There are a bevy of games tonight - 26 in total - across the 6A and 5A landscape as the first round of the playoffs continues on. Unfortunately for Fort Worth North Side, its season came to a premature end, which would have made 27 games. There's also a little 4A state semifinal involving a DFW team that needs some attention. We look at that game as well as four of the more interesting 6A/5A games So here we go.
4A Division I State Semifinal<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk0NzQyNy9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDc3ODU2N30.Ch2PCOFDIytXxYeZhEysOjRLC4styNuTpWV0j4jMwJM/img.png?width=980" id="60730" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b9ede6d3eb174d281889f5e69d9741cf" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1918" data-height="827" /><h5>Canyon (12-1) vs. Argyle (14-0)</h5><p>Argyle is the furthest its been since losing the state championship in 2015 to none other than Waco La Vega. That playoff/mental hurdle was put to rest two rounds ago and now Argyle is a win away from a championship berth. Argyle dominated Paris last week as it continues to win with ease this year - all 14 wins by 14 points or more. Canyon enters the game with a narrow win over Springtown and hangs its proverbial hat on its defense, which holds teams to 14.8 points per game.</p><p><strong>PLAYERS TO WATCH:</strong> WR Jack McKay (Canyon), DL Brody Olson (Canyon); <strong></strong>WR Jack McKay (Argyle), TE/DL Jasper Lott (Argyle)</p><p><strong>KICKOFF: </strong>7:30 p.m. Friday @ Anthony Field (Abilene)<br><strong>LINE:</strong> Argyle favored by 17<br><strong>NEXT ROUND:</strong> Winner meets winner of Lindale/Austin LBJ in State Championship<br></p>
6A DIVISION I REGION I BI-DISTRICT<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk0NzUwNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MTg4NDI2MX0.tnvYkMOkUqn1kOnFqOkY2ZGuz9IRnHyjqbxhW4qpNkw/img.png?width=980" id="29b13" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d497f84885d7930ca8c8fa11913eef85" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1918" data-height="827" /><h5>Richardson Lake Highlands (10-0) vs. South Grand Prairie (6-2)</h5><p>Lake Highlands finished a regular season undefeated for the first time in 25 years, which followed a year in which it picked up its first playoff win since 2009. Lake Highlands' last close game was against Jesuit on October 30, and it's won its last 5 games by an average of 35 points. South Grand Prairie is on a three game win streak and essentially had a bye week as its regular season finale was cancelled. </p><p><strong>PLAYER TO WATCH: </strong>RB Noelle Whitehead (Lake Highlands), LB Jeremiah Richards (Lake Highlands); WR Kelan Robinson (SGP), CB Jalon Williams (SGP)</p><p><strong>KICKOFF: </strong>7 p.m. Friday @ Wildcat-Ram Stadium (Richardson)<br><strong>LINE: </strong>South Grand Prairie favored by 5<br><strong>NEXT ROUND:</strong> Winner meets winner of Allen/Plano West in Area Round<br> </p>
6A DIVISION I REGION I<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk0NzcxNC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2NzI2MzEzOH0.uRHWeWjEsBeUpel9nZ-WS0JVmqBYEDvnPBUrcNbZzpQ/img.png?width=980" id="a0ef2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cd5b902bee3c75cd53241e3ea9d18d6c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1918" data-height="827" /><h5>Lewisville (6-3) vs. McKinney Boyd (4-6)</h5><p>A high-powered offense meets a tough defense in this one. Lewisville boasts the most prolific rushing attack while McKinney Boyd has shown flashes of being one of stingiest defenses in the area. Lewisville had a slow start before winning four of its last four games, including a 50-point win over Hebron in the season finale. Boyd is probably the most surprising team to make the playoffs in 6A considering the district it played in this year.</p><p><strong>PLAYERS TO WATCH: </strong>RB Damien Martinez (Lewisville), DE David Adegbenro (Lewisville); QB Carter Whitefield (Boyd), LB Matteo Bianci (Boyd)<br></p><p><strong>KICKOFF:</strong> 7 p.m. Friday at Goldsmith Stadium (Lewisville)<br><strong>LINE: </strong>Lewisville favored by 12<br><strong>NEXT ROUND:</strong> Winner plays Arlington Martin in Area Round<br></p>
6A DIVISION II REGION I<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk0Nzc0Mi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Nzc0MTc3N30.eTglD6CgF7Zqv63Gdk3tSsnKZI_eEqOF3GWMmE1j6EQ/img.png?width=980" id="ded93" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e3a4fc3b35e75d64fce5c9057bb82f78" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1918" data-height="827" /><h5>Dallas Jesuit (7-3) vs. Arlington (4-5)</h5><p>Is there another magical run in Jesuit this year? There's no way to tell, but an even matchup against Arlington in the first round will tell a lot. Jesuit is on a five-game win streak where it has allowed just 17 points in that stretch and has pitched three straight shutouts. Arlington backed into the playoffs winning just one of its last three played games. The season finale was forfeited because playing it was unnecessary.</p><p><strong>PLAYERS TO WATCH:</strong> RB Jake Taylor (Jesuit), ATH Robert Fitzgerald (Jesuit); QB Kris Sims (Arlington), FS Richard Toney (Arlington)<br></p><p><strong>KICKOFF: </strong>7 p.m. Friday @ Postell Stadium (Dallas)<br><strong>LINE:</strong> Jesuit favored by 4<br><strong>NEXT ROUND:</strong> Winner meets winner of Guyer/Coppell in Area Round<br></p>
5A DIVISION II REGION II<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk0Nzc5NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDEwNTUwNH0.EN7SwfeM_9QTeYUu8C-PTZBgiH3-FUii-uMkYhCFLrc/img.png?width=980" id="84953" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ae3dfe148711a5a785da87e81d0a7984" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1918" data-height="827" /><h5>North Forney (8-1) vs. Denison (7-3)</h5><p>North Forney has had a spectacular season with its lone loss being a 24-point setback to Ennis. It had a surprising 3-point win over Frisco Lone Star to open the season and has run through the rest of the teams this season to the tune of a win margin of 29 points per game. Denison has won six of its last seven after starting the year 1-2, and has scored 46 or more points in those six. The seven wins this year tops the previous two year's win totals.</p><p><strong>PLAYERS TO WATCH: </strong>QB Jacob Acuna (North Forney), DL Rod Brown (North Forney); RB Jadarian Price (Denison), S Lanon Ellis (Denison)</p><p><strong>KICKOFF:</strong> 7 p.m. Friday at City Bank Stadium (Forney)<br><strong>LINE: </strong>North Forney favored by 6<br><strong>NEXT ROUND:</strong> Winner meets Aledo in Area Round<br></p>
Ugly Wins are Still Wins
For the game I was at tonight, it was downright hideous to watch at times. The first half was quick and nearly painless as both McKinney Boyd (1-3) and Byron Nelson (2-2) had two possessions each. It was a tough break for Nelson, though, as its first drive took more than half the quarter and the field goal doinked right off the right upright.
The second half devolved into pretty sloppy play with missed passes, bad snaps, turnovers, penalties, penalties, penalties and punts - though it did provide some late game theatrics.
A question heading into this game was if Byron Nelson could avoid the trap game before next week's big test against Southlake Carroll. The short answer is no. The long answer is that Byron Nelson has a long way to go to be a contender in a district Carroll, Northwest Eaton and the Keller schools.
Props to McKinney Boyd for gutting out a win like it did - a much needed win for Boyd as it avoided an 0-4 start for the second time in three years. Fresh-faced quarterback Ryan Schakleford played admirably in his first start completing 20-of-31 passes for 174 yards, throwing for the game-winning overtime touchdown and rushing for another.
Is it likely to propel Boyd to some sort of streak? Unlikely. It opens district play against Braswell next week then still has to play Allen, Little Elm, Denton Guyer, Prosper and McKinney. There's just not enough margin of error available in those games to think what was put out there Thursday night showed any signs of a sustained run.
Been There, Still Doing That
The marquee Thursday night matchup was an 8-6A opener between undefeated Arlington Bowie against an undefeated South Grand Prairie. 3-0 starts has been a common thing for Bowie - not so much for SGP. And the experience showed late in the game. With the game tied at 14 entering the 4th quarter, Bowie got a couple of quick scores and played suffocating defense to preserve the win. Bowie was 3-0 last in 2016, but it would have been SGP's first 3-0 start since 2010, if it had won.
Buckle Up, 9-6A
Garland is 3-0 and sit atop the district standings at 2-0 after a tough, hard-fought but sloppy win over Naaman Forest. Last year, up was right and down was north in 9-6A and it looks like we could have more of the same in the Garland district. Naaman Forest (1-2) was nursing a 7-0 lead going into the fourth, but Garland scored twice, including with seven seconds to go in the fourth for the comeback win.
Late Game Woes, Again
Two weeks ago, it was Braswell. This week, it's Dallas Skyline - although this time it didn't include overtime. Still, Keller falls in come-from-ahead fashion - at home - to fall to 1-2. Despite being up 18-6 at the half and scoring on the first play of the 3rd quarter to go up 25-7, Keller was then outscored 28-7 the rest of the game to lose 34-32. It was a good bounceback win for Skyline as it opened the season last week with a loss to McKinney and opens 10-6A play next week against Mesquite.