We’re on to the State Semifinals! The Cooldown will shift focus to basketball soon but there are two weeks left to determine our 5A and 6A State Champions. Several thrilling games last weekend set up a few highly anticipated matchups this weekend. Cedar Hill’s rematch with Denton Guyer is at the top of that list. As always, we’ll recap last weekend and preview the 5th round of the playoffs!
Denton Guyer survives Prosper in Overtime
A rematch of Denton Guyer’s 24-23 win over the Prosper Eagles in district play didn’t disappoint. Points were hard to come by for much of the game. Each team scored its only touchdown in regulation in the 2nd half to head into overtime tied at 10. Denton Guyer would block a Prosper field goal in the third overtime and an Eli Stowers touchdown run would lift the Wildcats to a 30-24 win over their district rivals.
Stowers passed for 88 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 80 more yards and three additional touchdowns. All three scores on the ground for Stowers came in overtime. Jace Wilson caught the touchdown pass from Stowers and finished with 57 receiving yards and the score. Jackson Berry ended his brilliant career at Prosper with 163 passing yards and a touchdown pass to go with 40 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Cameron Harpole caught the touchdown pass and finished with 62 receiving yards while Noah Billings added 61 receiving yards.
Cedar Hill defeats Rockwall- Heath in Overtime
Another overtime thriller! This one featured a little more offense than the Guyer- Prosper game did. Cedar Hill never led in regulation- but tied the game on three different occasions. Rockwall-Heath’s biggest lead was never larger than seven points. Cedar Hill almost went ahead late in the fourth quarter but fumbled in the end zone.
Rockwall- Heath failed to get anything going after the fumble and several Hail Mary attempts from Kaidon Salter fell incomplete to force overtime. Rockwall- Heath got the ball first in overtime and the Cedar Hill defense held the Hawks to a field goal. A Salter touchdown pass to Javien Clemmer lifted Cedar Hill past Rockwall- Heath 27-24 to set up the rematch with Denton Guyer.
Salter finished with 349 total yards and three touchdowns through the air. Clemmer caught two of those touchdowns and finished with 10 receptions for 164 yards. Brian Rainey added three receptions for 55 yards and the other score. Josh Hoover finished with 163 yards and a score through the air. The touchdown went to Corban Cleveland, who finished with 52 receiving yards. The Cedar Hill defense struggled to stop Heath’s Preston Landis, who rushed for 196 yards and two scores.
Player of the Week
My player of the week is Aledo running back Demarco Roberts! Aledo outlasted Lovejoy 52-48 and Roberts’ performance is a big reason why! Roberts finished with 266 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, to go with an 88-yard kickoff return. Roberts accounted for two of Aledo’s three touchdowns in the final frame as Aledo outscored Lovejoy 24-10 in the 4th quarter to secure a four-point win.
I should also give a shout out to Lovejoy quarterback R.W. Rucker here. Rucker finished with 537 total yards and six total touchdowns and almost pulled off the upset win over Aledo.
Team of the Week
My team of the week is the Mansfield Summit Jaguars! Mansfield Summit finished fourth place in its district but is playing its best football at the right time of the year. Summit will face Denton Ryan in the State Semifinal with a trip to the 5A DI State Championship Game on the line. The Jaguars beat Red Oak 41-38 to set up the showdown with Denton Ryan. Quarterback David Hopkins has been playing great football and finished with 235 total yards and three total touchdowns in the win last weekend. Beating Denton Ryan will be no easy task, but Summit has been counted out by many over the last few weeks. We’ll see if the Jaguars can pull off a massive upset to make it to State.
Games to Watch
Friday, January 8
Aledo vs Wichita Falls Rider
Aledo will take on Wichita Falls Rider Friday night at Apogee Stadium in Denton with a trip to the State Championship Game on the line. Rider has an 11-2 record and avenged an earlier loss to Lubbock Cooper to advance to the State Semifinals. The Raiders have never been to a State Championship Game and one of the most storied programs in the state stands between Rider and its first title game appearance. Aledo outlasted Lovejoy 52-48 to advance to the State Semifinals. Almost all of the offense came from Demarco Roberts, JoJo Earle and Brayden Fowler- Nicolosi. Those three will be depended upon heavily this weekend against Wichita Falls Rider. I have Aledo advancing to its 12th State Championship Game.
Denton Ryan vs Mansfield Summit
Denton Ryan and Mansfield Summit will decided who gets to advance to play in the 5A DI State Championship Game at AT&T Stadium….from AT&T Stadium. The Raiders and Jaguars will face off Friday night at the site of the State Championship Games. Denton Ryan is the established juggernaut that fell just short in last season’s title game. Mansfield Summit is the talented upstart program that barely made it into the playoffs. Summit avenged its district loss to Red Oak to advance to the State Semifinal. The Jags are playing their best football at the best time of the year. Summit has taken down Amarillo Tascosa, Colleyville Heritage and Red Oak in each of the last three weeks and won all three games by three points. Another three-point win would get the job done against Denton Ryan, but the Raiders are a different animal. Denton Ryan is undefeated at 13-0 and beat two talented 6A teams to start the season, including a Denton Guyer team that is still playing! I like Denton Ryan to advance to its seventh State Championship Game.
Saturday, January 9
Denton Guyer vs Cedar Hill
I have been waiting for this matchup all season long. Cedar Hill had a big lead on Denton Guyer in the playoffs last season before Guyer started attempting onside kicks. The Wildcats kept Salter on the sidelines and mounted a massive second-half comeback. Denton Guyer doesn’t win that game without those onside kicks keeping Salter on the sidelines. Now Cedar Hill finally gets its shot at redemption. This game will be played Saturday afternoon at McKinney ISD Stadium. Both teams have had outstanding seasons behind outstanding quarterbacks. I expect this to be a close game, but I am taking Kaidon Salter and Cedar Hill to make its fifth State Championship Game.
Southlake Carroll vs Duncanville
Todd and Riley Dodge are all that stands between Galena Park North Shore and Duncanville completing the trilogy of State Championship Games. North Shore defeated Duncanville in the 2018 and 2019 State Championship Games. The two teams have been on course to face one another for a third time all year. Riley’s Carroll Dragons and Todd’s Westlake Chaparrals will have something to say about it first. Duncanville and North Shore are both favored this weekend and for good reason, but we’ll get the Dodge Bowl that was supposed to kick off the season in the 6A DI State Championship Game if the father-son duo can both pull off upsets. Carroll star quarterback Quinn Ewers was surgical last weekend in a 59-35 win over Trinity. It was just his second game back from injury. Ewers will need to put up another big performance this weekend against Duncanville if Carroll is to pull the upset. The Duncanville defense might be the best in the state, and they have the best linebacking corps I have ever seen. The Panthers offense turns the ball over more often than they would like, and Carroll will need several turnovers to win this game. This game will be played Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Park and I have Duncanville advancing to its fourth State Championship Game.