Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: 10 facts every Dallas-area HS football fan should know before district play begins in Week 4
Entering this weekend, more than three dozen area football teams are undefeated, and nearly as many are winless. But for most of them, the race for the playoffs still hasn’t begun.
The true starting line is district play, which begins for many this week. As those teams hope their wins add up to a playoff berth, here’s a countdown to district play using some statistics that preview what’s to come.
10 Times that Highland Park has finished undefeated in district play since 2001. Highland Park’s only district loss in the last 11 years came when Rockwall-Heath knocked off the Scots in overtime in 2008. Highland Park (2-1) should get a tough test in two weeks, when it travels to Mesquite to play Poteet (3-0).
9 Turnovers forced this season by Frisco Centennial (3-0), the No. 1 team in the Class 4A area rankings. Star quarterback Lamar Jordan, who is orally committed to Arkansas but will play receiver or defensive back there, has passed for seven touchdowns with only one interception. But the Centennial defense has been just as impressive in three blowout wins, with five interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
8 Rushing touchdowns for Lancaster’s potent combination of quarterback Demarcus Ayers and running back Joseph Paden. Together, Ayers and Paden are averaging nearly 200 yards per game rushing for Lancaster (3-0), which is No. 2 in the 4A area rankings. Ayers has committed to Washington State as a receiver.
7 Years since Euless Trinity last lost a district game. Trinity’s biggest district test comes Friday, when the Trojans (1-2) take on Colleyville Heritage (3-0). Trinity’s record is deceptive because it played a brutal nondistrict schedule, but Heritage took Trinity to overtime last season and features quarterback Cody Thomas, who is committed to Oklahoma and is passing for 300 yards per game.
6 Consecutive losses by Mesquite to Longview since 2004. The average margin of victory for Longview in those games was 22 points, but a much closer game is expected Friday when Mesquite (4-0) faces Longview (3-1) in the 12-5A opener. Quarterback Alex Cooper, who has thrown 12 touchdown passes with only one interception, leads Mesquite’s most talented senior class in years.
5 Touchdown passes in three games for Carter, matching its total from all of last season. Carter (2-1), known for its power running game when Allen Wilson was coach from 2002 to 2010, has already passed for more yards in three games — 579 — than it did each of the last two seasons. Carter missed the playoffs last year for the first time in 21 seasons.
4 Consecutive games that Plano East has scored a touchdown on its first possession of the second half. Scoring hasn’t been much of a problem any time for Plano East (4-0), which is averaging 520 yards and 49 points per game. But to take the top spot in 10-5A, Plano East will need to knock off Allen, which has won six straight district titles and is No. 1 in the area 5A rankings.
3 Total points that Coppell (4-0) has allowed in the first half this season. Add in some pretty good offense and the Cowboys have been leading by an average of 17 points at halftime, giving them a chance to play a lot of players. That depth will be tested this week as Coppell takes on Allen (4-0) in one of the last big nondistrict matchups of the season.
2 Yards per carry allowed by the Jesuit defense this season. It’s actually 2.4 yards per carry, but still impressive for a defense that gets overshadowed by an offense that features receiver Jake Oliver, who is committed to Texas and needs only 23 more receptions to break the state record for career catches. Oliver and Jesuit (3-0) face 9-5A favorite Skyline (2-1) on Friday in another huge matchup to open district.
1 Nondistrict win for Denton Guyer, which started the season No. 1 in the 4A state rankings. Guyer (1-2) played a tough nondistrict schedule, losing to 5A teams Colleyville Heritage and Cedar Hill, and a losing record in nondistrict doesn’t always indicate trouble ahead. Trinity, which is also 1-2 this season, started the season 1-2 in 2009 and then won 13 straight games on its way to the 5A Division I title.
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