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Oak Hall player celebrates with teammate
Oak Hall freshman Jalen Scott celebrates with sophomore Ryan Nolan after Nolan recovers a fumble.

St Francis Catholic and Oak Hall meet in 2A Regional Quarterfinals

A tense high school football rivalry will clash in Class 2A regional quarterfinals.

St. Francis and Oak Hall will meet again in the Eagles’ nest in an extension of Friday night lights. Can the 7-3 Eagles take advantage of a lack-luster Saint Francis defense?

Defensive crisis

Here’s the lowdown on the St. Francis Catholic defense: It needs help.

A defense that allows an average of 30.2 yards per game is in dire need of adjustments. St. Francis Catholic’s regular season was already troubling, ending in 3-7. The Wolves fell 49-33 in their last game against Rocky Bayou Christian. In what should have been an easy matchup became one of Rocky Bayou Christian’s two wins on its regular season.

The Wolves must capitalize in order to compete with a high-energy Oak Hall offense. The no-holds-barred approach allowed the Eagles to demolish the Munroe 50-14 in their last game. Quarterback Cole Gonzales had a record-setting game, where he passed for 288 yards for five touchdowns. The showing set Gonzales’ single-game passing yards and touchdown highs for the sophomore quarterback. Gonzales and his electric offense shook up Saint Francis Catholic in their last meeting in September, decimating the Wolves 54-7.

Despite past results, Wolves head coach Scott McDaniel is determined to show Oak Hall a different team. McDaniel’s focus? Keeping the Eagles time of possession short, and their offense on the sidelines as long as possible.

McDaniel noted the pride he took in his team, citing toughness through a hard regular season schedule.

Nevertheless, expect the Oak Hall defense to come down as tough or even tougher on St. Francis than the regular season. With the regional semifinals on the line, both teams have glory at differentiating reaches.

The countdown

The postseason heat will kick off on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Oak Hall High School. The winner plays Foundation Academy in the regional semifinals.

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