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Football: Alvord meets Celeste in bi-district

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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After starting the season 0-7, the Alvord Bulldogs hit the postseason having won two of three.

AIMING FOR UPSET – Alvord freshman quarterback Corbyn Cornell and the Bulldogs take on Celeste in the opening round of the playoffs Friday. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

The Bulldogs’ latest triumph, 15-14 over rival Chico, earned them the third seed out of District 5-2A Division I and now a matchup with Celeste in the bi-district round of the 2A Division I playoffs. Alvord (2-8) and Celeste (9-1) will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ron Poe Stadium in McKinney.

Alvord coach Pete Hart is not surprised to see his team playing its best football at the end of the year.

“We thought because of our youth, we’d get better each week and we have,” Hart said. “Offensively, we’ve continued to improve. Defensively, we’ve played solid all year except for giving up some big plays.”

Defensively, the Bulldogs limited Chico to just 124 yards last week.

“We took away Nico Starnes and forced them to run plays over and over,” Hart said.

Alvord was able to run for 162 yards, including 68 from Tanner Richey.

The Alvord defense will get a big test from Celeste and triple threat Jalon Rector, who has thrown for 685 yards, rushed for 515 and caught 28 passes for 577 yards. He’s accounted for 25 touchdowns, lining up at quarterback, running back and receiver.

“We have to recognize where they are putting him,” Hart said. “We have to play fast and smart and limit the big plays.”

The Blue Devils are averaging 361 yards per game – 191 passing and 170 rushing.

Celeste’s lone loss was 30-13 to Valley View. The Blue Devils won their final three, outscoring Bells, Trenton and Blue Ridge a combined 132-35.

ALVORD (2-8) VS. CELESTE (9-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday
at Ron Poe Stadium, McKinney

ALVORD NOTABLE: The Bulldogs are making their fourth straight trip to the playoffs.

CELESTE NOTABLE: Jalen Rector leads the Blue Devils in passing, rushing and receiving, accounting for more than 1,500 yards and 25 TDs.

HARRIS LINE: Celeste by 28

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