The must-see Friday night Texas high school football games for Week 11
EVERY WEEK DURING THE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON, BRADY KEANE PICKS OUT THE BEST FRIDAY GAMES IN EVERY 11-MAN CLASSIFICATION AROUND THE STATE. IF YOU'RE NEAR ONE, GET OUT AND SEE SOME FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.
One of the state’s top rivalries adds another chapter at Grande Communications Stadium in what may be the biggest game between the two west Texas schools in almost 20 years. It’s the first time since 1995 that both teams enter the game with a record of 7-1 or better, according to the Midland Reporter Telegram. Both teams suffered losses to San Angelo Central in District 2-6A play, but the winner of the historic rivalry game will host a playoff game next week in the bi-district round.
Permian has knocked off Midland Lee three straight times and has won eight of the last ten games between the schools. But Lee is enjoying a lot of success under coach Clint Hartman this season, making for what should be a thrilling revival of the rivalry.
5A: Sherman (5-4) vs. Denison (7-1)
The Battle of the Ax (BOTA) was ranked the No. 3 rivalry in Texas by our staff this summer because it’s hard to beat the annual grudge match in Texoma. The teams have been playing since 1901 and while Sherman leads the series 68-42-8, Denison has controlled the game recently with four straight wins. The Yellow Jackets enter this year as a narrow favorite again, but both teams have already clinched playoff spots heading into next week.
Sherman has won three of its last four games, including a 51-26 win over Wichita Falls last week, while Denison is coming off its first loss of the year to a loaded Denton Ryan squad. Denison QB Austin Emery (1,887 total yards, 22 TDs) will lead the way for the Yellow Jackets while Sherman RB Nathan Omayebu (1,175 yards, 17 TDs) is the headliner for the Bearcats. It should be an exciting matchup in a game that should be on every Texas high school football fan’s bucket list.
4A: El Campo (6-2) vs. Bay City (6-2)
While Lee-Permian and Sherman-Denison are two of the state’s most well known rivalries, El Campo-Bay City is the oldest continuous rivalry in the state. The schools sit about 30 miles apart and will be playing for the 114th time and for the 98th consecutive year. Bay City hasn’t beaten the Ricebirds since 2005, but have a real chance to end that streak this season.
In addition to being a heated rivalry, the game will decide the District 12-4A championship. Both teams have clinched a playoff spot but have seeding riding on the season finale, and El Campo can claim the outright district championship with a victory. The game will likely come down to which star player, Bay City’s Dylan Davidson (2,597 total yards, 28 TDs) or El Campo’s Nery Enriquez (1,385 yards, 24 TDs), makes more plays down the stretch.
3A: Holliday (8-1) vs. Jacksboro (9-0)
The District 5-3A title is on the line in a matchup of two teams that have the potential to make a lot of noise in the postseason. As mentioned in the Times Record News preview, it’s a battle of strength on strength – Jacksboro is averaging more than 336 yards per game on the ground while Holliday prides itself on stopping the run defensively.
The Eagles have a fairly explosive offense of their own behind the play of Justin Jones, who has rushed for 1,314 yards and 24 TDs. After Holliday got a 21-14 win over the Tigers last season, there is a lot more on the line this time around. The Eagles are looking for their first district championship since 2011 and while Jacksboro is looking to remain unbeaten going into the playoffs.
2A: Refugio (7-1) vs. Shiner (7-1)
Refugio and Shiner will meet with the District 15-2A title once again on the line, and both teams come into the regular season finale with seven straight wins under their belt. The two losses came against Hallettsville, which is ranked No. 3 in the Class 3A Division I poll, and Navarro – the No. 8 team in Class 4A DII.
While the district championship being up for grabs is what makes this a must-see game, the loser faces the tough task of meeting No. 2 ranked Mason in the second round of the playoffs. Refugio defeated the Comanches 35-0 last year, but the teams split a pair of games in 2015 – including the regional final that sent Refugio on its way to state. Refugio is a heavy favorite, but look for the game to be more competitive than last year in what could again be a preview of a playoff game later on.
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Brady Keane is a contributing writer for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Follow him on Twitter: @BradyKeane.