The Cooldown: Week 14

A wild Thanksgiving weekend reshaped the playoff picture in several divisions across the state. Playoff races are heating up for the big schools with the last weekend of the regular season upon us. We’ll recap some of the top games from last weekend and preview another football weekend in the metroplex!

Malakoff stuns Grandview

Malakoff has finally done it! The fifth time was the charm for the Tigers, who took down Grandview 24-21 to emerge as one of the favorites to win the 3A DI State Championship. Malakoff beat Pottsboro the week before taking out Grandview and has eliminated both of the teams that made it to the 3A DI State Championship Game a year ago. Art Briles and Mount Vernon are up next for Malakoff. Duce Hart and Darion Peace form a dynamic duo in the Malakoff backfield but Mount Vernon can put points on the scoreboard too.

A new era now begins in Grandview as quarterback Dane Jentsch has played his last game as a Zebra. Jentsch was named offensive and defensive MVP of the 3A DI State Championship Game each of the last two years. In the end, Jentsch couldn’t pull off a third straight state championship but his name should be included in the conversation of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the state of Texas.

Argyle tops Waco La Vega

Argyle defeated Waco La Vega 28-14 to advance in the playoffs. The Eagles have been eliminated by the Pirates in the playoffs the last two years and finally flipped the trend this season. Argyle did most of its damage on the ground in this one as Tito Byce rushed for 164 yards and a score. CJ Rogers only completed three passes but two of those went for touchdowns to Cash Walker and Hayden Stewart. Argyle will get Paris in the next round. The Eagles beat Paris 28-7 in district play in early November. Paris defeated Melissa 54-49 in a shootout last weekend.

Player of the Week

My player of the week is Allen wide out Bryson Green. Allen’s perfect home record and lengthy district winning streak were on the line when Jackson Berry found Keaton Nickerson in the end zone to give Prosper a 31-28 lead with 1:03 left in the game. General Booty connected with Bryson Green four times on Allen’s final drive of the game. The last connection went for a touchdown to give Allen a 35-31 lead with six seconds left in the game to preserve Allen’s multiple winning streaks. Green finished with 10 receptions for 102 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

Team of the Week

The Flower Mound Marcus Marauders are my team of the week! Marcus defeated Lewisville 58-38 in the Battle of the Axe to clinch the district championship. That makes it two district titles in a row for the Marauders and another win over Lewisville! The game was closer than the final score indicated as Marcus ran away with it in the final quarter. Lewisville kicked a field goal in the 3rd quarter to take a 38-35 lead but wouldn’t score again. Garrett Nussmeier finished with 265 yards and four touchdowns. Taylen Green finished with 276 yards and four total touchdowns and also led the Farmers in rushing. Marcus should put a bow on a perfect regular season against Plano East this weekend before starting another playoff run.

Games to Watch

Thursday, December 3

Allen @ Denton Braswell

Allen has the district title wrapped up. A win or a loss would have no effect on the Eagles playoff standings. A perfect regular season is on the line, but how much does Allen care about that? Braswell, on the other hand, needs a win to make the playoffs. The Bengals are tied with Prosper for fourth in the district with a 2-3 record. Braswell owns a district win over Prosper and would hold the tiebreaker if both teams win this weekend. If both teams lose and McKinney defeats Little Elm, there would be a three-way tie for the last playoff spot in this district.

Lovejoy @ Frisco Liberty

This game doesn’t have any playoff implications as far as I can tell. If star receiver Evan Stewart and quarterback Keldric Luster play in this game, it could be one to keep an eye on. Liberty is outmanned against the top team in the district, but the Liberty offense has been able to move the ball and put up points when Luster and Stewart have played this season.

Friday, December 4

Frisco Lone Star @ Denton Ryan

This one is for the district title. Denton Ryan has a 6-0 district record and Frisco Lone Star has a 5-0 district record. There is talent all over the field in this one and it should be a great game. I’m taking Denton Ryan, but I do think the Lone Star offense will be able to keep up and make this a close game.

McKinney Boyd @ Prosper

McKinney Boyd is back in the playoffs with a 3-2 district record. A loss to Prosper would knock McKinney Boyd down from the third-place team in District 5-6A to fourth place. Prosper needs a win to get into the playoffs. A win over McKinney Boyd would give Prosper a third-place finish but a loss would put Prosper in fifth place and Denton Braswell would grab the last playoff spot with a win over Allen. McKinney could force a three-way tie for the last playoff spot with a win and losses from Braswell and Prosper. Either way, this game is must win for the Eagles to get into the playoffs.

Lewisville @ Hebron

This is another game with big playoff implications and a win-and-your-in scenario. Marcus has clinched the district title, but the last three playoff spots are up for grabs between four teams. Coppell, Lewisville, Hebron and Plano West all have three district wins. Coppell is favored to beat Flower Mound this weekend and Plano West is favored over Plano. If Coppell and Plano West win, they’re both in the playoffs and the winner of Lewisville and Hebron would round out the playoff picture. The winner of this game makes the playoffs no matter how the other games play out. The loser would need either Coppell or Plano West to lose.

Burleson Centennial @ Red Oak

Burleson Centennial is 4-1 in district play. Red Oak is 5-1. Colleyville Heritage is 4-0 and will likely finish as district champions with a game left against Mansfield Legacy. This game is for second place in the district, with the loser taking third place. I think Red Oak takes this one, but it should be a great game between two really good teams.

Celina @ Graham

This one will be played at Globe Life Park on Friday night at 7:00 with the winner taking on the Region II Champion in the next round. Caddo Mills takes on Gilmer in the Region II Championship Game. Celina is coming off a big 42-24 win over Iowa Park and Graham got familiar with Globe Life Park last weekend in a 28-14 win over Aubrey. For context, Celina lost to Aubrey 36-27 in district play. This should be a good one, but I have Graham winning Region I in the 4A DII Playoffs.

Saturday, December 5

Paris @ Argyle

Paris and Argyle will face one another for the second time this season at 6:00 on Saturday night at McKinney ISD Stadium. Argyle defeated Paris 28-7 in district play and is favored to win this one. The Eagles are coming off a big win over Waco La Vega but can’t afford to lose focus against a talented Paris squad. Paris defeated Melissa last weekend to advance to the Region II Championship Game against Argyle. The winner of this game will face the Region I Champion. Springtown faces Canyon for the Region I Championship.

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