Written by Corbett Smith
Corbett Smith's notable area playoff games, predictions
Denton Guyer vs. Aledo
2 p.m. Friday, Justin’s Northwest ISD Stadium (Tape-delay on Ch. 21 at 8:30 p.m.)
This 4A Division I battle is between two ranked teams. Guyer (9-2) — No. 7 in 4A — has dominated in its move down from 5A, outscoring 4A opponents by 40 points a game. No. 3 Aledo (10-1) has won three straight 4A titles, all at the Division II level.
Denton Guyer 35, Aledo 21
Abilene Cooper vs. Arlington
2 p.m. Friday, Arlington’s UTA Maverick Stadium
Cooper (9-2) has advanced to the third round of the playoffs every season since 2008, with its last two playoff runs coming as a 5A program. In a first-round win over Keller Timber Creek, running back Brandon Washington rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns for Arlington (9-2).
Abilene Cooper 24, Arlington 21
Frisco Centennial vs. Kimball
2 p.m. Friday, Loos Athletic Complex/Couch Field
Centennial (10-1) is attempting to return to the third round, which it did in 2011 for the first time in school history. Kimball (9-2) will be trying to break a drought for Dallas ISD 4A teams in the second round. DISD’s last 4A area-round win was in 2008.
Frisco Centennial 48, Kimball 28
Argyle vs. Melissa
2 p.m. Friday, Denton’s C.H. Collins Athletic Complex
The 2011 3A Division II runner-up, Argyle (10-1) has averaged 46.3 points in its last 10 games, all wins. Five of quarterback Chris Smith’s 10 completions went for touchdowns last week for Melissa (9-2), the defending 2A Division I champ.
Argyle 42, Melissa 21
Lovejoy vs. Lancaster
7:30 p.m. Friday, Richardson’s Eagle-Mustang Stadium
Lovejoy (11-0) hasn’t had a misstep moving up from Class 3A, with freshman quarterback Bowman Sells and first-year head coach Matt Green. Lancaster (10-1), which hasn’t qualified for the third round since 2000, had touchdown passes from Demarcus Ayers and Nick Harvey in last week’s win.
Lancaster 28, Lovejoy 21
Colleyville Heritage vs. Waco Midway
1 p.m. Saturday, Midlothian ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium
Star quarterbacks for Heritage (10-1) and Midway (11-0) are also baseball prospects. Heritage’s Cody Thomas is slated to play baseball and football for Oklahoma. Midway’s Kramer Robertson, son of Kim Mulkey, signed with LSU’s baseball team last week.
Colleyville Heritage 35, Waco Midway 32
Skyline vs. Mesquite Horn
2 p.m. Saturday, Richardson’s Wildcat-Ram Stadium (KEOM-FM 88.5)
Skyline (10-1) is at its best when quarterback Devante Kincade and receiver Ra’Shaad Samples (20 TD catches) connect. Destri White, the quarterback for Horn (8-3), passed for 286 yards and three scores while rushing for 113 yards and TDs in last week’s win over Garland.
Skyline 38, Mesquite Horn 28
Euless Trinity vs. Mansfield
2 p.m. Saturday, Birdville Fine Arts Complex (Tape-delay on Ch. 21 at 7 p.m.)
Despite being one of the top rushing teams in the area, Trinity (9-2) doesn’t have a 600-yard rusher, instead relying on a committee of running backs. Mansfield (7-4) rushed for 237 yards in its bi-district win over Killeen, even with its top two running backs out.
Euless Trinity 35, Mansfield 27
FW Nolan vs. Houston St. Pius X
3 p.m. Saturday, Buffalo’s Bison Stadium
Nolan (9-2) held El Paso Cathedral to 43 yards in a first-round TAPPS Division I win. St. Pius X (9-2) did not play QB Kohl Stewart (Texas A&M pledge) in the first round; Stewart left the regular-season finale with a shoulder injury, but is expected to play Saturday.
Fort Worth Nolan 35, Houston St. Pius X 28
Jesuit vs. Longview
7 p.m. Saturday, Richardson’s Wildcat-Ram Stadium (KAAM-AM 770)
Jake Oliver, a senior wide receiver for Jesuit (9-2), is two touchdown catches away from moving into second place for career TD receptions in Texas high school football history. Longview (8-3) hasn’t allowed an offensive touchdown in 16 quarters.
Jesuit 28, Longview 20
DeSoto vs. Coppell
1 p.m. Saturday, Allen’s Eagle Stadium (FSSW delayed to midnight, unless sold out)
Heading into the area round of the playoffs, there are only 11 undefeated teams in Class 5A. The Coppell (11-0) and DeSoto (11-0) match-up will reduce that number by one. This game, held in Allen’s palatial new stadium, is shaping up to be a classic. Coppell has one of the stingiest defenses in the area, allowing 89 points this season and leading 5A area teams in yards allowed (215.0 yards per game). Coppell’s defensive front, with Solomon Thomas (6-4, 260) and William Udeh (6-1, 235), is as good as anyone in the state. Coppell’s offense, under new offensive coordinator Mike Odle and with Bridgeport quarterback transfer Colby Mahon, has been efficient. DeSoto is high school’s equivalent to Oregon — fast-paced and fleet-footed. Running back Dontre Wilson, an Oregon pledge, has scored 37 touchdowns this season, 30 of them on the ground. Quarterback Desmon White bounced back from a recent knee strain to pass for 257 yards and three scores in a 62-15 win over Killeen Harker Heights.
DeSoto 35, Coppell 31
Allen vs. Mesquite
7:30 p.m. Friday, Plano’s Clark Field (KEOM-FM 88.5, KHYI-FM 95.3)
It was just a matter of time before Murray forced his way into the role of a full-time starter. The sophomore transferred from Lewisville in August, and was splitting time with senior Oliver Pierce while learning the intricacies of the Allen offense. Murray has been outstanding — 1,390 yards with a 69 percent completion percentage, an 11-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and 15 rushing scores. — It has allowed Allen (10-1) to move Pierce back to a jack-of-all-trades role on offense, defense and special teams. Murray is the son of former Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray, a noted quarterback coach in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The elder Murray has coached recent high school prospects Alec Morris (Allen/Alabama), Russell Bellomy (Arlington Martin/Michigan), Jake Larson (Coppell/UTEP) and T.J. Millweard (Fort Worth All Saints/UCLA). Robbie Robinson, the coach for Mesquite (11-0), said Murray “has added another dimension to [Allen’s] offense with his great speed.”
Allen 31, Mesquite 28
Last week: 9-3 / Season: 100-44