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5A Region I Bi-District Insider

TOC Playoff Insider Week 1 Class 5A Region 1
El Paso El Dorado (7-3) vs. Lubbock Monterrey (2-8) Saturday Noon Grande Communcations Stadium, Midland: El Dorado is looking to make their case as a legit playoff contender after nearly beating Odessa Permian a year ago in the bi-district round. Texas commit TE M.J. McFarland is the headliner for the Aztecs as in last week's win over El Paso Americas McFarland was outstanding hauling in nine passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Monterrey hasn't had much success and got into the postseason on a tiebreaker in 2-5A. The Plainsmen are led by SMU commit WR Arrius Holleman. Matt's Pick: El Paso El Dorado by 28
Midland (9-1) vs. Arlington Bowie (7-3) Saturday 2:00pm Jones Stadium, Lubbock: This should be an outstanding matchup, the Bulldogs of Midland have flown under the radar for the most part but in Week 10 MHS hit the radar with a win over previously unbeaten Abilene Cooper. Tyler Middleton burst on the scene with 235 yards on the ground and four touchdowns to lead Midland to the 42-35 win. Bowie has speed to burn led by super athletic QB Kolby Listenbee and last Thursday the Vols needed a 16 point fourth quarter rally to knock off Arlington High. This Bowie squad can still move the ball on most defenses, but the difference is Bowie has holds in what is usually a strong defense. I think Midland's been tested enough in a rugged district and they'll pull off what some may consider a mild upset. Matt's Pick: Midland by 9
Duncanville (7-3) vs. Irving Nimitz (6-4) Friday 7:30pm Newsome Stadium, Mansfield: You've got to give a lot of credit to Irving Nimitz, rebounding from an 0-3 start in district play to make the playoffs is a big accomplishment. Last week led by WR J.J. Gaines, who had 144 yards receiving and three touchdowns the Vikings rolled past Irving. Duncanville had been on a hot streak, but they collapsed late in a 35-31 defeat to rival Cedar Hill. Duncanville despite the loss has been one of the top offensive units in the area and Nimitz has racked up some wins against some of the bottom feeders in DFW. Look for Duncanville to roll over Nimitz. Matt's Pick: Duncanville by 17
Coppell (10-0) vs. Plano (7-3) Saturday 1:00pm Cowboy Stadium, Coppell: If there's a team who could take down the monster that is Trinity it could be Coppell. After going three rounds deep a year ago, Coppell has experience and a hard hitting defense to hang their hat on. RB Cam McDaniel has been outstanding all year making big play after big play. Plano had high expectations heading in to the season, but 7-3 has been a slight disappointment as every big game the Wildcats have played they've fallen short. Last week after trailing early Plano responded in a big way and clinched a playoff spot with a 27-17 win. I think Plano has the kind of team that can keep things competitive with Coppell, but in the end Coppell is too strong on both front lines and will wear Plano down. Matt's Pick: Coppell by 14
El Paso Franklin (8-2) vs. San Angelo Central (4-6) Saturday 1:00pm Ratliff Stadium, Odessa: This is a rematch of an early season matchup won by Franklin by one point in El Paso. Conventional wisdom says the trip to El Paso alone is worth seven points and on a neutral field Central could be considered a favorite. Franklin however seems to have improved since that early season matchup and they've got playoff experience having lost a close playoff game against Odessa last year. The postseason is brand new for Central, but the Bobcats have won three in a row and are playing their best football of the season. With the game being at a neutral site, its tough to not take San Angelo Central. Matt's Pick: San Angelo Central by 7
Odessa (5-5) vs. Arlington Martin (8-2) Friday 7:30pm Cravens Field, Arlington: Odessa needed a monster game from Bradley Marquez to sneak into the playoffs with a 48-21 win over Midland Lee last week. Marquez, who is a Texas Tech commit ran for an amazing 345 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Bronchos. Martin has won eight straight games after losing their first two games. QB Russell Bellomy who is a Purdue commit has been extremely efficient throwing the football, while RB Danzel Williams gives the Warriors a legit big play threat. The x factor is WR Wesley Hawthorne who doesn't get the attention many others get, but he's going to be the key to a playoff run. Matt's Pick: Arlington Martin by 17
South Grand Prairie (6-4) vs. Euless Trinity (10-0) Friday 7:30pm Birdville FAAC, North Richland Hills: The title defense for Trinity begins with a solid opponent in SGP who has the athletic ability and talent to at least make Trinity work. The Warriors pair of DE's in Kindred Evans and Roy Robertson have the talent and size to hold up against the storm that is the Trinity ground game. Trinity has the ultimate x factor in Oklahoma commit Brandon Carter, he's able to beat teams in so many ways it makes Trinity nearly impossible to prepare for. RB Tevin Williams appears to be healthy and it just makes Trinity more dangerous. Matt's Pick: Euless Trinity by 31
Justin Northwest (4-6) vs. Allen (9-1) Friday 7:30pm Ford Stadium, Dallas: Northwest made a strong late season run to advance to the playoffs, it all culminated last week in a 42-7 rout of Saginaw. Barrington Thorpe led the way for the Texans with 238 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Allen's offense put up just ridiculous numbers in a 70-37 demolition of one of the hottest teams in the area in Flower Mound. RB Jonathan Williams ran for 300 yards and three touchdowns, while Baylor commit WR Jonathan Lee had 164 receiving yards and three touchdowns on just seven receptions to lead the Allen offense. These two teams met in Week 1 with Allen winning 46-7, I don't a much different result in this week's matchup. Matt's Pick: Allen by 35
El Paso Montwood (8-2) vs. Amarillo Tascosa (5-5) Friday 7:00pm Grande Communications Stadium, Midland: After getting off to a slow start, Montwood got it going in the middle part of the season and was able to claim the District 1-5A championship. The Rams led by speedy RB Tim Rocha rolled past El Paso Socorro 47-7 last week to clinch the district championship in what is a very balanced group. Tascosa is back in the playoffs after a two year drought, the Rebels have struggled against some of the better teams from West Texas, although they did play well in 2-5A. Montwood has been a solid playoff team and they have plenty of experience having made the area round of the playoffs. Matt's Pick: El Paso Montwood by 10
Abilene Cooper (9-1) vs. Arlington Lamar (5-5) Friday 7:30pm Shotwell Stadium, Abilene: Cooper had a bit of a letdown last week losing to a very good Midland High squad just a week after knocking off arch rival Abilene High. The Cougars offense has been simply outstanding all year led by RB's Davon Riddick and Alford Cooper. The real fast riser is junior QB Clayton Nicholas who is starting to appear on a lot of recruiters radars. The one concern for Cooper is their defense which at times has struggled, they can't continue to get into shootout after shootout every week. It's been a strong season for Lamar under first year HC Trent Fuller. Will Boyette has led the Vikings offense all year, his dual threat ability has steadily improved all year. The top weapon is WR Tracy Smith who is a big play waiting to happen. Cooper would be a ten point favorite on a neutral field, but with a big homefield crowd look for the Cougars to roll. Matt's Pick: Abilene Cooper by 21
Cedar Hill (7-3) vs. Hurst Bell (6-4) Friday 7:30pm Irving Schools Stadium, Irving: This game has potential to be one of the better bi-district games in the DFW area. Bell has a very talented squad that at times has been up and down, but when they are on they are very dangerous. The Blue Raiders have plenty of weapons highlighted by Colorado verbal RB Kenneth Farrow and Arkansas verbal TE Chris Barnett. Cedar Hill QB Driphus Jackson simply willed his team to a win last week over Duncanville, in the fourth quarter Jackson tossed three touchdown passes to lead the Longhorns. I expect a very close and competitive game, Bell's physical style of play presents a tough matchup for the small but very fast Cedar Hill defense. Cedar Hill has the big game and playoff experience and with the game on the line, I think Jackson and the Cedar Hill offense make the plays needed in crunch time. Matt's Pick: Cedar Hill by 7
Denton Guyer (8-2) vs. Flower Mound Marcus (8-2) Thursday 7:00pm Marauder Stadium, Flower Mound: If you are looking for a physical knock down drag out football game then Flower Mound is the place to be. Both teams use their big offensive lines to get the job done, but they get it done just a little differently. Guyer uses multiple formations and looks to try and put QB J.W. Walsh in position to make plays with his feet and arm when needed. Marcus lines up in the I formation and pounds you with RB Rufus Mason and speedy Dagan Newsome. The real key to this game is the Guyer defense which features three Division 1 verbal commits in DE Jimmy Bean, Kentucky verbal LB Blake Terry and Texas A&M verbal DB Josh Stewart. It seems like as the season has progressed this unit keeps improving and I think Guyer's talent on the defensive side of the ball makes the difference for the Wildcats. Matt's Pick: Denton Guyer by 6
El Paso Coronado (7-3) vs. Amarillo (8-2) Friday 7:00pm Ratliff Stadium, Odessa: On paper this is actually a pretty good matchup of a pair of teams who like to be physical and run the football. Coronado on paper had the potential to be one of the best teams ever to come out of El Paso, but the Thunderbirds were dealt a huge blow before the season losing city MVP Sam Brown for the season with Crohn's Disease. Coronado has at times struggled on offense but they still have weapons, namely San Diego State commit TE Adam Roberts. Amarillo under first year HC Mel Maxfield has taken the panhandle by storm with their Wing-T offensive attack. The Sandies have put up big numbers on the ground all year and combine that with a physical defense anchored by Texas Tech commit DL James Castleman and the Sandies are clearly the top team in the panhandle. I expect a close game where defense rules, but I like Amarillo in this one because I think Coronado's offense won't be able to consistently move the football. Matt's Pick: Amarillo by 9
Abilene (7-3) vs. Arlington (7-3) Friday 7:30pm Maverick Stadium, Arlington: Abilene will look to defend their 5A Division II State Championship on the road against a talented Arlington squad. Abilene High has plenty of offensive weapons with QB Ronnell Sims directing traffic, but the key for an Abilene run is the health of Oklahoma State commit Herschel Sims. Sims reportedly has been battling an ankle injury and his health is critical for Abilene who has some defensive deficiencies and will need to win shootouts. Arlington lost a heartbreaker a week ago to Arlington Bowie, but the play of QB Miles Onyegbule has been simply draw dropping. He's 6'5 and doesn't look like he's that fast but his long strides cover a lot of ground and he's got that "it" factor that permeates through his offense. The key for the Colts will be their defense, TCU commit Laderice Sanders will need to elevate his play and his teammates play if the Colts want to pull off what would be considered an upset. Matt's Pick: Abilene by 12
Mansfield (8-2) vs. Colleyville Heritage (8-2) Friday 7:30pm Pennington Field, Bedford: This is a really intriguing matchups of a pair of teams who have quietly had really good seasons. Neither team has been able to breakthrough and get a win against an elite team, but both have taken care of business against teams they should beat. Mansfield is very young and they rely on a speedy and tough defense led by junior DE Hassan Ridgeway and on offense senior RB Damon Bullock paces the Tigers. Colleyville is a wide open offensive team, but they don't have any real standouts they just collectively find ways to get the job done. Colleyville has the playoff experience, while most of the Mansfield squad is in their first playoff rodeo. I think Mansfield gains some valuable playoff experience, but Colleyville's offense is going to out execute the athleticism for MHS. Colleyville Heritage by 11
Southlake Carroll (7-3) vs. Flower Mound (7-3) Friday 7:30pm Texan Stadium, Justin: This one is quite the intriguing bi-district matchup. Flower Mound is seeking their first ever playoff win against longtime powerhouse Southlake Carroll. Flower Mound's offense has been unstoppable all year led by Paul Millard who in ten games has thrown 45 touchdown passes and topped 4100 yards. The concern for the Jaguars is the defense which last week allowed 70 points and 758 yards to Allen. Southlake Carroll with a sophomore QB isn't quite as explosive as they normally are and last week they saw their long home winning streak come to an end. The Dragons haven't lost in the first round of the playoffs since 1995 when they lost to Everman in the 4A playoffs, but this week could be the week. Flower Mound's offense can execute at such a high level, I know it sounds weird but SLC doesn't have the firepower to keep up. Matt's Pick: Flower Mound by 13
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