Class 2A Division I Region II
Semifinal

New Boston Lions (11-0)
vs.
Pottsboro Cardinals (11-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Wildcat Stadium, Paris

Coaches
New Boston: Rick Barker
Pottsboro: Matt Poe

Road to Regionals

New Boston

  • Bi-district: bye
  • Area: def. Commerce, 40-7

 

Pottsboro

  • Bi-district: bye
  • Area: def. Malakoff, 41-0

 

Next week: Winner plays Winnsboro or Daingerfield in a 2A Division I Region II final.

Playmakers

New Boston

  • RB Damien Haskins (215 carries, 2,833 yards, 50 TDs; committed to Oregon State)
  • QB Aaron Conkleton (26 of 52, 604 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs; 30 carries, 139 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Jeff Gladney (18 carries, 255 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Tyjae Clark (11 catches, 276 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Jimmie Johnson (40 carries, 229 yards, 4 TDs)

 

Pottsboro

  • QB Tanner Frye, Sr., 5-10, 180 (106 of 189, 1,961 yards, 26 TDs, 7 INTs; 84 carries, 507 yards, 7 TDs)
  • WR Dallas Sewell, Sr., 5-9, 165 (49 catches, 1,336 yards, 14 TDs)
  • WR/DE Justin Lawler, Sr., 6-5, 220 (44 catches, 719 yards, 11 TDs; 113 tackles, 13 sacks)
  • RB Thadious Flinn, Soph. (138 carries, 808 yards, 7 TDs)
  • ATH Colt Rutherford, Sr. (27 of 47, 498 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs; 69 carries, 489 yards, 10 TDs; 11 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD)

 

Just the facts

  • New Boston is in the regional-semifinal round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Lions defeated Pottsboro, 47-26, in the area round last season before being eliminated the following week by eventual state champion Melissa.
  • Lions star running back Damien Haskins comes into Friday's game just 17 yards shy of the school's single-season rushing record, which was set last year by Shakeem Jefferson.
  • New Boston is one win away from setting a school mark for wins in a season. The Lions have posted 11 wins three times previously (1984, 2002, 2010).
  • The Lions' offense averages 44.6 points per game, while the defense yields an average of 13.1.
  • Pottsboro has just four losses in the last three seasons with two of them belonging to district mates Daingerfield and New Boston in the playoffs.
  • The Cardinals put up 442.3 yards of offense per game and have been about as balanced as can be -- 223.8 passing and 218.5 rushing a game.

 

Key matchup: New Boston running game vs. Pottsboro defensive front. There's no secret what the key for both teams will be. For the Lions, getting the usual production out of their sensational running back Damien Haskins is priority No. 1. Haskins averages 257.5 yards on the season and has scored 50 touchdowns. The Oregon State commit has accounted for 61 percent of New Boston's total offense and has scored 81 percent of its touchdowns. As Haskins goes, so goes New Boston. It will be up to Pottsboro's defense, which just gives up a shade over 11 points per game, to keep Haskins in check. The only problem is that there hasn't been a team to accomplish that yet this season. However, if Pottsboro is able to contain Haskins, the Cardinals will stand an excellent chance of advancing. New Boston quarterback Aaron Conkleton has attempted just 52 passes all season long, and is not accustomed to having to beat teams through the air. New Boston's coaches would just assume he stick with handing the ball off to Haskins.

Don't be surprised if: Haskins bounces back from his un-Haskins like 133 rushing yards from a week ago. Commerce, despite falling short 40-7 on the scoreboard, limited New Boston's workhorse to his season low in yards. Haskins still managed to find the end zone four times. Haskins along with last year's starting running back Shakeem Jefferson ran all over Pottsboro's defense in 2011's playoff encounter. So expect another dominant performance from Haskins and the New Boston ground game.