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Munday, Stamford have great talent, incredible luck guiding them back to title games

By Mike Skow, mskow@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 19 2012 09:54:39 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 23 2012 04:23:13 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

On the eve of the biggest day in 1A Texas football, two Big Country teams find themselves back on that grand stage.

It's their chance to make up for missed opportunities in state title games last December.

Let's press rewind, and go back to those moments when the clock struck zero and both the Moguls, and Bulldogs watched as Tenaha and Mason (respectively) hoisted the hardware.

"I don't think we'll walk in with the wow factor that we had last year. That's my hope will happen with our kids. We have a whole lot more mature ball-club this year. I think we're going to handle the travel, the quickness of the game, and just the atmosphere itself," said Stamford head coach Wayne Hutchinson.

Munday quarterback Dee Paul told KTXS Sports, "We know what they like to do (Tenaha). They know what we like to do. So it's gonna be real fun to go out there and see if we can stop each other."

Munday faces off against Tenaha in a re-match of last year's 1A Div. II state title game. Stamford will face Mart, which the Bulldogs beat in the 1A Div. I Semifinals in 2011.

Just imagine what the chances would have to be for not just one of these teams to gain enough momentum and steamroll their way back into a state title game for a second straight year.

And yet, here we are! Both of these teams, dominant in almost every aspect of the game. But taking different paths to reach this big stage. And don't forget, they met at the beginning of the season, with Munday taking its first victory from Stamford in some time.

And food for thought, out of 168 1A teams in Texas, these two have not only made it to state in the same year, they've done it in consecutive years!

Where the Moguls lost three games in all of 2011, they can wrap up a perfect season with one final win against Tenaha this Thursday at Cowboys Stadium.

They've improved in scoring and scoring defense. Dee Paul is a more efficient passer than he was a year ago, throwing more touchdowns (22) and far fewer interceptions (10 in 2011, 4 this season) than a year ago.

The improved running game has helped balance this team in ways. Tyrone Dockins is averaging nine yards per carry, and Rodderick Taylor increased his yards per carry from 9 in 2011, to almost 14 this year.

Jesse Ramos left a lasting impression on the Stamford program, but since his graduation last Spring, the Bulldogs' offense hasn't skipped a beat. Hagen Hutchinson is poised to finish his career at quarterback as one of the most accomplished players in school history.

Can't forget about their defense, which has limited opponents to just 12 points per game.

One of the looming questions as both teams try to erase that disappointing feeling from a year ago, will this season feel complete? Will it be justified in either town if either program fails to hoist a 1A state title?

Perhaps Dee Paul has the right words, "If you don't win the next year, then it's gonna always be with you. Especially in our last game as moguls. In my book I won't be the greatest until I have a championship."