By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
November 24, 2020
Fans headed to the TAIAO 2020 can expect to see lots of high-octane offense as Stephenville FAITH and Fort Bend are set to clash for the D2 state title in Blum.
It’s a return to glory for the Knight, who struggled to find their groove early this season with a 2-2 record before FAITH rattled off seven straight wins and began to look like a title contender.
FAITH is no stranger to the TAIAO state title game after winning seven straight titles in 2011-17 and making it to the state title game in 2018.
Saturday’s game may have different players, but there is still a touch of revenge associated with this game. In 2018, the last time the Knights reached the championship, Fort Bend’s Chargers sent them packing with a 74-56 loss.
At first glance, both teams appear to be evenly matched, and both squads rely on a balanced offense to get the job when it comes to scoring 2,242 yards and passed for 2,210 more.
The Knights have almost 5,000 yards of offense with scatback Kyle Corb passing for most of FAITH’s 2,663 yards through the air, and Knights have pounded out 2,269 yards on the ground.
With the teams so far apart geographically, it’s hard to get a feel for how they may do against each other, but there has been one common opponent in VCHS (Victoria) among the two schools.
The Knights crushed Victoria (7-3) 76-46 last week in the second round of the playoffs as Corb turned 19 carries into 276 yards and six touchdowns. His 9-15 passing produced five touchdowns, with Tristian Saxon catching three TDs for 85 yards, while Samuel Yankie captured five receptions for 84 yards and a score.
Fort Bend has matched up against VCHS twice this season, and the Chargers won the first contest 68-58 but lost the second (district) matchup 79-74.
If there is a tipping of the evenly matched scales, it would have to be the results against VCHS, and if you are Coach Chance Yankie, that’s one statistic you want your players to ignore.
Instead, the focus will need to be on how balanced the Chargers are on offense. With just 32 yards separating Fort Bend’s passing and rushing statistics, it’s obvious the Knights won’t be able to cheat their defensive alignments.
The Chargers do have one tendency, and that’s to go to the ground when they want to punch the ball into the end zone. When considering four of the Chargers’ players weigh 230 pounds or better (#50 Ben Loera 6-1, 323-lbs), it’s easy to see why Fort Bend likes to use a hammer-time set to get points.
Fort Bend has engineered 17 passing touchdowns and 47 scores on the ground, with most of the passing going to Kyle Schoonover, who has passed for 695 yards and rushed for 1,494.
The championship game time is set at noon Saturday at the Blum ISD Stadium, located at 310 S Ave F — Blum, Texas 76627.
FORT BEND ROSTER
#8 Kelson Schoonover 5-9, 150
#9 Isaac Sauceda 5-11, 164
#17 Diego Pickens 6-0, 216
#21 Ty Lynch 5-6, 137
#24 Israel Sauceda 5-9, 135
#34 Hunter Heald 6-3, 150
#50 Ben Loera 6-1, 323
#58 Trenton Blank 6-1, 234
#88 Ezra Zacharias, 6-1, 232
#99 Dawson Roach 5-10, 229
FAITH KNIGHTS ROSTER
#1 Travis Robertson 5-7, 145
#5 Kyle Corb 5-10, 150
#10 Dylan Aardal 6-0, 220
#11 Connor Corb 5-11, 140
#14 Cash Bowen 6-3, 155
#18 Tristian Saxon 6-3, 175,
#22 Preston Hyde 5-9, 180
#24 Samuel Yankie 5-11, 180
#34 Dalton Hamby 5-11, 160
#81 Paxton Parrack 6-4, 240