Stephenville (6-2, 4-0) is one win away from securing at least a share of a district football championship for the first time since 2006. Standing in the way is a talented Arlington Seguin (3-5, 3-2) team that Stephenville head coach Joseph Gillespie compares in many ways to Everman.
“They have a lot of talent like Everman, and they throw the ball better than Everman,” Gillespie said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us, that’s for sure.”
Kickoff in the District 8-4A game at Tarleton Memorial Stadium is 7:30 p.m. tonight.
Seguin’s record may not be impressive, but its strength of schedule certainly is. The Cougars’ five losses have come to teams with a combined 24-16 record, including Rockwall-Heath and Everman, both of which are currently 6-2 and made deep runs into the 4A Division II playoffs last fall. They also fell to 5-3 Burleson, a member of Class 5A. The score was respectable in each of those games, with their worst loss being by 16 points.
After falling to Mansfield Legacy 17-13 last week, the Cougars have their backs to the wall in the 8-4A playoff race. They are currently tied for third with Legacy and Timberview and are just one game ahead of Crowley. They do have an advantage over Timberview and Crowley due to head-to-head wins, but still have little room for error thanks to the Legacy loss.
Gillespie feels this position makes Seguin even more dangerous.
“They’re backed into a corner right now and that’s scary,” he said. “I know if you had Stephenville backed into a corner we would come out fighting and that’s what we expect from Seguin.”
Gillespie says the biggest difference between Seguin and Everman lies in the Cougars’ ability to be multiple.
“They can line up with two tight ends and they can spread you out. Against Everman you know you have to be ready for a few basic formations and good execution. What makes it tough against Seguin is you never know what formation you’ll be faced with.”
While the Cougars do have the ability to throw the ball, Gillespie says their bread and butter is still the run.
“Even when they get in the spread they like to run the football. They can throw it, too, but they are really all about ball control,” he said.
Defensively the Cougars are especially good at stopping the pass.
“They have a lot of speed in the secondary. One of their corners is going to Nebraska,” Gillespie says. “Their secondary is good and their whole team is good.
“They have a lot of speed and good size. They pass the eye test, that’s for sure.”