Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Michael Ainsworth
The final week of the regular season is upon us. A lot has happened since week one and much more is still to come with seven weeks left until champions are crowned in Arlington. Mansfield Summit had a storybook ending to its season last year. After barely making the playoffs, Mansfield Summit put it all together in the playoffs, winning four playoff games before losing in a competitive game to eventual state champion Denton Ryan.
With that being said, there are plenty of teams in the same spot now as Mansfield Summit was a year ago. We will know exactly what each playoff bracket will look like a week from now, but games across the state on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will determine playoff races and seeding in nearly every district. As always, it’s time for us to recap the football weekend and look ahead to the upcoming weekend of games.
Prosper beats Allen
The state’s longest district winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Prosper Eagles on Friday night. Prosper started out 0-2 in district play but has won three games in a row and now appears to be a lock to make the playoffs in District 5-6A. Allen falls to 4-1 in district play but will still win the district crown if it beats Denton Braswell at home this Friday night. If it loses, Denton Guyer would claim the District 5-6A Championship with a record of 5-1. The Wildcats have a bye week this week.
Prosper used a potent attack through the air to beat Allen last weekend. Quarterback Harrison Rosar was impressive, completing 20 of his 33 passing attempts for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Those completions went to one of three receivers. Tyler Bailey finished with 130 yards and a score, Hunter Summers added 124 yards and two touchdowns and Houston Hawkins caught six passes for 81 yards. Malik Dailey was the leading rusher with 37 yards and a score.
Mike Hawkins had a big night through the air for Allen, passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Jordyn Tyson did it all for Allen, catching four passes for 169 yards and two scores and also completed two passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. Jaylen Jenkins rushed for 113 yards on nine attempts.
Allen answered a Prosper touchdown in the fourth quarter with a Hawkins touchdown pass to Tyson to cut the Prosper lead to 28-23. The Allen defense got a stop to get the offense the ball back with almost six full minutes remaining in the game. Allen made it to the Prosper 24 yard-line before penalties backed the Eagles up to the Prosper 39 yard-line. That’s where the Allen drive ended as the Prosper defense sealed the win.
Flower Mound Marcus wins the Battle of the Axe
Flower Mound Marcus won the Battle of the Axe for the second year in a row with a 40-27 win over Lewisville. The loss was the first of the season for a Lewisville team that is now 8-1 and 5-1 in district play. That one loss now puts the Fighting Farmers in a three-way tie for first place, but Flower Mound Marcus has the head-to-head tiebreaker, essentially making it the second-place team. Marcus hasn’t lost since a 17-14 loss to Flower Mound to open district play. A win over Plano East this week would clinch the District 6-6A Championship for Flower Mound Marcus.
Jaxxon Warren completed 17 of his 25 passing attempts for 211 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Dallas Dudley, who caught six passes for 77 yards and a score. Ashton Cozart and Isaac Khattab also caught touchdown passes. Walker Wells carried the ball 18 times for 133 yards and a touchdown and Gabe Espinoza scored on the ground as well.
Ethan Terrell passed for 207 yards and two touchdowns for Lewisville. Armani Winfield was his top target, catching six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Damien Martinez rushed for 190 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. Three turnovers for the Lewisville offense was too much for the Fighting Farmers to overcome against Marcus.
Arlington beats Arlington Lamar in Overtime
Arlington outlasted Arlington Lamar 45-38 in overtime in a game with big playoff implications in District 8-6A. There are a clear-cut top three teams in District 8-6A. Arlington Martin, Grand Prairie and South Grand Prairie will likely be the top three playoff teams in that order. Arlington and Arlington Lamar are now both 2-3 in district play and Arlington owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Arlington Lamar. Arlington Bowie is lurking at 1-4 in district play and a game against Arlington still on the schedule. If Bowie were to beat Arlington and Lamar were to beat South Grand Prairie, chaos would ensue. That would drop SGP’s record to 3-3- even with Lamar at 3-3. Those two games will decide how the playoff picture shakes out in District 8-6A.
Ryley Zalusky passed for 212 yards and a touchdown and Rodney Talton Jr. carried the team on his back- rushing for 230 yards and four scores on 42 carries. Zalusky also rushed for a touchdown and Talton Jr. caught a touchdown pass. Adam Lemonds caught eight passes for 123 yards.
Arlington Lamar quarterback Jaden Morris passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Javion Green and Laron Hulet both had big nights on the ground. Green rushed for 133 yards and two scores while Hulet added 109 yards and a touchdown. Branden Bias led the receivers with 100 yards and a score.
Arlington can clinch a playoff spot with a win over Arlington Bowie this weekend and Arlington Lamar will need a win over South Grand Prairie to keep its playoff hopes alive as well.
Games to Watch
Thursday, November 4
Arlington @ Arlington Bowie
Both teams need a win to remain in the playoff picture. Arlington would improve to 3-3 in district play and clinch a playoff spot with a win. Bowie would improve to 2-4 and create a potential three-way tie with Arlington and Lamar, depending on the Vikings result against South Grand Prairie, for the last playoff spot.
South Grand Prairie @ Arlington Lamar
Thursday night is a big night for District 8-6A. There are two playoff spots up for grabs and four teams competing for those two spots. South Grand Prairie has had a good season but is 3-2 in district play and could drop into a tie for the last playoff spot with a loss. Both teams really need a win- Lamar more so than South Grand Prairie- to keep playoff chances alive.
Frisco Liberty @ Lovejoy
This game won’t have much of an impact on playoff seeding and it may not be a particularly close game. I am interested to see how the Lovejoy defense holds up against Keldric Luster and a potent Frisco Liberty offense. This is Lovejoy’s last test before the playoffs begin and the Leopards need to play well to gain more momentum for a potential run to the State Championship Game.
Friday, November 5
Coppell @ Flower Mound
Coppell and Flower Mound face off on Friday night with the winner clinching the last playoff spot in District 6-6A and the loser watching the playoffs from home. Flower Mound Marcus, Lewisville and Hebron are the top three playoff teams as all three currently own a 5-1 district record while Flower Mound and Coppell are each 3-3. The Plano schools are all 1-5 in district play and have been eliminated from playoff contention. Coppell and Flower Mound are evenly matched, and the playoff implications are as straight forward as they can possibly be. Win and you’re in, lose and you’re going home.
This game also has implications for Hebron. If Flower Mound wins, Hebron will go into the Division I bracket behind Lewisville. If Coppell wins, Hebron goes into the Division II bracket behind Flower Mound Marcus.
Denton Ryan @ Frisco Lone Star
The de-facto District 5-5A DI Championship Game will take place on Friday night as Frisco Lone Star hosts Denton Ryan. Both teams are 7-0 in district play and will finish as the top two playoff teams in the district. Both of these teams have so much talent that seeding shouldn’t be a big deal as both teams will likely win several playoff games. However, this should be a great game with the winner making a statement and the loser heading into the playoffs with a loss, which is never a good feeling.
Sachse @ Naaman Forest
Sachse and Naaman Forest are each 5-1 in district play with each team losing to Garland and beating all the other teams in District 9-6A. Now all that’s left is to play one another. The winner will finish in second place in the district and the loser will finish in third place.
Azle @ Justin Northwest
The de-facto District 3-5A DI Championship Game will take place between Northwest and Azle on Friday night. Northwest is undefeated in district play with a 6-0 record while Azle is 5-1 with a loss to Fort Worth Brewer. A win for Azle would bring it to a tie with Northwest for first place and the Hornets would own the head-to-head tiebreaker. On the other hand, a loss would drop Azle to third place in the district standings assuming Brewer beats Arlington Heights on Friday night.
Offensive Player of the Week
My Offensive Players of the Week are Arlington running back Rodney Talton Jr. and Prosper quarterback Harrison Rosar! I couldn’t choose between the two because both put up big performances in big games to keep playoff hopes alive for their teams!
Talton Jr. racked up over 329 total yards of offense and scored five total touchdowns. As mentioned above, Arlington kept its playoff hopes alive with an overtime win over Arlington Lamar. Talton Jr. will need another big performance this weekend against Arlington Bowie to ensure the Colts make the playoffs.
Rosar passed for 335 yards and three touchdowns and captained his Prosper Eagles to a win over an Allen team that had a 72-game district winning streak. Rosar’s performance ended that streak and propelled Prosper into the playoff picture. Rosar will hope to lead Prosper to a win over McKinney Boyd this weekend but the win over Allen should be enough to secure a playoff spot.
Defensive Player of the Week
My Defensive Player of the Week is McKinney North defensive end Dylan Frazier! McKinney North ended its regular season with a 37-35 win over Longview! Frazier finished that game with an interception and a fumble recovery to help the Bulldogs outlast the Lobos! McKinney North is headed to the playoffs after finishing district play with a 4-2 record. If Longview defeats Tyler this weekend, it would create a three-way tie for second place in District 7-5A DI with McKinney North, Longview and Tyler all finishing at 4-2. If Longview beats Tyler, all three schools would have a 1-1 record against one another.
Cover Photo of Flower Mound Marcus receiver Dallas Dudley and Sam Wisener courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Special Contributor Michael Ainsworth.