The Cooldown - Week 15
DFW - Week Fifteen
Just one win stands between the remaining playoff teams and a state championship appearance. We have been talking about it all season and it’s finally here. It’s time to decide which teams make it to Arlington. Let’s dive in to a recap of how we got here and a preview of the state semifinal round.
Duncanville outlasts Southlake Carroll
The Duncanville passing game showed up just in time for Duncanville to face one of the best passing teams it has faced all season long. I thought Duncanville might struggle in this game if it couldn’t get the passing game going, but that was far from the case. Ja’Quinden Jackson was a perfect eight-for-eight passing for 183 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers were able to sneak in just enough pass plays to open up the run game.
Jackson added another 129 yards and three touchdowns on the ground while Trysten Smith rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
Southlake Carroll didn’t go down without a fight. This group will be one to keep an eye on as the Dragons have quarterback Quinn Ewers for two more years and running back Owen Allen for three more years. Ewers passed for 393 yards and three touchdowns while Allen rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Duncanville proved that it is worthy of its national ranking. The win also sets Duncanville up for a rematch of last season’s 6A DI State Championship Game. The Panthers and Galena Park North Shore are one win away from setting up the rematch of the decade and sending the 2010’s out with a bang.
Aledo defeats Ennis in overtime
Ennis really tried to do the thing but fell just short. Aledo outgained Ennis 585 to 358 but three Aledo turnovers kept Ennis in the game. Aledo will face Lubbock Cooper before a potential rematch looms for the Bearcats in state against Fort Bend Marshall.
Jase Mcclellan carried the ball 39 times for 212 yards and three scores. Jake Bishop rushed for 114 yards and two scores and added 236 yards and a touchdown through the air. Jo Jo Earle led in receiving with 128 yards.
This is not the first game in which Aledo faced adversity this season. The Bearcats lost their season opener to Denton Guyer 60-57. Midlothian pushed Aledo later in the regular season, but the Bearcats prevailed in overtime. Aledo doesn’t typically have this many close games in one season. Meanwhile, Fort Bend Marshall avenged its only loss of the season with a big win over Manvel last weekend. The Buffaloes are firing on all cylinders and could push Aledo should both teams make it to Arlington.
Denton Guyer and the 6A DII Bracket
Denton Guyer defeated Amarillo Tascosa 48-7 and the only team standing between it and a state championship appearance is Spring Westfield. Longview and Beaumont West Brook both lost back in the 2ndround of the playoffs and left the 6A DII bracket wide open.
The winner of Guyer and Westfield will represent the left side of the 6A DII bracket. Katy Taylor and Austin Westlake will face off to represent the right side of the bracket. My picks are Denton Guyer and Austin Westlake. This has been one of the more interesting and unpredictable playoff brackets in the state this season. At this stage, anything can happen. Maybe even Katy Taylor in the state game? We will find out this weekend.
Duncanville vs Rockwall
This is my game of the week. Arguably the best player in the state, Jaxon Smith- Njigba, takes on arguably the best team in the state, Duncanville, for the right to play for a state championship. I would not be surprised if Rockwall wins this game at all. I am picking Duncanville in a close one and setting up a rematch with North Shore.
Galena Park North Shore vs Lake Travis
Lake Travis has had a great season, but I don’t think it will be enough to get past North Shore. Lake Travis should be able to hang around for a while. Eventually, the Lake Travis offense won’t be able to keep up with North Shore’s offensive attack and North Shore will head back to Arlington looking to make it back-to-back state championships over Duncanville.
Denton Guyer vs Spring Westfield
I mentioned it above, but I am taking Denton Guyer in this one. Guyer has one of the best offensive attacks left in 6A DII with Eli Stowers and Kaedric Cobbs leading the way. Guyer came from behind to beat Cedar Hill 50-41 in the 2nd round and haven’t looked back since. The winner of that game was likely going to represent Region I and Guyer had no issue advancing to the state semifinals. Spring Westfield has had a good run as well, although, Westfield hasn’t faced a team of Cedar Hill’s caliber like Guyer has.
Katy Taylor vs Austin Westlake
Westlake shouldn’t have much problem against Katy Taylor. For that matter, the Chaps haven't had much trouble with any opponent up to this point in the playoffs. Taylor has had several close games so far, but that’s to be expected from a team that finished fourth in its own district. The Mustangs are the last true cinderella in the playoffs, and I think their dance comes to an end this weekend.
Denton Ryan vs Frisco Lone Star
This game is runner-up for my game of the week. The left side of the 5A DI bracket was always going to come down to Ryan and the winner of Lone Star and Highland Park. Lone Star has played the tougher schedule and had the tougher playoff road. The Rangers beat a Randy Allen coached Highland Park team twice this season. There’s also Ryan’s history in state semifinal games. This should be a close game and Ryan could absolutely win this one, but I am taking Lone Star.
Alvin Shadow Creek vs San Antonio Wagner
There were three teams in DFW that were more than good enough to represent the metroplex in state, but only one obvious choice in Houston. As the season progressed, it became clear that Richmond Foster might be another school worthy of representing Houston, but Shadow Creek prevailed. The Sharks will prepare for a move to 6A next year, but they have unfinished business in 5A before they depart. Shadow Creek lost to Highland Park 27-17 in the state game last year. While the Sharks won’t get to avenge their loss to Highland Park, I do think Shadow Creek will have a chance to avenge its loss in the state championship game. I have Shadow Creek taking on Lone Star in what should be one of the better games in Arlington during state championship weekend.
Lubbock Cooper vs Aledo
Lubbock Cooper has had a great season and a great playoff run. I think that playoff run ends this weekend against Aledo. Cooper has blown past every playoff opponent this season, though they haven’t faced a team like Aledo. The Bearcats beat a good Red Oak team and outlasted a good Ennis team as well. More than anything, Aledo has the athletes to beat Cooper. I expect Aledo to ride Jase Mcclellan to another state championship game appearance.
Fort Bend Marshall vs Boerne Champion
Fort Bend Marshall has unfinished business against Aledo. The Buffs beat Manvel 40-10 last weekend and I don’t think Boerne Champion has any chance of standing between Marshall and a shot at avenging its state championship loss last season. Marshall is focused and locked in. The Buffs might be the hottest team left in the playoffs after destroying a great Manvel squad. Champion has had a good playoff run but took overtime to beat Pioneer and edged Calallen 49-42. I have Marshall facing Aledo in a rematch.