Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Steve Nurenberg.
The most wonderful time of the year is almost here. The holiday season is approaching, the weather is cooling off, and we are finally getting to a point where we have enough data and seen enough from teams around the metroplex to start imaging what the playoffs might look like. That might sound like I am getting way ahead of myself, but the first four weeks of the season flew by. Four weeks from now we will be well into district play and there will only be three weeks left in the season. Week four featured quite a few blowouts, but we’ll recap a few of the more competitive games that might have had playoff implications.
Prosper outlasts Denton Guyer
This wasn’t a typical outing between Prosper and Denton Guyer. Since these two teams were placed in a district with one another, each team usually racks up the points and the total yards with relentless passing attacks when the two get together. This game wasn’t exactly low scoring as Prosper beat Denton Guyer 31-28, and the yards were still plentiful, but that total was reached a little different than in the past.
Prosper got it done on the ground even more so than Denton Guyer. The Eagles racked up 245 of their 342 yards of offense on the ground. Denton Guyer’s passing total looked more normal with 38 pass attempts and the majority of its yards coming through the air, but those numbers might be buoyed by having to air it out in the fourth quarter.
Prosper quarterback Nathan TenBarge completed eight of his 18 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. TenBarge outrushed his passing total, leading the way on the ground for the Eagles with 93 yards. Leo Anguiano finished with 15 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Martinez carried the ball 13 times for 64 yards and two scores. Jayden Beasley led the receivers with three receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Denton Guyer quarterback Logan McLaughlin completed 22 of his 36 pass attempts for 265 yards and two total touchdowns. Ahmed Yussuf led the ground attack with 16 carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Corbin Glasco led the Wildcat receivers with 11 receptions for 94 yards, and Kegan Stelmazewski caught five passes for 87 yards and a score. Denton Guyer has something with McLaughlin and Glasco, but the Prosper defense kept Glasco out of the end zone and that was just enough for a win. Prosper, Denton Guyer, McKinney and Allen figure to be the playoff representatives from District 5-6A with Prosper and McKinney having a leg up on Denton Guyer and Allen.
McKinney North beats Lancaster
District 7-5A DI might be one of the deepest districts in the state. Longview, Forney, McKinney North, Tyler, Lancaster and Lufkin are all likely good enough to make the playoffs. In reality, only four of those six schools will go to the postseason. McKinney North did itself a huge favor by starting district play with a 28-21 win over Lancaster. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and were able to hold Lancaster off just long enough to preserve the win, despite being outgained 375-313.
McKinney North quarterback Colin Hitchcock completed nine of his 17 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Powell and Kameron Powell accounted for all of the receptions that went for positive yardage, as Brandon caught two passes for 89 yards and a touchdown and Kameron caught six passes for 77 yards and a score. Jayden Walker carried the ball 28 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns to lead the McKinney North rushing attack.
Lancaster quarterback Carter Jones completed five of his 12 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns. One of those completions went to Kewan Lacy, who scored from 70 yards out. Emmanuel Choice led the receivers with four receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. Lacy led the rushing attack for Lancaster, finishing with 179 yards on 20 carries. Ultimately, Lancaster couldn’t overcome three turnovers. If the Tigers can clean that up, they should be in decent shape as they navigate a tough district schedule.
Celina defeats Anna in Shootout
If you are a college football fan, you might have stayed up until 1:30 in the morning in God’s time zone on Saturday night to watch Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes beat Colorado State in an overtime thriller. Of course, if you fell asleep at halftime of that game, it’s probably because you stayed up late on Friday night tracking the end of Celina’s thrilling victory over Anna. A Knox Porter touchdown pass to Kaleb Hill from 71 yards out with a minute left in regulation ultimately extended the game. Celina took down Anna 42-40 in four overtimes to improve to 4-0 on the season. This game didn’t exactly have playoff implications, but this is the kind of game that kick off a winning streak or start a losing one depending on the outcome.
Celina quarterback Knox Porter completed nine of his 22 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. Kaleb Hill led the receivers with two receptions for 80 yards and a score. Celina did the majority of its work on the ground, but the touchdown connection between Porter and Hill not only accounted for the majority of the Bobcats’ passing yards, but also saved the game. Logan Gutierrez carried the ball 19 times for 131 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Williams rushed 21 times for 97 yards and a score.
Anna quarterback Ziondre Williams was the star of this game, but his cape couldn’t ultimately carry the Coyotes far enough. Williams completed 35 of his 59 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns, and also led the Coyotes in rushing with 73 yards and a score. Edward Chumley added 61 yards on 14 carries on the ground. Sean Steens led the receivers with 10 receptions for 79 yards and a score. Chumley chipped in seven receptions for 67 yards. Williams spread the ball around to nine different receivers and six of them caught multiple passes. Anna will look to rebound against Fort Worth All Saints while Celina gets Carrollton Ranchview this weekend.
Games to Watch
Thursday, September 21
Eaton (2-1) @ Keller Fossil Ridge (1-3)
Both Eaton and Keller Fossil Ridge lost its district opening games last weekend. Eaton lost to Keller and Fossil Ridge lost to Byron Nelson. If the top three finishers in District 4-6A are Southlake Carroll, Byron Nelson and Keller like I would expect, this game between Eaton and Fossil Ridge could well decide which team claims the last playoff spot.
McKinney North (3-1) @ Tyler (4-0)
I outlined how competitive District 7-5A DI is in the McKinney North-Lancaster game recap above. The winner of this game will feel much better about its playoff odds with a 2-0 start. First year coach Rashaun Woods has the Lions off to a fantastic 4-0 start, but this will be his first big test as Tyler handled North Mesquite to open district play last week. McKinney North will hope to carry momentum over from the big win over Lancaster but will have to do so on the road.
Friday, September 22
Rockwall (3-1) @ Rockwall Heath (3-1)
Rockwall Heath coach Rodney Webb gets the pleasure of coaching on the other side of this intense rivalry for the first time after a long stint at Rockwall. This game rarely disappoints, and I expect it to live up to the hype once again this year as both teams are off to solid starts so far this season. With so many offensive playmakers on both teams, I could see this game turning into a shootout.
Hebron (1-1) @ Flower Mound Marcus (0-3)
The 0-3 record next to Flower Mound Marcus certainly doesn’t feel good for the Marauders, but it did play one of the toughest non-district schedules in the area. Marcus had its bye week last week, but it might have found something on offense the last time out, scoring 49 points against Trinity. It’s been even longer since Hebron played a full game as the Hawks game against Eaton was canceled due to rain in the second quarter. This should be a good game and I’m interested to see how each team fairs in district play.
Frisco Lone Star (2-1) @ Frisco Wakeland (3-1)
These teams have one opponent in common. Frisco Lone Star beat Frisco Reedy 35-32 on the last play of the game and Frisco Wakeland lost to Reedy 35-28. I don’t believe in calibration as much as Professor Diggs does, but that tells me this is going to be a close game. Lone Star has dominated this rivalry for the last decade, but Wakeland put it on the Rangers last season, winning 38-10. This should be a great game between two quality programs with playoff implications on the line.
Longview (3-1) @ Lancaster (1-3)
Lancaster could really use a win after losing to McKinney North to open district play. Unfortunately, the Tigers draw a great Longview team this week. I think this will be a close game and Lancaster will need to outplay the Lobos in order to avoid an 0-2 start to district play.
Cedar Hill (1-3) @ Duncanville (3-0)
These two teams have played some great games over the years. Unfortunately, the Longhorns haven’t been as good as they have been in the past over the last few years. Couple that with Duncanville possibly being the best team in the state and one of the best teams in the nation and this game won’t be competitive. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave Duncanville- Cedar Hill off the Games to Watch list.
Offensive Player of the Week
My Offensive Player of the Week is Kimball quarterback Armirie Williams-Hall! I normally try to pick players who played in close games and made a big impact, but Williams-Hall put up video game numbers in Kimball’s 55-14 win over Arlington Sam Houston. Williams-Hall completed 18 of his 24 passes for 482 yards and seven touchdowns in the win! While the stats were impressive, Williams-Hall will need his best game to come in two weeks when the Knights take on South Oak Cliff.
Defensive Player of the Week
My Defensive Player of the Week is Waxahachie linebacker Da’Marion Cooper! Waxahachie beat Cedar Hill 39-21 in an important district matchup and Cooper performance helped ensure the win! Cooper finished with seven solo tackles and assisted on four more! He also provided the biggest play of the game, a 94-yard interception returned for a touchdown just before halftime to give the Indians a 20-14 halftime lead! If Cooper doesn’t come up with that interception, Waxahachie is down by a point at halftime as the best-case scenario, and likely down eight points as a worst-case scenario. The second half was all Waxahachie, but it all started with Cooper’s pick-six to end the first half.
Cover Photo of Prosper running back Leo Anguiano courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Special Contributor Steve Nurenberg.