Corbett Smith: Predictions for Dallas-area HS football state semifinals

Allen vs. DeSoto

Class 5A Division I semifinal, 6 p.m. Saturday, SMU’s Ford Stadium; KHYI-FM (95.3): There’s no doubt that the winner of this game will be battle-tested. The playoff path for DeSoto (14-0) has been a who’s who of Dallas-Fort Worth powers: Coppell, Arlington Bowie and Southlake Carroll. DeSoto running back Dontre Wilson strained his lower leg while playing defense in the first half of the thrilling 49-45 Southlake Carroll win, but is expected to start this week. He returned in the second half of the Carroll game, scoring on a 28-yard run and a 76-yard pass. After the Southlake Carroll win, DeSoto coach Claude Mathis said that he wanted Allen instead of Allen’s opponent and frequent DeSoto playoff opponent, Skyline. He might rue that preference after this week. Allen (13-1) steamrolled Skyline, 37-17, as its offense rushed 51 times for 264 yards. A strong rushing game has been one of Allen’s keys this season. Behind one of the area’s best offensive lines, with Northwestern pledge Brad North and center Tejan Koroma, Allen is outscoring opponents by 28.8 points in four playoff games, averaging 46 rushes per game. DeSoto 35, Allen 31

Cedar Hill vs. Austin Westlake

Class 5A Division II semifinal, 2 p.m. Saturday, Waco ISD Stadium: Cedar Hill (10-4) hasn’t been this far in the playoffs since winning the 5A Division II state title in 2006. And it has made its run thanks to a potent offensive trio: quarterback Damion Hobbs, running back/receiver Laquvionte Gonzalez and Adeboyejo. Hobbs has passed for 2,443 yards, Gonzalez has rushed for 1,300 yards and Adeboyejo has caught 81 passes for 1,145 yards and 16 touchdowns. Adeboyejo (pronounced ah-de-BOY-jo) is the only receiver remaining in Class 5A Division I or II with more than 1,000 receiving yards. Both he and Gonzalez are part of Texas A&M’s heralded 2013 recruiting class. However, when the 6-3, 185-pound Adeboyejo committed over the summer, it was a bit of a head-scratcher. He had only five career receptions on varsity prior to his offer from the Aggies. Austin Westlake (10-4) has two wins in Waco ISD Stadium so far in this year’s playoffs, scoring a combined 87 points against A&M Consolidated and Plano West. Cedar Hill 42, Austin Westlake 28

Stephenville vs. El Campo

Class 3A Division I final, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Arlington’s Cowboys Stadium; TWC Cable Sports Channel, streaming on Stephenville (12-1) — a four-time state champ — is back in the championship for the first time since 1999, when Art Briles led the Yellow Jackets to the 4A Division II title. A 4A program last season, El Campo (14-0) has three 1,000-yard rushers: QB Bryce Brand and RBs Jack Davis and Montray Johnson. Stephenville 49, El Campo 38

Lancaster vs. Wichita Falls Rider

Class 4A Division II semifinal, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Justin’s Northwest ISD Stadium; TXA Ch. 21 (delayed until 10:30): Lancaster(13-1) is on its longest playoff run ever, thanks in large part to dynamic playmakers on offense (QB Demarcus Ayers, WR Nick Harvey) and defense (DE Daeshon Hall). RB Dominic Thrasher (1,349 rushing yards, 23 TDs) has helped Rider (12-2) to its first semifinal in school history. Lancaster 24, Wichita Falls Rider 17

Denton Guyer vs. Tyler John Tyler

Class 4A Division I semifinal, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Midlothian’s MISD Multi-Purpose Stadium; KNTU-FM (88.1): Guyer (12-2) rushed for 426 yards on 41 carries against Birdville in the regional final, as junior QB Jerrod Heard (Texas pledge) ran for two scores and threw for three more. John Tyler (13-1) is averaging 49.5 points per game in the playoffs, behind QB Greg Ward (Houston pledge) and WR Fred Ross (Oklahoma State). Denton Guyer 48, Tyler John Tyler 45

Sonora vs. Corsicana Mildred

Class 2A Division II semifinal, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Marble Falls’ Mustang Stadium: Sonora (11-3) is among the winningest programs in state history, with 561 wins and five state titles (1966, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2000). Mildred (12-1) made the state semifinals last season. Several players — including QB Nic Shimonek (Iowa pledge), OT Noah Pennell and DT Thomas Finigmow — are four-year starters. Corsicana Mildred 35, Sonora 28


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