Postseason spotlight: Liberty Hill (10-2) vs. Waco La Vega (13-0)


POSTSEASON SPOTLIGHT

Class 4A, Division I state quarterfinal: Liberty Hill (10-2) vs. Waco La Vega (13-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday, Buckley Stadium in Killeen

Quarterbacks: Senior Jamal Williams, the son of La Vega head coach Willie Williams, is a four-year starter who helped the Pirates win a state title in 2015. … Liberty Hill junior Brenden Ketchem has just 286 yards rushing and 231 yards passing this fall, but he orchestrates a proficient slot-T attack that averages 413 yards rushing and 45.9 PPG. Edge: La Vega

Other offense: The La Vega backfield features a trio of tailbacks — Cameron Henry, John Richards and Kemoche Hobbs — who each has gained at least 700 yards and run for 13 TDs. … Kyle Harrison, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound junior, has rushed for 2,267 yards and 30 TDs for the Panthers, and FB Hunter Oncken has piled up 1,419 yards. Edge: Liberty Hill

Defense: Two-way standout Hobbs, a four-year letterwinner who ranks second in the Waco area with 72 tackles, anchors a La Vega unit that has allowed just nine points a game. … After giving up at least 30 points in six of their first 11 games, the Panthers have allowed just 42 points total in their past two playoff wins. Sophomore DB Brady Brewer has emerged as a playmaker in the secondary. Edge: La Vega

Special teams: High-scoring La Vega doesn’t kick frequently, but junior all-state DB Donta Stuart doubles as one of the best punt returners in Class 4A . … Liberty Hill boasts one of the best kickers in the state in Michael Shipley, who converted two field goals of at least 40 yards last week in a 33-28 victory over China Spring. Edge: Liberty Hill

Intangibles: La Vega boasts a 42-1 record over the past three seasons and won a 4A, Division I state title in 2015. … Liberty Hill has scored 20 points or fewer just six times in 37 games over the past three seasons, but three of those games were losses to La Vega. Edge: La Vega

— Thomas Jones



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