Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Smiley N. Pool
The eighth week of the season featured matchups most metroplex area fans have been looking forward to since district re-alignment was released. Two of those matchups featured Denton schools in Denton Guyer and Denton Ryan. The playoff seeding in some districts is set with just two weeks remaining in the regular season while other districts still have all to play for. Let’s recap some games from week eight.
Aledo defeats Denton Ryan
Aledo had only lost two games since the calendar turned to 2020 before this season started. The Bearcats started 0-2 this season, something unprecedented in a town deemed Titletown, before reeling off six wins in a row. Aledo made it seven wins in a row with a 35-21 road win over Denton Ryan on Friday night.
Aledo quarterback Hauss Hejny completed nine of his 12 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Hejny also led the Bearcats in rushing with 13 carries for 132 yards and two scores. Caleb Pope carried the ball 15 times for 85 yards and a score, and Hawk Patrick- Daniels gained 40 yards on 11 carries. Jalen Pope led the receivers with five receptions for 87 yards and a score and Caleb Pope caught a pass for 26 yards on top of his rushing efforts.
Denton Ryan quarterback Khalon Davis completed 14 of his 23 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns. Jordyn Bailey was his favorite target with seven receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Da’Marqis Lewis caught the other touchdown pass and finished with four receptions for 65 yards. Kalib Hicks led the Raiders on the ground with 17 carries for 90 yards. Aledo wrapped up the District 3-5A DI Championship with the win. A win over Brewer next weekend will give Aledo another undefeated run through district play. Denton Ryan currently sits in fourth place and the last playoff spot with a 4-2 district record behind Aledo, Burleson Centennial and Northwest. Burleson Centennial and Northwest are each 5-1 in district play and the Texans will face Denton Ryan next weekend in a game that will likely decide third place in the district standings.
Lewisville beats Flower Mound Marcus
Lewisville won the Battle of the Axe over Flower Mound Marcus 17-14. The Fighting Farmers are in position to win District 6-6A, but chaos could ensue for the last three playoff spots. Flower Mound Marcus is one of the teams fighting for a playoff spot, but we’ll get to that after the game recap. There’s nothing better than a high stakes Battle of the Axe Game between Lewisville and Flower Mound Marcus.
Lewisville quarterback Ethan Terrell completed nine of his 16 passes for 115 yards and added 30 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Terrell’s first touchdown put Lewisville up 7-0 in the first quarter and his second score tied the game in the fourth quarter. Viron Ellison led the Fighting Farmers in rushing with 97 yards on 23 carries. Ellison also had a reception for 15 yards. Dylon Myrow caught five passes for 63 yards to lead Lewisville in receiving.
Flower Mound Marcus quarterback Cole Welliver completed nine of his 24 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. That short touchdown pass went to Aidan Grummer, who caught two passes for eight yards and the score. Isaac Khattab led Marcus in receiving with three receptions for 34 yards. Ben Perlmutter led the way on the ground, gaining 25 yards on 11 carries. Flower Mound Marcus got on the scoreboard just before halftime when Colton Bedgood scooped up a fumble from Ellison and returned it for a touchdown. Welliver’s touchdown pass to Grummer gave Marcus a 14-7 lead in the third quarter before Terrell found the end zone in the fourth quarter and Freddy Joya walked the game off with a 31-yard field goal with just :24 seconds remaining in the game.
Lewisville is the last remaining undefeated team in district play at 5-0. Coppell is 4-1 and its only loss is to Lewisville. Flower Mound Marcus and Plano are tied for third at 3-2 and those two teams play each other this weekend to decide who keeps sole possession of third place. Flower Mound and Hebron are on the outside looking in at 2-3 with two weeks left.
DeSoto takes down Cedar Hill
DeSoto won the Battle of Beltline over Cedar Hill 45-20. This game was tied 0-0 after the first quarter and tied 14-14 at halftime. DeSoto eventually pulled away in the second half, outscoring Cedar Hill 31-6 for a comfortable win. The Eagles can clinch a District 11-6A Championship with a win over Duncanville this weekend, but we’ll have more on that in the Games to Watch section.
DeSoto quarterback DJ Bailey completed 23 of his 34 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Three receivers got the bulk of Bailey’s targets on the night. Dahlyn Jones led the way with eight receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. Crimson Mathis caught five passes for 84 yards and Johntay Cook caught six passes for 47 yards and two scores. Former Cedar Hill quarterback Cedric Harden caught three passes for 33 yards in the win. Deondre Ridden carried DeSoto on the ground with 11 carries for 75 yards and three touchdowns. Jaden Trawick added 55 yards on 17 carries and Harden gained 45 yards on three carries.
Cedar Hill quarterback Anthony Edwards completed 14 of his 31 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown in his first Battle of Beltline as Cedar Hill’s starting quarterback. Jaylen Jenkins caught the touchdown pass from 15 yards out for his lone reception of the night. Rontavis Jackson led the Longhorns in receiving with five receptions for 68 yards. Kymeion Turner caught five passes for 52 yards and Le’Keldrick Bridges added two receptions for 46 yards. Jenkins led the Horns in rushing with 12 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown on the ground, giving him two total scores on the night. Zhaiylen Scott accounted for the other score, returning a fumble for a touchdown just before halftime to tie the game.
Games to Watch
Denton Guyer (8-0) @ McKinney (6-2)
McKinney pushed Allen to the brink on the road in a 31-28 loss a few weeks back. Denton Guyer dominated Allen 49-7 at home last weekend. Now, the Eagles and Lions are tied with Prosper for second place in district 5-6A at 4-1, but Allen holds the tiebreaker between the two teams with a head-to-head win. McKinney could help flip the script with wins over Denton Guyer and Prosper to close the season. That will be much easier said than done.
Frisco Reedy (9-0) @ Frisco Heritage (6-2)
Frisco Reedy wraps up its regular season a week early with a bye week on the last weekend of the regular season. The Lions are looking to finish the regular season undefeated but playing 10 straight weeks is never easy. Frisco Heritage is 5-1 in District 6-5A DI and can give itself a shot at a share of the district championship with a win on Thursday night.
Keller (6-2) @ Keller Timber Creek (3-5)
Keller Timber Creek has been involved in thrilling games the last two weekends, beating Haltom 49-41 but losing to Eaton 38-31. The Falcons are tied with Keller Fossil Ridge and Eaton for the last playoff in District 4-6A with a 2-3 record. Keller Timber Creek holds the tiebreaker over Keller Fossil Ridge, but Eaton holds the tiebreaker over Keller Timber Creek. The Falcons need a win to stay in the playoff race against a 3-2 Keller squad. If the Indians lose, the race for the last two playoff spots becomes that much more interesting.
DeSoto (7-1) @ Duncanville (7-0)
In a week full of games between top ranked teams and games with major playoff implications, this is the game of the week. DeSoto and Duncanville are head and shoulders above the rest of District 11-6A, and we get to find out which team is better on Friday night. Recent history suggests Duncanville is the favorite here, but can it slow down DeSoto’s high-flying offense enough to win the game? I can’t wait to find out. Get a pair of eyeballs on this game if you can.
Byron Nelson (8-0) @ Southlake Carroll (8-0)
Byron Nelson has torn through its schedule this year, scoring no less than 31 points in a 31-0 shutout of McKinney Boyd in non-district back in September, and no less than 45 points in a 45-17 win over Keller in district play. Southlake Carroll is the traditional power that is also undefeated and usually wins this district. Southlake Carroll has scored no less than 38 points this season in a 38-35 win over Keller. The Dragons will have to earn it on Friday night against Byron Nelson. The winner of this game will win District 4-6A.
Prosper (7-1) @ Allen (6-2)
Prosper and Allen are tied for second place in District 5-6A with McKinney, as mentioned above. The winner of this game will have a leg up on finishing second in the district. Denton Guyer will win the district and Prosper, Allen and McKinney will finish in some order to fill out the playoff picture. This game will help determine what order those three schools finish in.
Frisco Lone Star (6-2) @ Frisco (6-2)
Frisco Reedy leads District 6-5A DI at 7-0 in district play. Frisco and Frisco Heritage are each 5-1 while Frisco Lone Star and Frisco Wakeland are each 4-2 in district play. One of those five teams will get left out of the playoffs, and it won’t be Frisco Reedy. This game should be evenly matched and has massive playoff implications on the line. Frisco Lone Star closes the season against Frisco Heritage and Frisco ends with Frisco Wakeland. All of those games will help decide which teams make the playoffs and which team is left at home.
Fort Worth Arlington Heights (8-0) @ Grapevine (7-1)
Fort Worth Arlington Heights has been one of the surprise teams in the metroplex so far this season. The Yellow Jackets beat Colleyville Heritage 41-31 and Grapevine beat the Panthers 44-26. As a result, the winner of this game will win District 4-5A DII and the loser will claim second place in the district. Between Parker Polk and Brian Furch Jr., there should be no shortage of rushing yards in this one.
Forney (5-3) @ McKinney North (6-2)
Forney got back on track last week with a win over North Mesquite after a two-game losing streak to the top two teams in District 7-5A DI. The Jackrabbits are tied with McKinney North for third place in the district at 3-2 while Lufkin and Tyler lurk outside of the playoff picture at 2-3. Forney has to play the Bulldogs and Tyler to close the season while McKinney North gets North Mesquite to close the year. This should be an evenly matched game with playoff seeding on the line.
Arlington Bowie (4-4) @ Arlington Lamar (3-5)
The top three playoff spots in District 8-6A will likely go to Arlington Martin, South Grand Prairie and Arlington. That leaves just one spot for Arlington Bowie and Arlington Lamar, who are both 2-2 in district play. That means the winner of this game likely gets into the playoffs while the loser stays home. I think this game should be evenly matched and I’m looking forward to seeing which team comes out on top.
Flower Mound Marcus (4-4) @ Plano (4-4)
Flower Mound Marcus and Plano are both 3-2 in district play, tied for third place behind Lewisville and Coppell. The winner of this game will have the upper hand on playoff seeding while the loser will have to worry about Flower Mound and Hebron, both 2-3, lurking behind and hoping to forge a path into the playoffs.
Offensive Player of the Week
My Offensive Player of the Week is Denton Guyer quarterback Jackson Arnold! Denton Guyer routed Allen 49-7 in front of a national audience and Arnold showed why he is a highly touted quarterback recruit in the process. The Oklahoma commit completed 25 of his 28 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns. That’s right, Arnold completed 89% of his passes. On top of that, Arnold also led the Wildcats in rushing with 84 yards and a score on seven carries. He showed off the wheels on the long touchdown run below. That type of effort earns Arnold my Offensive Player of the Week and should take Denton Guyer on another deep playoff run!
Defensive Player of the Week
My Defensive Player of the Week is Waxahachie cornerback Keith Abney! Waxahachie defeated Mansfield 31-20 in a game that was critical for playoff seeding. The Indians should finish ahead of Mansfield in third place in District 11-6A as a result of the win. Abney helped propel Waxahachie to the win with an interception returned for a touchdown, a quarterback hurry, two pass breakups and three tackles!
College Player of the Week
My College Player of the Week is former Southlake Carroll defensive back RJ Mickens! No. 5 Clemson defeated No. 14 Syracuse at home 27-21 after former Austin Westlake QB Cade Klubnik took over for starter DJ Uiagalelei in the second half. Klubnik helped lead the Tigers come-from-behind victory, but Mickens sealed it. Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader moved the offense down to the Clemson 30 yard-line with under a minute left in the game. Mickens picked off Shrader with :32 seconds remaining to keep Clemson’s 38 game home winning streak and the Tigers College Football Playoff hopes alive.
Cover Photo of Denton Ryan QB Khalon Davis courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Staff Photographer Smiley N. Pool.