The must-see Thursday night Texas high school football games for Week 7

EVERY WEEK DURING THE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON, BRADY KEANE PICKS OUT THE BEST THURSDAY GAMES AROUND THE STATE. IF YOU'RE NEAR ONE, GET YOUR FOOTBALL WEEKEND STARTED EARLY.

There is no shortage of thrilling games on the Week 7 Texas high school football slate as we inch closer and closer to the postseason. But before we get to an exciting Friday night, here are a few games across the state worth checking out to get the weekend started:

The Woodlands (2-1) vs. Beaumont West Brook (5-0)
After last season’s remarkable run to the Class 6A DI state championship game, The Woodlands is just a last-second Katy field goal away from being 3-0 again this year. The Highlanders have bounced back with two wins since the 24-21 loss to Katy to open the season, but have struggled at times in the first half so far. Getting off to a better start will be a point of emphasis against West Brook, which is outscoring its opponents by an average of more than 35 points per game.

Quarterback Quinton Johnson will get the start again for The Woodlands after scoring three touchdowns in last week’s win, but the game plan will be to get the explosive Kesean Carter involved early. West Brook will share the load offensively, splitting time at quarterback between La’Ravien Elia (946 total yards, 14 TDs) and Marcus Johnson (322 yards passing, 4 TDs). WR Bralin Simon (367 yards, 5 TDs) is the biggest threat in the passing game, as he leads the team with 20 receptions on the season. The game offers the Bruins a chance at finally redeeming last year’s 72-7 loss to The Woodlands while making a statement in District 12-6A.

Haltom (4-2) vs. Fossil Ridge (6-0)
Fossil Ridge continues to shine more than midway through the season as the Panthers are now a win away from matching their 2016 total (7). Haltom comes to town this week, and the winner of this game will emerge as the leader in District 3-6A play with three weeks to go in the regular season.

The Panthers’ game plan so far has been fairly simple, but extremely hard to stop — feed WR Stefan Cobbs (34 catches, 756 yards, 12 TDs) as many times as possible each night. Cobbs and Jaylen Hearst (538 yards, 4 TDs) have made life easy on QB Cobe Craft (1,566 yards, 19 TDs), who has thrown just one interception on the year. Haltom relies on junior QB Michael Black (1,833 total yards, 22 TDs) to make plays both through the air and on the ground. One of these two high-powered offenses will emerge with a win, remaining unbeaten in district play and seizing control of the district race.

Brownsville Veterans Memorial (4-1) vs. Edcouch-Elsa (4-1)
Veterans Memorial and Edcouch-Elsa — two teams that love to run the ball right at their opponents — meet up for the third game of the District 32-5A portion of the season. Both programs are undefeated in district play this far, and sit in a tie for first place alongside Brownsville Lopez. With at least a share of first place on the line, Veterans Memorial will look to walk away with a repeat of last season’s 50-20 win over the Yellowjackets.

QB Gustavo Vasquez (1,147 total yards, 10 TDs) leads the way offensively for the Chargers and causes a lot of problems in the running game as he is averaging more than 8 yards per carry and 155 yards per game. But the Yellowjackets have RB Jorge Gomez (832 yards, 7 TDs) as their workhorse and he is putting up nearly 9 yards per carry and 166 yards per game. It should be a fun back-and-forth battle that moves the winner one step closer to a district title.

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