East Bernard faces Blanco, seeks elusive quarterfinal berth
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BLANCO VS. EAST BERNARD
CLASS 2A, DIVISION II REGIONAL
7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Bastrop
East Bernard will be making its fifth third-round playoff appearance in the seven years Jerry Long has coached at the school.
But Long reminded the Brahmas this week that it has been 18 years since they won a third-round game.
East Bernard (11-0) will look to do so when it takes on Blanco (8-4) in a Class 2A, Division II regional game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Bastrop.
East Bernard has barely been challenged this season. The Brahmas' lowest margin of victory was 17 points and no District 13 opponent got closer than 21 points.
East Bernard opened the playoffs with a 47-0 area victory over Banquete last week.
"There is no doubt we've been looking toward this year," Long said. "We've got a solid base in our senior class. We've got an exceptional athlete in Ty Slanina (a TCU pledge) and outstanding linemen. We also have a bunch of good athletes in our junior class."
Blanco advanced to the regional round with a 47-21 win over Danbury, a district opponent of East Bernard, and a 21-14 area win over Karnes City.
The Panthers have lost to Canyon Lake, San Antonio Christian, Lexington and Universal City Randolph, but Long is well aware of their playoff tradition.
"They're a very hard-nosed, physical football team," he said. "Last year, they were 5-5 and advanced to the fourth round. They're the kind of team that worry coaches because they know how to win playoff games."
The game will match Blanco's wing-T offense against East Bernard's slot-T.
"They're the type of team that drives the ball," Long said. "We don't want to let them keep the ball away from us."
NOTES • East Bernard had nine players run the ball for 220 yards against Banquete.
• The Brahmas are averaging 306.2 yards rushing per game.
• East Bernard's Grant Aschenback passed for 127 yards and one touchdown against Banquete.
• Slanina rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and threw a touchdown pass.
• Blanco's Tim Goodman has rushed for 1,232 yards and nine touchdowns this season, and Colton Childress has added 714 yards and 12 touchdowns.
• The winner will advance to the quarterfinals against the winner of Friday's Refugio-Lexington game.