has completed 167 of 246 passes and had six attempts intercepted.

“He’s got talent, obviously,” Hill said. “You can’t do the things he’s done without talent. His biggest contributions to our team are probably the intangible things. He’s a student of the game. No one puts in more time in preparation than him. He has good leadership skills to make people around him better.”

UIL Region IV playoff scores, third-round pairings

(Pairings are listed in order of bracket)

Class 6A/Division I

Bi-District scores

Judson 40, Churchill 13

O’Connor 24, Southwest 21

Laredo United 63, La Joya Juarez-Lincoln 13

Weslaco 49, Los Fresnos 28

Smithson Valley 17, Reagan 7

Stevens 43, East Central 6

McAllen Memorial 27, Laredo United South 24

Harlingen 60, Edinburg Economedes 7

Second-round scores

Judson 56, O’Connor 28

Laredo United 48, Weslaco 14

Smithson Valley 35, Stevens 0

Harlingen 49, McAllen Memorial 35

Third-round pairings

Judson 45, Laredo United 0

Smithson Valley 35, Harlingen 20

State quarterfinals

Judson (12-1) vs. Smithson Valley (10-3), Saturday, Dec. 5, 1 p.m., Alamo Stadium

Class 6A/Division II

Bi-District scores

Steele 62, MacArthur 13

Brennan 44, Corpus Christi King 17

Del Rio 58, La Joya Palmview 30 (7-3)

Weslaco East 21, Brownsville Memorial 20

Clemens 54, Johnson 51

Brandeis 49, Corpus Christi Carroll 21

Laredo Alexander 49, McAllen 21 (4-6), 4

San Benito 35, PSJA North 7

Second-round scores

Steele 38, Brennan 7

Del Rio 33, Weslaco East 21

Clemens 35, Brandeis 31

San Benito 56, Laredo Alexander 37

Third-round pairings

Steele 28, Del Rio 10

Clemens 41, San Benito 15

State quarterfinals

Steele (13-0) vs. Clemens (11-2), Saturday, Dec. 5, time TBD, Alamodome

Class 5A/Division I

Bi-District scores

Austin Vandegrift 61, Bastrop Cedar Creek 7

San Marcos 21, Harlandale 18

Victoria East 63, Uvalde 14

Edinburg Vela 48, Brownsville Porter 21

Cedar Park Vista Ridge 44, Austin LBJ 27

Lockhart 34, Highlands 16

Victoria West 56, Laredo Nixon 10

Mission Veterans 33, Donna 21

Second-round scores

Austin Vandergrift 63, San Marcos 14

Edinburg Vela 42, Victoria East 33

Cedar Park Vista Ridge 56, Lockhart 14

Victoria West 70, vs. Mission Veterans Memorial 8

Third-round pairings

Austin Vandergrift (10-2) vs. Edinburg Vela (12-0), Friday, 1:30 p.m., Alamo Stadium

Cedar Park Vista Ridge (10-2) vs. Victoria West (11-1), Friday, 6 p.m., Heroes Stadium

Class 5A/Division II

Bi-District scores

Cedar Park 49, Bastrop 14

Kerrville Tivy 63, McCollum 21

Somerset 24, Gregory Portland 17 (OT)

Edcouch-Elsa 50, Roma 32

Georgetown 44, Austin Reagan 17

Boerne Champion 52, Sam Houston 22

Corpus Christi Calallen 41, Medina Valley 6

Mission Sharyland 45, Mercedes 35

Second round

Cedar Park 49, Kerrville Tivy 14

Edcouch-Elsa 21, Somerset 14

Boerne Champion 70, Georgetown 66

Corpus Christi Calallen 42, Mission Sharyland (7-4) 21

Third-round pairings

Cedar Park (12-0) vs. Edcouch-Elsa (8-4), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Alamo Stadium

Corpus Christi Calallen 60, Boerne Champion 39

State quarterfinals

Corpus Christi Calallen (11-2) vs. Cedar Park-Edcouch-Elsa winner, TBD

Class 4A/Division I

Bi-District scores

Waco La Vega 42, Fischer Canyon Lake 10

Rockport-Fulton 55, Kingsville King 28

Liberty Hill 47, Burnet 28

Gonzales 26, Rio Grande City Grulla 21

La Vernia 70, Zapata 7

Gatesville 51, Taylor 25

La Feria 67, Beeville Jones 31

China Spring 63, Boerne 12

Second-round scores

Waco La Vega 41, Rockport-Fulton 20

Liberty Hill 51, Gonzales 3

Gatesville 17, La Vernia 14

China Spring 42, La Feria 21

Third-round pairings

Waco La Vega (12-0) vs. Liberty Hill (10-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Killeen

Gatesville (6-6) vs. China Spring (11-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Hewitt

Class 4A/Division II

Bi-District scores

Navarro 72, Poteet 0

Yoakum 28, Rio Hondo 0

Devine 46, Lytle 42

Cuero 48, Port Isabel 14

Sinton 41, Raymondville 8

Llano 42, Crystal City 26

Orange Grove 42, Ingleside 7

Wimberley 35, Pearsall 7

Second-round scores

Navarro 54, Yoakum 14

Cuero 55, Devine 21

Sinton 49, Llano 6

Wimberley 21, Orange Grove 7

Third-round pairings

Navarro (11-0) vs. Cuero (7-5), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Gustafson Stadium

Sinton (11-0) vs. Wimberley (5-7), Saturday, 2 p.m., Alamo Stadium

Class 3A/Division I

Bi-District scores

Luling 28, Vanderbilt Industrial 27

Goliad 29, Lyford 22

Edna 40, Universal City Randolph 7

Mathis 22, San Diego 8

Hallettsville 43, Falfurrias 6

Hitchcock 35, Marion 29

Aransas Pass 28, George West 20

Altair Rice 35, Comfort 29

Second-round scores

Goliad 25, Luling 6

Mathis 39, Edna 37

Hitchcock 61, Hallettsville 50

Altair Rice 37, Aransas Pass 24

Third-round pairings

Goliad (8-4) vs. Mathis (10-2), Friday, 2 p.m., Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos

Hitchcock (10-2) vs. Altair Rice (6-6), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Rosenberg

Class 3A/Division II

Bi-District scores

East Bernard 61, Karnes City 0

Santa Gertrudis Academy 24, Dilley 21

Blanco 18, Van Vleck 7

Taft 48, Freer 27em 43, Cotulla 18

Tidehaven 28tockdale 14

Hebbronville 32, Banquete 29

Boling 50, Poth 13

Second-round scores

East Bernard 61, Santa Gertrudis Academy 0

Blanco 30, Taft 15

Odem 30,  Tidehaven 7

Boling 64, Hebbronville 26

Third-round pairings

East Bernard (10-2) vs. Blanco (12-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Bastrop

Odem (12-0) vs. Boling (11-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Matador Stadium, Seguin

Class 2A/Division I

Bi-District scores

Holland 36, Harper 22

Weimar 40, Three Rivers 14

Mason 43, Rosebud-Lott 6

Refugio 54, La Villa 0

Shiner 68, Riviera Kaufer 0

Moody 17, Johnson City 14

Flatonia 48, CC London 7

Junction 21, Thrall 20

Second-round scores

Weimar 49, Holland 32

Refugio 42, Mason 7

Shiner 53, Moody 13

Flatonia 31, Junction 7

Third-round pairings

Weimar (9-3) vs. Refugio (10-2), Friday, 6 p.m., Memorial Stadium, Victoria

Shiner (12-0) vs. Flatonia (7-5), Friday, 7 p.m., El Campo

Class 2A/Division II

Bi-District scores

Bremond 61, Kenedy 6

Woodsboro 41, Rocksprings 20

Falls City 50, Burton 13

D’Hanis 34, Agua Dulce 0

La Pryor 52, Benavides 12

Yorktown 38, Milano 12

Bruni 47, Leakey 7

Louise 55, Granger 20

Second-round scores

Bremond 58, Woodsboro 20

Falls City 59, D’Hanis 8

Yorktown 28, La Pryor 14

Bruni 22, Louise 21

Third-round pairings

Bremond (12-0) vs. Falls City (12-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Lago Vista

Yorktown (10-2) vs. Bruni (11-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Corpus Christi Flour Bluff


More USA TODAY High School Sports