The Harmony Grove Cardinals travel to Hoxie Friday night to take on the Mustangs in the first round of the 3A State Playoffs. Both teams earned the 3 seed out of their respective conferences.
The Mustangs finished the regular season with a 6-4 record with a 5-2 mark in the 3-3A Conference. They are lead by senior running back Diamani Davis. The shifty back leads the Mustangs in rushing and put up 249 yards and 2 touchdowns last Friday against Walnut Ridge. They rely heavily on their massive offensive line and the zone run scheme.
The Mustangs are a balanced offense of run and pass. Directing the offense from under center is junior Chandler Spradlin. The Mustang quarterback has completed 55% of his passes this year with 11 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Leading the receiving core is senior Lucky Fallis. The sure handed receiver has complied 327 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Hoxie will use different fronts and coverages to stop the Cardinals attack. The defensive line is anchored by sophomore John Washburn. The hefty defensive tackle leads the Mustangs in tackles for loss on the season. Davis is a two way player for Hoxie with him leading the defense from the middle linebacker position.
Hootens.com has picked the Mustangs by three over the Cardinals:
“Winner plays at the winner of the Fouke-Clinton game. H. Grove Haskell (1-4 all-time playoff record) earned its first playoff win in school history last year against Mountain View. Haskell’s seven wins this year ties the school record (2014 and 2016). Hoxie returns to the playoffs after missing the postseason last year for the first time since 2009. Hoxie has won six of its past eight games, losing only to 3-3A conference co-champs Rivercrest (43-33) and Osceola (44-27). The effectiveness of Hoxie’s zone runs likely decides the outcome.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm at Hoxie High School.