The Cooldown: Week 11
We have playoff football in Texas this weekend! That’s right, the small schools kick off the playoffs this weekend as the large schools continue to plow through district play. There were a handful of good games last weekend and we’ll recap a few of them while looking ahead to this weekend’s slate.
Cedar Hill wins Battle of Beltline
Cedar Hill defeated DeSoto in the Battle of Beltline for the third straight season behind a monster performance from Kaidon Salter. The Tennessee commit passed for 210 yards and two touchdowns and added four more touchdowns on the ground to account for all but one of Cedar Hill’s touchdowns. Salter started what might end up being the play of the year when he completed a touchdown pass to Jayden Moore off his back leg. Moore finished the play with a one-handed grab for the score. The Longhorns defeated DeSoto 49-42 in a thriller to set up a big game with Duncanville this weekend. Salter will need a similar performance against the Panthers if Cedar Hill is going to top Duncanville for the district championship.
Highland Park takes down Longview
Highland Park travelled to east Texas to face the Longview Lobos in a district showdown. Brayden Schager threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Will Pettijohn midway through the 4th quarter to lift Highland Park past Longview 18-13. The Scots have taken down worthy 6A opponents and Schager looks more than capable of leading Highland Park on another deep playoff run.
Player of the Week
My player of the week is Cedar Hill quarterback Kaidon Salter. There was really no other choice for this award given Salter’s massive performance against such a good defense and the most talented defensive line in the state. I believe Cedar Hill could make a run to the 6A DII State Championship Game if Salter continues to play like this.
Team of the Week
My team of the week is the Colleyville Heritage Panthers. Heritage took down a really good Red Oak squad 27-13 at home. This is my official notice to watch out for Colleyville Heritage. This is a team that nobody will want to face in the playoffs. I think the Panthers offense is legit and Heritage showed it can hang with some of the better teams in the area. I also want to recognize Byron Nelson as the other team I considered. The Bobcats finished off a come-from-behind win over Keller Timber Creek 38-31 after outscoring Timber Creek 14-0 in the final frame.
Games to Watch
Thursday, November 12
Frisco Centennial @ Frisco Independence
I am interested to see if Frisco Independence can continue its momentum and beat a Centennial team that put up 68 points in a win over Frisco Heritage last weekend. Independence scored 55 in its win over Frisco Wakeland last weekend and this game could feature a lot of points. Independence is 2-3 and still has Denton Ryan on the schedule so a win this weekend is much needed.
Byron Nelson @ Keller Fossil Ridge
Byron Nelson is coming off an emotional come-from-behind win over Keller Timber Creek. The win was Byron Nelson’s first in district play after getting the best two teams out of the way early. Now the Bobcats are looking to string together a few wins in order to make a playoff push. We know Southlake Carroll and Eaton will be the top two seeds in this district. The last two seeds are up for grabs. Fossil Ridge is 0-2 in district play and still has Southlake Carroll on the schedule, making this a must win game for the Panthers.
North Dallas @ Argyle
North Dallas is in the playoffs for the first time since 1952! Argyle will win this one easily after a perfect 10-0 regular season, but North Dallas fans should enjoy the accomplishment of making it back to the playoffs.
Teague @ Grandview
Dane Jentsch kicks off his final playoff run with Grandview against a 2-7 Teague squad. The Zebras finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record and should make it back to the 3A DI State Championship Game. If you haven’t had the chance to watch this Grandview team over the last three years, I suggest getting out to a Grandview game before the season is over.
Friday, November 13
Denton Guyer @ Allen
This game is for the district championship. If Allen beats Denton Guyer but loses to Prosper, I believe it would create a three-way tie for first place, but this is essentially a district championship game. Denton Guyer will be looking to hand Allen its first loss at Eagle Stadium and clinch a district championship on the same night. This is a big game for many reasons. Prosper would like Allen to win this game. Allen would like to stay undefeated in Eagle Stadium. Denton Guyer would like to beat the Eagles at home and win the district. This should be a great game with so much talent on both sidelines. I can’t pick against Allen at Eagle Stadium so I’m taking Allen in a close one.
Cedar Hill @ Duncanville
This is the other big game in the area. Cedar Hill took down DeSoto for a right to play in this game. Before the season I picked Cedar Hill to finish third in this district behind Duncanville and DeSoto. I should not have picked against Kaidon Salter. Now the Longhorns are playing for a district championship. Cedar Hill proved me wrong last weekend against DeSoto and I won’t make the same mistake this week. Give me Cedar Hill by a touchdown.
South Grand Prairie @ Arlington
I would say this game has big playoff implications but almost all the games in District 8-6A have big playoff implications. Arlington Martin and Arlington Bowie will be the top two seeds. Every other team in this district is competing for the last two playoff spots, and nobody is really out of it yet. Both South Grand Prairie and Arlington are 1-2 in district play and the loser of this game will have a much tougher path to the playoffs.
Plano @ Lewisville
Plano took down Hebron last weekend to improve to 1-2 in district play. The bad news for the Wildcats is there are four teams ahead of them with 2-1 records and Marcus in first place at 3-0. The Hebron win could be a turning point for Plano but a win against Lewisville would really give Plano an advantage. I think Lewisville wins this one handily as a team that needs to win with Marcus still on the schedule, but this Plano team intrigues me.
Colleyville Heritage @ Mansfield Summit
Colleyville Heritage is 4-0 and undefeated in district play. Mansfield Summit is also undefeated in district play. If Colleyville Heritage can win this game, the Panthers likely take the district championship. Burleson Centennial might have something to say about that later down the schedule, but this game could propel Colleyville Heritage to a district championship. This should be a great game, but I am taking Colleyville Heritage in a close one.