Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Elías Valverde II
Congratulations to the bi-district champions across the DFW metroplex! The playoff field has thinned out significantly heading into the area round. The teams that win this weekend will get to practice on Thanksgiving Day, accomplishing a goal every team in the state sets before the season starts. Let’s recap some bi-district games and preview some of the best area round games.
Lewisville eliminates Allen
Lewisville eliminated Allen from the playoffs, beating the Eagles 43-18 in dominating fashion. Allen moved the ball but struggled to put the ball in the end zone against a stingy Lewisville defense. Running the ball was a chore for the Eagles while Lewisville made the running game look easy.
Lewisville quarterback Ethan Terrell completed seven of his 10 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Terrell was most effective on the ground, rushing for 164 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. Viron Ellison added 155 yards and a score on 24 carries. Jaydan Hardy led the receivers with two receptions for 36 yards and a score. Hardy also completed a pass for 21 yards to Xavier Fleming.
Allen quarterback Mike Hawkins Jr. completed 18 of his 37 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Hawkins Jr. also led the rushing attack with 41 yards and a score on 11 attempts. Micah Ellis added 36 yards on 10 attempts. Davon Mitchell led the receivers with four receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Allen Wimberly caught four passes for 83 yards and Messiah Washington caught five passes for 45 yards.
Lewisville’s area round opponent will be harder to beat. The Fighting Farmers take on Arlington Martin. Lewisville will have to be ready to play a disciplined football team that is accustomed to winning on the margins under coach Bob Wager.
Keller eliminates Trinity
Keller secured its first playoff win since 2003 with a 17-10 win over Trinity in the bi-district round. The Indians had been to the playoffs in five of the previous six years but failed to win a playoff game in that span. Strong winds caused only 24 passes to be attempted in this game, a number Keller quarterback Tre Guerra usually surpasses himself, but Keller found a way to win at Trinity’s game- on the ground.
Keller quarterback Tre Guerra completed six of his 12 passes for 52 yards. As I mentioned, it was tough for both quarterbacks to throw crisp passes due to the weather. Amarion Henry caught four passes for 31 yards to lead the receivers. Running back Jayden Hart and the Indians defense powered Keller to the win. Hart carried the ball 23 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Rayford added seven carries for 40 yards and Guerra rushed for 38 yards on three attempts.
Trinity quarterback TJ Tupou completed five of his 12 passes for 53 yards. Jarvis Heimuli led the receivers with two receptions for 31 yards. Gary Maddox got his usual heavy workload- rushing for 128 yards on 36 carries. Josh Bell added 40 yards on eight attempts and Tupou rushed six times for 33 yards and the lone Trinity score of the night. The Trojans jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter before giving up 17 unanswered points.
Keller will face Midland Legacy on Saturday and the winner of that game will face the winner of Arlington Martin and Lewisville. The Indians defense will need to play as well as it did against Trinity and Keller will need to get Guerra and the passing game going in order to advance to the regional semifinal round.
Highland Park eliminates Arlington Bowie
Highland Park eliminated Arlington Bowie 44-27 in a thrilling game. Arlington Bowie outgained Highland Park 481-436 but suffered from penalties and allowing too many long touchdown passes. Highland Park averaged 21 yards per completion through the air.
Highland Park quarterback Brennan Storer completed 10 of his 16 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Beau Lilly was the Scots’ leading receiver with three receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown. Jay Cox added two receptions for 101 yards and a score and Jackson Heis caught a 49-yard touchdown pass for his lone reception. Grayson Schrank caught a pass for 33 yards and Luke Herring caught three passes for 32 yards and a score. Cox led the Scots on the ground with 11 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Arlington Bowie quarterback DeAngelo Ponder completed 24 of his 36 passes for 265 yards. Ponder also carried the ball 12 times for 57 yards and two touchdowns. The Volunteers scored all their touchdowns on the ground though the passing attack was lethal. Darrion Bowers led Arlington Bowie in rushing with 92 yards and a score on 15 carries. Tavares Duckett added 61 yards and a score on 15 carries. Kelby Valsin led the receivers with 12 receptions for 137 yards. Rafeld Campbell added five receptions for 65 yards and Jalen Sanders caught three passes for 38 yards.
Highland Park will face Denton Guyer in the area round. Denton Guyer is coming off a 42-7 thrashing of Flower Mound Marcus and is considered a favorite to make the 6A DII State Championship Game. There won’t be much room for error for Highland Park this week against Denton Guyer.
Games to Watch
Rockwall Heath (7-4) vs DeSoto (9-2)
Rockwall Heath takes on DeSoto on Thursday night at 7:00 at the Star in Frisco. DeSoto beat Pflugerville Weiss 37-20 in the bi-district round while Rockwall Heath held off Wylie East 23-16 to advance to the area round. DeSoto has one of the best offensive attacks in the metroplex. The Hawks defense will be tested in this one. I like DeSoto and its high-flying offense to beat Rockwall Heath behind a big night from QB DJ Bailey and WR Johntay Cook.
Denton Guyer (11-0) vs Highland Park (11-0)
Any time two undefeated teams get together in the playoffs, it’s going to be must-watch football. This game might not end up being as close as some would hope given that these two teams have combined to go 22-0 to this point in the season. The Highland Park defense is going to have to drag the Denton Guyer offense down into the mud with it for this to be a close game. I like Denton Guyer QB Jackson Arnold to put enough points on the scoreboard and for the Wildcats secondary to keep Highland Park out of striking distance for the majority of this game. I’ll take Denton Guyer over Highland Park in this one.
Lewisville (10-1) vs Arlington Martin (10-1)
Lewisville takes on Arlington Martin at 7:00 on Friday Night at SMU’s Ford Stadium. Arlington Martin beat Richardson Berkner 62-3 in the first round of the playoffs and Lewisville defeated Allen 43-18, which you can read more about above. This game should be more evenly matched than Denton Guyer’s matchup with Highland Park. If all things are equal, I’ll take Arlington Martin over Lewisville. The Warriors beat the Fighting Farmers 68-0 in the 2020 playoffs. This game won’t get that out of hand, but Bob Wager doesn’t usually lose games in which his team is evenly matched with its opponent. I’ll take Arlington Martin in a close one.
McKinney (7-4) vs Dallas Jesuit (9-2)
McKinney takes on Jesuit at 7:00 on Friday night at Children’s Health Stadium in Prosper. Jesuit beat Arlington 41-14 in the bi-district round while McKinney raced past Coppell 44-26. Jesuit has the better record of these two teams, but McKinney has played the tougher district schedule and had a tougher bi-district matchup. I am rocking with McKinney QB Keldric Luster and the Lions to beat Jesuit and advance to the regional semifinals.
Rockwall (10-1) vs Waxahachie (9-2)
Rockwall will face Waxahachie at 7:00 on Friday night at Globe Life Field. Rockwall beat Sachse 50-24 in the opening round of the playoffs while Waxahachie took down Temple 30-21. This should be an evenly matched game. Both teams played Cedar Hill relatively early in the season. Rockwall beat the Longhorns 34-12 in the season-opener while Waxahachie took down Cedar Hill 51-21 in its district-opener. I’ll take Rockwall QB Lake Bennett and Yellow Jackets to win a close game over Waxahachie.
Longview (11-0) vs Frisco Lone Star (9-2)
Longview faces Frisco Lone Star on Friday night at 7:00 at Dallas’ Kincaide Stadium. Frisco Lone Star beat Richland 55-15 and Longview beat Crosby 49-15. Frisco Lone Star struggled a little bit early in the season, getting off to a 2-2 start, before rounding into form down the stretch. This is the right time of year to be playing your best football, but it still might not be enough against Longview. The Lobos are considered a favorite to make it to the 5A DI State Championship Game for good reason. Longview’s offensive trio of Jordan Allen, Taylor Tatum and Jalen Hale should power the Lobos past Frisco Lone Star. I’m taking Longview over the Rangers to advance to the regional semifinals.
Frisco Reedy (11-0) vs Lancaster (9-2)
Frisco Reedy takes on Lancaster on Friday night at 7:30 at Ellis Stadium in Irving. Lancaster beat Humble Kingwood Park 47-14 in the bi-district round and Frisco Reedy beat WT White 50-14 to advance. Frisco Reedy has had a fantastic season, but the Lions haven’t faced a team as talented as Lancaster all season. Lancaster has been tested plenty and should be more equipped for this game as a result. I am taking Lancaster and QB Jaquavius Pipkin to beat Frisco Reedy, but I also won’t count out the Lions. I am interested to see how Frisco Reedy looks against a team as athletic and talented as Lancaster.
Prosper (10-1) vs South Grand Prairie (6-5)
Prosper takes on South Grand Prairie on Friday night at 7:00 at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington. South Grand Prairie beat Lake Highlands 31-27 in the opening round and Prosper beat Plano 28-3. Don’t let South Grand Prairie’s record fool you. The Warriors played a tough schedule and lost a lot of games by one score. Prosper also played a tough schedule and went 10-1. The Eagles should be the favorite to win this game, but don’t expect it to be easy. I’ll take Prosper’s QB-WR duo of Harrison Rosar and Hunter Summers to score enough points to put the game out of reach late. Just don’t be surprised if South Grand Prairie sticks around until the end in this one.
South Oak Cliff (8-3) vs Lovejoy (8-3)
South Oak Cliff takes on Lovejoy on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 at Globe Life Field. Lovejoy beat Whitehouse 38-34 in the opening round while South Oak Cliff defeated Mansfield Summit 12-7 to advance. Lovejoy has a ton of playmakers on offense, but if facing a super talented Golden Bears defense. South Oak Cliff has struggled to throw the ball and put up points against good teams this season, but Lovejoy has struggled to hold good teams under 30 points. This should be an evenly matched game, but I am taking South Oak Cliff’s defense to drag the Lovejoy offense down into an ugly game to get the win.
Offensive Player of the Week
My Offensive Player of the Week is Dallas Carter running back Kaeden Landry! Carter eliminated Sulphur Springs 37-33 to advance to the area round! Landry carried the ball 38 times for 257 yards and four touchdowns to help power Carter to the area round! Landry got some help from Camden Patterson, who carried the ball 14 times for 74 yards and a score, and from his offensive line. Carter (9-2) will take on Lake Worth (9-2) on Friday night at 7:00 at Apogee Stadium in Denton. The Cowboys will need another dominate performance from Landry with a trip to the regional semifinals on the line!
Defensive Player of the Week
My Defensive Player of the Week is DeSoto linebacker Brandon Booker! DeSoto defeated Pflugerville Weiss 37-20 in the bi-district round. Booker finished the game with 9 tackles, 4 quarterback hits, 3 pass breakups and a tackle-for-loss! Booker’s disruption helped the DeSoto defense hold Pflugerville Weiss to 20 points, and just a field goal in the second half!
College Player of the Week
My College Player of the Week is former Sachse quarterback Jalen Mayden! San Diego State beat San Jose State 43-27 behind Mayden’s big performance. Mayden completed 17 of his 22 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns and led the Aztecs in rushing with 61 yards on 13 carries. Of note, former Lewisville receiver Tyrell Shavers was Mayden’s favorite target, catching four passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Mayden had to step up due to injuries and is playing well for San Diego State!
Cover Photo of Lewisville QB Ethan Terrell courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Staff Photographer Elías Valverde II.