State Finals DFW #TXHSFB Preview
It's championship week. We've already had three state champs crowned (Blum and Richland Springs in 1A; Refugio in 2A DI) and by the end of each day, three more will hoist the UIL State Championship trophy - a total of 12 state champs.
Here are the final Texas high school football previews of the 2019 season.
6A Division I State Championship: Duncanville vs. North Shore
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Day: Saturday, December 21
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Previous meetings: North Shore def. Ducanville 41-36 (2018 6A DI state finals)
Previewing Duncanville (15-0)
The big news for Duncanville is the loss of quarterback Ja'Quinden Jackson, who suffered a torn ACL in last week's loss to Rockwall. It's devastating on two fronts for Duncanville because it happened with the Panthers well ahead in the game and it will have to rely on a freshman quarterback Chris Parson.
Parson's isn't new to playing this year, but he's only seen time in garbage time as Duncanville has dominated most, if not all of its opponents this year.
This means the strategy for Duncanville will be to rely heavily on its run game, led by Trysten Smith as well as Cameron Gray and Roderick Daniels. Parson's can scamper, too, but it would be hard to imagine a lot of designed runs for the young quarterback.
Duncanville is gunning for its second state title, the fist since 1998.
Previewing North Shore (14-1)
After a season-opening loss to Katy, North Shore has rattled off 14 straight thanks to its 5-star running back stud, Zachary Evans. Despite having an ACT exam to take last week, Evans showed up in the second half against Lake Travis to run for 176 yards.
North Shore has completely dominated its opponents as last week's 11-point win was the closet game it had faced in 12 games since a 24-21 win over Westfield.
North Shore is still a strong defensive team with three shutouts this year and three other games with seven points or less.
North Shore is in search of its fourth state title and is 3-0 in state championships.
Previewing the Game
It's the game everyone in Texas high school football wanted to see. However, with Jackson's injury, it seems to have a lost a bit of its luster.
But the game must be played regardless of who is not on the field.
|TEAM STATS||DUNCANVILLE||NORTH SHORE|
|Points Per Game||46.5||50.3|
|Points Allowed Per Game||8.4||18.1|
|Yards Per Game||425.3||n/a|
|Yards Allowed Per Game||205.6||
329.5 (8 games)
By all statistical measures, Duncanville is the better team. This isn't a DFW pride thing, but Duncanville's defense pitched five shutouts this year and allowed 7 points or fewer in four others. In only an 8-game sample, North Shore's defense has given up a lot more in comparison to Duncanville's. And the offense has been just as prolific as North Shore's (despite not having box score stats for each game) in terms of points.
But...and it's a huge but...Duncanville will have a freshman quarterback starting his first game. This isn't like Cardale Jones guiding Ohio State to the natty. This is a 14-year-old kid playing against a pretty stout defensive unit.
Had Jackson been able to play, which always looked like a long shot after viewing video footage of the hit, it might have helped. His legs are as important to the Duncanville strategy as is his passing. And for sure North Shore will be gearing its defense up to shut down the Duncanville run game.
Can it? That remains to be seen. North Shore has given up 225 or more rushing yards in three of the eight games that had stats. Only twice in those games did it hold its opponents to less than 100 yards.
The other factor is Evans. He was frustrated in his performance last year as Duncanville held him to less to 100 yards and no touchdowns. Expect a heavy dose of Evans.
Will we get the Hail Mary buzzer beater again? Probably not. Will we get a good game? Maybe early on, but having its full arsenal on hand should give North Shore the upper hand.
Prediction: North Shore 38, Duncanville 27
Follow @iamspeters for live updates of this game.
Prediction Update: It was a 7-2 week last week, as I was wrong about Lone Star beating Denton Ryan and Canadian topping Gunter. It brings my season record 378-129 (.746), which means even if I go 6-0 this week, I cannot get to the 75% prediction rate.