State Championship Preview: Saturday
State Championship Preview: Saturday
2013-12-21 12:00:00

The 2013 season wraps up with three great title games: Aledo-Brenham, Allen-Pearland and Cedar Hill-Katy!

 By Greg Tepper
 DCTF Associate Editor
   

The Texas high school football season will come to a close today at AT&T Stadium, but not before three fantastic title games for the 4A DII, 5A DI and 5 DII championships! DCTF’s Greg Tepper previews the action.

REMEMBER: We will be live-blogging all ten games LIVE from AT&T Stadium this weekend at TexasFootball.com/live! Be sure to make TexasFootball.com your home for unparalleled state championship coverage!

4A Division II State Championship
Aledo (15-0) vs. Brenham (14-1)
12 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium
Look, let’s not beat around the bush here: there is a very, very large consensus of people who think Aledo is going to win this game. And why not? They’re the all-time leading scoring team not just in Texas, but in America. They’ve got weapons (QB Luke Bishop) on weapons (RBs Jess Anders, Daythan Davis and Ryan Newsome) on weapons (WR Taco Anderson), and their defense has been outstanding all season, including when the offense unusually struggled last week against Ennis. Aledo is a juggernaut, and even the most fervent Brenham fan or Aledo detractor has to admit that. So, all of that being said, here’s the case you can make that Brenham is going to stun the world and beat Aledo: They have RB Earnest Patterson, one of the sturdiest runners in Texas; they have QB Caleb Hill, who has a flair for the dramatic and a knack for the big play; and their defense, led by DB Courtland Sutton and DL Taylon Shepard, has made a living taking the opposition’s weapons out of the game – just look at what they did to the Foreman brothers at Texas City, or what they did to the running game of Port Lavaca Calhoun last week. If you’re thinking that Aledo is going to walk on the field and walk off with a state title, you are sorely mistaken: Brenham can ball, and they’ve proven it all year long. And remember: Ennis held Aledo scoreless last week in the first half, the first two quarters this season that the Bearcats were held off the scoreboard. The Bearcats are mortal, and Brenham is a terrific team. But while the Aledo machine has been slowed, it has not been stopped, and the Aledo defense – grossly underappreciated all season – will have a lot to say about the outcome of this one.
Tepper’s pick: Aledo 36, Brenham 21
Click here to see AG Sports’ simulation of the game!

5A Division I State Championship
Allen (15-0) vs. Pearland (14-1)
4 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium
First things first: you want a bold prediction? This game will break the Texas high school football attendance record. Yep: we’re getting to 50,000 people for this one. And I, for one, can’t wait to see it. Now, on to this game, where we’ve got one of the biggest surprises of the season (Pearland) taking on the defending champs (Allen). It’s an odd pairing, yet a strangely appropriate one, because even though they play the game different ways, they have one big thing in common: they play fantastic defense. Allen’s goes a little overlooked because of the offensive firepower (we’ll get to that in a moment), but they’ve been super-solid behind Christian Sam and Tay Evans. And Pearland, well, the defense is why they’re here. LB Justin Phillips and DT Ronald Fraser have been money for the Oilers, and remember: when they’ve been good in the past (like in 2010), it’s been because the defense has been great. That can be a great equalizer in this one, but there’s the little matter of offenses as well. Pearland’s isn’t a big, fancy, explosive one – RB Jacolbie Butler and QB Connor Heath grind it out – but it’s effective. The offensive line is especially impressive. And then there’s Allen, and the biggest superstar on the field: QB Kyler Murray, who pretty much put Allen on his back and took them to a thrilling win over DeSoto last week. His group of weapons is terrific as well, from WR Cole Carter to TE Grant Finney to RB Jaelen Barlow, but make no mistake: if Allen wins, it’s because Kyler Murray is doing special things. Pearland needs to keep this score low – they don’t have the ammunition to get into a shootout with Allen – and that’s their best path to victory. But from a depth perspective, and from a superstar perspective, it’s been hard to match Allen all year, and it’s hard to imagine Pearland matches them today.
Tepper’s pick: Allen 33, Pearland 22
Click here to see AG Sports’ simulation of the game!

5A Division II State Championship
Cedar Hill (13-2) vs. Katy (15-0)
8 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium
The final game of the 2013 Texas high school football season (oh man, I just got sad typing that) is a rematch of the 2012 5A DII title game, and in a lot of ways, it sets up just like last year. Katy’s considered the favorite, because they’re as consistent as the day is long. They run the ball like nobody else with that bruising offensive line and RBs Rodney Anderson and Kyle Porter, and the defense is relentless with DE Tim Wilkerson and LB Jake Blomstrom. Need an example: Look at basically any of their games: aside from a 26-point performance from FB Elkins, nobody has topped 14 points against them. They’re swarming. But if past is prologue, we should expect not only a great game, but a thriller, since Cedar Hill very nearly took down Katy last year, and they may be even better than last year’s team. For one, they’re healthier: coach Joey McGuire said after last year’s game that his team was extremely battered. And secondly: they’ve got a healthy dose of new playmakers on offense, including star WR Damarkus Lodge, QB Justin McMillan and RB Aca’Cedric Ware. And that Cedar Hill defense is still as fearsome as it always is under McGuire, with LB Doveon Dillard and DE Xavier Washington drawing special attention considering the offense they’ll face. And here’s this: Cedar Hill has been terrific against the run. How good? Try 129.1 rush yards per game allowed. Yeah. That’s good. Now, Katy will be the toughest attack they’ve faced on the ground, but thinking that Katy’s going to roll in this game just because they’re Katy is overlooking both last year’s title game and this year’s team. But the champs are the champs, and what’s really so good about them is their defense. Expect a low-scoring game, but the defense and the running game favors a repeat for the Tigers.
Tepper’s pick: Katy 20, Cedar Hill 13
Click here to see AG Sports’ simulation of the game!


Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.

He can be reached via e-mail, via Twitter (@Tepper) and via the DCTF Facebook page.




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