Here's a preview of the five DFW matchups you need to know this Friday:
Friday Night Faceoff: Cedar Hill at No. 4 DeSoto
Who: Cedar Hill Longhorns (1-2, 0-0 District 7-6A) at DeSoto Eagles (3-0, 0-0 District 7-6A)
Where: DeSoto's Eagle Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
"DeSoto returns only two members of its championship winning offense, and yet, the Eagles have averaged over 41 points through their first three games. Seems like the new additions are working out. DeSoto opened the season on the road against two quality opponents in Dallas Jesuit and Denton Guyer. Jesuit came close to ruining the Eagles' championship honeymoon before it even started, but alas, DeSoto held on to win 41-36. Next week's game at Guyer proved easier, with the Eagles walking out the victors 42-13. DeSoto put up another 41 points a week later at home vs. Midland. That's a lot of offense for a team with only two returning starters."
"Cedar Hill is much, much better than its record suggests. Some are calling this season a 'down year' or 'a rebuild.' When a team has this much talent, they won't be rebuilding anytime soon. The Longhorns are a meat & potatoes football team – the classic combination of size and skill that wins championships in Texas. The Longhorns have some serious weapons at the skill positions and an impressive group of defensive backs. The offensive line is loaded and creates a lot of mismatches. Senior Parker Cupp weighs in at 286 pounds. Steven Carter is 270. Cortland Clark, who also plays on the defensive line, is only a sophomore... 315. Have fun with those guys."
Prediction: DeSoto 35, Cedar Hill 24
Rockwall at Rockwall-Heath
Who: Rockwall Yellow Jackets (2-2, 1-0 District 11-6A) at Rockwall-Heath Hawks (3-1, 1-0 District 11-6A)
Where: Rockwall's Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: A scoring machine versus a brick wall. Rockwall enters tonight's rivalry game averaging 45 points per game. The Yellow Jackets put up 48 points on a stingy John Tyler defense last week in their district opener – they haven't scored less than 38 in a game all season behind quarterback Jacob Clark. Heath, however, is allowing only 17 points per game and 100 fewer yards than Rockwall. The Hawks have held three opponents to less than two scores. If the Jackets can shut down Heath running back Tanner McCalister, edge to Rockwall.
Prediction: Rockwall 48, Rockwall-Heath 38
Bishop Dunne at Bishop Lynch
Who: Bishop Dunne Falcons (1-1, 0-0 TAPPS DI-District 1) at Bishop Lynch Friars (3-0, 0-0 TAPPS DI-District 1)
Where: Bishop Lunch's Roffino Stadium – 7:00 p.m.
Notable: It's a three-team race in TAPPS DI-District 1 – Prestonwood, Bishop Dunne and Bishop Lynch – and this one might decide who gets to challenge Prestonwood for that top spot. Lynch has only allowed 14 points through three games and is scoring in bunches. The Friars' +98-point differential, however, might have more to do with strength of schedule than anything else. Dunne hasn't played in Texas so far and escaped Fayetteville (Ark.) last week with a one-point win. Quarterbacks Peyton Culberson and Sam Vrana are really fun to watch, making this the must-see TAPPS game of the week.
Prediction: Bishop Lynch 35, Bishop Dunne 24
Jesuit at Coppell
Who: Jesuit Rangers (0-3, 0-0 District 9-6A) at Coppell Cowboys (2-1, 0-0 District 5A)
Where: Coppell's Buddy Echols Field – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: 0-3 Jesuit has had the most disappointing start of any area team. Going undefeated in non-district play with two top ten teams (DeSoto and Lake Travis) on the schedule was a tall order, but some thought they could steal one of those. They didn't. Then they came up short against Plano East. But I'm not getting down on this highly talented Rangers team, who could turn everything around against Coppell this week – this is when games start to matter, after all. If Jesuit can slow down Coppell QB Brady McBride and get the running game going, they could steal one. There's lots of pressure on the Rangers – If Jesuit doesn't stop Coppell now, there's nothing stopping the Cowboys from running away with the district title, with the possible exception of Lake Highlands.
Prediction: Coppell 35, Jesuit 31
Sleeper game: Mansfield Lake Ridge at Mansfield Summit
Who: Mansfield Lake Ridge Eagles (3-1, 1-0 District 10-5A) at Mansfield Summit Jaguars (3-1, 1-0 District 10-5A)
Where: Mansfield's Vernon Newsom Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: We've found this year's "District of Doom," folks. 10-5A is loaded, and after Lake Ridge and Summit upset Lancaster and Waxahachie last week, everything has become more complicated. The playoff projections in this district are shot, with seven of the eight teams good enough to make the postseason. Summit needs this win more with Lancaster coming up next week, and the Jags, once again the underdog, could take it. Brysen McKinney has done marvelous work at quarterback and RB Richard Clark is averaging over nine yards per carry. Lake Ridge is more battle tested after a tougher non-district slate, but anything can happen in 10-5A.
Prediction: Summit 38, Lake Ridge 35
Bonus game: Keller Fossil Ridge at Keller Timber Creek
Who: Keller Fossil Ridge Panthers (4-0, 0-0 District 3-6A) at Keller Timber Creek Falcons (4-0, 0-0 District 3-6A)
Where: Keller ISD Athletic Complex – 7:30 p.m.
Notable: Both the Panthers and the Falcons enter this one undefeated after steamrolling non-district opponents. The difficulty level just went up, big time. Each team boasts a top area prospect in receivers Stefan Cobbs and Erik Ezukanma, who've collectively hauled in 16 touchdowns in four weeks.
Prediction: Keller Fossil Ridge 48, Keller Timber Creek 31