Odessa Permian (6-2, 4-1) at San Angelo Central (4-3, 4-0): The race for the district title in the Little SWC heats up this week as Odessa Permian visits the Concho Valley to take on a red hot San Angelo Central squad in a game that will have major district title implications. Permian will travel to San Angelo Stadium for what will without a doubt be a tough road environment, despite Covid-19 restrictions. MOJO rolled last week in their win over Midland High, blasting the Bulldogs 42-14 as WR Shy Stephens-Deary hauled in a pair of touchdown passes and RB’s Rodney Hall and Terran Limuel combined for 187 yards rushing to lead the Panthers offense. San Angelo Central was idle last week and with two weeks to prepare for the Panthers run based attack, expect Coach Davis’ Bobcats defense to be ready for the challenge Permian brings to the table. San Angelo’s ace in the hole is without a doubt QB Malachi Brown who as a three-year starter is playing the best football of his high school career and is a real difference make for the Bobcats offense. Stepp’s Pick: San Angelo Central by 7
Pearland Dawson (8-0, 6-0) at Alvin Shadow Creek (4-2, 4-0): A district title is on the line as two state ranked teams who have seen their game move to three different dates finally get to settle it on the field. Pearland Dawson, despite being unbeaten, has flown a bit under the radar in the Houston area, but the Eagles are a force with one of the areas top defensive units allowing just 5.5 points per game. Dawson in their last outing blasted past Alief Elsik 65-7 to improve to 8-0. Shadow Creek’s defense rose to the occasion in a big way last week as the Sharks knocked off a tough Pearland squad 20-6. After allowing a first quarter touchdown, the Sharks defense locked down for the final three quarters and Kyron Drones’ two long touchdown passes proved to be more than enough for the Sharks in the win. Both defenses are operating at a high level at the moment, so don’t expect a ton of points in this one, but the Shadow Creek offense has enough playmakers and the elite guy behind center to get the job done and all but wrap up the district title. Stepp’s Pick: Alvin Shadow Creek by 8
Converse Judson (4-1, 4-0) at Cibolo Steele (5-2, 5-0): The top game in the Alamo City features two rivals from the northside of town who are looking to regain the crown as the top team in the 210. Judson hasn’t played in three weeks due to having their scheduled bye week combined with two opponents postponing games due to Covid-19, but the Rockets have found their footing since their disappointing season opening loss to DeSoto. Cibolo Steele has rattled off five straight wins since dropping their first two games and it’s been the Knights offense that’s gotten the job done. Last week, in a 42-10 win over South San Antonio, the Knights offense led by QB Wyatt Beagal was hitting on all cylinders running out to a 21-3 lead after one quarter before the Knights settled into a ground and pound game the rest of the way to get out of South San with a comfortable win. Expect the tough and speedy Judson defense to present more of a challenge this week, but Steele’s offense led by a four-year starter at QB will be up to the task and the Knights get a close win and gain some major confidence heading towards the playoffs. Stepp’s Pick: Cibolo Steele by 3
Azle (5-1, 3-0) at Abilene Cooper (5-1, 4-0): It’s a playoff rematch from last year, but this year a district title is on the line in 3-5A Division I as Azle heads west to try and take down an Abilene Cooper squad in a battle of teams that have won five straight. Azle begins a brutal stretch of four games in 16 days as the Hornets are squeezing in a couple of Covid-19 makeup games into the schedule. Last week Azle won a shootout with Brewer, 55-49, in overtime as QB Chris Lee scored the game winning touchdown for the Hornets. Lee finished with five touchdown passes on the night, three going to WR Eric McAllister, as Azle, who led 35-14 at the half, had to hold off a late Brewer rally. Abilene Cooper rolled past struggling Saginaw, 48-13, last week as Noah Garcia ran for 236 yards and three touchdowns to lead a short-handed Cougars squad to the win. Much of Cooper’s varsity offensive line was in quarantine last week, but they are back this week and that should boost one of the Big Country’s most dynamic offensive attacks. This one was down to the wire last year and there’s no reason to think it won’t be down to the wire in 2020. But with the game being at Shotwell Stadium, the edge is definitely with Abilene Cooper. Stepp’s Pick: Abilene Cooper by 6
Seguin (4-2, 3-1) at Buda Johnson (6-1, 4-0): Two teams right in the thick of the playoff race in 12-5A Division I hook up in a key matchup that could go a long way in deciding one of the final playoff spots. Seguin rolled past San Antonio McCollum last week in easy fashion with a 68-7 win. WR Tristan Moreno hauled in eight passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Matadors attack. QB Micah Rodriguez completed 13 of 15 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns as well. Buda Johnson, in their first year competing for UIL honors, is off to a roaring hot start but the Jaguars are still a bit of an unknown as three of their four district wins have come via forfeit. This game will tell us a lot about Johnson as they finally meet someone on the field who is in their weight class in a key district matchup. Seguin gets the edge, mainly because they are battle tested and they have senior leadership across the board, but this will be close. Stepp’s Pick: Seguin by 9
Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (7-0, 6-0) at Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial (6-0, 5-0): The game of the week on the Texas Coast is without a doubt this battle of unbeaten teams that will decide the 15-5A Division I title. Once again it’s Flour Bluff and Veterans Memorial going toe to toe for bragging rights in the 361. Flour Bluff rolled past an improved Corpus Christi Carroll squad last week, 42-14, on the strength of a high-powered offense led by QB Nash Villegas’s four touchdown passes, while Rayden Campbell ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass. The Hornets rolled up 42 first half points and played backups the entire second half in the win. Veterans Memorial also played Carroll in their last outing two weeks ago as the Eagles soared to an easy win of their own, 38-0. QB Carter Senterfitt has an offense full of dynamic weapons and the Eagles defense is one of the more underrated units in Region IV. As is often the case when these two get together, it’ll be intense, and it’ll be close. This one comes down to mistakes and big plays in these big moments where there’s a playoff-type atmosphere. Give the nod to Veterans at home and with the leadership at the QB spot. Stepp’s Pick: Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial by 3
Aledo (4-1, 2-0) at Mansfield Timberview (6-0, 3-0): Zone playoff bragging rights are on the line on Friday night as Aledo looks to extend their record-breaking district winning streak to 94 games against an extremely tough Timberview squad. Since 5-5A Division II is not able to complete their entire district slate, this game will decide the district title. Aledo had no issues with Arlington Seguin in a 47-26 victory two weeks ago; the game was 47-12 going into the fourth quarter before Aledo put in the backups. RB DeMarco Roberts led the charge rushing for 164 yards and three touchdowns. LSU commit JoJo Earle only had one catch for 15 yards, but Aledo fans have to be encouraged that the offense was able to move the football without being solely reliant on Earle, who has been heavily used early in the year. The Bearcats’ game against Joshua last week was canceled due to Covid-19 protocols. Mansfield Timberview closed out their zone play in style two weeks ago with an easy 62-14 win over Joshua. Army QB commit Simeon Evans accounted for five touchdowns and 237 yards of offense to lead the Wolves attack, while Deuce Jones ran for a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a score. Last week the Wolves played a non-district contest against a solid Dripping Springs squad and raced out to a 45-7 halftime lead and then cruising in the second half to a 55-28 win. Timberview’s defensive team speed and physical play will be a test for Aledo’s offense, but Aledo’s front seven is lethal against the running game. Unless Timberview is able to throw the ball consistently, expect Aledo to load the box and their defense to control the game. Expect Aledo to get the ball in Earle’s hands in as many ways as possible and he’s a force Timberview’s strong defense simply may not be able to account for. Stepp’s Pick: Aledo by 10
Ennis (6-0, 3-0) at North Forney (7-0, 3-0): It’s been clear all season long the two best teams in 8-5A Division II were Ennis and North Forney, and it really hasn’t been much of a debate. The Lions, the state’s No. 1 ranked team in 5A-Division II, have simply demolished every team in their path with an average margin of victory of nearly 43 points. Last week, Ennis closed out zone play by routing Forney, 63-10. QB Collin Drake again spread the ball around to multiple weapons, throwing for 226 yards and four touchdowns. North Forney has been on quite the roll winning their last four games by an average of over 37-points per game. Last week the Falcons blasted past a depleted Corsicana squad, 42-0, to set up the showdown with Ennis. The Falcons have proven this year they are an elite squad and come playoff time under coach Randy Jackson, they’ll be a tough out. But Ennis has thrived in these big games and last year’s playoff run has prepped the Lions for this moment. Stepp’s Pick: Ennis by 11
El Paso Montwood (2-1, 1-1) vs El Paso Pebble Hills (1-1, 0-1) Stepp’s Pick: El Paso Montwood by 4
Haslet Eaton (6-2, 4-0) at Southlake Carroll (4-1, 3-0) Stepp’s Pick: Southlake Carroll by 24
Temple (7-1, 4-0) at Killeen Shoemaker (6-1, 4-1) Stepp’s Pick: Temple by 5
Houston King (5-2, 2-1) at Galena Park North Shore (8-0, 4-0) Stepp’s Pick: Galena Park North Shore by 21
San Antonio O’Connor (3-3, 3-2) vs San Antonio Warren (4-3, 3-3) Stepp’s Pick: San Antonio O’Connor by 6
San Benito (2-1) vs Harlingen (3-0) Stepp’s Pick: Harlingen by 6
Katy Paetow (5-1, 3-1) at Angleton (3-2, 1-1) Stepp’s Pick: Katy Paetow by 14
McAllen Memorial (3-1, 2-0) vs McAllen Rowe (3-2, 2-0) Stepp’s Pick: McAllen Memorial by 8
Lovejoy (7-0, 4-0) at Frisco (6-0, 4-0) Stepp’s Pick: Frisco by 10
Montgomery Lake Creek (6-2, 3-1) at Huntsville (6-0, 3-0) Stepp’s Pick: Huntsville by 13
Leander Glenn (4-4, 3-3) vs Leander Rouse (7-1, 6-0) Stepp’s Pick: Leander Rouse by 11
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