The Cooldown: Week 15

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is in full swing and every playoff game across the state is a good one. It takes a championship caliber program to advance to the state semifinal round. Every program that has made it this far into the season has had a fantastic year. Unfortunately, only half of the teams remaining can advance to the State Championships in Arlington while the losers go home. History isn’t kind to the semifinalists that don’t advance to the State Championship round, making losing even worse. Before we preview the State Semifinal matchups across the metroplex, let’s recap some of the best games from the fourth round of the playoffs.

Denton Guyer eliminates Southlake Carroll

Denton Guyer mostly dominated another playoff game against a powerhouse program. The Wildcats have eliminated Highland Park, Byron Nelson and the Dragons in consecutive weeks. Denton Guyer beat Southlake Carroll 45-21 after jumping out to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter and outscoring the Dragons 24-14 the rest of the way. The Wildcats outgained Southlake Carroll 573-294.

The loss capped off one of the more memorable high school careers in the metroplex as Southlake Carroll running back Owen Allen finished as the schools all-time rushing leader. Southlake Carroll went 52-5 in Allen’s four years as the starting running back, including an appearance in the 2020 6A DI State Championship Game, an undefeated record in district play and just one loss in the regular season.

Denton Guyer quarterback Jackson Arnold completed 24 of his 31 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 149 yards and four more scores to lead the Wildcats rushing attack. Trey Joyner added 95 yards on 18 carries and Ahmed Yussuf rushed for 26 yards on seven carries. Landon Sides was Arnold’s favorite target, catching eight passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. Sutton Lee added 10 receptions for 114 yards and Josiah Martin added four receptions for 33 yards and a score.

Southlake Carroll quarterback Graham Knowles completed nine of his 18 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Clayton Wayland led the Dragons in receiving with two receptions for 63 yards and a score. Jacob Jordan added five receptions for 61 yards. Allen rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 24 attempts in his final game at Southlake Carroll.

Denton Guyer hasn’t scored less than 42 points in the playoffs thus far, and the Wildcats might need to match that pace in order to advance to the 6A DII State Championship Game.

Prosper eliminates Lewisville

Prosper ended Lewisville’s run through the playoffs with a 24-13 win. These teams were evenly matched but Prosper made more big plays in the end. The Eagles won the turnover battle 3-1 and had touchdown passes of 70 yards and 58 yards. Lewisville outgained Prosper 278-264 but couldn’t overcome the turnovers.

Prosper quarterback Harrison Rosar completed nine of his 22 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns. Prentice Sanders was the leading rusher for the Eagles, gaining 30 yards on 10 carries. Prosper gained just 2.4 yards-per-carry against a stingy Lewisville defense. Javan Henry led the receivers with four receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns, including the 70-yard score. Hunter Summers caught two passes for 70 yards and a score, including the 58-yard touchdown.

Lewisville quarterback Ethan Terrell completed 13 of his 28 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown and led the Fighting Farmers rushing attack with 57 yards and a score on 19 carries. Lewisville struggled to run the ball as the Prosper defense held it to just 2.8 yards-per-carry. Viron Ellison rushed for 49 yards on 14 carries to lead Lewisville in yards-per-carry at 3.5. Jaydan Hardy led Lewisville in receiving with two receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Lamar Kerby added two receptions for 41 yards.

The Prosper defense has performed well when the offense needed it most. The Eagles will have their toughest test of the season this weekend- as it should be in the state semifinal round- and will need an all-around performance in order to advance to their first 6A State Championship Game.

South Oak Cliff eliminates Melissa

South Oak Cliff ended Melissa’s season after a 30-16 win. South Oak Cliff started off the game recording a safety and adding a touchdown before Melissa responded with the opposite sequence by scoring a touchdown and then adding a safety to open the second quarter. The Golden Bears took a 10-9 lead to halftime and Melissa took its first lead of the game in the third quarter, 16-13. South Oak Cliff outscored Melissa 15-0 in the final frame for its most comfortable playoff win in several weeks.

South Oak Cliff quarterback William Little completed seven of his 12 passes for 73 yards. Danny Green led the rushing attack with 200 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries. Corinthean Coleman led the Golden Bears in receiving with three receptions for 34 yards.

Melissa quarterback Trever Ham completed three of his 14 passes for 28 yards. The South Oak Cliff secondary held a usually lethal Melissa passing attack in check all night. Nathan Adejokun carried the ball 30 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. Jacob Fields added 78 yards and a score on 15 carries. Green and Adejokun combined for 349 of the 547 total yards in this game.

South Oak Cliff has flashed its championship caliber culture on this playoff run. The Golden Bears have faced a tough playoff road and prevailed in close games every week. That tough non-district schedule undoubtedly helped prepare South Oak Cliff for the gauntlet it’s had to navigate the past few weeks. It doesn’t get any easier this weekend, but State Championships aren’t easy to win.

Games to Watch

Duncanville (13-0) vs Prosper (13-1)

Duncanville takes on Prosper on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 at SMU’s Ford Stadium. Duncanville eliminated Spring Westfield 28-21 and Prosper took down Lewisville to advance to the state semifinal. Spring Westfield and Lewisville are both really good teams. Prosper finally got over the hump and reached the state semifinal while Duncanville has made it a tradition to make the state semifinal under coach Reginald Samples. Prosper’s defense will need to have its best game and Harrison Rosar will need to connect with a number of different receivers, most importantly Hunter Summers, early if the Eagles are going to have a chance. I’m taking Caden Durham and the Duncanville defense to step up and send the Panthers back to the State Championship Game. The winner of this game will face Galena Park North Shore or Austin Westlake in the 6A DI State Championship Game.

Denton Guyer (14-0) vs DeSoto (12-2)

Denton Guyer faces DeSoto on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 at the Ford Center in Frisco. Denton Guyer eliminated Southlake Carroll and DeSoto defeated Killeen Harker Heights 60-24 to advance to the state semifinal. DeSoto hasn’t faced a team from the metroplex since an area round win over Rockwall Heath. If you haven’t seen DeSoto play the last few weeks, the Eagles are peaking at the right time. On the flip side, so is Denton Guyer. These two teams know how to put up points. I wouldn’t count out either team and this game should be an exciting shootout. DJ Bailey Johntay Cook and Deondrae Riden can keep pace with Denton Guyer, but I’m taking Jackson Arnold and the Wildcats to win a close game late.

Longview (14-0) vs Aledo (12-2)

Longview takes on Aledo on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas. Longview eliminated Mansfield Timberview 37-21 and Aledo took out Burleson Centennial 42-21 in a district rematch. Mansfield Timberview challenged Longview, as did Lancaster back in September. Other than those two games, the Lobos haven’t had to sweat out a win. Aledo won a close playoff game over Midlothian and have won 12 straight since an 0-2 start. This should be a fantastic game between two teams with plenty of talent and passionate fanbases. Only one can make it to Arlington, though, and I am taking Longview’s offense to outpace the Bearcats and send the Lobos back to Arlington for the first time since 2018.

Argyle (14-0) vs South Oak Cliff (11-3)

Argyle faces South Oak Cliff on Friday night at 7:30 at Crowley ISD Stadium. Argyle has mostly cruised through its first season in 5A DII. The Eagles beat Melissa 37-18 to open the season. South Oak Cliff beat Melissa 30-16 in the playoffs last weekend. I am not a big believer in transitive property in high school football, though those results are interesting to look at. Plus, there’s a big difference in facing a team in week one and facing that same team in December. Argyle has impressed me this season, but South Oak Cliff has flexed its championship caliber muscles beating quality opponents, overcoming adversity and winning close games every week in the playoffs. I am picking South Oak Cliff to advance to its second straight 5A DII State Championship Game.

Offensive Player of the Week

My Offensive Player of the Week is South Oak Cliff running back Danny Green! Yards were hard to come by for both teams in the Golden Bears win over Melissa, but Green delivered with one of his best performances of the season! Green finished with 200 yards and three touchdowns to provide the majority of the total offense for South Oak Cliff. Green and the Golden Bears will face Argyle this weekend with a trip to Arlington on the line.

Defensive Player of the Week

My Defensive Player of the Week is South Oak Cliff linebacker Brandon Jones! Only allowing 16 points and pitching a shutout in the fourth quarter helped power the Golden Bears to the state semifinal. Jones finished with 14 tackles, including three tackles-for-loss in the win! Jones and the South Oak Cliff defense will need to be prepared for another run heavy attack this weekend in a state semifinal matchup with Argyle.

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