Class 4A Bracket Breakdown

DIVISION I

Is this a two-team division? Believers of that notion know it will become a one-team field by the end of the weekend.

Of course, the two teams we’re talking about are Highland Park, No. 2 in our State Farm/Texas Football Top 10 polls, and No. 5 Texarkana Texas High.

The winner there will surely go into the next rounds fully confident it can beat anyone. But then again, teams like Ennis (No. 9), Plainview (No. 8), Stephenville (No. 6) and Marshall (No. 4) loom in later rounds — and that’s just the ranked teams.

Other challengers like Boerne (2004 semifinalist), CC Flour Bluff (10-0) and Lamar Consolidated (unbeaten) could surprise anyone. It shows just how loaded Division I is this year.

Below, Texas Football breaks down all 32 teams in this bracket — speaking of, make sure to have it handy.

Region I

High Expectations …

  • Plainview (10-0) — Leading 4A rusher Jamar Wall should guide Plainview to matchup with Stephenville.
  • Stephenville (10-0) — With All-American QB Jevan Snead now a senior, don’t expect a first-round upset like what stung Stephenville last year.

If things go right …

  • EP Andress (7-3) — Andress couldn’t match last year’s 10-0 regular season, but Andress won this very matchup by five TDs last year.
  • Arlington Heights (8-2) — Favorable draw means Heights not likely one-and-done like last postseason.

Happy just to dance …

  • Amarillo Palo Duro (7-3) — Last year, Amarillo PD entered the playoffs on an 8-game win streak. It wasn’t enough to get them a playoff win, so don’t expect one in 2005 either.
  • Azle (6-4) — Third-best team in a suspect district.
  • Sherman (3-7) — 2004 semifinalist won’t likely give Stephenville a threat in first round.
  • EP Del Valle (7-3) — Lost by 34 in 2004 bi-district round to the same team they face in this year’s first round.

Texas Football’s pick: This region boils down to this: which is better, the pass or the run? Plainview and its ground attack or Stephenville and its air show?

This decision may shock some, but since Plainview was so good at stopping Wolfforth Frenship’s passing game (28-7 win), we’re going with Plainview over Stephenville to win Region I and advance to the state semifinals.

Region II

High Expectations …

  • Ennis (9-1) — There’s only two things stopping Ennis, the defending DI champs, from winning this region — Texas High and Highland Park.
  • Highland Park (10-0) — Stafford takes his final shot at a state title — Highland Park’s first since 1957.
  • Texarkana Texas High (9-1) — The biggest roadblock to the aforementioned Stafford.

If things go right …

  • McKinney North (7-3) — Must ride the momentum of the fourth-year program’s first-ever playoff berth.
  • Dallas Kimball (9-1) — Nearly pulled off upset of Ennis last season; Knights have another go at it this year.
  • Waco Midway (7-3) — Picked fourth and weren’t expected to be here, but Midway should be favored in its opening round game with up-and-down Waxahachie.

Happy just to dance …

  • Waxahachie (6-4) — It’s hard to believe a program of this tradition should be content just to make the playoffs.
  • Dallas Hillcrest (6-4) — Will need a big game from RB Johnny Bryant to make sure they don’t lose in first round for second straight season.

Texas Football’s pick: Wih three teams capable of beating anyone in the state (Ennis, HP and Texas High), once again, we have a very difficult region to pick. And since the coin flip we just did in the office landed on heads, we’re going with Highland Park over Texas High (this really is a 50-50 matchup) in the first round. Two rounds later, we see Highland Park beating Ennis to win Region II. (It’s a shame some of these matchups aren’t Best of 7.)

Region III

High Expectations …

  • Marshall (9-1) — When you finish second in state, you not only have high expectations, you also have a burning feeling to get back.
  • Lamar Consolidated (9-0) — This would’ve been a typo in 2004. Lamar went 2-8 last season (after going 0-10 the year before). Now, they’re the biggest threat to Marshall in this region.
  • Klein Oak (9-1) — Only loss was to Brenham, so Klein Oak could sneak up on Marshall.

If things go right …

  • Beaumont Ozen (7-1) — If Ozen gets by Dayton, they’d love to have another shot at Marshall, which won a competitive contest last year, 33-19.
  • Dayton (7-2) — Will need to ride juior RB Michael Dugat if Dayton is to have a chance vs. Ozen. Last year, Dayton lost by 35 in this round.

Happy just to dance …

  • Houston Reagan (4-5) — Lost to Yates in this very round by 29 last season.
  • Houson Yates (6-4) — Not nearly as strong as past Yates’ teams, including last season’s 10-3 team, but likely a first-round winner ths year.
  • Texas City (3-6) — Texas City backed into the playoffs, and they’ll back out in the first round.

Texas Football’s pick: We don’t see anyone giving a viable threat to either Marshall or Lamar on their sides of the bracket. From there, we’ll have to go with the epxerience factor: Marshall ends Lamar’s Cinderella season and moves on to the state semifinals.

Region IV

High Expectations …

  • Boerne (8-2) — Things didn’t look so good to start the season (42-24 loss to Frenship). Since then, the Greyhounds have gotten back on track.
  • CC Flour Bluff (10-0) — Few gave them a chance against CC Calallen. After that convincing win, non one can afford to look past Flour Bluff.
  • Pflugerville Connally (9-1) — This was a state semifinal team at the DII level last year; they’re very capable of accomplishing the same at this level.

If things go right …

  • San Antonio Harlandale (9-1) — They took advantage of the move down from 5A last season. We think the competition might have caught up now.
  • San Antonio Fox Tech (8-1) — This team improved in the regular season by three games compared to 2004, but it’s probably not enough to advance to the second round.

Happy just to dance

  • Austin Lanier (4-6) — Their only wins came in district play, so don’t expect any wins in the postseason.
  • New Braunfels (4-6) — Made the playoffs out of a tough district, but getting beat up won’t help when facing Boerne in the first round.
  • Brownsville Lopez (4-6) — Something’s wrong with your district when you go 3-4 and still make the playoffs.

Texas Football’s pick: Our crystal ball clearly shows Flour Bluff moving on to this region’s finals, but who it faces is a little muddy. We know they’ll face the winner between Connally and Boerne, but the pick is tough. Both succeeded playing vey challenging schedules, but on a hunch, we’ll go with Connally, who beats Flour Bluff to move on to represent Region IV at the DI state semifinals.

Division I predictions:

We’ve almost forgot who we picked in Region II. Was it Ennis? Texas High? No, we went with Highland Park, and we’ll stick with the Scots to beat Plainview in one semifinal. In the other, it’s Marshall over Pflugerville Connally.

That sets up Highland Park and Matt Stafford against the defense of Marshall. Sorry, East Texas, but we feel you come up short for the second straight season. We’re going with Highland Park over Marshall to win its first title in nearly 50 years.

The celebration, however, ends in February when the UIL realigns you to 5A with the big boys.

DIVISION II

Take what we said about 5A and reverse it with 4A.

While the strength of 5A was in the Division II bracket, it appears to be the opposite in 4A. Only four teams in the 4A DII bracket are ranked, although that includes La Marque, the No. 1 team since we picked them back in June.

La Marque’s greatest challengers happen to be in the same region — Brenham and Kilgore. Region IV’s Lake Travis and its passing attack are also threats, and we’re also intrigued by how Dallas-area teams Hebron (10-0, but victims of a first-round upset last year) and 10-0 Woodrow Wilson (can one man — yes, Kindle is a man — put a team on his back?).

Below, Texas Football breaks down all 64 teams in this bracket — speaking of, make sure to have it handy.

Region I

High Expectations …

  • EP Riverside (10-0) — The only undefeated team in this region probably feels under-reagarded on the state level.
  • Wolfforth Frenship (9-1) — If this offense gets hot, it could burn just about any team in DII.
  • EP Chapin (9-1) — Hopes to avoid the same fate of 2004 (35-7 loss in opening round).
  • FW Western Hills (9-1) — Experienced a five-game improvement over last season, and because of the strength of its draw (or lack thereof), could very well make it to the third round.
  • WF Rider (8-2) — This school pulled off huge upset in 2004 playoffs’ opening round: a win over Stephnville. So a win in this year’s first round should be expected.

If things go right …

  • Pampa (5-5) — Had a very strange schedule: Lost to a 5A team, 4A team, 3A team, and out-of-state team (Clovis, NM). Wondering how that effects the Harvesters.
  • Mineral Wells (8-2) — Capability of scoring lots of points (40 or more in seven games) could bode will in postseason.
  • FW Southwest (8-2) — With a soft schedule, it’s difficult to gauge this team.
  • Arlington Seguin (8-2) — Comes into playoffs winners of seven straight games.
  • Canutillo (7-3) — Improvement of three games over last year’s record should stay at three games with draw of Riverside in first round.
  • EP Parkland (8-2) — Must use experience of last year’s bi-district win to get past Chapin.

Happy just to dance …

  • Denison (6-4) — Made the playoffs despite loss of 15 starters and being picked to finish 5th in district.
  • Hereford (6-4) — Faces Frenship in first round … result first time the teams met: 49-20 loss.
  • Springtown (6-4) — Duplicated last year’s record, only this year, Springtown made the playoffs. Look for a short stay.
  • Aledo (5-5) — Our offices would be shocked if Aledo made a run similar to last year’s state semifinal trip.
  • Big Spring (3-7) — Got in by the skin of its teeth, but four losses were to 5A teams and two came to teams who were state-ranked at the time.

Texas Football’s pick: There’s a log-jam of above-average teams in this region. Who will emerge? We envision Wolfforth Frenship over Mineral Wells in one semifinal, while WF Rider knocks out Pampa in the other semifinal.

In a battle of free-throwing teams, Wolfforth Frenship advances out of Region I by beating Rider in the Region I finals.

Region II

High Expectations …

  • Hebron (10-0) — After another perfect season, it’s time for regular-season success to start paying off.
  • Dallas Woodrow Wilson (10-0) — If Sergio Kindle’s teammates play up to his level, they’ll go far. Shoot, if they do that, they might be able to beat SMU.
  • Terrell (9-1) — Quietly having a great season; only loss was to Highland Park.
  • Corsicana (7-3) — Team could go 4-6, but expectations would still be high. But they must rebound from a beating by Ennis last week.
  • Everman (7-3) — Well-adjusted now to a higher classification (evidenced by a district title), this new kid on the 4A block meets old-school (Brownwood) in first round.

If things go right …

  • Lancaster (7-3) — Speed aplenty in their matchup with South Oak Cliff.
  • South Oak Cliff (6-4) — Barely got by Lancaster last season (24-19) in this round.
  • Dallas Pinkston (7-3) — Could turn a nice season (4-6 last year) into smashing success with upset of Corsicana in first round, but that’s a long shot.
  • Paris North Lamar (8-2) — Hopes of first playoff win at 4A level ride on diminutive RB Broderick Harris (5-9, 190).
  • Wylie (7-3) — Never underestimate the power of AHMO.

Happy just to dance …

  • Dallas Lincoln (7-3) — This shouldn’t be the case with a state finalist from 2004, but Lincoln is a shell of that team.
  • Sulphur Springs (5-5) — Just don’t think they have enough in tank to get past Terrell.
  • Brownwood (4-6) — A non-district schedule full of powerhouses ate up Brownwood.
  • Lake Dallas (6-4) — Last time they played Woodrow Wilson (their first-round opponent), Kindle avraged 6 yards per carry and scored three times. He does that again, and Lake Dallas has no chance.
  • Alvarado (3-7) — Only when it gets you in the playoffs can an ugly record like 3-7 look good.
  • Killeen Ellison (5-5) — Definitely a surprise team after going 2-8 a year ago.

Texas Football’s pick: Like Region I, no dominant team is apparent. A bunch of good teams, yes, but no high-caliber teams like Highland Park, Ennis or Texas High in Division II. But we’ve got to pick, so we’ll go with Terrell beating Everman in one semifinal, while Woodrow Wilson beats Corsicana in the other. From there, DISD looks for Wilson, which beats Terrell in the Region II semis, to end its state title drought.

Region III

High Expectations …

  • Kilgore (9-1) — Only loss was to Marshall, but Kilgore’s road back to DII title game goes though toughest region.
  • La Marque (9-0) — The Bay Area really believes it’s the Cougars year, and having them No. 1 in the state shows we might agree.
  • Brenham (10-0) — The X-factor of this region: They’re loaded, and much of the skill is with its junior class. May be a year away from being the best in state.
  • Rosenberg Terry (8-1) — Has the potential to go three rounds deep because of a favorable draw.

If things go right …

  • Bay City (5-4) — Somehow knocking off La Marque in the first round would make a below average season a success for Bay City. We said somehow.
  • Beaumont Central (5-3) — In their current four-game winning streak is a 28-12 win over a solid Ozen team.
  • Houston Kashmere (7-2) — Should get past Wheatley, but La Marque looms in second round.
  • Nederland (5-3) — All its losses were to playoff teams.
  • Houston King (6-2) — Maybe the strongest HISD team in this region.
  • Houston Worthing (6-3) — Seems to have the number of Jones, their bi-district opponent.

Happy just to dance …

  • Santa Fe (4-5) — Didn’t make the playoffs last year despite having a better record.
  • Hallsville (6-4) — With Kilgore, Marshall and Jacksonville on their schedule, Hallsville will be more prepared than most teams for a squad of Brenham’s caliber.
  • Livingston (6-3) — Great turnaround for Livingston, who was coming off a 1-9 mark and not mentioned in playoff talk before the season.
  • Houston Wheatley (5-4) — Like Livingston, Wheatley a surprise in 2005 (2-8 last year).
  • Crosby (6-3) — Lost some momentum by losing the final two games by combined score of 66-9.
  • Houston Jones (7-3) — If they haven’t improved greatly since 2004, they might face similar output as last year’s bi-district: 40-7 loss to Worthing, their opponent again in 2005.

Texas Football’s pick: Take out Kilgore, Brenham, Terry and La Marque, and this is a pretty average region. Which leads us to believe those four teams will make up the Region III semifinals.

The easier one to pick seems to be Brenham over Terry, but the other is slightly more difficult. Still, our No. 1 hasn’t disappointed so far, so we’ll stick with or guns and go with La Marque over Kilgore in the other.

And as we said, this group of Cubs might be a year away, so LaMarque gets past Brenham to make it back to the state semifinals.

Region IV

High Expectations …

  • Lake Travis (10-0) — No way does Lake Travis get upset in the first round as they did last year.
  • CC Calallen (9-1) — Another fine product from Coach Phil Danaher.
  • New Braunfels Canyon (9-1) — Only loss was to Lake Travis, but it being by 21, we wonder if their 9-1 mark is a product of its schedule.
  • Kerrville Tivy (7-3) — We might have incensed some with the above comment about Canyon, but Tivy might prove us right in the first round.
  • Austin McCallum (8-2) — Hard not to judge McCallum by its soft district schedule (25-4A rivals were a combined 12-38. Ouch).
  • Edcouch-Elsa (10-0) — Second straight undefeated season, but E-E needs to get past first round — unlike last year.

If things go right …

  • Pflugerville Hendrickson (7-3) — First playoff appearance in school’s two-year history has possibility of going two rounds deep if McCallum turns out not to be as good as their 8-2 mark suggests.
  • Alamo Heights (7-3) — Much respect for this program, but we’re hard-pressed to believe they can upset Lake Travis.
  • San Antonio Lanier (7-2) — If anyone from this school is reading, please tell us what your mascot is. Voks?
  • Gregory-Portland (6-4) — Winners of 13 games a year ago, G-P seems down, but an upset of E-E wouldn’t be far-fetched.

Happy just to dance

  • Pleasanton (7-3) — Lost by just five points in the regular season to their first-round opponent, the Voks (what are they?) of SA Lanier.
  • PSJA Memorial (8-2) — A good record, but will likely be dismissed by CC Calallen in bi-district.
  • San Antonio Houston (5-5) — Houston won nine games in last year’s regular season, but lost in the opening round.
  • Beeville Jones (5-5) — Should win in opening round, but not much of a future after that.
  • Taylor (6-4) — Got the luck of the draw: Austin LBJ, whose losses were by an average of 30 points.
  • Austin LBJ (4-6) — With a district this bad, a more competitive district should be able to robin-hood away one of its playoff spots.

Texas Football’s pick: We predict a great regional semifinal in the top half of this bracket, with Lake Travis having enough to get by Calallen.

The lower half isn’t as clear. We’re predicting a Tivy upset of Canyon, which helps them to the semis, and from there, we see Tivy beating Gregory-Portland to move on to the regional finals.

However, that’s where the Reindeer run ends. Lake Travis stamps itself firmly on the 4A map by beating Tivy, sending the Cavaliers to the state semifinals.

Division II predictions:

We prefaced this breakdown saying Division II is the weaker of the divisions. Looking at our semifinals doesn’t change our opinion.

Wolfforth Frenship is a solid, and so is predicted Region II winner Dallas Wilson, but neither seem like those special state championship teams (though Dallas will place all its title hopes on Wilson, trying to end their shuout streak). To boot, Dallas Lincoln was the best DISD team in years, and it came short, so we believe Woodrow Wilson will fall to Wolfforth Frenship in the first state seminfinal.

The other side of the bracket has a little more firepower. The La Marque-Lake Travis matchup features two very dominant teams. However, one of them seems more complete, so we’re going with that one. Look for La Marque to hold off Lake Travis in the Region III vs. IV semifinal.

So that leaves us with two teams who, ironically, started their seasons in San Antonio at the Texas Football Classic. No, this isn’t a corporate-inspired opinion of having these teams in the state title game. We just believe LaMarque is that good, and that Frenship is the best DII had to offer out of Regions I and II.

The best won’t be enough. La Marque returns to glory and beats Wolfforth Frenship for the 4A Division II title.

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