The Cooldown- Week 15

Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Matt Strasen

There are just two weeks remaining in the 2021 season. We have arrived to the Final Four. The State Semifinals take place this weekend across the state and we will soon know which teams make it to Arlington and which teams season ends in heartbreak- just one step away from the final destination. This is a hard week. Those who make it to the State Championship Games will be remembered forever. However, those teams that make the State Semifinal round but don’t make it to the State Championship Games are great teams as well. Let’s dive into a recap of last weekend’s action and a preview of the State Semifinal round.

Denton Guyer outlasts Prosper

For the second straight week Denton Guyer won a close playoff game that came down to the last few possessions. That’s the sign of a team that’s been to this stage before. For what it’s worth, Prosper has been to the fourth round multiple times in the last several years as well. The Eagkes just can’t seem to advance to the State Semifinals but Prosper has a great program and tradition. One of these year’s it will be Prosper’s turn. It almost happened for the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

Prosper led Denton Guyer 14-3 at halftime before the Wildcats scored 22 unanswered points. Harrison Rosar engineered a late comeback attempt with a touchdown pass to Houston Hawkins late in the fourth quarter. A two-point conversion brought the score to 25-22 but Prosper failed to recover the onside kick and Denton Guyer advanced to the State Semifinal round.

Jackson Arnold passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns and Peyton Bowen caught two passes for 88 yards and a score. Grayson O’Bara caught six passes for 77 yards and a score and Jace Wilson added five receptions for 64 yards. Jackson Foster carried the ball 12 times for 53 yards and a touchdown, and the Denton Guyer defense forced two turnovers. Prosper quarterback Harrison Rosar passed for 94 yards and a touchdown and Tyler Bailey carried the ball five times for 46 yards and a score. Bailey also caught five passes for 56 yards and Houston Hawkins caught two passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. Kaleb Miles returned a kickoff for a touchdown for Prosper’s first score of the afternoon.

Denton Guyer is back in the State Semifinal round after losing to Cedar Hill last year and will be looking to return to the 6A DII State Championship Game for the first time since 2019. Jackson Arnold played the majority of that State Championship Game after a knee injury ended Eli Stowers night early, so Arnold has State Championship experience.

Duncanville defeats DeSoto

Duncanville raced past DeSoto 38-20 to advance to the State Semifinal round. A dominating afternoon on the ground for the offense, and against the ground attack for the defense, powered Duncanville to its second win over DeSoto on the season.

Malachi Medlock carried the ball 32 times for 252 yards and a touchdown for Duncanville. Medlock also led the Panthers in receiving with four receptions for 64 yards and a score. Solomon James completed 13 of his 18 passing attempts for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Jordan Crook scored the opening touchdown of the game on his only carry of the night- a short two-yard touchdown run.

DeSoto quarterback Matt Allen completed 19 of his 31 passing attempts for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Backup quarterback Darius Bailey completed two of his eight attempts for 29 yards and a score. Johntay Cook II caught five passes for 103 yards and a touchdown and Jaylan Bean added six receptions for 93 yards and two scores. The Duncanville defense held DeSoto to just three rushing yards on 18 rushing attempts.

Duncanville is back in the State Semifinal round and the Panthers are used to making it this deep into the playoffs. A rematch from last season’s 6A DI State Semifinal game with Southlake Carroll awaits. These two teams are familiar with one another- having met in the playoffs each of the last several years.

South Oak Cliff beats Lovejoy

South Oak Cliff competed in a loaded 5A DII Region II bracket. Lovejoy, Aledo, Mansfield Timberview and Frisco were all popular picks to win the region. South Oak Cliff seemed to be widely regarded as a really good football team just a step below those teams viewed as contenders. The Golden Bears beat Frisco and Aledo before eliminating Lovejoy 42-21 to advance to the State Semifinal round. South Oak Cliff was the best team in Region II and it wasn’t particularly close. The Golden Bears might just be the best team in the state. We’ll find out if that’s true or not over the next few weeks.

Kevin Henry- Jennings completed 18 of his 25 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown. Randy Reece was his favorite target- catching five passes for 107 yards and a score. Jamyri Cauley added four receptions for 53 yards. Ke’Undrae Hollywood carried the ball 11 times for 76 yards and two scores and Qualon Farrar added 55 yards and a score on the ground.

Lovejoy quarterback Alexander Franklin completed 17 of his 36 attempts for 260 yards and a touchdown. Parker Livingstone caught six passes for 153 yards and a touchdown and Jaxson Lavender added six receptions for 52 yards. Payton Pierce carried the ball seven times for 45 yards and a touchdown and Franklin added a score on the ground as well.

Southlake Carroll defeats Allen

Southlake Carroll’s dominate playoff run continued with a 47-21 win over Allen. The Dragons held Allen to just 21 points despite allowing 504 total yards the Eagles offense. A big part of that was the two turnovers the Southlake Carroll defense forced.

Southlake Carroll quarterback Kaden Anderson completed 12 of his 23 attempts for 156 yards and a touchdown. RJ Maryland caught three passes for 68 yards and Landon Samson caught five passes for 54 yards and a score. Owen Allen carried the ball 30 times for 144 yards and three touchdowns and James Lehman added seven carries for 47 yards and a score.

Mike Hawkins completed 20 of his 34 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown and also added 12 carries for 142 yards and two more scores to lead the Eagles ground attack. Jordyn Tyson caught six passes for 158 yards and Jacob Brasher caught two passes for 20 yards and a touchdown.

Southlake Carroll will have a rematch with Duncanville after beating the Panthers in the State Semifinal round last year. The Dragons haven’t played in a particularly close game since the first weekend in September in a 36-35 come-from-behind win over Rockwall Heath. This weekend’s game against Duncanville will be the toughest test Southlake Carroll has faced all season long- and a trip to the 6A DI State Championship Game is on the line.

Games to Watch

Thursday, December 9

Brock vs Mount Vernon

Brock (14-0) takes on Mount Vernon (14-0) on Thursday night at 7:00 at McKinney ISD Stadium. This matchup between undefeated teams will decide which team advances to the 3A DI State Championship Game. Brock defeated the defending 3A DI State Champions a few weeks back with a 70-25 win over Tuscola Jim Ned. Brock hasn’t played in a close game all season- and the same was true until last week for Mount Vernon. The Tigers defeated West 24-13 last week and defeating Brock will take an even better performance this weekend.

Friday, December 10

Mansfield Summit vs College Station

Mansfield Summit (11-3) takes on College Station (14-0) on Friday night at 7:00 at Waco Midway’s Panther Stadium. Mansfield Summit has had a fantastic season and is in the State Semifinal round for the second straight season. The Panthers lost to a Denton Ryan team that ended up winning the 5A DI State Championship last year. College Station eliminated Denton Ryan last week and has looked like the most dominate team in 5A DI so far in these playoffs. Mansfield Summit has its toughest test yet and the 5A DI State Championship Game waits on the other side.

South Oak Cliff vs Lubbock Cooper

South Oak Cliff (13-1) will face Lubbock Cooper (13-1) on Friday night at 7:30 at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. The Golden Bears have impressed all throughout the playoffs. South Oak Cliff defeated the defending 5A DII State Champions with a 33-28 win over Aledo and erased other title hopefuls Frisco and Lovejoy. The only team standing between South Oak Cliff and the 5A DII State Championship Game is a good Lubbock Cooper squad. Don’t bet against South Oak Cliff though. The Golden Bears are for real.

Saturday, December 11

Southlake Carroll vs Duncanville

Southlake Carroll (14-0) takes on Duncanville (12-1) on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 at McKinney ISD Stadium. This is the rematch Duncanville has been waiting for since last January. These two teams have each been to the State Championship Game in the last two years and are very familiar with playing high stakes football against one another. Running backs Owen Allen and Malachi Medlock will take center stage in this one. This should be a fantastic game in front of a sellout crowd.

Denton Guyer vs Tomball

Denton Guyer (13-1) takes on Tomball (11-3) on Saturday night at 7:00 at McLane Stadium in Waco. Denton Guyer has outlasted Byron Nelson and Prosper the last two weeks in one-score games. Tomball has been a bit of a surprise in the Houston area after finishing fourth in district play. The Cougars have defeated Cypress Park, Rockwall Heath and Cypress Bridgeland on this impressive playoff run. Denton Guyer stands in the way of a trip to the 6A DII State Championship Game, and the Wildcats have the experience and championship pedigree. This should be a great game between two talented teams.

Offensive Player of the Week

My Offensive Player of the Week is Denton Guyer quarterback Jackson Arnold! Denton Guyer defeated Prosper 25-22 and Arnold passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns to help power Denton Guyer to the State Semifinal round!

Defensive Player of the Week

My Defensive Player of the Week is Mansfield Summit defensive back Ahmaad Moses! Mansfield Summit defeated Colleyville Heritage 21-9 thanks to a dominating defensive performance. Moses finished the game with two interceptions, four tackles and two pass breakups to send Mansfield Summit back to the State Semifinal round and avenge a district loss to Colleyville Heritage!

Cover Photo of Denton Guyer receiver Jace Wilson courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Special Contributor Matt Strasen.