5 games to know this Friday: The road to the playoffs is heating up

Here's a preview of the five DFW matchups you need to know this Friday:

Friday Night Faceoff: Southlake Carroll at Euless Trinity

Who: Southlake Carroll Dragons (3-1, 1-0 District 5-6A) at Euless Trinity Trojans (2-2, 1-0 District 5-6A)

Where: Bedford's Pennington Field – 7:30 p.m.

Listen: KWRD-FM 100.7

"Carroll returns only four starters on each side of the ball, yet the Dragons haven't lost a step. Other than a loss to Arlington Martin, who's proven to be as good as its AP votes would suggest, the Dragons are undefeated, having toppled Broken Arrow (Okla.), Rockwall and Flower Mound. What's even more impressive? The Dragons haven't been relying on star power to stay relevant. The talent is spread out, and again, that kind of plays into the whole "How did this happen?" idea. Carroll is solid just about everywhere. In replacing Mason Holmes, quarterback Will Bowers has been more or less able to match last season's production through the air. Bowers has completed 72 percent of his passes for 883 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's also rushed for 291 yards on 33 carries, averaging close to nine yards per rush."

"Known for its running game, Trinity's ground attack continues to be one of the most potent in the area. The Trojans feature a three-headed monster at running back with Katerian Lewis, Courage Keihn and Ja'Lon Wilson. Keihn, the senior who led the Trojans with 1557 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns last yearsprained his ankle earlier this season and has missed Trinity's last two games. He's only carried the ball 22 times for 78 yards and a score, but could potentially return for this week's game. He's the single greatest offensive weapon in the district. His presence would mean a lot. Lewis currently leads the team with 223 yards and three scores on 27 carries. He chews up over eight yards per handoff and is highly athletic. Wilson has also rushed for over 200 yards through four games."

Prediction: Southlake Carroll 31, Euless Trinity 27

Duncanville at Cedar Hill

Who: Duncanville Panthers (4-0, 1-0 District 7-6A) at Cedar Hill Longhorns (1-3, 0-1 District 7-6A)

Where: Cedar Hill's Longhorn Stadium – 7:30 p.m.

Listen: ChampionSportsRadio.com

Notable: This game will decide whether or not Cedar Hill can still contend for a district championship. It's been a rough go for the Longhorns and the front-loaded district schedule has only made things worse. But Cedar Hill's defense should finally give Duncanville a challenge. Keilon Elder, one of the most underrated running backs in DFW, has been running over everyone and has the Panthers averaging 46 points per game. If the Longhorns' defense can avoid hurting themselves with penalties, they might be able to keep it close. But they'll need to stop Elder, and that's a tall order.

Prediction: Duncanville 38, Cedar Hill 21

Plano at McKinney

Who: Plano Wildcats (4-0, 1-0 District 6-6A) at McKinney Lions (4-0, 1-0 District 6-6A)

Where: Plano's John Clark Stadium – 7:30 p.m.

Notable: Two of DFW's remaining undefeateds clash after winning their district openers last week. Plano's win over Denton Guyer surprised some and McKinney has a nice win over Midlothian under its belt. Plano RB Kyron Cumby is a real star, but McKinney's Matt Gadek has put up similar numbers. Both teams are fighting with Wylie for that fourth playoff spot, making tonight's game ever more important.

Prediction: Plano 28, McKinney 24

South Grand Prairie at Grand Prairie

Who: South Grand Prairie Warriors (2-2, 1-0 District 7-6A) at Grand Prairie Gophers (2-2, 1-0 District 7-6A)

Where: Grand Prairie's Gopher-Warrior Bowl – 7:30 p.m.

Notable: Another important game with playoff implications. The annual showdown between rivals from Grand Prairie could very well decide who joins DeSoto, Duncanville and Cedar Hill in the playoffs. South has won the last seven meetings, and defense will once again give the Warriors an edge.

Prediction: South Grand Prairie 35, Grand Prairie 20

Sleeper game: No. 2 West Orange-Stark at No. 6 Kennedale

Who: West Orange-Stark Mustangs (4-0, 0-0 12-4A II) at Kennedale Wildcats (4-0, 0-0 District 5-4A)

This one has the potential to be the 4A game of the year. West Orange-Stark, who went 16-0 en route to a state title last season, meets a Kennedale team that's averaging 56 points per game. Both teams are meeting halfway, playing in Nacogdoches. If you're making the trip, this will be a real treat. If not, you should still pay attention.

Prediction: Kennedale 42, West Orange-Stark 38

Twitter: @ReeceKelleyG

 

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