If beating a team twice in the same season is difficult enough, what about defeating the same opponent twice in the span of three weeks?
That’s the task ahead of Parish Episcopal as it faces district rival Fort Worth Christian on Saturday in the TAPPS state semifinals. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletics Complex.
The Panthers (11-1) are seeking their first appearance in the state championship game since winning the title in 2010, when they beat FWC. The Cardinals (10-2) got their revenge the following year when they knocked out Parish in the first round.
Saturday’s game is a rematch of the regular-season finale, when the Panthers crushed the Cardinals 42-14 to clinch the district title. However, FWC held the high-powered Parish offense to a season-low 250 yards in that game. The Panthers scored two defensive touchdowns and one on special teams — all in the fourth quarter — to preserve the victory. Plus, keep in mind that the Cardinals played that game without starting quarterback Blaze Brownlow.
Parish earned its ninth straight win last week with a 49-21 drubbing of another district foe, Grapevine Faith. Dominic Williams rushed for 245 yards and four touchdowns, and the sophomore sensation has 1,895 yards and 28 scores on the season.
Other playmakers for the Parish offense include quarterback Tom Stewart, who has passed for 2,436 yards and 31 touchdowns, with just two interceptions. His favorite receiving target is Xavier Suggs, who has 47 catches for 1,172 yards and 14 scores. The Panthers have surpassed the 40-point barrier in their past 11 games.
Brownlow returned to the lineup last week and led the Cardinals to a 45-20 win over San Antonio Holy Cross, and the FWC offense has been much more prolific this season with the junior at the helm. He has thrown 14 touchdown passes with only one interception.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals also have a potent rushing game led by Cade Garcia, who surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau last week. Jack Roberson has added 657 rushing yards, and the pair has combined for 23 touchdowns.
The winner of Saturday’s game will face either Dallas Christian or Tyler Bishop Gorman in the Division II title game on Dec. 6 in Corsicana.