The Clear Springs Chargers can clinch the program’s third consecutive District 24-6A championship and the district’s No. 1 seed in the Region III-6A, Division I playoffs, but standing in their way Friday night will be an improved Clear Lake Falcons squad riding a wave of momentum.
While three-peating as district champions would be an impressive accomplishment, it’s that Division I No. 1 seed that will set up the Chargers with a more favorable playoff draw as they hope to make a deep postseason run this time around.
“Our approach hasn’t changed much week to week ever since we started district, and that’s been to win one game at a time and make sure we secure the No. 1 seed going into the Division I playoffs,” Clear Springs head coach Craig Dailey said. “I think it’s a big deal to be the one-seed.”
The Falcons extended their current winning streak to three in last week’s back-and-forth nail-biter against Clear Falls, which they won 38-37 in overtime. In that game, Shae Suiaunoa — who gives Clear Lake a dual-threat option — and Donovan Sweeney split snaps at quarterback to give the Knights’ defense different looks. Brendan Holmes should be the Falcons’ go-to running back.
“Lake’s a hungry team,” Dailey said. “They’ve been working hard, getting better every week, and they know that they have a shot at a share of the district title if they knock us off on Friday and win their last game of the season.
“So, they’re going to come out and play us from the get-go,” Dailey added. “They have a lot of talented players on offense and defense.”
A well-balanced Clear Springs team, too, will feature excellent talent all over the field.
On offense, it’ll all start with the program’s new leader in career rushing yards, running back Todd Hudson II. When quarterback Garrett Rooker goes to the air, receivers Isaiah Bibb and Kaleb Hymes will be the top targets.
Defensively, Northwestern commit Jason Gold will be the leader of the defense, disrupting things from his spot in the middle of the Chargers’ defensive line to allow his teammates to make big plays — when he’s not making them himself.
One of those teammates prone to making plays in key situations is cornerback Kirk Collins, who two weeks ago collected four turnovers — including a game-changing 48-yard fumble return — in a stunning come-from-behind win at Dickinson, and was rewarded with a Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week trophy for his effort.
Kickoff for the Clear Springs-Clear Lake game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Challenger Columbia Stadium.