Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Emil Lippe
The calendar has officially turned to October, and that means district playoff races are heating up. Most teams across the metroplex have five district games left and those teams that still haven’t had a bye week have four games remaining on the 2022 regular season schedule. All is still to play for in most districts with plenty of big matchups remaining this season. There were a handful of intriguing and competitive rivalry games last week. Let’s recap last weekend’s games and preview the upcoming football weekend.
Grapevine defeats Colleyville Heritage
Grapevine won the Red Rail Rivalry Game for the first time since 2018 with a 44-26 win over Colleyville Heritage. Both teams scored three touchdowns in the first half and Grapevine held a 21-20 lead due to a missed extra point for Colleyville Heritage. The Mustangs opened it up in the second half, outscoring Colleyville Heritage 23-6 to pull away for the win. Grapevine racked up 551 yards of offense, including 440 yards on the ground.
Grapevine quarterback Evan Baum completed five of his nine passes for 82 yards and Parker Polk completed a pass for 29 yards. Polk was the star of the night for Grapevine, carrying the ball 25 times for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Reid Watkins carried the ball 11 times for 67 yards and a score and Baum added 62 yards and a score on the ground as well. CJ Holmes finished with 55 yards on the ground and Rondale Carridine added 50 yards and a touchdown. Carridine also caught five passes for 105 yards to lead the Mustangs in receiving.
Colleyville Heritage quarterback Weston Smith completed 19 of his 32 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back for the Panthers. Luke Ullrich got the bulk of the receptions with 10 for 121 yards and two touchdowns to lead Colleyville Heritage in receiving. Braden Blueitt caught three passes for 78 yards and Hayden Golden caught a pass for 13 yards. Collin Bennett carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards and a touchdown. Smith finished with 25 yards and a score and Ullrich added 26 yards on the ground.
These two teams should coast for the reminder of the regular season with Grapevine finishing as the champion of District 4-5A DII. Fort Worth Arlington Heights is the only other undefeated team in district play through the first two games.
McKinney takes down Denton Braswell
McKinney outlasted Denton Braswell 60-51 in a shootout. Denton Braswell jumped out to an early lead and led the Lions 35-26 at halftime. McKinney gained momentum and took the lead in the second half behind a 27-point third quarter. McKinney finished with 705 yards of total offense while Denton Braswell racked up 675 yards of offense. Let’s dive into some of the numbers.
McKinney quarterback Keldric Luster completed 22 of his 31 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns. Bryan Jackson racked up 168 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries. Luster finished with 92 yards and a score on the ground and Makhi Frazier added a rushing touchdown in the win as well. Khali Best led the receivers with six receptions for 105 yards. Dylan Brown caught seven passes for 90 yards and a touchdown and Dylan Rhodes caught two passes for 73 yards and two scores.
Denton Braswell quarterback Keegan Byrd completed 23 of his 35 passes for 468 yards and four touchdowns. Byrd also added 70 yards and a score on the ground. Earl Richardson Jr. led the Bengals in rushing with 128 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Ja’Ryan Wallace caught nine passes for 255 yards and two scores to lead the receivers. Elijah Scruggs caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown and Jaiden Rooks added six receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. Dylan Smith added three receptions for 37 yards and a loss.
Rockwall beats Mesquite Horn
Rockwall just about locked up the District 10-6A Championship. The Yellow Jackets defeated Mesquite Horn 37-34 in a thriller. Mesquite Horn is now left to compete with Rockwall Heath for second place in District 10-6A, and if Rockwall’s first two district games tell us anything, Mesquite Horn shouldn’t have much of a problem beating Rockwall Heath. The Hawks were boat raced by Rockwall 56-21 while Mesquite Horn was much more competitive against the Yellow Jackets.
Rockwall quarterback Lake Bennett completed 12 of his 18 passes for 276 yards. Bennett used his arm to move the ball into the red zone before finishing off several scoring drives with his legs. Bennett rushed for 68 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Ashten Emory led the Yellow Jackets on the ground with 98 yards and a score on 20 carries. Noble Johnson caught four passes for 99 yards and Aiden Meeks added two receptions for 83 yards.
Mesquite Horn quarterback Raheem Beck completed 12 of his 16 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Beck added 48 yards and a score on the ground. Kevontae White had an impressive night on the ground, carrying the ball 15 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. Jeremiah Batiste led the Jags in receiving with three receptions for 62 yards and two scores. Mesquite Horn nearly pulled off the win before getting outscored 14-7 in the fourth quarter.
Games to Watch
Naaman Forest (2-3) @ Garland (4-2)
Garland is 3-1 in District 9-6A and Naaman Forest is 2-1. Those two teams, along with Lakeview Centennial, Wylie and Wylie East are all 2-1 or better in district play. That’s five teams with winning records in district play and North Garland lurking at 1-2. This should be a great game with playoff seeding implications on the line.
Eaton (1-4) @ Keller Central (1-4)
A 1-4 start wasn’t what either of these teams had in mind. Fortunately for Keller Central, it’s win is in district play. The Chargers are 1-1 in District 4-6A while Eaton is 0-2. Eaton needs to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt. Southlake Carroll, Byron Nelson and Keller are all 5-0 (2-0) and figure to make the playoffs. Keller Fossil Ridge 3-2 (1-1) has also looked good this season and has its game against Byron Nelson out of the way. Both teams need a win this weekend.
Fort Worth North Side (4-1) @ Fort Worth OD Wyatt (4-1)
This game is crucial for playoff seeding purposes. Grapevine, Colleyville Heritage and Fort Worth Arlington Heights look like the top three teams in District 4-5A DII. North Side and OD Wyatt are both 1-1 in district play, but only one can make the playoffs if Grapevine, Colleyville Heritage and Arlington Heights are the top three teams. That means the winner of this game likely makes the playoffs while the loser goes home. That’s a tough reality for a game being played in early October.
Flower Mound Marcus (3-2) @ Coppell (4-1)
Coppell suffered its first loss of the season last week in a 38-3 loss to Lewisville and is now 1-1 in District 6-6A. Flower Mound Marcus won the Mound Showdown to improve to 2-0 in district play. Marcus, Lewisville and Plano are the three remaining undefeated teams in district play through the first two weeks. Coppell and Hebron are both 1-1 and will be fighting for a playoff spot. This should be a great game between two evenly matched teams.
Lake Dallas (6-0) @ Argyle (5-0)
Lake Dallas outlasted Frisco Memorial in overtime 54-48 to remain undefeated on the season. The Falcons and Frisco Emerson are 2-0 in District 3-5A DII while Argyle and Frisco Independence are each 1-0. This district is far from being decided, but Argyle has looked like the class of the district. This is a measuring stick game for Lake Dallas.
Keller (5-0) @ Southlake Carroll (5-0)
Southlake Carroll has been the best team in District 4-6A for the last several years. It hasn’t been since the Dragons were in a district with Trinity that they were truly tested in district play. Keller likely won’t be the team to change that. This is a measuring stick game for Keller. If the Indians can take some valuable lessons from playing one of the best teams in the state and apply those lessons to their matchup with Byron Nelson later in district play, that will be a win.
Saginaw Boswell (5-0) @ North Crowley (5-0)
Boswell and North Crowley are both 5-0 (2-0) in District 3-6A, along with LD Bell. Trinity, meanwhile, is 0-5 (0-2). I don’t think anybody saw this coming. We will find out if LD Bell is for real and if Trinity is really going to miss the playoffs in due time. Until then, don’t let those storylines distract from this game between Boswell and North Crowley likely serving as the de-facto district championship game. This should be a great game with a district title on the line.
Offensive Player of the Week
My Offensive Player of the Week is McKinney quarterback Keldric Luster! McKinney outlasted Denton Braswell 60-51 in an offensive shootout and Luster’s performance helped the Lions keep pace! Luster finished with 385 yards through the air and 477 yards total with three touchdowns through the air plus one more on the ground!
Defensive Players of the Week
My Defensive Players of the Week are Lake Dallas defensive backs Eli Koch and Xinjin Gomez! Lake Dallas and Frisco Memorial were tied 48-48 in overtime when Frisco Memorial kicker Ian Villareal- one of the best kickers in the area- was set to attempt a 50-yard field goal. Gomez blocked the field goal attempt, which was recovered by Frisco Memorial, and Koch intercepted the attempted pass off the block and returned it for the game-winning touchdown! There is a video below courtesy of Koch’s Twitter account, but that kind of teamwork earned Kock and Gomez my Defensive Player of the Week award and earned Lake Dallas a win over Frisco Memorial!
College Player of the Week
My College Player of the Week is Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders. The former Denton Ryan star quarterback led No. 9 OSU to a 36-25 win over No. 16 Baylor on the road. Sanders completed 20 of his 29 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He also added 75 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Sanders redeemed his turnover by diving on an Ollie Gordon fumble late in the fourth quarter to help preserve the lead.
Speaking of Gordon, the former Trinity star running back carried the ball six times for 16 yards. Although he did fumble, the defender put his helmet right on the football. There wasn’t much Gordon could have done in that situation. Sanders is off to a fantastic start this season and has Oklahoma State up to No. 7 in the AP Poll. He will face Texas Tech at home this weekend as he looks to keep the Cowboys undefeated. Here is a dot from Sanders to former Allen star receiver Bryson Green- who makes a fantastic catch- for the first touchdown of the game.
Cover Photo of Grapevine quarterback Evan Baum courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Special Contributor Emil Lippe.