Friday: Plano (Texas) Senior vs. Plano (Texas) West at 7:30p.m. CST
This should be a hard-hitting rivalry contest. West is in a must-win type of situation in the district and will rely heavily on it's stable of running backs. Sotonye Jamabo and Auston Anderson are two of the top rushers in the DFW and both are closing in on the 1,000 yard mark. The team also features a wealth of talent on the defensive side, led by SMU linebacker commit Lance Cottrell. Plano Sr. plays with a hard-hitting style, as is the case in most years. They have only attempted around 80 passes all season. Sam Tecklenburg leads a strong defense, that has held six of its eight opponents to less than 15 points. After a rainy week, this should be a low scoring affair with the team playing the better all around game and not turning the ball over coming out on top.
Ahmard Vital - Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Thursday, October 31: Pearland (Tex.) vs. Alvin (Tex.) Manvel at 7 p.m. CST
Only one loss separates the two of these teams, but in league play both are undefeated. This should also make for a great environment, and some bragging rights between these Southeast Houston rivals. Manvel graduated plenty in the past couple of years, but have a new crop of youngsters coming through with defensive back Deontay Anderson and receiver Reggie Hemphill, both players in the 2016 class. Both received early offers from Texas, with plenty other schools to likely follow suit sooner than later. The offense is led by Deriq King, who is having a great season with over 2,000 yards of production. Versatile tight end/defensive end (or offensive tackle where he is projected) Koda Martin will take his talents to Texas A&M. Also on the defense, Will Lockett has been a great addition to the Manvel team this season. For Pearland, defense has been the calling card thus far, giving up less than a touchdown per game (which includes four shutouts in eight games). That could be largely because three-star linebacker and Oklahoma State commitment Justin Phillips leads the way. On the offense, quarterback Kalen Johnson has looked solid, as does running back JaColbie Butler, who has scored 16 touchdowns this season.
Friday, November 1: La Porte (Tex.) vs. Galena Park (Tex.) North Shore at 7 p.m. CST
In district play in recent years, this has become a game of two grind-it-out type teams. In 2013, it is no different as only one district loss between the two of them. North Shore, state ranked is undefeated on the season. It has the best (arguably) linebacker there in Zach Whitley, a four-star defender who will play for the defending national champion Alabama team next fall. Offensively, the line has a few stars with Najee Toran and Trevon Tate, along with junior Tyler Moore. Toran is a commit to Oregon State while Tate holds several Division I offers as well. These guys make for a great and powerful running game, to open holes for a talented prospect in running back Tristan Houston. Offensively, playmaker Kevian DeLeon is also an underrated player who can break a game open as a receiver or return specialist. For La Porte, this team has a solid offense and defense. One of the top players on the team gets it done on both sides of the ball with four-star linebacker Hoza Scott, who has committed to Texas A&M. Staying on the defensive side, Iowa State safety commitment Victor Holmes will hold down the back half of the defense. Offensively, running back Johnathan Lewis (Colorado State commit) has been good so far. On the line, Michael Leagan leads a solid group along with tight end Michael Rodriguez, who will take his talents to Louisiana Tech.
Annabel Stephan - Midlands Field Reporter
Friday: Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson at Austin (Texas) McNeil at 7:00 p.m.
Hendrickson enters the game 9-0, one of area's top teams. The Hawks have a number of Division-I bound players on the roster, including running back Samaje Perine, an Oklahoma commit who has rushed for 770 yards and eight touchdowns this fall. Wide receiver Latrell Martin is Houston bound and fellow receiver and defensive back Chance Waz is a Colorado commit. On defense is cornerback Trai Mosley, who is headed to Nebraska. Other players to watch for the Hawks include quarterback Xavier Conley, who has been hearing from UTSA, Houston, North Texas, Texas State, and Louisiana Lafayette, as well as 2015 prospects Blake Browning, who plays on the offensive line, and receiver Tazh Maloy. The Hawks will face 2-6 McNeil, who are coming off of a 34-16 loss versus Round Rock. The Houston Cougars have another future player in this game, McNeil three-star linebacker Zach Vaughn, who committed to the program in July. Another prospect to keep an eye on for the Mavericks is fellow linebacker Tillman Johnson, a Texas State commit.