John F. Rhodes - Special Contributor The DMN's Corbett Smith takes a week-by-week look at potentially pivotal games, starting this Friday night.
John F. Rhodes - Special Contributor ZERO WEEK/Allen at Southlake Carroll/ 7:30 p.m. Friday/ Allen’s shocking 24-0 shutout of Southlake Carroll — the 2011 5A Division I state champ — jumpstarted its state championship run. The dual-threat quarterback battle between Allen’s Kyler Murray and Carroll’s Ryan Agnew should be fun to watch. The winner will be pegged as an early favorite for another title.
Lara Solt - Staff Photographer WEEK 1/ Mesquite at Arlington Bowie/ 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6/ at Arlington's Wilemon Field/ These teams combined to go 22-3 in 2012. Such lofty heights are expected for Bowie, which returns a lightning-fast defense, senior quarterback Keaton Perry (from a torn ACL suffered against Mesquite) and slot receiver Tony James — who accounted for 20 passing and 14 rushing touchdowns as Perry’s replacement. Mesquite, however, will undergo wholesale changes on both the sides of the ball, graduating 52 lettermen.
Michael Ainsworth - Staff Photographer WEEK 2/ DeSoto vs. Euless Trinity/ 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14/ at Kincaide Stadium/ The winner of this slugfest might not be decided on points, but instead on who’s left standing heading into their district schedules. Any misconceptions about DeSoto as a finesse team should have been dispelled in last season’s 42-21 win over Trinity, as DeSoto rolled up 241 rushing yards.
Tom Fox - Staff Photographer WEEK 3/ Desoto at Cedar Hill/ 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20/ While both teams harbor state championship dreams, their focus on this District 7-5A opener will be intense. Cedar Hill’s strength — seven returning starters on defense, including Oklahoma DB pledge Marcus Green and defensive end Xavier Washington — will be challenged by DeSoto’s star quarterback Desmon White. White passed for 354 yards and rushed for two scores in DeSoto’s 48-35 win over Cedar Hill a year ago.
WEEK 4/ Coppell at Allen/ 7:30 p.m. Sept/ 27/ Allen’s dream 2012 season didn’t come without a hiccup. The Eagles’ 27-24 overtime loss at Coppell was its lone loss, but it can alternately be known as the start of the Kyler Murray era. Murray took over Allen’s starting quarterback role post-Coppell, and played phenomenally en route to a state title. He scored at least two rushing touchdowns in 10 of the team’s next 11 games.
G.J. MCCARTHY - 124642 WEEK 5/ TCA-Addison at Fort Worth Nolan/ 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4/ Nolan beat TCA twice last season, the second win coming on a 26-yard field goal with four seconds remaining for the TAPPS Division I title, 48-45. There will be a lot of familiar faces on the field, with Nolan returning 13 starters and TCA bringing back 15.
WEEK 6/ Hebron at Coppell/ 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11/ Over the summer, no team improved as much as Hebron, thanks to an influx of talented move-ins: former Keller Timber Creek CB Cedric Dale and former Waxahachie RB Treyvon Hughes. Watch for a great defensive end matchup between Coppell’s Solomon Thomas and Hebron’s Daniel Wise.
John F. Rhodes - Special Contributor WEEK 7/ Garland vs. Sachse/ 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18/ Garland's Williams Stadium/ The District 11-5A title is probably on the line in this game, although it’s been a one-sided series historically. Heading into 2013, Garland is on a 16-game district winning streak, and it is 9-0 all-time against Sachse, winning by an average of 21 points. Dual-threat quarterback Kent Myers gives Sachse hope that those trends might change, however.
Steve Hamm - Special Contributor WEEK 8/ Red Oak at Lancaster/ 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25/ Lancaster coach Chris Gilbert led his team to the Class 4A Division II final, with the lone stumble along the way a 17-0 loss to Red Oak, wherein Lancaster gained only 125 yards. Expectations are high that Lancaster can make another deep run. A win here would give Lancaster a boost heading into another big 15-4A game in Week 9 against Ennis.
Layne Murdoch WEEK 9/ Flower Mound Marcus at Flower Mound/ 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1/ Normally entertaining, last year’s Mound Showdown fell flat, with Marcus jumping out to a big first-half lead and a 34-14 victory. If second-year coach Dane Johnson and Flower Mound hold hopes for a playoff berth, a win here and in the season finale against Denton Ryan might be needed. Marcus probably clinches a berth with a win.
MIKE STONE\Special Contributor - 144211 WEEK 10/ West Mesquite vs. Mesquite Poteet/ 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8/ at Mesquite Memorial Stadium/ If anyone is going to knock Highland Park off the District 10-4A perch, it will be one of these programs — both led by new coaches. West Mesquite junior quarterback Chason Virgil will have nearly three years of starts under his belt by this game. He’ll need that savvy against Mesquite Poteet’s tough defense, featuring standout junior end Malik Jefferson.
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