Thursday, May 28, 2020
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20181026 STSHSvMercedes3074While the Sharyland Rattlers are known across South Texas for their football prowess, the Pioneer Diamondbacks are building a tradition of their own. For the third straight year, both Sharyland ISD schools are preparing for bi-district games as the opening round of the state playoffs gets underway this weekend.

And not only do the Rattlers and Diamondbacks get to play extra football this postseason, they’ll have the opportunity to pick up playoffs wins right here on their homefield at Richard Thompson Stadium.

Sharyland Rattlers
The Sharyland Rattlers went back-to-back and picked up their second district title in as many years as they finished the season 7-3 and a perfect 6-0 in 16-5A Division II play. Head Coach Ron Adame and his team tested themselves early on in non-district play and it proved beneficial as Sharyland was ready for any type of game in league play, winning low-scoring slugfests to prevailing in high-scoring shootouts.

A year older, better and wiser are the seniors on this team who suffered a 42-39 triple overtime loss to Alice in the area round of the 2017 playoffs. Now, the 2018 Sharyland Rattlers are ready to build off last year’s playoff performance and another district championship to advance to the second round once again.

As winners of six straight, Sharyland is rolling and they’ll look to keep the momentum going as they prepare for their bi-district matchup against the Somerset Bulldogs Saturday night at Richard Thompson Stadium.

The Somerset Bulldogs finished as the fourth place qualifier in District 15-5A-DII by going 4-3 in league play and 7-3 on the season. This year is actually the Bulldogs’ first in 5A after winning four straight district championships in Class 4A, and it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to adjust to the challenge of taking on bigger programs.

While the Bulldogs have lost two of their last three, they are coming off a 34-6 win over Tuloso-Midway in their season finale a week ago and will be out to pick up their first 5A playoff win against Sharyland on Saturday.

Kickoff between the Sharyland Rattlers and Somerset Bulldogs is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Richard Thompson Stadium.

Pioneer Diamondbacks
The Pioneer Diamondbacks are quickly becoming playoff regulars as they’ve qualified for the postseason in three of their first five years of existence.

The next step for the Diamondbacks? Bringing home the first bi-district championship in program history.

In Pioneer’s two previous trips to the playoffs, they suffered big defeats by scores of 45-28 and 68-31 to Edcouch-Elsa and Mercedes. During this year’s regular season, the Diamondbacks avenged those losses on their way to a second place finish in District 16-5A-DII with a 5-1 record.

Quarterback Jacob Rosales leads the Diamondbacks in his final year under center and is hopeful he can help Pioneer make program history by claiming their first playoff win.

Lining up across from the Pioneer Diamondbacks on Friday night are the Port La Vaca Calhoun Sandcrabs, the third-place finisher from District 15-5A-DII.

Calhoun posted a 5-2 district record and finished 7-3 on the year, but are on a two-game skid entering the playoffs as they’ve lost to San Antonio Southside and Calallen in the last two weeks. The Sandcrabs bring a dangerous ground game with them as they have two running backs with over 1,200 rushing yards and have run for nearly 4,000 total yards as a team.

Pioneer’s offense averaged 395.6 yards per game this year and they’ll have no problem putting up numbers tonight, the question lies with the Diamondback defense: can they slow down Calhoun’s rushing attack?

Look for Pioneer’s speedy defense and spread offense to step up their game as they make their playoff debut in front of their home crowd at Thompson Stadium.

Kickoff for the Pioneer Diamondbacks’ bi-district playoff matchup with the Port La Vaca Calhoun Sandcrabs is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Richard Thompson Stadium.

For live updates from the Sharyland and Pioneer bi-district playoff matchups, follow the Progress Times on Facebook.