What a crazy year 2020 was. A pandemic plagued much of it, and it forced the beginning of the 5A/6A Division football here in Texas to delayed by a few weeks. What does that mean for us? It means a triple header Saturday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington, with the winners going to the state semifinals in their classification.
GAME 1: Euless Trinity vs Southlake Carroll
In a matchup of polar opposite offenses to start the day, Quinn Ewers (Ohio St commit) will try and do what General Booty and his Allen Eagle team could not do and outscore Ollie Gordon and the Trinity Trojans. Gordon rushed for over 400 yards of offense and six touchdowns last week in the victory over Allen, and Trinity will look to use the same formula against Carroll. Ewers and the Dragons run a fast-paced spread offense that can be helpful when they need to score quickly, but ultimately they (Carroll) will need to show how they can slow down Gordon in order to win. Carroll struggled to contain Javien Toviano of Arlington Martin last week and needs to scheme and force Trinity to go away from Gordon quickly.
The quickest way for Carroll to do this will be to put up a big lead early, forcing Trinity into passing situations, even then they will need to watch the passes that go towards Gordon. I expect this one to look very much similar to the Trinity-Allen game last week and it could end up coming down to however finishes last with the ball offensively.
SCORE PREDICITION: Southlake Carroll-52, Euless Trinity-49
GAME 2: Cedar Hill vs Rockwall-Heath
A matchup many of us did not expect, we see Kaidon Salter (Tennesee signee) and his Cedar Hill Longhorns go up against Josh Hoover and the Rockwall-Heath Hawks who had a statement win over Cypress Bridgeland last week, a team many predicted to win the region before the playoffs started. Similar offenses in this matchup, this will probably be the game where the first team to 70 wins. Rockwall-Heath will look to eliminate Salters dual-threat effectiveness in this game, as he has been the heart and soul of both the passing and run game since running back Kevin Young Jr. went down before the playoffs started with an injury. If Heath can contain Salters like they contained Conner Weigman of Bridgeland then they will move on to the next round.
SCORE PREDICITION: Cedar Hill-70 Rockwall Heath-63
GAME 3: Duncanville vs Desoto
The matchup everyone has been waiting for this year. Duncanville takes on fellow 11-6a district member Desoto for the right to continue the road to state. 11-6a played a zone schedule this year, and since the playoff seeding had already been determined before these teams were scheduled to meet in the regular season, it was canceled out of an abundance of caution for both teams. This time there will be no canceling and the titans will clash in the nightcap. Duncanville is led by quarterback Grayson James (Elite 11 finalist) and SMU signee Roderick Daniels Jr on offense. Desoto is led by quarterback Samari Collier (Illinois signee) and Jerrand Bradley (Texas Tech) on offense that also features budding star receivers in Johntay Cook and Jaedon Wilson. Duncanville made a statement in their last round matchup against Spring Westfield by winning 56-0. Desoto had to climb out of a two-score deficit against Spring to make it here.
Desoto will have to play a perfect game offensively and defensively, as any slip-ups will cost them. Getting to James often will be the easiest way for Desoto to make sure Daniels is kept in check. Doing this will force Duncanville to stay one dimensional, and while they have a nice run game led by Malachi Medlock, it would make it easier for Desoto’s Byron Murphy (Texas) and Shemar Turner (Texas A&M) to keep the Panthers out of the endzone. However, that is easier said than done. Duncanville of course is led by Kendrick Blackshire (Alabama) on defense and will look to force Collier to throw into tight windows while forcing some turnovers to keep the Desoto defense on the field and tire them out. This should be a good one.
SCORE PREDICTION: Duncanville-38 Desoto-35