Region III-Division I
Katy Cinco Ranch (11-1) vs. Fort Bend Hightower (10-0), 6 p.m. Friday, Delmar Stadium
This could be easily pegged as the game of the week as both of these teams have been quite impressive thus far in the postseason. Great offenses and solid defenses should set the stage for a good game.
The Cougars have been flexing major muscle so far and lately dropped 62 points in a win over Aldine Eisenhower. Quarterback Shane Ros has proven again this week that he is a factor by air or ground. Ros accounted for five touchdowns last week and 360 total yards. For the Cougars to have success this week, Ros, along with Adam Hirtz and Tyler Mack (the Top 3 offensive producers), will have to continue playing at that level as they face what may be the strongest defensive unit they have seen all season.
And defense is what has made the Hurricanes as tough of a team as they are. Plenty of guys getting the job done including a hard-hitting linebacker in Shaun Lewis, linebacker Phillip Stewart, and defensive backs Colton Valencia and Alex Francis. Because of this stout defense, the offense is usually in a good position to make plays.
That is where quarterback A.J. Highsmith comes in. Highsmith had a hand in every touchdown last week in the win against North Shore. Look for he and Darius Johnson to make things happen, along with running back London Hamilton.
For the Cinco Ranch defensively, linebacker James Radcliffe is usually all over the field making plays and this week should be no different. Lineman Devin Williams and the front crew will face a sound Hurricane line as well.
I like the quarterback duel that will likely take place in this game with Ros and Highsmith and each of these teams can put up an insane amount of points. I think the ground game (and how the defenses defend against it) will play a large role. So look for Hirtz and Hamilton to take their game plays to the next level. With that said, I think the edge is in favor of the Cougars. Some may call me crazy, but I see Cinco Ranch pulling out a small-margin victory.
Cinco Ranch by 3
Big Rob's take: Hightower by 7
Pearland (11-0) vs. Katy Taylor (8-4), 2 p.m. Saturday, Tully Stadium
As far as the early predictions stated, it is not too shocking to see that Pearland has advanced to this round of the playoffs. But with Katy Taylor, this is more than a surprise considering he road to get this far. The Mustangs were in a must-win situation going into Week 10 finishing third in the district. Weeks later, Taylor is making some noise in the playoffs.
One of the big headlines for the Mustangs has been the play of running back Steven Sartory. He had 190 yards in the win over Houston Lamar last week. Quarterback Lee Rogers also had a couple of touchdown passes as well. The Mustang defense has also been handling business holding Lamar to only 237 yards of offense.
But this week, they will have their hands full trying to contain a balanced attack from Pearland. But the Pearland won last week in what was a more than exciting finish in overtime play. With that behind them now look for the Oilers to take that momentum in the quarterfinals.
Leading they way is running back Kasey Carrier who had 181 yards and two scores last week. Sam Allen threw for 193 yards and a touchdown and Kevin Miller and Miles Kanipes were the leading receivers.
For the Mustangs to come away with a win, ball control will be key. The one thing that Pearland likes to do is come out and get on the board quickly. With that said, look for the Oiler offense to set the tone early and get Taylor on the heels with two quick scores. If that happens, Pearland will likely pull this one out.
Pearland by 10
Big Rob's take: Pearland by 10
Region III-Division II
Katy (9-3) vs. Dickinson (9-2), 7 p.m. Saturday, Tully Stadium
One team won big and another slipped by. But at this point in the season a win is a win. Katy put a beat down on Humble while Dickinson scored on a 2-point conversion, which proved to be the difference over Beaumont Westbrook.
Katy won big over Humble. Quarterback Parker Ray and running back Michael Webber came through big in this one scoring a combined six touchdowns in the win. And as usual, the Tiger ground game has been stout, especially during postseason play. Whether it is Vernon Jeffries, Will Jeffrey, or Webber, Katy will have a back or two who can move the chains. Don't look for that trend to change.
For Dickinson, quarterback Clay Honeycutt and Darrell Riley both had good games for the Gators this past week. Honeycutt has stepped into the full-time role as signal caller and has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
But the Gators face off against a solid Tiger defense that has given up just less than two touchdowns a game. I see Dickinson holding on for the first half, and then Katy pulls away in the third quarter.
Katy by 14
Big Rob's take: Dickinson by 3
Houston Madison (8-2) vs. La Porte (7-4), 1 p.m. Saturday, Galena Park ISD Stadium
Looking at the teams involved, this game should be over in an hour and a half. Well, not really, but either way it will be a good one. The rushing attack in this game should make this exciting.
On the Madison side, quarterback Broderick Thomas Jr. and running back Jeffery Lewis and for LaPorte, Kendrick Perkins. Last week the Marlin duo ran past Strake Jesuit and LaPorte handled Clear Brook.
Perkins ran for 215 yards and four touchdowns last week and look for him to be the primary focus of the Marlin defense. Of course, one cannot look past quarterback Ryan Williams who has thrown for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns this season. These guys will face James Washington and the Marlin defense so expect Washington to have about 15 tackles in this game.
LaPorte's defense has to try and manage Thomas and Lewis, will be no easy task. Both have played well in the postseason and seem to be at the top of their games. Look for the Marlins to keep the ground game going and chew up the clock. If the Marlins can force a few defensive turnovers, they should take this one by a score.
Madison by 7
Big Rob's take: Madison by 7
Regional Players of the Week
For Division I: A.J. Highsmith, QB, Fort Bend Hightower
Please don't let the numbers fool you in wondering why Highsmith is the regional players. While Cinco Ranch's Shane Ros was lights out in the win, Highsmith led his team in a win over North Shore. Highsmith was 7-of-22 for 92 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Does not sound that good written down, but he and the Hurricane offense marched down the field at the end of the game and he scored the game-winning touchdown run with 33 seconds remaining. Hightower wins, enough said.
For Division II: Parker Ray, QB, Katy
Surrounded by a strong running game that usual accounts for more than two-thirds of the Tigers' total offense, Ray came through big this week. Ray was 7-of-11 for 149 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Not a bad day at the office.
Region III 5A Quarterfinals Insider
Region III-Division I