The Cooldown: Week Three

Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Chitose Suzuki

Well, week three was a weird one. After months with extreme heat and no rain, thunderstorms impacted games across the metroplex on Friday night. Some games were declared as no contest, some decided winners and losers after two quarters of play, and some games were postponed and resumed on Saturday. Fortunately, most of the games played across DFW last weekend were non-district contests with no standing on the playoffs. That made the decision to call games a little easier. All that being said, there were still some interesting results from week three. Let’s get into a few of those games now.

Lake Highlands defeats Highland Park

This game endured two different rain delays and didn’t finish until Saturday afternoon. When it did, it was Lake Highlands that prevailed with a 51-41 win over Highland Park. This one was a district game and that’s likely a big reason why the two teams didn’t call the game at the start of the fourth quarter when the second weather delay hit. In the end, the result was the same as Lake Highlands held on to its lead. The Wildcats rebounded from a 41-21 loss to Flower Mound the week prior for arguably the most impressive win in the metroplex over the weekend.

Lake Highlands racked up 616 yards of total offense on the Scots defense. Wildcats quarterback Tripp Holley completed 11 of his 20 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Deonte Dean was the star of the show for Lake Highlands, carrying the ball 31 times for 376 yards and four touchdowns. Tripp Marshall led the receivers with five receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns and Miron Magee caught a 75-yard touchdown pass in the win.

Highland Park quarterback Warren Peck was more effective on the ground than through the air against the Lake Highlands defense. Peck completed 13 of his 31 passes for 121 yards but rushed 18 times for 201 yards and five touchdowns. Keller Holmes added 13 carries for 94 yards and a score. Steel Tobin and Paxton Smith led the Scots in receiving with three receptions for 28 yards each. Highland Park’s defense will have some soul searching to do after allowing more than 10 yards-per-carry and 11 yards-per-pass. Lake Highlands will need to continue to replicate that offensive success throughout district play. If the Wildcats can manage that, a district championship may be in their future.

North Crowley takes down Lovejoy

This was another Friday night game that was elongated by a lengthy rain delay. The Panthers and Leopards were able to wrap the game up on Friday night. North Crowley dominated Lovejoy 43-20, scoring 35 unanswered points coming out of the rain delay. This result isn’t totally unsurprising as North Crowley has absolutely dominated opponents so far this season, but this is by far the most impressive result.

North Crowley quarterback Chris Jimerson Jr. completed 10 of his 21 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Mason Ferguson caught two passes for 85 yards and LaMarcus Davis caught four passes for 74 yards and two scores. Cornelius Warren had a fantastic night on the ground, carrying the ball 20 times for 106 yards and three touchdowns. Jimerson added eight carries for 49 yards and an additional score on the ground. Most impressively, North Crowley’s defense shut down Lovejoy’s potent passing attack and pitched a second half shutout.

Lovejoy quarterback Alexander Franklin completed 19 of his 27 passes for 184 yards. Daylan McCutcheon caught 10 passes for 95 yards to lead the receivers. Dante Dean led the rushing attack with 53 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, while Khalin Williams and Payton Pierce each contributed a touchdown on the ground.

North Crowley appears ready to repeat as district champions. Lovejoy will likely be the most talented team the Panthers face in the regular season, so all that’s left to do between now and the playoffs is refine whatever didn’t work in non-district play and get ready for another playoff run.

Frisco Lone Star beats Frisco Reedy

Some of the larger districts in the metroplex kicked off district play over the weekend, though this one wasn’t impacted by weather, other than heat, as it was played on Thursday night at Toyota Stadium. It’s a good thing, too, considering Frisco Lone Star defeated Frisco Reedy 35-32 on a walk-off touchdown pass as time expired.

Frisco Lone Star quarterback Colin Blackstock completed 14 of his 24 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. None of those completions were more important than the last one, which went to Winston Pollard, who led the receivers with two receptions for 65 yards and the game winning score. Davian Groce led the Rangers rushing attack with 22 carries for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Frisco Reedy quarterback Braden Hernandez completed 11 of his 18 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. Jake Ferner also passed for 58 yards and a score for the Lions. Connor McGrath caught five passes for 110 yards and both touchdown receptions to lead the receivers. Triston Airy was responsible for the other two Frisco Reedy touchdowns, racking up 128 yards on 16 carries. This game was about as even as they get, and I’m interested to see how the rest of the district schedule plays out for these two teams.

Games to Watch

Thursday, September 14

Frisco Wakeland (3-0) @ Frisco Reedy (2-1)

Frisco Wakeland opened up district play with a big win over Frisco Heritage last weekend. Reedy is looking to avoid an 0-2 start to district play after that heartbreaking loss to Frisco Lone Star. With only four playoff spots for this nine-team district, avoiding an 0-2 start is paramount for the Lions. This should be a good game between two playoff caliber teams.

Lancaster (1-2) @ McKinney North (2-1)

Don’t let the record fool you, Lancaster is for real. The two losses have come against a quality 6A opponent in Denton Guyer and the defending 5A DII champion South Oak Cliff Golden Bears. The Tigers were competitive in both games and that should help prepare them for a tough district schedule. McKinney North lost to Northwest by a field goal for its one loss of the season. I expect Lancaster to win this game, but I am interested to see how competitive McKinney North looks against a quality opponent.

Friday, September 15

Denton Guyer (2-1) @ Prosper (2-1)

District play in District 5-6A starts off with a bang between Denton Guyer and Prosper. Both teams lost close games to quality opponents and looked good in two other wins. Quarterback will be the main question in this game. Prosper quarterback Nathan TenBarge will need to be more efficient while Denton Guyer played two quarterbacks against Lancaster last week.

Lake Highlands (2-1) @ Dallas Jesuit (2-1)

Another stellar district opener, Lake Highlands looks to carry momentum over from its win over Highland Park. Jesuit has lived on the edge the last two weeks after a five-point loss to Hebron to open the season. I don’t see this game being any different from Jesuit’s first three games, likely coming down to the final possessions.

Boswell (2-0) @ Trinity (1-2)

Boswell beat Trinity in District 3-6A play last year and this game could determine playoff seeding come November. North Crowley will win this district, but one other team will get to host a first-round playoff game. Could it be Trinity? Could it be Boswell? Could it be a revamped Crowley squad? In any event, this will be a game to follow closely on Friday night.

Eaton (2-0) @ Keller (3-0)

Eaton was trailing Hebron 21-17 in the 2nd quarter in a game that was ultimately declared no contest while Keller got credit for a 30-21 win over Odessa despite only making it to halftime. In any event, these teams arrive at this matchup undefeated and with playoff seeding potentially on the line. Much like District 3-6A, Southlake Carroll will win this district. The next three spots are seemingly up for grabs between Eaton, Keller and Byron Nelson. I also wouldn’t write off Keller Fossil Ridge in the playoff picture. Either way, this is a big district opening matchup for both teams.

Dallas Parish Episcopal (0-2) @ South Oak Cliff (1-2)

Parish Episcopal is still looking for its first win of the season after having its game against Austin LBJ canceled. South Oak Cliff’s toughest non-district schedule in the state tour rolls on against a quality opponent from the private school ranks. South Oak Cliff will hope to gain some momentum before district play kicks off.

Offensive Player of the Week

My Offensive Player of the Week is Trinity running back Josh Bell! Trinity needed a win in non-district play to gain some momentum before opening district play against another playoff caliber opponent in Boswell. Bell stepped up and delivered 357 yards and five touchdowns on 30 carries to power Trinity past Flower Mound Marcus 59-49! That was arguably the most impressive performance by a Trinity running back since Ollie Gordon’s historic performance in a 2020 playoff win over Allen. Bell will have to continue to carry the Trojans offense throughout district play, though it seems Trinity may have found something in the passing game with QB TJ Tupou and WR Jarvis Heimuli.

Defensive Player of the Week

My Defensive Player of the Week is Denton Guyer defensive back Caleb Rowe! Denton Guyer went on the road and beat Lancaster by one score. Rowe delivered a touchdown in this game in the form of a scoop-and-score! If Rowe doesn’t come up with that play, who knows how that game plays out. Rowe also added four solo tackles and three assists in the win. Denton Guyer’s defense will need to continue to make big plays in a talented district.

Cover Photo of courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Staff Photographer Chitose Suzuki.

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