Big Game Prediction: South Oak Cliff (9-2) vs. Melissa (10-1)

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South Oak Cliff (9-2) vs. Melissa (10-1), 7 p.m. Saturday at Frisco’s Ford Center: This one will close out the area round slate statewide as two-time defending state champion South Oak Cliff battles with a Melissa squad who spent the first 10 weeks of the season as the state’s top ranked team in 5A-Division II.

It’s a rematch of a regional final game last year where SOC pulled away in the fourth quarter to knock off the Cardinals.

SOC cruised past Everman last week, 42-19, as Khalil Ewell and Danny Green combined for 262 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Melissa bounced back nicely from its lopsided Week 11 loss to Lovejoy with a dominant 49-21 win over Whitehouse in the bi-district playoffs. QB Trever Ham threw for 261 yards and five touchdowns to pace the Cardinals.

Melissa’s front seven led by Oklahoma DL commit Nigel Smith and Oklahoma State LB commit Gunnar Wilson stymied the Whitehouse offense to just 201 yards.

Melissa is able to match up with SOC in the trenches, but the Cardinals lack of team speed at the skill spots is a concern, and that inability to separate on offense and contain SOC’s speedy skill players on defense leaves the edge to the two-time defending state champions.

Stepp’s Pick: South Oak Cliff by 10

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