The Cooldown - Week 14

DFW - Week Fourteen
We are officially halfway through the playoffs. Only eight teams remain in each bracket and it’s that time of year where more games are played on Saturday instead of Friday. Most every team left standing is a championship caliber team, which means that anything can happen in these last few weeks. Let’s recap the third round and look ahead to the fourth round of the playoffs.

Lone Star eliminates Highland Park
We start with our game of the week! Lone Star eliminated the defending state champions in overtime in a thriller at AT&T Stadium last Saturday. Highland Park is a championship caliber team, but the Scots won’t be playing in the state championship game for the first time since 2015.

This game was tied after the first quarter. It was tied at halftime. Highland Park took a seven-point lead to the fourth quarter before Lone Star scored 10 unanswered points. Chandler Morris led Highland Park down the field and the Scots converted a field goal to force overtime. Highland Park was not able to convert a field goal in overtime. Lone Star won the game a few plays later on this touchdown run from Jaden Nixon.

Garret Rangel is my player of the week after he passed for 417 yards and three touchdowns. The Highland Park defense did its best to contain star receiver Marvin Mims, and the sophomore quarterback kept his composure and spread the ball around. Mims still racked up 86 yards and two scores while Trace Bruckler had 183 yards receiving.

Lone Star will now face a good Lancaster team and a date with Denton Ryan looms for the winner of that game. Tre Bradford and Lancaster have the talent to beat anybody, but I like Lone Star in this one.

Jesuit’s Cinderella Dance Continues
E.J. Smith powered Jesuit to another playoff win. After scoring all four of Jesuit’s touchdowns in the Rangers upset win over Longview, Smith IV did it again against Klein Collins. Smith IV led Jesuit in rushing and receiving with 165 total yards and all four Jesuit touchdowns.

Jesuit will face Spring Westfield in the next round in a 6A DII bracket that is still wide open with Longview eliminated. The winner of Jesuit and Westfield will take on the winner of Denton Guyer and Amarillo Tascosa in the state semifinal.

Games of the Week
At this point it’s getting hard to narrow down the games of the week. All the teams remaining are good. With that being said, here are a few games I will have my eye on.

Argyle vs Waco La Vega
La Vega defeated Argyle in the regional finals last season and rode that momentum all the way to a state championship. I suspect the winner of this weekend’s game will be able to do the same. This one is a Friday night game at McLane Stadium.

Frisco Lone Star vs Lancaster
I already talked a bit about this game above, but I will be keeping a close eye on this one. There will be plenty of future DI college football players on the field in this one. I think Rangel will lead Lone Star to a win, but Lancaster is more than capable of winning this one. This is a Friday night game at Wilkerson- Sanders Stadium.

Southlake Carroll vs Duncanville
Duncanville put Southlake Carroll away handily in last season’s regional final. This Dragon team is not last year’s Dragon team though. Quarterback Quinn Ewers is electric, and the Southlake Carroll offense can run the ball and pass it equally well. Duncanville has one of the best rushing offenses in the state but they lack the balance that Carroll has shown all season. After their win over Martin last weekend, head coach Reginald Samples said it best - "At this point of the season, everyone is good." On paper, Duncanville is still the better team but the Dragons have the talent to hang around. The question is, will Southlake Carroll be able to hang around long enough to win? I think it could happen. Kickoff is set for 2:30 on Saturday afternoon at McKinney ISD Stadium.