TAPPS DI Regional Preview: Prestonwood vs. Parish Episcopal
This wild season somehow got even wilder with big-time, playoff blowouts from area teams as well as a close call to a regular season and home win streak. It's the greatest time of year where just about anything can happen.
And as this Thanksgiving weekend continues, we shift back to a single-game focus and over to TAPPS where we have a Division I Regional matchup between Plano Prestonwood (4-3) and Dallas Parish Episcopal (7-1) at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.
It's been an up-and-down year for Prestonwood, which got off to a rough 1-3 start to the year among cancellations, pushbacks and reschedules. But after that 1-3 start, which finished with a 55-14 loss to Parish, Prestonwood has found itself a bit and rattled off three straight wins by outscoring its opponents by an average of 27 points per game.
Prestonwood is led by dual-threat quarterback Maguire Martin, who's thrown for more than 1,200 yards and rushed for team-leading 677. Martin has 21 total touchdowns to his credit this year, and his favorite target when throwing the ball has been Derek Eusebio, who has 25 catches for 440 yards and six touchdowns.
In Prestonwood's first four games, the offense averaged just 26 points a game while the defense gave up 32.8. In the last three, those numbers have completely flipped where the offense has averaged 41 and the defense giving up just 14.
PREVIEWING PARISH EPISCOPAL
With the target square on its collective back, Parish opened the season with a strong start, beating its first five opponents by an average of 26.6 points per game. In the next two games, though, Parish found itself in very close games against district opponents, winning in overtime over Plano John Paul II and then falling to Fort Worth Nolan Catholic after having a 14-0 lead, which gave Nolan Catholic the district title.
But the engine that drives this train is the SMU-commit, 4-star, dual-threat quarterback Preston Stone. Stone has completed 72 percent of his passes this year for more than 2,500 yards through the air and 29 passing touchdowns and another 300 yards and a team-leading eight rushing touchdowns.
Stone's main targets this year are the trio of Christian Benson, Jai Moore and Blake Youngblood, who have combined for 73 percent of the receptions, 77 percent of the receiving yards and 24 of the 29 receiving touchdowns.
PREVIEWING THE GAME
The last time Parish played at the Ford Center, it was in the state semifinals against Houston St. Thomas in a 41-21 win. Again, Stone was great, tallying four total touchdowns and more than 330 total yards.
As mentioned earlier, Parish dominated Prestonwood early in the season to the tune of 55-14 as Stone threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another two as the game was well in-hand by halftime.
Since, Prestonwood has played much better while the competition has stiffened up against Parish. Although, Parish Episcopal did open up its first round matchup against Bishop Lynch with a 55-21 win. Prestonwood had a bye in the first round - somehow - despite being the third seed in District 1.
So with Parish having a big bounceback win after two close games prior and Prestonwood having the bye, it's hard to really judge how this game will shake out. For Prestonwood to have a chance, the defense will need to find a way to slow down Stone. Maybe the extra week of prep will help, but Parish seems like too solid of a team all around to not be able to advance to the next round.
PREDICTION: Parish 45, Prestonwood 27