Undefeated Grandview faces a tough challenge when it meets three-time defending champion Cameron Yoe in the Region II Class 3A Division I regional semifinals. The Zebras coasted to a 42-14 win over East Chambers last week, while the Yoeman had to fight tooth-and-nail to edge Malakoff 45-44. Both coaches highly respect their competition.

“They’re the best,” Grandview head coach Casey Walraven commented to the Cleburne Times-Review. “They’ve proved that for the last three years. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

“Grandview is a great football team,” Yoe head coach Rick Rhoades told the Cameron Herald. “They are very explosive offensively and they play good, sound defense.”

The Zebras possess the horsepower to match the Yoemen in a shootout. In 2015, quarterback Zach Smith has thrown for 3,690 yards and 44 touchdowns by completing 231-of-340 attempts. Over the past three seasons, Smith, who plans to enroll at Baylor in January, has accumulated over 10,000 passing yards and 100 touchdown passes. This season Grandview has outscored its opponents 608 to 248.

A pair of receivers, Josh Nash and Austin Jarrell, compliment Smith’s passing. During the 2015 campaign, Nash has caught 74 passes for 1,322 and 20 touchdowns, while Jarrell has totaled 63 receptions for 678 and five touchdowns.

Jarrell also supplements the ground attack with 145 carries for 930 yards and 20 touchdowns. Grandview looks to Earnest Crownover, who has logged 1,054 yards on 142 carries with 14 touchdowns, as its primary runner

“We have to get pressure on the quarterback,” Rhoades told the Cameron Herald. “If we just let him sit back there and have time to throw, he can pick you apart. We have to have great coverage and just play good, sound defense.”

The Yoeman counter Grandview’s Smith with two Smiths, running back Traion Smith and wide receiver Sicory Smith. In the comeback win over the Tigers, Traion Smith rushed for 187 yards on 22 carries and scored twice, and Sicory Smith snared 11 passes for 159 yards including a 4-yard touchdown reception. The junior wideout also reached the end zone on a 33-yard reverse.

This season, Traion Smith has gained 2,386 gains on 224 carries and scored 39 touchdowns, while Sicory Smith has grabbed 61 catches for 1,131 yards and 13 touchdowns. Quarterback Jacob Smitherman puts the offense in motion and has thrown for 2,113 yards with 139 completions in 213 attempts and 21 touchdowns.

“They’re a very basic spread offense,” Walraven remarked to the Cleburne Times-Review. “They stay simple and just get their playmakers the ball.”

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