Big School Mega Preview: Hightower vs. Paetow, Angry Orange vs. MOJO, Brewer vs. Azle and More!

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San Angelo Central (4-3, 2-1) at Odessa Permian (6-2, 3-1): San Angelo Central had the rare occurrence of earning a win on their bye week as the Bobcats loss to Frenship turned into a win as Frenship was forced to forfeit their win due to use of an ineligible player. The Bobcats got things going two weeks ago in their last outing rolling past Midland High 41-17. The advantage the Bobcats have going into this one is Midland High runs the same offense as Permian, so the assignment football that the San Angelo defense will need to defend the Permian option will be very familiar. Permian a week ago knocked off Midland High 34-23 as QB Rodney Hall led the way for the Panthers rushing for 111 yards and two touchdowns and he completed all eight of his passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. This is not a vintage San Angelo team, but the Bobcats are scrappy and they’ll hang around in this one, but Permian’s got the edge at the skill positions and the Panthers are playing in the friendly confines of Ratliff Stadium. Stepp’s Pick: Odessa Permian by 11

Lake Travis (6-1, 4-0) at Austin Bowie (6-1, 3-1): Lake Travis continues to dominate in 26-6A as they look ahead to their potential showdown with rival Austin Westlake in Week 11. LTHS was sharp last week blasting Del Valle 52-17 as QB Bo Edmundson tossed four touchdown passes and RB DJ Johnson easily topped 100 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Austin Bowie bounced back nicely from their loss to Austin Westlake two weeks ago with a convincing 52-6 win over Austin Akins. RB Noah Camacho paced the Bulldogs attack with 154 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Bowie doesn’t have the talent top to bottom to keep up with the Cavaliers so they’ll need to hope for mistakes from Lake Travis if they want to have any chance of pulling the upset. Stepp’s Pick: Lake Travis by 22

San Antonio Harlan (5-3, 4-2) vs San Antonio Marshall (6-1, 4-1): It’s a massive Saturday night showdown in Northside ISD as the winner of this one is likely going to be into the playoffs, while the loser may be on the outside of a hotly contested playoff race. Harlan earned a massive win this past week taking down Holmes 24-13 as RB Jacob Gonzales ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns and the Hawks defense forced three key turnovers in the victory. Marshall is fresh off a bye week, but in their last outing they also knocked off Holmes taking down the Huskies 26-16. QB Jack Kalisky           led the way for the Rams throwing for 236 yards and three touchdowns, while adding in 57 yards on the ground. On paper these two teams are evenly matched, this one will come down to turnovers and mistakes, slight lean to Harlan in this matchup but it’s a real coin flip matchup. Stepp’s Pick: San Antonio Harlan by 3

Amarillo (6-2, 3-1) vs Amarillo Palo Duro (5-2, 1-2): It’s a massive matchup in Amarillo ISD as Amarillo High looks to keep up the momentum from last week’s big win over Lubbock Coronado. The Sandies raced out to a big lead on Coronado and had to hang on down the stretch for a 34-27 win. The key to that big lead was three interceptions on the first three drives of the game by the Amarillo defense, this allowed AHS to run out to a 20-6 lead early. Palo Duro struggled for a while with overmatched Lubbock High, but the Dons pulled away in the second half for a 24-0 win as PDHS was down to their third string QB. RB Tre’sean Monroe led the charge for the Dons with 207 yards rushing and a touchdown. Palo Duro is much improved but they are a banged up football team at the moment and Amarillo High will look to capitalize on that in a big way. Stepp’s Pick: Amarillo by 18

White Settlement Brewer (6-1, 4-0) at Azle (6-1, 4-0): The top spot in 3-5A Division I is on the line in Azle as Brewer rolls into town in what should be a fascinating matchup of teams with identical 6-1 overall records. Brewer appears to be rapidly improving with their young team and the Bears made some noise last week blasting Abilene Cooper 37-14. Brewer raced out to a 28-0 lead as Montrail Cushionberry ran for two scores and hauled in a touchdown pass to stake the Bears out to their big lead. Azle cruised pass Granbury 49-21 a week ago, QB Chris Lee continues to guide one of the state’s most explosive offensive attacks as the Hornets are averaging 44.5 points per game. That explosive offense will put pressure on Brewer and Azle seems to thrive in these shootout type environments. Stepp’s Pick: Azle by 7

Port Arthur Memorial (6-1, 4-0) at Baytown Lee (6-1, 3-1): Port Arthur Memorial heads west on I-10 into the Houston area where they will take on a Baytown Lee squad that’s coming off a surprising loss to Galveston Ball. Last week, Memorial rolled past Beaumont United 34-9 as QB Jah’mar Sanders rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown and also threw for 73 yards and a touchdown in a game that was delayed for nearly 90 minutes due to bad weather. Baytown Lee was a heavy favorite against Galveston Ball, but the Ganders faltered in a 23-13 loss on the road. Lee fell behind 20-0 early in the third quarter and a late rally just fell short. Expect a spirited effort from Baytown Lee at home and still smarting from the loss, but Port Arthur is head and shoulders above the field in 9-5A Division I. Stepp’s Pick: Port Arthur Memorial by 20

Fort Bend Hightower (6-1, 5-0) at Katy Paetow (7-0, 5-0): It’s the showdown fans in Houston have been waiting for in 10-5A Division I as two state ranked powers collide for a chance at the district title. Hightower under first year head coach Cornelious Anthony is sizzling at 6-1 and they kept up their elite level of play last week blasting past Fort Bend Kempner 61-0. Even more dominant the past few weeks has been Katy Paetow who has outscored their last four opponents by a stunning 272-0. There’s not much to glean from the results of last week’s blowouts, this matchup will come down to the two defenses. Hightower’s high-powered spread offense is a force and Paetow’s ground-based attack can churn the yards out and wear opposing defenses down, which defense steps up? My money is on this Paetow squad that may be the favorite in Region III. Stepp’s Pick: Katy Paetow by 7


Quick Picks

El Paso Eastlake (6-1, 4-1) vs El Paso Montwood (2-5, 1-3) Stepp’s Pick: El Paso Eastlake by 17

Euless Trinity (6-1, 4-0) at Weatherford (5-2, 4-0) Stepp’s Pick: Euless Trinity by 28

Duncanville (5-1, 4-0) vs Cedar Hill (4-3, 3-1) Stepp’s Pick: Duncanville by 21

Houston Stratford (7-0, 4-0) vs Cypress Creek (4-3, 3-1) Stepp’s Pick: Houston Stratford by 6

Cypress Park (7-0, 4-0) vs Cypress Woods (3-4, 2-2) Stepp’s Pick: Cypress Park by 24

San Antonio Brandeis (6-1, 4-1) at San Antonio Madison (3-4, 2-3) Stepp’s Pick: San Antonio Brandeis by 14

Pflugerville Weiss (6-1, 4-0) at Manor (6-1, 4-0) Stepp’s Pick: Pflugerville Weiss by 6

Brownsville Veterans Memorial (5-2, 5-1) at McAllen Memorial (6-1, 6-0) Stepp’s Pick: McAllen Memorial by 10

Burleson (5-2, 3-1) at Everman (4-3, 3-1) Stepp’s Pick: Burleson by 8

Mission Veterans Memorial (5-2, 5-0) at Mercedes (7-1, 5-1) Stepp’s Pick: Mission Veterans Memorial by 8

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