The Cooldown: Week 15

The playoffs are here for the big schools! That’s right, the 5A and 6A playoff brackets have been set! There is only one playoff spot left to fill in the 6A DI bracket, and I will get to that in our games to watch below. The small schools are onto the state semifinals this weekend ahead of the UIL State Championship Games. Let’s recap last weekend and preview a full slate of playoff games!

Prosper Clinches Playoff Spot

One of the best games from last weekend had massive playoff implications. Prosper was almost the best team left out of the playoffs in the state, but quarterback Jackson Berry wouldn’t allow the Eagles to lose. Berry scored three touchdowns on the ground, including the game-winning score to put Prosper ahead of McKinney Boyd 29-28. The Prosper defense also deserves a big shout out for stopping McKinney Boyd at the end of the game and not allowing the Broncos to score. This game wasn’t devoid of meaning for McKinney Boyd either. The Broncos would have been the third place finished in district play with a win but are bumped down to fourth place as Prosper fills the third spot with the win. Either way, we’ll get to see both of these teams in the playoffs as Denton Braswell is left on the outside of the playoff picture.

Plano West Earns Playoff Spot

Another team that needed a win to make the playoffs was Plano West. I’ll admit, I was wrong about this team. I thought Plano had the best chance of the Plano schools to make the playoffs. Instead, it was a 31-24 win over Plano that helped Plano West clinch a playoff spot. The Wolves will get Allen in the first round, but this is the first time Plano West has made the playoffs since 2014. This is a big accomplishment. Congrats, Plano West!

Player of the Week

My player of the week is Prosper quarterback Jackson Berry. The Prosper offense got the ball with about four minutes left in regulation and trailing 28-23. A touchdown and the Eagles make the playoffs. Anything less and Prosper watches the playoffs at home. Berry responded by leading a six-play 82-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown and a 29-28 win for Prosper. The reward is a first- round date with an undefeated Flower Mound Marcus squad.

Team of the Week

My team of the week is the Prosper Eagles. This might be the first time I have ever doubled up with a player of the week who plays for my team of the week- but it’s well deserved! Berry got the nod for player of the week for scoring three touchdowns, including the game-winner. Prosper doesn’t win this game without Keaton Nickerson making a diving catch on the final drive, or without the defense coming up with a stop on McKinney Boyd’s last play of the game. This is a tough team and they won’t be an easy out in the playoffs.

Games to Watch

Monday, December 7

Keller @ Keller Timber Creek

The only reason this game is being played is because of the playoff implications. Because of different tie-breaker scenarios in District 4-6A, Keller needs to win by 10-points or more to fill the last playoff spot. That means Timber Creek can lose by nine points or less and keep its spot in the playoffs. This game will decide who gets to face Euless Trinity in the first round.

Thursday, December 10

Richardson @ Arlington Martin

This game will be played at Globe Life Park on Thursday night between an 8-1 Arlington Martin squad and a 5-5 Richardson team. I expect Martin to win this one by a few scores. The Warriors haven’t lost a game since opening the season with a loss to Denton Ryan. Richardson is on a two-game losing streak after closing the season with the top two teams in its district. Richardson has had a good year, but the Eagles season will likely come to a close against Martin on Thursday.

Brewer @ Colleyville Heritage

Brewer hasn’t played since a mid-November loss to Northwest and hasn’t won a game since late October. The Bears had their last two games canceled and finished 4-4 on the season. Colleyville Heritage finished the season 6-0 and District 4-5A DI Champions. The winner of this game will head west to face the winner of El Paso El Dorado and Amarillo in the next round. I have Colleyville Heritage by a few scores in this one.

W.T. White @ Frisco Lone Star

W.T. White finished the season with a 6-4 record thanks to a few cancelations. The Longhorns won three games they played and were competitive in every loss except the loss to Lancaster. They'll have to face a high-powered Frisco Lone Star squad in round one. Both of these teams lost in different fashions to the top teams in their district last weekend. Lone Star finished the season with a 5-3 record but is still a dangerous playoff team. The winner of this game will face the winner of McKinney North and Magnolia and I have Lone Star by a few touchdowns over W.T. White.

Friday, December 11

South Grand Prairie @ Lake Highlands

This is one of the better first round playoff matchups in the metroplex this weekend. South Grand Prairie finished the season 6-2 with one of those wins attributed to a cancelation. The Warriors two losses came against Bowie and Martin and both games were close. This team can hang with most teams in the metroplex, Lake Highlands included. Lake Highlands finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and scored no less than 34 points in a game. The signature win for this squad was a gutty 34-31 win over Jesuit to claim the District 7-6A Championship. The Wildcats had a much easier schedule than South Grand Prairie did. That could play in the Warriors favor in this matchup, but I am taking Lake Highlands by a field goal. The winner of this game will get the winner of Allen and Plano West in the next round.

McKinney Boyd @ Lewisville

McKinney Boyd started off the season with an 0-3 record and didn’t look good in the process. The Broncos closed the season with a 4-3 record and looked good in losses against Denton Guyer and Prosper. This is a different team than the one that opened the season and should be taken seriously in the playoffs. Lewisville finished its season with a 6-3 record and put up 70-points against Hebron last weekend. Plano West held Lewisville to 17-points in a loss for the Farmers, but Lewisville has put up at least 38-points in every other game this season. The winner of this game will get the winner of Arlington Martin and Richardson and I am taking Lewisville by a few touchdowns.

Arlington @ Jesuit

Arlington had an up-and-down season and finished with a 4-5 record, though one of those losses is attributed to a cancelation. I still like this Colts team though and I think they could push Jesuit in this game. Jesuit finished the season with a 7-3 record and only lost to Lake Highlands in district play. The winner of this game will get the winner of Denton Guyer and Coppell in the next round. I have Jesuit by a touchdown over Arlington.

Argyle @ Canyon

This game will kick off at 7:30 at Abilene Christian. Argyle has steamrolled most of its opponents this season and that continued in a 41-13 route of a quality Paris team last weekend. Canyon beat Springtown 17-14 to advance to the state semifinal. The winner of this game will meet the winner of Austin LBJ and Lindale in the 4A DI State Championship Game. I have Argyle cruising to another win and advancing to the State Championship Game.

Saturday, December 12

Prosper @ Flower Mound Marcus

This is the matchup of the weekend, in my opinion. The health of Marcus quarterback Garrett Nussmeier is in question after he suffered a left-hand injury against Plano East last weekend. I hope Nussmeier is ok because Marcus will need him immediately. Marcus capped off a perfect 9-0 season with a win last weekend but Prosper will be one of the toughest teams Marcus has faced all season. Prosper finished the season with a 5-3 record and will give Marcus all it can handle in the first round. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Prosper defense propel this team to a win, but I can’t pick against Marcus (pending the severity of Nussemeier's injury). The winner of this game gets the winner of Richardson Pearce and Arlington Bowie in the next round, and I have Marcus by a field goal over Prosper.

Coppell @ Denton Guyer

Coppell put a bow on a 6-3 season with wins over Plano East and Flower Mound to close the regular season. The Cowboys get a tough first-round draw with Denton Guyer. The Wildcats finished the season with a 7-2 record and the losses coming against Allen and Denton Ryan. The winner of this game will get the winner of Jesuit and Arlington in the next round and I am taking Denton Guyer in a close one.