5A/4A Preview: Week 6
The 12 biggest games in Class 5A and 4A across Texas.
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LIVE FROM CY RIDGE AT CY FALLS!
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It's Friday night in Texas, which means tonight belongs to high school Football! DCTF's Greg Tepper previews the 12 biggest games in 5A and 4A this weekend (plus some games that just missed the cut). That way, you know which ones you should really have your eye on.
Just Missed The Cut…
Copperas Cove (3-2, 1-1) at Hewitt Midway (3-2, 1-1)
Tepper’s pick: Hewitt Midway 44, Copperas Cove 35
Denton Guyer (3-2, 2-0) at Byron Nelson (4-1, 1-1)
Tepper’s pick: Denton Guyer 42, Byron Nelson 27
San Antonio Johnson (4-1, 1-0) at San Antonio Churchill (4-2, 1-1)
Tepper’s pick: San Antonio Johnson 44, San Antonio Churchill 42
Boerne Champion (4-1, 1-1) at Kerrville Tivy (2-3, 1-1)
Tepper’s pick: Boerne Champion 36, Kerrville Tivy 24
Dallas South Oak Cliff (5-0, 2-0) at Dallas Seagoville (5-0, 2-0)
Tepper’s pick: Dallas SOC 38, Dallas Seagoville 28
Longview (4-1, 1-0) at Rockwall-Heath (4-2, 0-2)
Tepper’s pick: Longview 38, Rockwall-Heath 20
Georgetown East View (5-0, 2-0) at Georgetown (3-2, 2-0)
Tepper’s pick: Georgetown 34, Georgetown East View 31
Hebron (3-2, 0-0) at Coppell (4-1, 0-0)
Tepper’s pick: Coppell 35, Hebron 21
Canyon (5-0, 0-0) at Canyon Randall (4-1, 0-0)
Tepper’s pick: Canyon 42, Canyon Randall 31
The Top 12 Games
12. Cy Ridge (3-2, 3-1) at Cy Falls (1-4, 1-3)
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On to this game, which may look like a snoozer if you just look at the records…but there’s more than meets the eye. Sure, Cy Falls has really struggled this year, especially defensively, allowing 36 points per game. But they’re getting star LB Otaro Alaka (a Texas pledge) back tonight, and that should certainly help shore things up. From there, it’s a matter of getting QB Casey Rosellini and RB Demetri Dickson going on the offense. For Ridge, there’s great balance to the offense, as Darious Crawley has moved from WR to QB and thrived. But the defense struggled last week, so DB Austin Hawkins and company will need to be ready. Major implications in this one: a Cy Falls loss could all but drop them from contention, while a Cy Ridge loss could put them in jeopardy. Should be a lot of passion at Pridgeon Stadium.
Tepper’s pick: TO BE REVEALED ON FOX FOOTBALL FRIDAY POWERED BY DCTF, 7-11PM ON FOX SPORTS SOUTHWEST
11. Plano East (4-1, 0-0) at Allen (5-0, 0-0)
How good of a week of Texas high school football is it? This game doesn’t even crack our top 10! The biggest game in District 10-5A the two largest schools in Texas, enrollment-wise, against one another. You know about Allen by now – DCTF’s No. 1 team in 5A, they’ve looked fantastic offensively with QB Kyler Murray, and the defense led by LBs Tay Evans and Christian Sam has been smothering. Plano East, under first-year head coach Randy Jackson, has been trending up and it’s because of the defense – NG Alex Anosikeh and DE Dylan Devine have formed a formidable front. Can the offense keep up? They’ll need a big game from RB Lionel Wills to match Allen score for score. PESH is on the way back, but this may be asking too much too soon.
Tepper’s pick: Allen 42, Plano East 21
10. Lake Dallas (4-1, 1-1) at Wichita Falls Rider (4-1, 2-0)
Moving a little north to Wichita Falls, we see one of two really salty District 5-4A matchups (Guyer-Byron Nelson being the other). Lake Dallas suffered its first loss of the year to the aforementioned Byron Nelson squad, but the offense is usually very explosive behind QB Dagan Haehn and WRs Josh Jackson and Keegan Brewer. The same goes for Rider – the passing game of QB Chase London and WR Davon Allison is borderline crazy. That leaves this one up to the defenses, where both teams have had up-and-down years. Still, at home, you trust LBs Bradley Goldstein and Sam Scribner to put together a strong defensive effort for the Raiders.
Tepper’s pick: Wichita Falls Rider 42, Lake Dallas 28
9. Abilene Cooper (4-2, 3-1) at Midland (3-2, 2-1)
Hey, I know these guys! We had the pleasure of watching Abilene Cooper’s win over Abilene during Fox Football Friday last week, and let me tell you: that offense is something special. QB Lorenzo Joe is in complete command, and RB Trey Dye is about as underrated a runner as you’ll find. The defense is still a work in progress, but so far, so good. That provides us with an interesting strength-on-strength matchup here, as Midland is a team predicated on defense, be it from DE Brady Watson up front or DB Xzavier Martinez in the backfield. This isn’t a big-play, explosive offense – RB Lance White grinds it out – so Midland needs to keep this game close. Both of these teams look like playoff teams, but positioning will be key.
Tepper’s pick: Abilene Cooper 38, Midland 28
8. Montgomery (5-1, 4-0) at Brenham (4-1, 3-0)
If you’re in the mood for high-scoring action, you may want to avoid this one, because both of these defenses are relentless. Montgomery has speed all over the field defensively, from DB Anthony Thomas to DT Carson Neal. Same goes for Brenham, with DB Courtland Sutton and DL Taylon Shepard. Neither of these teams give an inch, and neither team’s offense has proven particularly fearsome. The edge goes to Brenham, who has an offense with QB Caleb Hill and RB Earnest Patterson that has a little more punch, but with these two defenses, I wouldn’t expect this game to get much above the low 20s, at most.
Tepper’s pick: Brenham 23, Montgomery 21
7. El Paso Andress (4-1, 2-0) at El Paso Bowie (4-1, 1-1)
On the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Radio Hour this week, my co-host David Fallavollita commented on what a strong year it is in El Paso, and I have to agree. The Sun City is noticeably deeper, which makes it much more fun to follow. Prime example: this clash of probably the second- and third-best teams in District 1-4A (behind Chapin, whom I still believe in). But this is a huge matchup, and it’ll be decided based on the Bowie defense against the Andress offense. Andress has been lighting it up with QB Troy Klimansky and big-play WR Eddie Sinegal (and don’t forget RB Tayshaun Gary); Bowie has been stifling people with LB Steve Saenz and DL Danny Cano-Sanchez, to the tune of 12 points allowed per game. Something’s got to give there. Yes, there’s the other side of the ball, where Bowie will try to grind it out on the ground, but we’ll find a winner based on that matchup.
Tepper’s pick: El Paso Andress 34, El Paso Bowie 31
6. Texas City (5-0, 2-0) at Friendswood (4-1, 2-0)
Choo-choo! All aboard the Texas City bandwagon! We’ve been driving the Stingarees’ train all year, ever since we ranked them No. 7 in our preseason 4A poll, and they made us look pretty good with last week’s big win over Pearland Dawson. The Foreman brothers – RB D’Onta and WR Armanti – look nearly unstoppable, and the defense anchored by LB D’Vonta Hinton doesn’t get enough love. But they have another very tall task this week when they take on Friendswood, a team that, well, you kind of know what you’re getting. You’re going to get about 28 points from RB Sam Longbotham and QB Brandon Sargent. They’ve been consistently in that 21-35 point range. So, it’s simple: can Friendswood’s defense, led by DB Walker Williams and DT Jackson Pruitt, hold Texas City to a season-low, under 28 points? Here’s a tasty matchup for you: star CB Anthony Makransky against Armanti Foreman. That alone is worth the price of admission.
Tepper’s pick: Texas City 45, Friendswood 28
5. George Ranch (6-0, 2-0) at Angleton (3-2, 1-0)
It’s been a dream start to 2013 for George Ranch. Unbeaten, largely unchallenged, with the sturdy defense of LB Tsola Efejuku and DL Kingsley Keke fueling the run. It’s been great. But to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man, and Angleton is, for all intents and purposes, the man in District 23-4A. It’s been an up-and-down year for the Wildcats, but the defense has been pretty consistent, especially up front with DTs Jashaud Harris and Justin Bell. This game comes down to which offense shows up for Angleton. If it’s QB T.J. Josey making big plays to which we’ve become accustomed (or RB K’Vonte Jackson taking over), that’s good for Angleton. But if it sputters – and George Ranch has a tendency to make good offenses do that – we could wake up Saturday morning with a new favorite in 23-4A. This is one of the tightest games in the state.
Tepper’s pick: George Ranch 36, Angleton 32
4. San Antonio Madison (5-1, 2-0) at San Antonio Reagan (5-0, 1-0)
I promise that San Antonio Madison will play some easy games at some point, but it doesn’t start this week. If you’re not familiar with Reagan, here’s what you need to know: QB Ty Summer is electrifying, WR Kash Knutson is one of the Alamo City’s most dangerous threats, and the defense of DB Garrett Strauss and DL Nick Hardy is OK but can be beat. How does Madison stack up? The Mavericks answered some questions last week with an impressive win over Roosevelt, as QB Cody Ennis appeared to get back on the same page as WRs Ja’Michael Brown and Byron Daniels, and the defense played its best game of the year. Can they repeat the effort? Make no mistake: Reagan is definitely good enough to win this game, and if Madison doesn’t play up to its potential, the Rattlers will walk away with a huge victory.
Tepper’s pick: San Antonio Madison 34, San Antonio Reagan 32
3. Mansfield Timberview (5-0, 2-0) at DeSoto (5-0, 2-0)
That’s right: this battle of unbeatens in District 7-5A isn’t the biggest game in the state. In fact…it’s not even the biggest game in Dallas-Fort Worth! (We’ll get to that in a moment.) That’s how big a weekend this is. If I sound like a broken record about DeSoto, it’s because I keep saying the same things about DeSoto: they’re flat-out awesome. QB Desmon White may be the most exciting player in the state – yes, I mean that – and his complement of wide receivers like Chris Lacy and Kevin Thomas make him look even better. But in walks one of the state’s very best defenses, and especially one of the state’s very best secondaries, in Timberview. DBs Ed Paris and Brandon Simmons are absolutely lock-down, and the defense has fallen in line behind them. That’s the matchup you come for: DeSoto’s offense against Timberview’s defense. But the reason I think DeSoto will win is because of its own defense – DB Nick Orr and DL Shaquel Jackson have led the Eagles while you have been fawning over the offensive stats. Unless Timberview’s run-first offense, with RBs Nicholas James and Myron Galliard (and versatile QB Tevin Muse) can break through, it may not matter how many points White puts up.
Tepper’s pick: DeSoto 38, Mansfield Timberview 21
2. Corpus Christi Ray (5-0, 2-0) at Alice (4-1, 1-1)
Surprised to see this game so high? Don’t be: this game is fascinating. District 31-4A looks like a three-team race – Ray, Alice and CC Flour Bluff. And if Alice – who has already lost to Flour Bluff in a 27-26 squeaker – has hopes of a district title, it hinges on this game. I’m a big fan of the Coyotes, with that big running game of RBs Robert Ramos and Joseph Cantu averaging more than 9 yards per carry, but the defense has been a bit hit-or-miss. DBs Victor Soliz and Mark Alaniz better be ready, because here comes Ray, one of the hottest teams in the state. The Texans have been fueled by a big offense led by QB Matthew Merino, who has 18 total touchdowns on the season, as well as RB Tristan Barrera. 44 points per game is great; the other side, 16.8 points allowed per game by LB Ivan Flores, DB Eric Estrada and the Ray defense, is even better. We’ll have a firm grasp on the district after this one: either Ray wins, and it’s a Ray-Flour Bluff dogfight, or Alice wins, and we’ve got absolutely awesome chaos.
Tepper’s pick: Corpus Christi Ray 41, Alice 37
1. Mesquite Poteet (5-0, 2-0) at Highland Park (4-1, 2-0)
We had a lot of choices for the biggest game of the week in 5A and 4A – as you can tell – but in the end, this one gets the nod because of all the fascinating storylines. For the unfamiliar, some background: Highland Park is one of the state’s most decorated programs. How good have they been? In this century – so, since and including the 2000 season – they are 79-2 in district play. SEVENTY-NINE AND TWO. They’re just really, really good, year-in and year-out. Mesquite Poteet is the new power, and that’s thanks in large part to coach Randy Jackson…who left in the offseason to coach Plano East. In steps defensive coordinator Kody Groves, and the Pirates haven’t missed a beat. QB Lane Novy has been great with WRs Kody Edwards and Walter Dawn Jr., plus RB Jaylon Smith. HP got its doors blown by Aledo in the opener, but they’ve settled down since then, as QB Brooks Burgin has established a rapport with a very deep WR corps led by Andrew Frost. Both defenses have been largely solid but have had moments of weakness; who will blink first? This game has far-reaching implications – a Poteet win would solidify them as the District 10-4A favorites and prove once and for all that they’re here to stay. But do you feel good picking against a streak – especially at home, where Highland Park has been excellent? This is must-see football.
Tepper’s pick: Highland Park 34, Mesquite Poteet 32
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.