District 23-4A Preview -- Week 9

Dickinson-La Marque is the highlight game of the week, but a potential decision from the UIL could change the complexion of the contest. The decision could open the door for the Angleton Wildcats to get back into the postseason chase.

Dickinson (7-1, 3-1 in district) at La Marque (8-1, 4-1): The news of the Gators possibly having to forfeit all seven of its wins due to an ineligible player may change the complexion of this game around. What was billed as one of the area's marquee contests could -- if the UIL decides to drop the hammer on Dickinson on Friday morning -- turn this into nothing more than the Cougars' home finale. As it is, La Marque will unveil its quarterback timeshare as Jarius Kerlegan and Kevin Sanders will each see action. If the Gators are freed from the UIL gallows, this could be a shootout as both teams love to pass the ball and have the receivers to make plays. The Coogs need a win or an Angleton loss to Texas City to assure themselves of a 18th consecutive playoff berth. They won't have to wait for an update to learn their fate. La Marque 28, Dickinson 17.

Texas City (6-2, 4-0) at Angleton (2-6, 1-3): If the Gators are eliminated via the UIL, then this gives the Wildcats a reason to show up. The Stingarees nearly paid for their La Marque hangover, just escaping past Brazosport at home. This will be a marquee clash of backs, as Texas City's Johnny Thomas (1,319 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns) and Angleton's D.J. Monroe (649-6) are worth the price of admission alone. Quarterback play will decide this contest, and the Stings' Blake Affel is more efficient than anyone the Wildcats will put under center. Tim Finn clinches district coach of the year -- and a playoff spot -- with a win here. Texas City 24, Angleton 13.

Santa Fe (2-5, 0-4) at Brazosport (3-5, 0-4): Does anyone realize that the Exporters are just seven points away from being alive in the district playoff chase? No one has faced Brazosport without seeing the obvious improvement that head coach Brian Welch has provided this program, which does have a chance to finish .500. The Indians had La Marque on the ropes last week, but couldn't hold a 14-0 lead. The Tribe will be much better next season, but won't be able to get a win at Hopper Field this week. Brazosport 30, Santa Fe 14.

Co-Players of the Week: Friendswood WR Matt McLaren shook off a mid-season slump and torched Angleton with eight catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns as the Mustangs kept their playoff hopes alive with a 41-14 rout of the Wildcats. La Marque backup QB Kevin Sanders helped the Cougars avoid a humiliating loss at Santa Fe by igniting the offense with three second half TD passes as LM scored a season-high 35 points in the final 24 minutes of play.

Looking Ahead: Texas City at Friendswood will still be huge, but if the Gators are eliminated, it will be more for who goes to Division I and a date with Lamar Consolidated. Dickinson visits Brazosport, while Angleton and Santa Fe close out their seasons. La Marque has a bye.

One to Watch For: La Marque WR Requan Jones is raw, but has good size (6-3) and has shown big play potential since head coach Chris Jones has put him in the lineup. He caught two TD passes in last week's win over Santa Fe.

College Watch: A big (301 pounds) reason why the Stingarees have earned the nickname "Party Crashers" has been DT DeMonte Randle, who is nearly impossible to move off the line. Randle has surprising quickness for a player his size and will garner attention as a sleeper prospect.

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