The Cooldown- Week Eight

Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Steve Nurenberg

It’s mid-October and we’re starting to get an idea of which teams will be a threat in the playoffs come November. There are just three weeks left in the regular season and playoff pictures are taking shape. Let’s recap the action from last weekend and take a look at the upcoming slate.

Allen defeats Denton Guyer

Allen has rebounded nicely from an early season loss to Humble Atascocita at home. Denton Guyer beat that same Atascocita squad a few weeks later to suggest the Wildcats might actually beat Allen for the District 5-6A title this year. Denton Guyer got its shot at the Eagles at home this year and fell short, 38-31.

Allen quarterback Mike Hawkins Jr. completed 10 of his 14 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown- and Hawkins Jr. added 106 yards and a score on the ground. Jaylen Jenkins continues to be the star of this Allen offense after a 190 yard and three touchdown performance on just 15 carries. Jenkins also caught six passes for 70 yards to lead the Eagles in receiving.

Jackson Arnold completed 26 of his 37 passing attempts for 307 yards and two touchdowns for Denton Guyer. His favorite target was Grayson O’Bara- who caught 12 passes for 130 yards and a score. Jackson Foster rushed six times for 83 yards and a score. It ultimately wasn’t enough to overcome Allen in the de-facto District 5-6A Championship Game.

Although it might not win the district, Denton Guyer will still likely finish second in District 5-6A. The two playoff teams that follow Allen and Denton Guyer into the postseason remain to be seen- but McKinney Boyd, Denton Braswell, Little Elm and Prosper will compete for the final two spots.

Garland outlasts Sachse

The Garland Owls are for real. A 54-41 win over Sachse pushes Garland to a 7-0 record with a relatively easy schedule remaining. Garland will likely finish the season at 10-0 and District 9-6A Champions.

Cergio Perez put up big numbers once again- completing 20 of his 24 passes for 323 yards and six touchdowns through the air. Perez added a seventh touchdown on the ground. Jayshon Powers rushed 18 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. Ellis Rogers and Jordan Hudson put up undeniable numbers as well. Rogers finished with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns and Hudson added seven receptions for 134 yards and four touchdowns.

Alex Orji did his best to keep Sachse in the game. Orji passed for 267 yards and a touchdown and added 132 yards and five scores on the ground. Cam Gladney caught seven passes for 134 yards but Sachse couldn’t hold on to an early lead and ended up chasing a two-score deficit for most of the night.

Garland now has wins over Sachse and Naaman Forest squads that are each 3-1 in district play. Sachse and Naaman Forest will square off in the season finale for both teams in a game that will likely decide which team gets second place in District 9-6A. Wylie and Rowlett will compete for the final playoff spot in District 9-6A.

Colleyville Heritage escapes Mansfield Summit

Colleyville Heritage and Mansfield Summit squared off in an important district game that could decide the district championship- though Midlothian is still lurking with a 3-1 record and the lone loss to Colleyville Heritage.

Colleyville Heritage quarterback Weston Smith passed for 212 yards and two touchdowns and Isaac Shabay led the ground attack with 52 yards and a score. Braden Blueitt led the receivers with 62 yards and a touchdown and Mason Murdock caught the other touchdown pass. Hogan Wasson added 61 receiving yards and also returned a punt 57 yards for a touchdown.

Mansfield Summit quarterback David Hopkins passed for 111 yards and a touchdown and added 112 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Orlando Scales tacked on 58 yards and a score on seven carries. Hopkins found Kerya Powell for a touchdown pass with 2:00 minutes remaining in the game to bring the score to 35-34 but the PAT failed, and the Panthers escaped with a 35-34 win over Mansfield Summit to remain undefeated and in 1st place in District 4-5A DI.

Games to Watch

Thursday, October 21

The Colony @ Frisco Independence

This game is a must win game for Frisco Independence. The Knights are 2-3 in district play- good enough for sixth place. A win would bring its district record even with The Colony’s at 3-3 and the Knights would hold the tiebreaker with The Colony with a win. That would put Frisco Independence in contention with Frisco Reedy (3-2) for the final playoff spot in District 5-5A DI. For that same reason, this game is a must win for The Colony. A win over Frisco Independence would give The Colony a 4-2 record in district play and could gain sole possession of fourth place in the district as Reedy takes on Wakeland on Friday. It would also separate the top five teams from the rest of the field. Either way, I will have my eyes on this game and this race for the final playoff spot between Reedy, The Colony and Independence.

Southlake Carroll @ Eaton

This game may not be all that close, but it could be the closest Southlake Carroll comes to losing a district game. The Dragon’s 36-point win over Keller is Southlake Carroll’s slimmest margin of victory in district play thus far. If Eaton were to win, the Eagles would likely go on to win the district as this is the de-facto District 4-6A Championship Game.

Dallas Kimball @ Dallas Hillcrest

Kimball and Hillcrest will face off in a crucial district matchup on Thursday night. Kimball is a perfect 5-0 in district play, along with South Oak Cliff, and Hillcrest is 3-2 and clinging to a playoff spot. A win for Kimball would just about clinch a playoff spot for the Knights while a loss could leave the door open as the Knights still have South Oak Cliff and Mesquite Poteet on the schedule. Hillcrest, meanwhile, ends its schedule with Jefferson and Spruce. Seagoville and Spruce will be looking to unseat Hillcrest, Mesquite Poteet or Kimball for a playoff spot in District 6-5A DII.

Friday, October 22

Frisco @ Lovejoy

The de-facto District 7-5A DII Championship Game will be played on Friday night between Frisco and Lovejoy. Both teams are 7-0 so far this season and put up a lot of points. Frisco has scored no less than 28 points and Lovejoy has scored no less than 44 points in a game so far this season. This one will likely be a shootout, and I like Lovejoy’s offense to outlast the Frisco offense to all but clinch the district championship.

Prosper @ Denton Braswell

This is a must win game for a Prosper team that is 1-2 in district play. Denton Braswell would love to notch its third win in district play to remain in a playoff spot. Prosper would essentially be eliminated with a loss with Allen and McKinney Boyd still on its schedule. Denton Braswell only has a game with Allen left after it plays Prosper this week. Little Elm and McKinney have the slimmest of chances of making the playoffs at this point, leaving Prosper to compete with Denton Braswell and McKinney Boyd for the final two playoff spots in District 5-6A.

Flower Mound Marcus @ Hebron

Hebron is still undefeated in district play after a 34-12 win over Coppell last week. The Hawks face a 3-1 Marcus squad this week hoping to remain undefeated and tied at the top of the district standings with Lewisville. Marcus dropped its district opener to Flower Mound 17-14 but has rebounded nicely, scoring at least 33 points in three consecutive district wins. The Marauders could use a win over Hebron with Lewisville and Plano East still on the schedule. Flower Mound, Coppell and Marcus will compete for the last two playoff spots in District 6-6A and one school will be left out of the dance. A Marcus win over Hebron would go a long way towards making sure the Marauders aren’t left out of the dance.

Frisco Wakeland @ Frisco Reedy

Frisco Wakeland is reeling after a 33-3 loss to Frisco Lone Star. Wakeland managed just six points combined against the top two teams in its district. The Wolverines have a chance to bounce back against a team that will challenge for the third playoff spot in District 5-5A DI. A Wakeland loss to Reedy and a win for The Colony would bring Wakeland to a tie for fourth place in the district with The Colony while elevating Reedy to third place.

Mansfield @ Waxahachie

Duncanville, DeSoto and Cedar Hill will take the top three playoff spots in District 11-6A, likely in that order. That leaves one playoff spot for two teams. Those two teams are Mansfield and Waxahachie. Both teams are 2-2 in district play. Mansfield has games against Duncanville and Cedar Hill left. Waxahachie still has DeSoto and Waco on the schedule. If Mansfield ends its season 0-2 and Waxahachie goes 1-1 to end the season, Mansfield would hold the tiebreaker with both teams at 3-4 in district play to end the year. If Waxahachie wins, it gets into the playoffs by way of a better record. That is IF the final two games for these two teams play out how they should. It also means Friday night’s game will decide the final playoff spot in District 11-6A.

Lancaster @ Woodrow Wilson

Lancaster and Woodrow Wilson have identical 6-1 (5-0) records on the season. That will change on Friday night when the two face off in the de-facto District 6-5A DI Championship Game. Both teams have blown out the five teams they have faced in district play so far and Lancaster is favored to win this game by a few points. I will take Lancaster by a touchdown, but this game could go either way and will decide which team wins the district championship.

Offensive Player of the Week

My Offensive Player of the Week is Flower Mound quarterback Nick Evers! Flower Mound beat Plano East 42-35 in a must-win game to remain in the playoff hunt. Evers played a big role in powering the Jaguars past Plano East- going for 381 total yards and five touchdowns in the win!

Defensive Player of the Week

My Defensive Player of the Week is McKinney Boyd linebacker Ethan Wesloski! McKinney Boyd won a thriller over Little Elm 48-44 to improve to 2-1 in district play! District 5-6A is made up of seven good football teams and every district win is crucial towards making the playoffs. Wesloski finished with 15 tackles and two tackles-for-loss and a sack. Wesloski lived in the backfield and also forced a fumble to help the Broncos outlast Little Elm and pick up an important district win.

Cover Photo of Allen running back Jaylen Jenkins courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Special Contributor Steve Nurenberg.