HIGH SCHOOL THURSDAY
Vista Ridge at Round Rock
Key battle in a still-undecided District 13-6A race that has both postseason qualification and Division I/II implications. Vista Ridge (7-2, 5-2, will be D2) has put together one of the state’s most surprising turnarounds after a 1-9 2018. Round Rock (6-3, 4-3, will be D1) needs a win to at least force a tiebreaker scenario. Kyle Brown has thrown 31 touchdown passes for the Rangers. The Dragons started strong but are limping home, having lost their last two, including 35-28 Halloween howler to Pflugerville Hendrickson (3-6). Colin Sullivan (1,086 receiving) and Israel Morgan (1,248 rushing) are the Dragons dynamic duo.
Wolfforth Frenship at Tascosa
Both the Tigers and Rebels are playoff bound, but seeding is still to be determined in the Little SWC. The winner will be the top district’s top Division 2 seed and play the Bi-District round at home. Donovan Smith engineers Frenship’s high-scoring attack with 31 touchdowns passing and rushing. Tascosa (6-3, 2-2) can pull even with Frenship with a win. The higher seed hosts a Bi-District playoff. The Rebels rely on a bruising rushing attack that averages more than 400 yards per game, paced by Joseph Plunk’s 1,528 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Arlington Martin vs Arlington Bowie/Arlington Lamar vs Arlington
All four teams have locked up playoff spots in District 4-6A. If Martin (8-1, 6-0) handles Bowie (7-2, 5-1), it wraps up the district title. Regardless, it will be the top D1 seed. Defense has carried Martin all year. The Warriors, led by Kenneth Taylor’s 16 tackles for loss and six sacks, allow 11 points per game. Bowie wants to run the ball using Marsallius Sims (804 yards, 10 TDs) and Drevonn Ponder (739 yards, 12 TDs). Lamar (8-1, 5-1) and Arlington (7-2, 4-2) play for D2 seeding, though if Bowie tops Martin and Lamar beats Arlington, there will be a 3-way tie for the overall district title. Arlington brings a prolific offense that averages 40 points per game into the contest. Lamar has won five in a row and allows just 13 points per game.
Laredo United vs Laredo Alexander
United (7-2, 4-1) and Alexander (6-3, 4-1) battle for second place in District 29-6A. United looks to bounce back from last week’s stunning loss to Laredo United South. Alexander looks to hang on to the momentum built during the team’s current two-game win streak. Seeding won’t likely be decided until Friday’s game between Eagle Pass and Del Rio wraps up. If Del Rio upsets Eagle Pass, Alexander drops to Division II with Del Rio. United is locked into D1. United QB Eduardo Huerta is chasing 3,000 yards on the season. Camilo Pedraza paces the Alexander rushing attack with more than 1,000 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Odem at Corpus Christi London
A District 16-3A-2 battle for supremacy. Odem (8-1, 5-0) has won six straight. London (7-1, 5-0) has won five straight. Thursday’s winner claims the district title. Lucas Lopez and Marcus Martinez paced a balanced rushing attack that’s produced 19 touchdowns for Odem. London’s defense has held five opponents to fewer than 10 points with a pair of shutouts.
River Oaks Castleberry at Benbrook
The fourth spot is on the line in District 6-4A-1 when Benbrook (4-5, 2-3) hosts surprising Castleberry (6-3, 3-2). The winner secures a playoff spot, and Castleberry could vault into the third spot if Dunbar beats Lake Worth. Benbrook receiver Demetrio Brown has nine touchdown grabs and averages 28 yards per catch. Castleberry leans on Jason Garcia, who’s rushed for 1,047 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Dallas Carter vs Carrolton Ranchview
Carter (6-3, 3-2) can guarantee itself a playoff spot with a win over Ranchview (8-1, 4-1). A Ranchview win makes things interesting for Carter, who could potentially find itself in a 3-way tie for third with Wilmer-Hutchins and Dallas Hillcrest should Hillcrest win. Jamarian Jones leads Carter’s rushing attack. Ranchview’s offense epitomizes balance, averaging 162 yards rushing and 161 passing. Defensive back Dorian Windley has been a ball-hawk, nabbing five interceptions and defending 10 other passes.
Justin Northwest vs Fort Worth North Side
Northwest (5-4, 5-0) looks to wrap up the District 4-5A-2 title against closest pursuer North Side (5-4, 4-1). The Texans have won five straight after taking some non-district lumps. Quarterback Austin Ahmad and receiver Zavion Taylor have combined for 15 touchdown passes this season to lead the Texans. Jorge Aguirre has 711 rushing yards, but Da’wain Lofton has been the goal-line specialist, scoring 14 times for the Steers.
Seagoville at Red Oak
Red Oak (8-1, 6-0) looks to wrap up the regular season by claiming the District 6-5A-2 title over Seagoville (7-2, 5-1). A loss likely drops Seagoville from second to third in the final standings. Red Oak has won eight straight largely on the legs of CJ Palmer (1,092 yards, 16 TDs) and Zachary Sanders (799, 13 TDs). Seagoville had a 5-game winning streak snapped two weeks ago but bounced back with a 55-2 win over Jefferson.
Brownsville Pace at Rio Grande City
This District 16-5A-1 finale has plenty at stake. Rio Grande City (8-1, 7-1) must win to at least tie for the district title with either La Joya Palmview, Mission Veterans Memorial or both. Brownsville Pace (6-3, 6-2) by virtue of last week’s win over Brownsville Veterans Memorial, is all but ensured of the fourth playoff spot win or lose. Mario Garza leads Rio Grande City with 2,545 yards and 32 touchdowns passing. Pace running back Dylan Barron leads the way with 953 yards and 10 touchdowns.
La Joya Palmview vs Brownsville Veterans Memorial
Palmview (7-2, 7-1) looks to lock up a share of the district title while Brownsville Veterans Memorial (6-3, 5-3) is all but reduced to playing spoiler following last week’s loss to Pace. Palmview has won seven-straight after dropping its first two games of the season. Liam Longoria’s passing leads the Veterans Memorial attack. He’s thrown for 1,413 yards and added another 433 rushing.
Fort Bend Hightower at Richmond Foster, TexanLive, 7pm
Both Hightower (5-4, 4-2) and Foster (6-3, 4-2) have punched their playoff ticket. Each holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Angleton thanks to wins earlier this season. The winner gets the third seed while the loser plays the District 9-5A-1 champion. Foster’s Cody Jackson has 936 yards and 16 touchdowns receiving. Hightower’s struggled of late and wants to avoid heading into the playoffs on a three-game skid.
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