Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Friday's Class 4A, 3A football state final previews, predictions
CLASS 4A DIVISION I
Denton Guyer vs. San Antonio Brennan
8 p.m. (FSSW Plus)
DENTON GUYER (13-2)
Playoff run: d. Saginaw 69-7, d. Waco 42-13, d. Amarillo 63-21, d. Birdville 53-28, d. Highland Park 22-16.
Previous state title games: Lost 24-21 to Cibolo Steele in 2010 Class 5A Division II final. Beat Georgetown 48-37 in 2012 4A Division I final.
SAN ANTONIO BRENNAN (15-0)
Playoff run: d. Schertz Clemens 56-0, d. Austin McCallum 55-0, d. Victoria West 60-7, d. Leander Rouse 30-7, d. Houston Stratford 31-7.
Previous state title games: None.
Guyer’s offense vs. Brennan’s defense
Brennan’s defensive stats are eye-popping: In 15 games, the Bears have allowed six offensive touchdowns, and the first-team unit has allowed just two. Texas pledge Derick Roberson has 20 sacks and is one of the best defensive ends in the country.
Guyer coach John Walsh said Roberson is the best defensive player he’s “ever coached against.” But there is question surrounding the quality of opponents Brennan has played this season, and Guyer will be far and away the best team the Bears have seen, possibly in its entire four-year existence.
Guyer has a battle-tested star of its own in senior quarterback Jerrod Heard. The Texas pledge accounted for all seven of Guyer’s touchdowns (five rushing, two passing) in last year’s 48-37 win over Georgetown in the 4A Division I state championship game.
Guyer’s defense vs. Brennan’s offense
All year long, Walsh has called his defense a “championship defense.” Now, the Wildcats have a chance to prove it.
Brennan has not trailed this season and has outscored opponents 816-51. Brennan’s offense is centered around quarterback De’Shawn Key, a true dual threat much like Heard. Key has completed 70 percent of his passes and thrown for 1,809 yards, 22 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has rushed for 1,877 yards and 33 scores.
The thing working in Guyer’s favor is that Brennan is a true run-first team. Not many teams in the state stop the run more effectively than Guyer, led by its dominant defensive line and active, undersized linebackers.
The Wildcats have allowed just two 100-yard rushers, and only one of those — Birdville’s Xavier Turner — came against Guyer’s first-team defense. In order for the Bears to have a big night on the ground, they’ll have to be on top of their game.
Prediction: Denton Guyer 24, San Antonio Brennan 20
CLASS 3A DIVISION II
Argyle vs. Fairfield
4 p.m. (FSSW)
Playoff run: d. Krum 57-12, d. Melissa 55-27, d. Gilmer 45-38, d. Gladewater 42-8, d. Graham 38-14.
Previous state title games: Lost 28-20 to Newton in 2005 Class 2A Division I final. Lost 21-14 to Wimberley in 2011 3A Division II final.
Playoff run: d. Diboll 60-6, d. Waco Connally 69-12, d. Sour Lake Hardin-Jefferson 57-14, d. Rockdale 42-7, d. Sinton 56-13.
Previous state title games: None
Argyle’s offense vs. Fairfield’s defense
Argyle has scored 90.7 percent of its points in the first three quarters, a testament to how much the team has dominated. Fairfield has shut out four opponents and has allowed an average of 9.2 points per game. The defense is led by junior linebacker Devin Eggins, who has a team-high 197 tackles and 32 tackles for loss. Eggins and linebacker Jeremiah Simpson will have the task of slowing down Argyle senior wide receiver Ian Sadler and junior running back Nick Ralston.
Sadler, who has committed to Texas Tech, is arguably one of the best players in 3A. He’s used as a wide receiver, running back and Wildcat quarterback. Sadler scored five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) in the regional semifinal against Gilmer — last season’s state runner-up — and for the season he has scored 34 touchdowns.
Ralston has rushed for 806 yards and 12 touchdowns in five playoff games. For the season, he has run for 1,748 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Argyle’s defense vs. Fairfield’s offense
Fairfield has scored 860 points — a state record for a 3A team — and it’s averaging 57.3 points per game. The star is senior running back Larry Rose, who was named the state’s Class 3A offensive player of the year. He has rushed for 2,716 yards and 48 touchdowns. Fairfield senior quarterback Jacob Gallegos has thrown for 2,347 yards and 25 touchdowns, and he has rushed for 518 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Argyle’s defense has allowed 117.1 rushing yards per game. Senior linebacker Colton Hinnrichs and senior defensive tackle Micah Capra (team-high 137 tackles) have stepped up for Argyle since senior linebacker Sam Sizelove, a Kansas State pledge, suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Argyle’s defense slowed one of the best offenses in the state, Gilmer, and is allowing 3.2 points in the first half of games. Argyle came up with five interceptions in last week’s win against Graham.
Prediction: Argyle 41, Fairfield 27
CLASS 3A DIVISION I
Carthage vs. Kilgore
Playoff run: d. Mexia, 49-6; d. Navasota, 44-14; d. Silsbee, 49-6; d. West Orange-Stark, 28-14; d. La Grange 51-22.
Key players: QB Blake Bogenschutz (UTSA commit, 3,805 passing yards 55 TDs); WR/DB Terian “Tee” Goree (First-team All-State with 86-1689, 28 TDs); RB Tevin Pipkin (1,995 yards rushing).
Notable: Carthage won three consecutive Class 3A Division II state titles from 2008-10.
Playoff run: d. Van 49-7; d. Kaufman 21-14; d. Frisco Lone Star 56-21; d. Chapel Hill, 59-19; d. Stephenville 44-6.
Key players: DT LaDarrin Anthony (22 TFL, 12.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles); DE D.Q. Scott (18 TFL, 11 sacks, 3 FF); RB Kevrin Justice (1,872 yards, 34 TDs); RB Davieonta “JuJu” Brown (1,305 yards, 19 TDs).
Notable: East Texas rivals, Kilgore and Carthage scrimmaged each other in August. Kilgore leads the all-time series 27-21. Kilgore won 10 consecutive meetings from 1995-2008.
Prediction: Kilgore 39, Carthage 35
$15 per day, includes all games played on that day. More information: www.uiltexas.org/football/state
Additional TV information
Denton Guyer vs. SA Brennan
Tonight’s 4A Division I state championship football game between Denton Guyer and Northside Brennan at 8 p.m. will be carried on FOX Sports Southwest Plus. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area you can find the game on Time Warner channel 906, Charter channel 300, DirecTV channel 677 (677-1 HD), Dish Network channel 440 (9575 HD), AT&T U-Verse channel 756 (1756 HD) and Verizon Fios channel 77 (577 HD).
Cedar Hill vs. Katy
Tonight’s 5A Division II state championship football game between Cedar Hill and Katy will be carried on FOX Sports Southwest Plus. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area you can find the game on Time Warner channel 906, Charter channel 300, DirecTV channel 677-1 HD, Dish Network channel 452 (9574 HD), AT&T U-Verse channel 756 (1756 HD) and Verizon Fios channel 77 (577 HD).