POTEET FOOTBALL JAILYN GRAHAM

Jailyn Graham and Poteet will host Magnolia in the first round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.

It has been a roller coaster ride of a season for Poteet.

They started the year on a three-game losing streak, then won their next four only to turn around and drop two of their final three.

The Pirates are hoping one of the high points happens on Friday, when they host Magnolia in a Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff game at 7 p.m. at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.

Poteet was unable to keep pace with McKinney North last week in a 63-21 loss. The Pirates did so for a while in the first half and were tied 21-21 but were unable to capitalize on a couple of chances and the Bulldogs made them pay, reeling off 42 unanswered points.

The Pirates have been without the services of standout running back Seth McGowan for the last three games, and while his status is uncertain for this week, they have shown they can win without him.

Xzaveon Jeans has rushed for 808 yards and six touchdowns and Jailyn Graham also had a big run a week ago.

Jaylond Police has thrown for 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns and can also make plays on the ground. Tristan Golightly has emerged as one of the top receivers in the area with 39 catches for 603 yards and nine scores and Graham (20-342, 5 TDs) is another primary option.

The Pirate defense has been led by Stephen Kirk, Jr. (77 tackles), Brenton Hamilton (74 tackles, 7 TFL) and Jalen Hodo (70 tackles). Jahmad Jackson (63 tackles), Nicholas Deville (51 tackles), Aaron Mixell (51 tackles), Bryce Hamilton (39 tackles, 5 TFL) and Jalen Updite (33 tackles (4 TFL) have been consistent, sophomore Miles Garner has recorded five sacks and Hodo and Jeremiah Akumen each have two interceptions, with Akumen returning one of those for a touchdown against Tyler John Tyler.

The defense had been good for the previous six weeks before running into McKinney North’s high-octane attack and will need a bounce-back performance against Magnolia.

The Bulldogs have one of the most productive running backs in the state in Mitch Hall, who has rushed for 1,750 yards and 11 touchdowns.

It is not a one-dimensional unit, either, as Travis Moore has thrown for 1,451 yards and 21 touchdowns and added 531 yards and seven scores on the ground.

Magnolia has four players with double-digit receptions, but the player to watch is Ben Renfro, who has 45 receptions for 729 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Magnolia has been tested this season. Of its three losses, two have come at the hands of No. 2 Pearland Shadow Creek and No.5 Lufkin.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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