SPORTS HEADLINES

Decatur routs Sanger, draws Abilene Wylie in bi-district round of playoffs

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, November 11, 2017
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Decatur coach Mike Fuller wasn’t focused on who his team would play in the bi-district round of the playoffs in the week leading up to the Eagles’ game against Sanger. He was just focused on beating a district foe and carrying momentum into the postseason.

Decatur accomplished both of those goals Friday night.

The Eagles (6-4, 3-2) routed the Indians (4-6, 2-3) 65-21 to clinch the third seed out of District 4-4A Division I, scoring 65 points for the third straight week. Decatur enters the playoffs on a three-game winning streak.

“We’ve grown up a lot,” Fuller said. “We [had] some young guys out there at the beginning of the year who weren’t on varsity or starting. I couldn’t be [prouder] of the way they’re executing. It was a good night.”

Behind a seven-touchdown performance from junior quarterback Wilson Hicks in the first half, Decatur cruised to a 49-21 halftime advantage. Hicks accounted for 353 of the Eagles’ 441 total yards at the intermission.

With the game in hand, Hicks didn’t play much of the second half, finishing the game 20-for-29 for 342 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.

During Decatur’s three-game winning streak, Hicks has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 990 yards and 13 touchdowns against just three interceptions.

“It’s really my teammates around me,” Hicks said. “Receivers are running great routes and getting wide open. The O-line is doing great. We have a good run game now.”

Decatur rushed for 150 yards against Sanger and has averaged 99 yards on the ground the past three games.

“Three weeks ago we came off two tough losses against Argyle and Hirschi,” Hicks said. “We just wanted to get rolling going into the playoffs and each week I think we’ve gained more and more confidence offensively.”

Despite two early fumbles from both teams, Decatur quickly settled in and got the scoring started when Hicks found junior Beau Bedford for a 10-yard touchdown strike to put the Eagles up 7-0. After a Sanger three-and-out, Hicks took a deep shot and found senior Mario Reyes streaking down the sideline for a 57-yard touchdown reception.

The Eagles and Indians then traded touchdowns before Decatur was able to pull away behind consecutive touchdown runs from Hicks.

With the victory, Decatur advances to play Abilene Wylie in the bi-district round of the playoffs Friday in Graham. Wylie lost to Stephenville 33-20 in the regular season finale, finishing with a record 6-3. The Eagles ended the year 6-4, losing to Stephenville 41-20 in September.

“They’re a very well-coached football team,” Fuller said. “We’re excited for the opportunity.”

Prior to losing Friday, Wylie had been on a four-game winning streak. During that streak, the Bulldogs gave up seven or less points in three of their wins. Decatur averaged 45.5 points per game during the regular season.

“We know what’s at stake,” Hicks said. “We’re coming in rolling which is what we wanted to do.”

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