Here's a preview of the five DFW matchups you need to know this Friday:
Friday Night Faceoff: Tyler John Tyler Lions at Rockwall Yellow Jackets
Who: Tyler John Tyler Lions (2-1, 0-0 District 11-6A) at Rockwall Yellow Jackets (1-2, 0-0 District 11-6A)
Where: Rockwall's Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
Our first Friday Night Faceoff of district play takes us to Rockwall for a game that could go a long way in determining the champions of 11-6A. John Tyler and Rockwall, two of the more underrated teams in the class and the favorites in the district, will clash for an early lead in the standings. Boasted by an aerial circus on either side, talented quarterbacks and receivers should make for a fun, can't miss night of scoring. For the Yellow Jackets, this game will be about showing the district they mean business despite a 1-2 start to quality opponents. For the Lions, it'll be about avenging last week's disappointing loss to Lufkin and last season's one-point loss to Rockwall at home.
These guys can score. And you don't need to look much farther than Rockwall's opener to see that. Junior QB Jacob Clark completed 75 percent of his passes for 399 yards and five touchdowns. Three backs, led by senior Lo'Yer Bailey, rushed for 90 more and two scores. Through three games, this offense is averaging 491 yards of total offense and 44 points per game. Think about that. That's up there with some of the more prolific offenses in the area. Even Allen, who's ranked No. 1 in the state for another week, isn't producing like that. The passing attack is obviously the bread and butter. Clark has passed 1021 yards in three games, good enough for seventh in the state in that area.
Junior running back Cameron Grant allows the Lions to lean more on their ground game than Rockwall. Grant is on pace to exceed his 873-yard rushing total from last season, having already ran for 339 yards and two touchdowns. He averages eight yards per carry, making him a dependable first down machine. Because of Grant, QB Devlen Woods, who played as a receiver last season, has less responsibility. But don't confuse "less responsibility" for less ability, as Woods has already thrown for nine scores on the season, just one shy of Rockwall's Jacob Clark. His 62 percent completion percentage is right there with Clark as well.
Prediction: Rockwall 38, John Tyler 31
Longview at Mesquite Horn
Who: Longview Lobos (3-0, 0-0 District 11-6A) at Mesquite Horn Jaguars (2-1, 0-0 District 11-6A)
Where: Mesquite's E. H. Hanby Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: Here's another game with huge implications for 11-6A. Longview was co-champion of the district last season, but with Rockwall and John Tyler projected to take the top spots, a victory over Horn could help remind everyone that the Lobos aren't going away. Longview is 3-0 and has won its games by a combined margin of 84 points. Horn has performed well too, with its lone loss coming to Cedar Hill. Jags' quarterback Jermaine Givens is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the area, leading Horn in both passing and rushing with 902 yards of combined offense.
Prediction: Longview 31, Mesquite Horn 28
Lancaster at Mansfield Lake Ridge
Who: Lancaster Tigers (2-1, 0-0 District 10-5A) at Mansfield Lake Ridge Eagles (2-1, 0-0 District 10-5A)
Where: Mansfield's Vernon Newsom Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: Both the Tigers and Eagles enter tonight's game with the same records – both having lost to top teams from Denton (Ryan and Guyer). Go figure. Last season, these teams combined for 92 points behind the arms of QBs, Trevor Hatton and Jason Bean, that threw for over 320 yards apiece. If we see a repeat performance from the two, Bean would double his yardage total on the season and Hatton would come close. If you like scoring, check this one out.
Prediction: Lancaster 42, Mansfield Lake Ridge 31
Mansfield Summit at Waxahachie
Who: Mansfield Summit Jaguars (2-1, 0-0 District 10-5A) at Waxahachie Indians (2-1, 0-0 District 10-5A)
Where: Waxahachie High School – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: Waxahachie's Bryse Salik and Jerreth Sterns are the real deal. Salik has passed for 766 yards and eight TDs on the season and Sterns leads the Indians in rushing and receiving. Having so much of the offense run through two guys is both incredible and risky. Summit has allowed just over 200 yards through three games – if the Jags can contain Salik and Sterns, an upset is definitely possible.
Prediction: Waxahachie 42, Mansfield Summit 27
Sleeper game: Woodrow Wilson at Frisco Wakeland
Who: Woodrow Wilson Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 District 12-5A) at Frisco Wakeland Wolverines (3-0, 0-0 District 13-5A)
Where: Frisco ISD Memorial Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: Still haven't satisfied your fix for some non-district action? This one has your name all over it. Frisco Wakeland's early dominance hasn't really surprised anyone, but the offensive firepower has. The Wolverines entered last week averaging 10 yards per play. Yes, I said per play. They've also defeated opponents by an average of 31 points and have won their games by a differential of +93. But don't sleep on the Wildcats, who have already taken down a team from Wakeland's district and have won some major blowouts. We're talking 61-7 over Kimball and 54-13 over South Garland. If anyone can match Wakeland on the scoreboard, it might be Wilson.
Prediction: Frisco Wakeland 42, Woodrow Wilson 33