It’s State Championship Weekend for the small schools! Normally we would have 12 games left across three days at AT&T Stadium and then the Cooldown would shift to basketball, but the big schools are just in the 2nd round of the playoffs this weekend. Argyle is the last DFW squad standing among the small schools- but we will preview their upcoming game and cover plenty of playoff games from the big schools!
Prosper advances with win over Marcus
Two weeks ago, Prosper was preparing for a win-or-go-home scenario against McKinney Boyd. Now the Eagles are moving on to the 2nd round. The Eagles took down an undefeated Marcus squad 38-19 last weekend. I really like this Prosper team and I am not surprised they were able to defeat Marcus on their home field. The path is there for Prosper to make it to the regional final against Denton Guyer. On the other hand, I am gutted for Marcus. I’m not going speculate as to what might have happened had Garrett Nussmeier played in this game. Prosper is a talented team and could have won this game either way. But losing a star quarterback in the last game of a 10-0 regular season and having to start a backup against a talented Prosper squad in the first round is hard. This team deserved more. I am excited to see Prosper play the next few weeks and I think this team has a good of a shot as anyone to win the region and make the state semifinals.
North Crowley takes down Byron Nelson
North Crowley used a 20-point 4th quarter to take down Byron Nelson 23-16 and win its first playoff game since 2003. I was particularly impressed with Coryon Francis, who came up with two interceptions in the 4th quarter to help seal the deal. North Crowley struggled to move the ball for much of the first half and trailed Byron Nelson 14-3 at one point in the second half. I was impressed with the resiliency of this team and the resolve to find a way to score and manufacture point s- and to also hold Byron Nelson scoreless (outside of a blocked PAT return) the rest of the way. I picked North Crowley in this one and I also picked the Panthers to beat Abilene in the next round. We’ll see if North Crowley can advance again this weekend!
Player of the Week
My player of the week is Arlington quarterback Kris Sims! Arlington took down Jesuit 49-37 in a thriller and Sims finished with 208 passing yards and five total touchdowns! Arlington has had an up-and-down season, but the Colts are peaking at the right time and has a tough date with Denton Guyer this weekend. Arlington will need another big performance from Sims to keep its season alive.
Team of the Week
My team of the week is the North Crowley Panthers! North Crowley was an attractive choice for my team of the week last weekend after a big win over Haltom. The Panthers have rebounded in a big way following a loss to L.D. Bell a few weeks ago and now they have a chance to advance to the third round with a win over Abilene this weekend.
Games to Watch
4A DI State Championship Game
Argyle vs Lindale
Argyle is back in the State Championship Game! The Eagles have steamrolled everyone on the schedule this season en route to a 15-0 record. Pleasant Grove lost to Argyle by 11 and Celina and Waco La Vega each suffered 14-point losses. Those are the closest games Argyle has been in all season. Lindale comes into this one with a 13-2 record and losses to Gilmer and Midlothian Heritage. I expect Argyle to win this one by a few scores on Thursday night at AT&T Stadium.
Thursday, December 17
Lewisville at Arlington Martin
This game will be played at the Birdville Fine Arts/ Athletic Complex at 7 p.m. on Thursday night. I can’t wait for this game and to see Lewisville’s high-powered offense take on Martin’s stingy defense. This has the potential to be one of the better games in the area next weekend and I think Lewisville pulls out a close win- though this game could go either way.
San Angelo Central @ Eaton
This game will be played at Anthony Field in Abilene. I don’t know much about San Angelo Central, but the Bobcats are 5-5 on the season and beat El Paso Eastlake 54-35 in the first round. Eaton is 8-3 on the year and beat Weatherford 21-14 in the opening round of the playoffs. I picked Eaton to win this game and it should be a good one.
Highland Park @ Frisco Independence
This game will be played at Globe Life Park and should be the second-best game of the night in the metroplex. Both teams have plenty of playmakers, but I like Highland Park by a few touchdowns in this one. The Scots routed New Caney 56-21 last weekend while Frisco Independence dominated Woodrow Wilson 58-10 in the opening round. Both teams know how to score the ball and I expect a lot of points on Thursday night.
Friday, December 18
Rockwall @ DeSoto
The game of the night on Friday night will be played at Children’s Health Stadium in Prosper between a pair of high-scoring teams. DeSoto has one of the most complete teams in the entire state and Rockwall can put up points with the best. The Yellow Jackets are 10-1 this season with the only loss coming to Highland Park. DeSoto is 8-1 this season with the lone loss coming against Cedar Hill. Both teams cruised to big wins in the opening round, but one team won’t be moving on to the next round.
Lancaster @ Longview
Another game football fans should keep an eye on is Lancaster’s showdown with Longview. This game will be played at Mesquite Memorial Stadium and has the potential to be the game of the night. Lancaster boasts a 10-0 record but was tested against Frisco Wakeland last weekend, scoring a season low 29-points. Longview has an 8-2 record with losses to Temple and Highland Park this season. The Lobos will need to play nearly a perfect game to have a chance against a really good Lancaster squad. The Tigers will need to be on top of their game and can’t afford to get off to a slow start against this Longview squad.
Allen @ South Grand Prairie
This game will be played at Globe Life Park on Friday night. South Grand Prairie has a 6-2 record and a big 38-14 win over a previously undefeated Lake Highlands squad in the opening round. The Warriors will need to play their best game to take down another undefeated squad in the Allen Eagles. Allen took down Plano West 34-13 in the first round and has a sparkling 9-0 record. I’m excited to see this one but I have Allen by two scores.
Denton Ryan @ College Station
We all know how dominate Denton Ryan has been this year. The 10-0 Ryan Raiders will take on a 10-1 College Station squad at Waco ISD Stadium. College Station’s only loss this year is to a good Magnolia team that I will get to in a minute. This has the potential to be a great game, but Denton Ryan will be too much for College Station to overcome in the end.
Magnolia @ Frisco Lone Star
Frisco Lone Star will have its hands full on Friday night when it takes on a 10-1 Magnolia squad at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana. Magnolia’s only loss came in its season opener by three points to a really good 6A DI squad in Katy Tompkins. The Bulldogs routed McKinney North in the opening round. Lone Star is 6-3 and beat W.T. White with ease last weekend but the Rangers won’t have an easy time this weekend against Magnolia.
South Oak Cliff @ Frisco
South Oak Cliff faces a big challenge this weekend against a 7-1 Frisco squad at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas. Frisco’s only loss is to Lovejoy and the Raccoons rolled over Royse City in the opening round. South Oak Cliff sits at 9-2 with losses to Duncanville and Trinity Christian- Cedar Hill and advanced to the second round by way of a forfeit from Arlington Seguin. This should be a great game and I have Frisco in a close one.
Ennis @ Mansfield Timberview
Undefeated Ennis has yet to play in a close game. That could change this weekend when the Lions take on a 9-1 Mansfield Timberview squad. Timberview’s lone loss was to Aledo in district play and the Wolves have a dynamic offense that could keep up with Ennis. I have Ennis by a few scores but this one should be close for a while.
Rockwall Heath @ Temple
This one will be at McLane Stadium in Waco. Temple has a 10-1 record and shutout Waxahachie 38-0 in the opening round of the playoffs. This team will not be easy to beat. Rockwall Heath is more than capable of doing so with a 9-2 record and a 42-14 win over Garland in the first round. This has the potential to be a great game.
Saturday, December 19
Prosper @ Arlington Bowie
Prosper and Arlington Bowie will face off at Mustang-Panther Stadium in Grapevine in what should be a great game. Prosper has a ton of momentum after an emotional win over McKinney Boyd to close out the season and first-round win over an undefeated Marcus squad. Arlington Bowie comes in with an 8-1 record and a big win over Richardson Pearce in the opening round. I am going with Prosper in a close one, but this game could go either way. Drevonn Ponder is quarterbacking one of the hottest offenses in the area against Aiden Siano, Mason Jolley and a stout Prosper defense. Football fans won’t want to miss this one.
Denton Guyer @ Arlington
The Saturday afternoon game at Globe Life Park could be one of the best of the day. I talked about Arlington’s win over Jesuit last weekend and the Colts will need another offensive outburst in order to take down Denton Guyer. The Wildcats come into this game with an 8-2 record and a 52-24 opening round win over Coppell. I expect this to be a high scoring game, but I am taking Denton Guyer over Arlington by two scores.
Midland Lee @ Euless Trinity
The Saturday night game at Globe Life Park should be a good one. Lee’s only loss came against Odessa Permian back in October and Midland Lee beat El Paso Montwood 66-21 in the opening round. Trinity’s only loss came against Prosper in non-district play and the Trojans rolled over Keller Timber Creek 44-20 in the first round. I have Trinity by a few scores over Midland Lee on Saturday night.
Azle @ Lubbock Coronado
Azle heads west to face Lubbock Coronado at Lowery Field in Lubbock. Azle has a 9-3 record and beat Burleson Centennial 42-35 in the opening round. The playoff road doesn’t get any easier against an undefeated Coronado squad that beat El Paso Bel Air 82-35 in the opening round. Coronado should win this one but Azle should be recognized for a great season.