Written by Corbett Smith
Defensive player of the week: Liberty's Stan Shepherd
What he did: Shepherd intercepted two passes, running one back for a 31-yard touchdown, in Liberty's 38-3 win over Frisco Wakeland. Shepherd's interception late in the first quarter, jumping a slant route, stretched Liberty's lead to two scores, and his third-quarter interception set up another touchdown. The Liberty defense forced four turnovers and held Wakeland 35 points below its season average en route to winning the District 9-4A title.
Who is he? A 5-11, 175-pound junior safety.
The stats: Eight tackles, a pass break-up and two interceptions.
He said it: "With us winning so decisively, I think it gives us a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs. ...We truly think that we can make a huge run."
Coach said it: "Our defense, I felt, played as well as I thought they could have played. ... Our safeties, who got the interceptions, did a good job of reading their keys. As good as Wakeland is offensively with [QB Tyler] Kirkindoll, we did a great job." - Galen Zimmerman
Did you know? Shepherd's first varsity game was in last year's 4A Division II regional, in which Liberty lost to Sulphur Springs, 33-31. After spending the regular season on the JV, Shepherd was called up to varsity in the playoffs and caught three passes for 61 yards as a slot receiver.
Honorable mention Player School Cl. Pos. Notable Jamal Adams Hebron Fr. DB Game-sealing fum. rec. Nick Bush Frisco Centennial Jr. OLB 8 solo tackles, 6 assists, 4.5 TFL, sack Gavin Hawbaker Arlington Jr. LB 10 tackles, 2 sacks, pass def. Lloyd Jacobs Anna Sr. DB Fum. rec. in OT Dominic Kelly Corsicana Jr. LB 63-yd. fum. rec. TD, INT Grant Klembara Lutheran Sr. OLB 2 FF, 77-yd. fum. ret. TD Tanner Larson McKinney Boyd Jr. DB 7 tackles, 22-yd. INT ret. TD Eugene Lockhart Parish Episcopal Jr. DE 2 fum. rec. Andre Moseley Wylie Sr. DB INT and fum. rec. Kendrick Nickerson Garland Sr. DB 18 tack., 16-yd. INT ret. TD, pass def. Yaw Osei-Baffour Mansfield Timberview Sr. LB 10-yd. INT ret. TD Chad Polk Woodrow Wilson Sr. LB 12 tackles, sack Blake Poston Highland Park Sr. DB 2 INT, including 70-yd. ret. TD Tanner Rice Coppell Sr. DE 1.5 sacks, 3 TFL, 4 solos, 5 assists Cord Seay DeSoto Sr. LB 14 tackles, INT, 20-yd. fum. rec. TD Draylon Sterling Corsicana Mildred Fr. S 2 INT ret. TDs Josh Stewart Denton Guyer Sr. DB 2 INT Frank Vecella Bishop Lynch Sr. DB 40-yd. INT ret. TD, 8 tackles, 2 fum. rec. O.T. Walker Denton Ryan Sr. CB 2 INT Kristoddie Woods Garland Lakeview Sr. LB 11 solo tackles, 5 TFL, fum. rec.