The Thursday night must-see Texas high school football games for Week 11

Photo by Russell Wilburn

Cypress Ranch (9-0, 7-0) vs. Tomball Memorial (8-1, 6-1)

No. 8 Ranch hosts Memorial in a game that will decide the winner of District 14-6A. Ranch, the favorite in this one, opened some eyes in week two, defeating Austin Westlake 25-21, the Chaps’ only loss of the season.

The Mustangs have been a ground-and-pound team this season, leaning on their strong running game and their stout defense to have success. Leading the I-Formation offense is Elias Pino who has blown past opposing defenses this season and junior quarterback Logan McDougald has been an accurate passer that has a knack for the deep ball. The offense — which had averaged 42 points per game — struggled last week against Bryan (4-5) needing a 20-point second quarter to notch a 27-0 win. That said, the defense was stout — holding Bryan to just 141 yards of total offense. Physical linebacker Gerard McKnight is the anchor of the Mustang 3-4 defense and had eight tackles against Westlake.

Though their defense has shown some flaws, the Memorial offense has been outstanding this season putting up 45 points a game. The offensive effort has gone through All-District candidate and feature back Christian Lovick (1,341 rushing yards, 17 TD) who has averaged 149 rushing yards per game. Signal-caller Chandler Galban (2,002 passing yards, 16 TD) can move the chains as well and has only thrown one interception on 147 passing attempts this season. Cornerback Preston Downey (51 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles)  is an incredible defender in coverage and has been a force on defense.

Arlington Lamar (9-0, 6-0) vs. Arlington (9-0, 6-0)

Cross-town rivals clash in what may be the biggest edition of the rivalry in recent history. The winner of the two undefeated Arlington teams will clinch the District 4-6A title. Arlington comes into the game after routing Sam Houston 45-16 last week despite quarterback Jahari Rogers’ worst outing of the season — just 79 passing yards and two interceptions. With the exception of last week, Rogers (2,120 passing yards, 27 TD) has been an accurate passer and the leader of the Colts’ spread offense. Running back BJ Rogers (742 rushing yards, 8 TD) has seen his role increase throughout the season and is a shifty runner that has a knack for making defenders miss.

Highlighted by their multiple-scheme defense, Lamar has been virtually untested this season with their closest game being an 18-point win over Byron Nelson in week one. Quarterback Jack Dawson (1,597 passing yards, 27 TD) has been under center for the Vikings and looked to link with Trevon West (732 receiving yards, 13 TD) most often. Stocky middle linebacker Jayvieon Moore (41 tackles) has highlighted a Viking defense that has allowed a combined 21 points in their last three games.

Cedar Hill (8-1, 5-1) vs. DeSoto (8-1, 5-1)

Two surging teams in the collide in a game that could crown the District 7-6A champion depending on how Mansfield Lake Ridge fares on Friday night. This year’s Cedar Hill team boasts the high-powered spread offense that we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the Longhorns. The offense is lead by massive quarterback Shayne Lawrence is an accurate passer and has great chemistry with his multitude of targets out wide. Feature back Zakhari Franklin is a bruiser that’s very tough to bring down. The strength of the Longhorns, however, comes on the defensive side of the ball as the Cedar Hill 4-3 defense has allowed an average of just 11 points in district play in a district that is known for incredible offenses. For perspective, the next best defense in the district has allowed over 22 points a game.

Surprising to no one, DeSoto knows how to put points on the board. The Eagles’ spread offense has averaged 42 points a game in district play including a 51-point effort last week against South Grand Prairie. Quarterback Shunadrion Ward (2,045 passing yards, 21 TD) has lived up to his high preseason expectations and led a potent DeSoto offense. Big-bodied receiver La’Vontae Shenault (707 receiving yards, 7 TD) has received Div. I offers from around the country and is a dangerous weapon on the outside. DeSoto’s 4-3 defense has looked porous at times and will need to bring their A-game as they face the most efficient offense they’ve seen this year.

Others Worth Your Time:

Fort Bend Ridge Point (8-1, 6-0) at Fort Bend Dulles (8-1, 5-1)

Dulles needs a win to clinch at least a share of the District 20-6A championship but that won’t be easy against a Ridge Point defense that has allowed a combined 13 points in their last two games.

Birdville (9-0, 6-0) vs. Denton Ryan (9-0, 6-0)

Two undefeated teams clash in a winner-take-all District 4-5A championship game. From a pure talent standpoint, Ryan holds the edge in this one, but don’t count out the Birdville offense which has averaged 49.5 points per game in their last four games.

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