DFW Football: Thursday Area Round Quick Looks
While the main happenings and focus around the state is...State, there are more playoff games to be had. It's quite a unique time to be so invested in seven games being played at AT&T Stadium, while at the same time being so intrigued with what happens in 6A and 5A.
There are three games on tap Thursday night that feature area teams, and we'll give them a quick look here.
6A Division I Region I
Lewisville (7-3) vs. #14 Arlington Martin (9-1)
For the first time in the Michael Odle era, Lewisville is into the second round of the playoffs after doubling up a tough defensive squad in McKinney Boyd last week 48-24. Lewisville got in the playoffs by thrashing Hebron in the season finale, and points are something Lewisville does with relative ease, averaging 47 points a game and eclipsing 50 points three times this season. Arlington Martin has been rolling this year after a Week 1 setback to Denton Ryan. In its last three played games, Martin has put up 173 points. Martin's last competitive game came at the end of October in a 38-31 win over Arlington Lamar.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: WR Armani Winfield (Lewisville), RB Damien Martinez (Lewisville); LB Morice Blackwell (Martin), QB Zach Mundell (Martin)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Birdville Fine Arts/Athletics Complex (North Richland Hills)
LINE: Martin favored by 15
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Odessa Permian/Southlake Carroll in Regional Semifinals
6A Division II Region I
San Angelo Central (5-5) vs Northwest Eaton (8-3)
It's hard to judge the type of team Eaton is in 2020. Normally known for great defense, Eaton has been up and down all season, showing flashes of dominance on D or showing brilliance on offense. Only a couple of times has Eaton done both, but luckily the team can play any style of game. Last week was a low-scoring, competitive tilt against Weatherford, and its next game looks to be more of the same. Central backed into the playoffs with back-to-back 20-point losses after starting district play 4-0. The offense can simply go, as it has averaged 34 points a game this year and has hit 35 points or more in eight straight.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Malachi Brown (Central), RB Ashton Hartsfield (Central); DB Cisco Caston (Eaton), LB Koby Kidd (Eaton)KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Anthony Field (Abilene)
LINE: Eaton favored by 3
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Prosper/Arlington Bowie in Regional Semifinals
5A DIVISION REGION II
#2 Highland Park (9-0) vs. Frisco Independence (5-4)
Highland Park getting to the second round and many more rounds deep is just a yearly thing. The question always becomes what team can stop them. So far in 2020, it's nobody. Highland Park has faced pretty talented teams - Coppell, Rockwall, Longview - and passed every test with flying colors. The offense has hit 49 points or more in five straight while the defense has only allowed an average of 11.6 in that stretch. Frisco Independence has been a very streaky team this year, starting out the season 0-3 before winning five of its next six. When right, the offense puts up points with ease. In those five wins, Independence has amassed 295 points with an average win margin of 40.8.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Brayden Schager (Highland Park), CB Tanner Schrank (Highland Park); QB Braylon Braxton (Independence), S Caleb Ellis (Independence)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Globe Life Park (Arlington)
LINE: Highland Park favored by 16
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Magnolia/Frisco Lone Star in Regional Semifinals
It wasn't the best week for picks last week, going 11-3 as I was wrong on Fort Worth Lake Country, Burleson Centennial and Dallas Jesuit. It dropped my pick percentage to below 83% on the season. This week's game, which already features a loss from Wednesday night, is State Championship Week heavy with a few other games mixed in.
WEEK 17 PICKS (combining Star-Telegram picks and Morning News and VYPE assignemnts)
Sterling City over May (correct)
Mart over Windthorst (wrong)
Shiner over Post
Canadian over Franklin
Hallettsville over Jim Ned
Argyle over Lindale
Carthage over Gilmer
Dallas Christian over Austin Regents
Colleyville Covenant over Cypress Christian
Ennis over Mansfield Timberview
Euless Trinity over Midland Lee
Prosper over Arlington Bowie
Aledo over North Forney
Allen over South Grand Prairie
Lancaster over Longview
Cedar Hill over Tyler Legacy