The Barbers Hill offense will have a test today when quarterback Christian Kaopua, 2, and teammates take on Manvel in today’s Region 3 semifinal at NRG Stadium. (Photo by Valerie Hull)

Rematch of last year’s bi-district today at NRG

Two teams that have improved from a year ago will meet again in Region 3 football playoff action as Barbers Hill takes on Manvel at noon today at NRG Stadium.

The squads will meet in the regional semifinal, one year after Manvel (12-0) blitzed Barbers Hill (12-1) with a big second-half performance en route to a 62-42 bi-district round game.

Now, both teams will square off with a chance to become one of the eight best teams in all of Class 5A standing 48 minutes away.

“They are a good football team,” Barbers Hill head coach Tom Westerberg said. “They do a good job with everything that they do. They ran the ball quite a bit last week and in some other games, they are throwing the ball quite a bit. Their quarterback is playing really good.

“Defensively, they put a lot of pressure on you and some of those guys are guys we played against last year.”

Manvel quarterback Tucker Yarborough has thrown for 2,562 yards with 36 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Running back Donovan Eaglin has rushed for 20 touchdowns with 1,188 total yards.

Westerberg sees his Eagles as a much better group heading into this rematch.

“We are a better football team,” Westerberg said. “We were pretty good for three quarters – the first, second and the fourth – and in the third we had a bit of a meltdown when we threw three interceptions and we couldn’t stop them and they pulled away from us. It was a good game for a while and there were some matchups we just weren’t that good in.

“Our kids are just having fun playing the next round and it’s no type of revenge. I think we can play with everyone else we play from here on out.”

But what, if anything, is different and favors the Eagles?

“From a defensive perspective, we are a year older,” Westerberg said. “We will be able to pressure the quarterback a little better. They had a couple of offensive linemen last year that went D1 that they don’t have this year. They still have good athletes and a good football team. I think the gap has closed a little bit.

“I am excited to see us play Friday afternoon.”

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