GAME TWO: Abilene High vs. Duncanville
The second game of the 2012 Action Sports Medicine Champions Classic features the hometown Abilene High Eagles, making their 7th appearance in the annual event, and the resurgent Duncanville Panthers out of District 7-5A.
Duncanville head coach Jeff Dicus only has eight starters returning from a 7-4 squad, but 20 returning lettermen will mean his team starts the season with some experience. They could still be in the hunt for the playoffs in one of the toughest 5A districts in the state.
One of the primary movers for the Panthers will be speedy running back Jaquan Cole (5-7, 175) who totaled 1,189 yards on 149 carries for 15 TDs last season. He will be joined in the backfield by three-year letterman quarterback Aaron Piper (5-10, 165), a former running back who is also fast on the attack.
The Panthers’ defense will be led by safety Keenan Blair (82 tackles), defensive back Cordray Love (5-9, 170, 66 tackles) and linebacker Corey Smith.
Abilene High Head Coach Steve Warren has the luxury of honing a squad that returns 14 starters (6 on offense, 8 on defense) from last season’s 10-4 state quarter-finalist team. The Warbirds went 5-0 in last year’s District 3-5A, and they now find themselves as one of the favorites in the massive 9-team District 2-5A.
Returning on offense, the Eagles have quarterback Evin Abbe (225-349-5-2,898, 24 TDs passing) and receivers Keevan Lucas (68-938, 7 TDs) and Grant Alexander (32-319, 2 TDs). Marcell Porter (138-1,012, 14 TDs rushing) will take over the No. 1 running back position.
The Abilene defense will be led by lineman Jake McMillon (68 total tackles, 14 for loss, 11 sacks), linebacker Tyler Lackey (133 total tackles, 11 for loss, 6 sacks) and experienced cornerbacks Conlan Aguirre (51 total tackles, 5 INTs) and Nate Kittley (68 total tackles, 4 INTs).
“The key is going to be the depth,” Warren told the Reporter-News before the season began. “We’ve got a lot of young guys who are sophomores who we think could be backups, but we want them playing on Thursday nights.”
The Classic is headed into its 8th year and is promoted by the Sports Alliance Committee of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is an affiliate of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. The Sports Alliance was formed to increase the economic impact in the Abilene community through sporting events. One goal is to raise money for scholarships awarded each year to graduating seniors from each of the local high schools. To date, the Champions Classic has awarded $52,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from Abilene High, Cooper High, Wylie High and Abilene Christian High schools.
2012 Featured Games
Game 1: Thursday, September 6 - Clyde vs. Cisco, 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, September 7 - Abilene High vs. Duncanville, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday, September 8 - Quanah vs. Miles, 10:30 a.m.
Game 4: Saturday, September 8 - Abilene Christian University vs. A & M-Kingsville, 6:00 p.m.
STORIES (coming soon)
Abilene | Duncanville | ACU | Kingsville | Clyde | Cisco | Quanah | Miles
ACU vs. Kingsville | Clyde vs. Cisco | Quanah vs. Miles
||until the next Classic begins!