The Cooldown: Week 17

We have crowned eight of the 12 state champions for 2020 with just 5A and 6A left to play. Congratulations to the Argyle Eagles for winning the 4A DI State Championship Game! Argyle handled Lindale 49-21 behind 352 yards and three touchdowns through the air from C.J. Rogers and 153 yards and four touchdowns on the ground for Tito Byce. Cole Kirkpatrick led Argyle in receiving with 116 yards and Argyle is on top of 4A DI once again! There was no shortage of thrilling playoff games in the 5A and 6A ranks either as the two largest classifications head into the third round this Christmas weekend.

Mansfield Timberview stuns Ennis

Mansfield Timberview took down top-ranked Ennis 42-28. The game was tied heading to the fourth quarter but the Timberview defense shutout Ennis in the final frame and touchdown runs from Simeon Evans and Deuce Jones sealed the deal. Jones finished with 142 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while Evans added two scores on the ground to go with 135 rushing yards and 117 passing yards. This sets up a game with an undefeated Lovejoy squad. The winner of that game will likely get Aledo in the regional final.

Denton Guyer survives Arlington

Denton Guyer outlasted Arlington 38-31 in double overtime on Saturday afternoon. Wildcat quarterback Eli Stowers scored the game winning touchdown on the ground to lift Guyer past Arlington. Stowers finished with 103 yards and the score on the ground to go with 128 passing yards and one score through the air to Bryson Riggs. Denton Guyer got this one done on the ground with three rushers over 100 yards for the day. Byron Phillips finished with 131 yards and three scores and Tiyon Alridge finished with 124 yards.

Arlington gave Denton Guyer all it could handle but it wasn’t enough. Kris Sims finished with 102 yards and a score through the air and 62 yards on the ground. BJ Rogers carried the ball 25 times for 238 yards and two scores. This one was an instant classic that could have gone either way at the end.

Player of the Week

My player of the week is Trinity quarterback Valentino Foni! The Trojans don’t attempt 23 passes in a game, but the game-plan changed when Midland Lee took a 21-point lead. Foni usually does his damage on the ground but he was ready for his time to shine as a passer. Foni finished with 311 passing yards and Trinity needed all of them in a 56-49 win!

Team of the Week

My team of the week is the DeSoto Eagles! DeSoto struggled to move the ball in the first half against a stout Rockwall defense. The Eagles halftime adjustments paid off in a come-from-behind win over Rockwall. Samari Collier delivered several beautiful passes down the stretch and his receivers didn’t let him down. The DeSoto defense put the clamps on when it counted and DeSoto is on to the next round as a result!

Games to Watch

Christmas Eve

Mansfield Timberview vs Lovejoy

That’s right- we have Christmas Eve football! This game will kick off at 11 a.m. on Thursday morning at Globe Life Park. Quarterbacks Simeon Evans and RW Rucker will go head-to-head for the right to potentially face Aledo in the regional final. Mansfield Timberview has a 10-1 record with the only loss coming to Aledo in district play. The Wolves have a ton of momentum- coming off a big win over top ranked Ennis. The road doesn’t get much easier this week with a date against an undefeated Lovejoy squad. Lovejoy is coming off a big win over Everman and the Leopards haven’t been pushed in the playoffs the way Timberview was last week against Ennis. This should be a great game, but I am taking Mansfield Timberview over Lovejoy.

Duncanville vs Spring Westfield

Duncanville gets a challenger from the Houston area in a good Spring Westfield team. This 2:30 kick off in Belton will be the most Duncanville has been pushed in a playoff game so far this season, but I don’t see the Panthers losing this game. Westfield is 8-1 with the lone loss coming to Spring on a hail mary at the end of the game. The Mustangs picked up a big playoff win over Klein Cain last weekend. Duncanville cruised against Dallas Skyline last weekend and hasn’t faced a team this talented since a 14-point win over Cedar Hill back in November. I don’t see this game being particularly close, but it shouldn’t be a blow out either. The winner of this one will face the winner of DeSoto and Spring in the next round.

Frisco Lone Star vs Highland Park

A rematch of an instant classic from the playoffs last season between Frisco Lone Star and Highland Park will kick off at 3:15 at Globe Life Park. Lone Star is 7-3 on the season and playing some of its best football at the right time. The Rangers are in this game by way of an impressive 40-28 win over a good Magnolia squad last weekend. Marvin Mims moved on to college, but Garret Rangel and Jaden Nixon still remember the win over Highland Park last year. The Scots have a different quarterback from last season, but Brayden Schager has had an excellent season. This game is about as evenly matched as they come. Highland Park beat Frisco Independence 42-20 last weekend to maintain its undefeated 10-0 record. This game should come down to the last possession- just like last year’s game- but I am taking Lone Star in an upset.

Southlake Carroll vs Arlington Martin

The Christmas Eve nightcap at Globe Life Park is between the Dragons of Southlake Carroll and the Warriors of Arlington Martin. Southlake Carroll has been able to get along just fine with star quarterback Quinn Ewers this season. Hunter Holden has held down the fort well in Ewers absence. However, the Dragons will likely need Ewers to play this weekend. Ewers hasn’t played since late October due to an injury and should be available any week now. The Dragons are 9-1 and haven’t loss since an early October loss to Rockwall. If Ewers does play this weekend, he will need to shake off the rust fast.

Arlington Martin got out to a fast start against Lewisville last weekend- scoring 44 points in the first quarter alone. The Warriors defense shutout a high-powered Lewisville offense in a 68-0 win. Arlington Martin is 10-1 with the lone loss coming to Denton Ryan in the opener and the Warriors haven’t been challenged since an 11-8 win over South Grand Prairie and a 38-31 win over Arlington Lamar to close out October. That will change this weekend no matter who starts at quarterback for the Dragons. This should be a great game and I am taking Southlake Carroll in an upset.

Saturday, December 26

Rockwall Heath vs Cypress Bridgeland

Rockwall Heath faces an undefeated Cypress Bridgeland team from the Houston area in an afternoon kick off at Baylor’s McLane Stadium. Bridgeland is 12-0 and has impressed throughout the season. The Bears barely survived Spring Dekaney in overtime 47-44 last weekend. Now it will have to face another high-powered offense against Rockwall Heath. The Heath Hawks are 10-2 and haven’t loss since an October loss to Rockwall. Heath has cruised in playoff games against Garland and Temple but will face its toughest test yet this weekend. I have Bridgeland beating Heath this weekend, but I would not be the least bit surprised if Rockwall Heath won this game.

Cedar Hill vs Tomball Memorial

Cedar Hill takes on Tomball Memorial from the Houston area at Waco ISD Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns are 9-1 with the lone loss coming to Duncanville and have bulldozed every team on the schedule recently. That should continue this weekend against Tomball Memorial. The Wildcats are 11-0 with the slimmest margin of victory coming in a 49-48 win over Klein Collins. Tomball Memorial is a good football team, but I have Cedar Hill winning by a few scores as the Wildcats defense struggles to keep Salter and the Longhorns out of the end zone.

DeSoto vs Spring

The night game at McLane Stadium is between DeSoto and Spring. Both teams have had good seasons, and this should be a good game. DeSoto is 9-1 and coming off a 30-27 win over a good Rockwall squad. Spring is 9-0 and coming off a 31-14 victory over Klein Oak. This game has the possibility to complete a trifecta of DFW teams ending perfect seasons for Houston teams. DeSoto should win this game by two scores but I expect Spring to hang around for a while in this game. None of the Houston schools should be written off- though Bridgeland is the only team I am picking to win out of the three DFW-Houston matchups on Saturday.

Allen vs Trinity

The night game at Globe Life Park on Saturday night should be a good one. Trinity nearly lost to Midland Lee after trailing by 21 in the first half. We found out that the Trojans can actually throw the ball downfield as Valentino Foni had a big night through the air. He is as talented of a passer as he is as a runner. The Trojans may need to use that arm a bit more this weekend. Trinity beat Midland Lee 56-49 in a wild game last weekend. Allen won a wild game of its own 20-16 over South Grand Prairie to set up this matchup. The Eagles will put their perfect record on the line this weekend against a good Trinity squad, but I have Allen over Trinity by two scores.