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5A Region II Bi-District Insider

TOC Playoff Insider Week 1 Class 5A Region II
Dallas Skyline (8-2) vs. Garland (7-3) Friday 7:30pm Wildcat-Ram Stadium, Dallas: A couple of years ago this is a game that would have not only caught the attention of high school fans, but recruitniks everywhere. It's still a big game from a recruiting standpoint, but I'm not sure how good of a football game we'll have. Garland has talent, but the Owls have been plagued by inconsistent play all year especially when it comes to the passing game. Skyline has won eight games in a row and this team looks eerily similar to the squad that went four rounds deep in 2007. The return of WR Thomas Johnson has given the Raiders a legit deep threat and the offense has balance with RB's Joshua Wilkins and Peter Jinkens. I think Garland's strategy will be to slow the game down with their ground attack and try to keep it close to vest, I think the strategy will work but Skyline's talent on defense led by Anthony Wallace gets a big stop late to hold on to a hard fought win. Matt's Pick: Dallas Skyline by 5
DeSoto (8-2) vs. Bryan (4-6) Saturday 7:30pm Tiger Stadium, Corsicana: DeSoto's regular season ended in disappointing fashion as the Eagles dropped their home finale to Longview 38-35. Longview led 38-15 before a furious fourth quarter rally cut the lead to 38-35 but a late onside kick failed for the Eagles. QB Ryan Polite threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns in the losing effort, DeSoto did abandon the ground game early on and that has to be a bit of a concern. If the Eagles offense has balance they'll be tough to stop. The defense has plenty of talent but they are still quite young, that youth will need to grow up in the playoffs for the Eagles to make a push in a rugged region. Bryan has some talent and will be able to test DeSoto, Utah verbal Joseph Bryant will have his hands full trying to contain a talent group of receivers for DeSoto. The Vikings have enough grit and talent to keep this interesting for a while, but DeSoto's offense will pull away in the second half. Matt's Pick: DeSoto by 20
Klein Collins (10-0) vs. Conroe Oak Ridge (6-4) Friday 7:30pm Moorehead Stadium, Conroe: What makes Region 2 very unique is you have top level teams from Dallas, Houston and Austin so in the later rounds you can get some very intriguing pairings. Collins is clearly one of the best from Houston and after going 12-1 last year the Tigers are poised to contend for the regional title. Klein Collins relies on a strong ground game paced by Marquise Cardinal, they'll run behind Texas commit OL Garrett Greenlea a lot. The calling card for the Tigers is their outstanding defense led by a pair of Nebraska commits in DB Charles Jackson and LB David Santos. Conroe Oak Ridge is a gritty team led by QB Chris Grett but the War Eagles don't have the talent or size to match up with Collns. I think this one has potential to get ugly. Matt's Pick: Klein Collins by 28
Austin Bowie (6-4) vs. Georgetown (5-5) Friday 7:30pm Burger Stadium, Austin:Austin Bowie made a big statement last week with a 30-7 drubbing of powerhouse Austin Westlake to close the regular season. The Bears led by RB Brelyn Sorrels who had 150 yards on the ground forced eight Westlake turnovers in the win and simply dominated both lines of scrimmage. Georgetown escaped from a tough 16-5A and the Eagles do present similar challenges to Bowie that Westlake did. Georgetown like to spread the field and they execute very well offensively. The questions for Georgetown center on a defense that at times lacks a physical temperament. In last week's 44-21 win Georgetown QB Nick Sionson tossed six touchdown passes, three of which went to Cal Spangler. This will be a close ball game, but I like Georgetown's offense to break through this week. Matt's Pick: Georgetown by 7
Richardson (7-3) vs. McKinney Boyd (8-2) Friday 7:30pm Clark Field, Plano:Richardson is making back to back trips to the playoffs in quite some time. The Eagles are led by one of the more underrated defensive units in the DFW area and a grind it out offense with Torrance Carr and Jordan Booty leading the way. McKinney Boyd caught fire late in the season after losing to Garland early in district play. The Broncos offense has been outstanding with Jonovan Griffin and his running ability leading the way. Sophomore Bryan Driskell has given the Boyd ground game balance and has opened things up even more, in last week's 35-24 win over South Garland he ran for 156 yards and three touchdowns. I think Boyd's firepower will be too much for Richardson to slow down and Richardson's offense isn't equipped to play from behind. Matt's Pick: McKinney Boyd by 17
Tyler Lee (2-8) vs. College Station A&M Consolidated (9-1) Friday 7:30pm Lion Memorial Stadium, Ennis: Don't let Tyler Lee and their 2-8 record fool you, they can play. They went through maybe the toughest non district schedule in the state and managed to win a pair of important district games to sneak into the playoffs. They'll be decided underdogs against a very good A&M Consolidated squad that is physical and relies heavily on RB Chris Nutall. The key for Tyler Lee is continuing to improve offensively, in last week's win over North Mesquite QB Preston Conder only threw six passes but two went for touchdowns to Dennis Edwards. Sophomore RB LaQuintas Wallace who topped 190 yards rushing is the key for Tyler Lee to keep it close. Consolidated will stack the box and force Lee to beat them with the pass, so Wallace will have to grind out some tough yards. I'm impressed with some of the wins on the Tigers resume and I think this is one of their better teams in recent memory. Matt's Pick: College Station A&M Consolidated by 12
The Woodlands (10-0) vs. Klein Oak (7-3) Friday 7:30pm Woodforest Stadium, Shenandoah: One of the more intriguing matchups in the Houston area this week pits unbeaten The Woodlands against a talented and dangerous Klein Oak squad that seemed to have found its footing late in the season. On offense junior QB [db]Nicky Baratti leads the way for Klein Oak, his top target is Oklahoma commit TE Max Stevenson. On defense Klein Oak is led by another Oklahoma commit in DL Nathan Hughes, keep an eye on versatile DB Alfred Baratti as well. The Woodlands had offensive issues early in the season, but a healthy Daniel Lasco makes the Highlanders extremely dangerous. They have good size, solid talent and depth and they execute very well. Lasco is the difference maker as his speed and game breaking ability brings a different element to the Highlanders. I expect this to be a very close game, but Lasco and The Woodlands offense is the difference. Matt's Pick: The Woodlands by 13
Austin Westlake (6-4) vs. Round Rock Stony Point (10-0) Friday 7:30pm Reeves Athletic Complex, Round Rock: Before the season began if you would have told me that Westlake and Stony Point were going to meet in the first round of the playoffs, I'd ask when and where and then tell you to hold me a seat in the pressbox! However, Westlake has struggled to find consistency this year after a surprising run to the championship game. In last week's 30-7 loss to Austin Bowie, Westlake was physically dominated and that could be the case again this week. Stony Point who made the State Semi-Finals a year ago is known for being extremely physical led up front by Oklahoma commit DL Jordan Wade. However, the Tigers do have speed to burn on offense as well. They'll try to get the ball in the hands Stephen Williams as much as possible. Westlake traditionally has struggled in Region 2 and having to face a team like Stony Point off the bat doesn't bode well for the Chaparrals chances. Matt's Pick: Round Rock Stony Point by 16
Richardson Lake Highlands (7-3) vs. South Garland (7-3) Saturday Noon Ford Stadium, Dallas: The real question coming into this game is the health of Lake Highlands ATH Desmond Roland, Roland missed all of last week's 17-14 win over Richardson and his status for the playoffs is uncertain. Smart money says Roland will try and play if at all possible. DeVonte Sunwenghan has been a capable replacement as he ran for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Wildcats in the win. South Garland has made a habit of winning ugly all season long, but the Colonels did struggle in their final two games. RB John Lacour has been consistent, but the X-Factor is QB Stepha Turner. If Turner can break some big plays running the football and keep defenses honest with his arm South has the potential to pull the slight upset. However, I think Roland if healthy makes the difference for LHHS in this matchup. Matt's Pick: Richardson Lake Highlands by 5
Longview (6-4) vs. Belton (5-5) Saturday 7:30pm Kincaide Stadium, Dallas: Longview returns to their playoff home away from home. Last year the Lobos went 3-0 at Kincaide Stadium and have yet to lose a game at the DISD Stadium going 5-0 all time. Despite the less than stellar record Longview has notched some impressive wins including beating Abilene in non-district and last week knocking off DeSoto. This is a young Longview team and its not vintage Lobos by any stretch, but they are still very physical and very athletic. Belton had a lot of hype in the pre-season and for good reason with Texas commit QB David Ash leading the way for the Tigers. Belton has an outstanding offensive attack that can put up points in a hurry, but I don't think they match up well with Longview's aggressive and speedy defense. Matt's Pick: Longview by 14
Tomball (8-2) vs. Humble Kingwood (3-7) Friday 7:00pm Thorne Stadium, Houston: Tomball has been one of the more pleasant surprises in Greater Houston this year. Finishing 8-2 in a very tough district is quite the accomplishment. Last week they rolled past injury depleted Klein Forest 41-13. Kingwood struggled through a 3-7 season, but they were able to get the wins at key moments. However, the Mustangs come into the playoffs on a three game losing skid and that doesn't bode well against an underrated Tomball squad. Matt's Pick: Tomball by 24
Austin Anderson (9-1) vs. Round Rock Westwood (5-5) Friday 7:30pm House Park Stadium, Austin: On paper one would think the Austin Anderson Trojans would roll past RR Westwood. Anderson however has built their record up against rather soft competition in a weaker district and they'll be tested against a Westwood bunch that has bumped heads against some stout competition in 16-5A. QB Ben Johnson led the Warriors with four touchdown passes in a 44-0 win over Round Rock last week. His top target is Rice commit WR Grant Peterson who gives Westwood a big body out wide to throw the football to on the jump ball. Looking at the matchup, Westwood is much more battle tested and they'll be ready for Anderson. Matt's Pick: Round Rock Westwood by 14
Dallas Jesuit (6-4) vs. Rowlett (8-2) Saturday 6:00pm Ford Stadium, Dallas: Rowlett has struggled the past couple of weeks without QB Grant Bothun. With Bothun out the Eagles must rely heavily on Northwesten commit Treyvon Green in the backfield. Their defense will get tested in a big way this week against the Jesuit offense. Sophomore WR Jake Oliver has had a monster season with over 1000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. The key to this game will be the Rowlett defense and how they matchup with Jesuit, with the offensive ineffectiveness that Rowlett has shown of late I will take Jesuit to get their first UIL playoff win in football. Matt's Pick: Dallas Jesuit by 7
Mesquite Horn (6-4) vs. Copperas Cove (9-1) Friday 7:30pm Tarleton Memorial Stadium, Stephenville: This will be one of the better bi-district games in the area, don't let Horn's 6-4 record fool you. Their four losses are to teams who have more than enough potential and firepower to make deep playoff runs. A healthy Collin Strahan makes the Jaguars offense extremely dangerous, he threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns last week in Horn's easy win over Mesquite. There's plenty of other weapons at Strahan's disposal including Jakeem Grant who had four touchdowns last week and Jacorey Shepherd who had two touchdowns and 242 total yards. Cove started off the season with a big win and aside from a loss to A&M Consolidated the Bulldawgs have been outstanding. On offense Texas A&M verbal RB Will Randolph leads a talented and speedy backfield. On defense Cove has speed to burn with Missouri commit Brandon Durant in the backfield, but the real difference maker is Baylor commit Trevor Valdez up front. The winner of this game controls the line of scrimmages, both teams have big play ability but I give a slight edge to Copperas Cove as they have playoff experience and tradition on their side. Matt's Pick: Copperas Cove by 3
Klein (7-3) vs. Lufkin (9-1) Saturday 2:00pm Martin Stadium, Lufkin: These two have developed quite the playoff rivalry having met in the first two round the last two years. Lufkin will be looking to avenge a loss on the road to the Bearkats in 2009 and with the game being in the friendly confines of Martin Stadium you've got to like the Panthers chances. QB Deauntre Smiley has had a monster season for Lufkin and his leadership and mistake free football makes LHS a contender in Region 2. On defense TCU commit Travoskey Garrett leads a speedy and aggressive Lufkin unit. Klein likes to slow the game down and rely on their ground game and physical defense. Utah commit DB Eric Rowe leads the Bearkats. Homefield advantage is huge for this matchup, gotta take Lufkin. Matt's Pick: Lufkin by 15
Austin High (4-6) vs. Leander (5-5) Friday 7:30pm Bible Stadium, Leander: The headliner for the Maroons is junior WR Cayleb Jones who many feel not only is the top junior receiver in the state, but the top junior prospect in the state regardless of position. Unfortunately for Jones, the Maroons don't have much around him especially on the defensive side of the football. Leander looks to be a more well rounded team and they've been through a ruggded district schedule. Texas A&M commit Jonathon Henderson is a very dynamic and versatile weapon who will be a matchup nightmare for the Austin High defense. Matt's Pick: Leander by 20
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