The best games of the night:
Aledo vs. Stephenville at Cowboys Stadium, 7:30
Lake Dallas vs. Everman at Pennington Field, 7:30
Carter vs. Newman Smith at Irving Schools Stadium, 7:30
There are other good ones, but these are my three favorites. Stephenville and Aledo have built a good rivalry in the last decade, and both programs are traditional winners. Lake Dallas and Everman are both top 4A programs; Everman just bludgeons teams - the Bulldogs are the top rushing team in the area with 3,770 yards in 11 games (343 rushing yards per game). James Franklin is a do-it-all quarterback for Lake Dallas, committed to Missouri. These teams met in the playoffs back In 2002, and Everman won 78-0, but that Lake Dallas team was 3-7. This one is "ranked" 13th in the state in class 4A (if you count the votes in the poll). This should be a great game.
I'll be going to the Carter-Newman Smith game to shoot some of the 2nd half, and I'm real excited about this one. Carter is doing what they always do - run the ball and play great defense. Carter is 3rd in the area in team rushing, and 4th in team defense. And the Cowboys are always in the playoffs and they almost always get a few rounds deep. Newman Smith's story has been told - they hadn't been in the playoffs since 1983 and are one of the feel-good stories of 2009. The Trojans are averaging 56 points per game since October 16th, and their only losses are to the 4th and 8th ranked teams in the state (Highland Park and Denton Guyer).
Also, we've been keeping an eye on Caddo Mills running back Nate Jeffery since we featured him on WFAA-TV a couple weeks ago. He broke the 2A state record for touchdowns scored during the regular season, and his career total stands at 132, which is four shy of the all-time Texas record. The Foxes play Grandview tonight at 7:30, in Cedar Hill.
Celina is one more team I wanted to talk about. The Bobcats are usually rolling along this time of year at 11-0; this year has been different. Celina lost four games in the regular season (and three in 2008). To understand just how unusual that is, consider this: if you add up all of Celina's regular season losses between 1998 and 2008, you get 6. Six. That's it. So what did Celina do in the first round of the playoffs this year? Not much ... just beat a 10-0 Van Alstyne team 35-14. The Bobcats take on Kenedy tonight at Justin-Northwest ISD Stadium.