Stephenville (9-1) is back in the state football playoffs for the 18th time in the last 19 years, and challenges Fort Worth O.D. Wyatt (6-4) at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Burleson.
The winner of the Region I bi-district playoff in the Class 4A Division II bracket will advance to meet the winner of Wichita Falls Rider and Springtown in the area round
Fifth-year Stephenville Coach Chad Morris is taking the Yellow Jackets to the playoffs for the fourth time.
Wyatt is led by running back Marcus Turner, who has rushed for 1,185 yards and nine touchdowns.
Turner and the Chaparrals were defeated 31-28 by undefeated FW Southwest in the District 7-4A championship game last week. The loss snapped a four-game win streak for Wyatt.
Stephenville must also bounce back from a loss - it's only one of the season. Everman captured the District 8-4A title with a 31-28 overtime victory over the Jackets six days ago.
Stephenville lost All-State safety Cody Davis in the first quarter. Davis went down returning a kickoff. An MRI on Saturday was negative, and he is believed to have a deep knee bruise. Davis is questionable tonight, but should be back at full speed if the Jackets advance.
Everman (10-0) is also in the Region I bracket and battles FW Dunbar in the first round.
If Stephenville and Rider advance, the fifth game between the schools in four years - third in the playoffs - is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 24 at Texas Stadium.
Rider eliminated Stephenville in both 2004 and 2006. The Jackets defeated the Raiders in the regular season in 2006 and during week three this year, 27-15.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at email@example.com.