Cedar Park is ready for a state final caliber matchup in the third round of the playoffs.
Two undefeated teams clash this week- end when the undefeat- ed Timberwolves take on unbeaten Manvel Saturday at 2 p.m. at Kyle Field in College Station. Cedar Park is No. 2 in the THSCA 5A Region III poll while the Mavericks are No. 1.
“If you want to be the best you’ve got to beat the best,” Cedar Park head coach Carl Abseck said. “It’s two of the teams that people look at as having the best op- portunity to make it to state.”
Cedar Park beat Willis 49-14 two weeks ago and beat Bryan 42-20 last Friday at Crusader Stadium at Mary Hardin-Baylor. Manvel trounced Austin 78-6 in round one before dismantling No. 8 New Camey 69-21 last Saturday.
Manvel isn’t afraid to put up points, averaging 50 points a game this season. The pass-happy Mavericks are led by junior quarterback Kason Martin, who has thrown for 2,826 yards and 41 touchdowns this season. He averages more than 230 passing yards per game.
“Up to this point, this will be the most talented team we’ve faced offensively,” Abseck said. “We’ve played a lot of good people and it’s more of a compliment to Manvel’s overall team. They’re about as complete as you can ask for.”
For the second straight week, Tyler Lavine was the work- horse of the offense. The
senior carried the ball 44 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns, all season highs. He scored three times on 165 yards in the Timberwolves’ 49-14 win against Willis in the first round Friday.
The two big games bring the West Point commit’s season totals to 1,265 yards and 25 touchdowns with six games over 100 yards rushing.
Because his style of play is so physically demanding, Abseck said they tried to limit his touches throughout the regular season. But the one and done attitude of the postseason forced him to give the ball to one of Cedar Park’s most explosive players.
“He’s a very good player and we’ve given him more opportunities,” Abseck said. “It’s that time of year where it’s win or go home and as a team, we’re doing whatever it takes. Putting the ball in his hand is a pretty good answer for us.”
The Timberwolves have won 28 straight games, including he state championship last season. To extend that streak and have a shot at winning their second straight title, they’ll have to go through possibly their toughest test yet.
“You want to play as long as you can and win a championship,” Ab- seck said. “This is just the path we have to take. It’s going to be a huge challenge.”