Star-Telegram writers Jarret Johnson and Josh Bowe of the High School Huddle sound off on the games of the week.
Hurst L.D. Bell (6-0, 3-0) vs. Euless Trinity (4-2, 3-0)
7 tonight at Pennington Field, Bedford
Jarret: It's no secret that Trinity has owned the series of late, but this is the first time in a while that Bell is truly a threat to the Trojans. Both are undefeated in District 6-5A, and the winner will control its own destiny in terms of the league title and the top seed headed to the postseason. The Trojans are averaging 338 rushing yards per game in district play and will try to run over Bell this week. I don't think they'll be able to manhandle a very good Blue Raiders defense, but they will do enough to edge Bell in what should be a very good game.
Josh: Mark Smith has done a tremendous job of turning around Bell in such a short time. He's got a quarterback in Colson Romano leading the way (1,475 yards, 18 TDs) and a big-play wide receiver in Aaron Dixon (43 catches, 743 yards and 13 TDs.) The Blue Raiders are on a roll right now, with their district wins over Grapevine, Irving and Carrolton Turner being blowouts. Despite everything positive for Bell, I'm taking Trinity. The Trojans have just been so dominant in this matchup, it's hard to imagine the Blue Raiders finally ending it this year. It'll be closer than years past, but I see Trinity's defense leading the Trojans to a win.
Saginaw (6-0, 4-0) at Birdville (7-0, 5-0)
7 tonight at Birdville FA/AC, North Richland Hills
Jarret: Saginaw coach Mike Peters said earlier this week that this is the biggest game in the program's seven-year history. Birdville has played in several district showdowns in recent years, and I don't think that experience can be overstated. But the Rough Riders were a 5A team the past two years, so they won't be shocked by the Hawks' athleticism. I believe this District 6-4A battle will come down to turnovers, and Birdville quarterback Justin Martin has an 11-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season. I'll take the Hawks at home.
Josh: Saginaw has a ridiculous rushing attack with 1,830 yards as a team. Russell Murphy leads the team with 600 yards and 14 touchdowns. But it's the defense that has really been the story for Saginaw, allowing just 21 points all season -- including three shutouts. Birdville has plenty of athletes on defense, too. The Hawks have back-to-back shutout wins. With two elite defenses, I think Birdville has the advantage with quarterback Justin Martin. With Martin leading the team, Birdville just doesn't beat itself. The Hawks keep soaring at home.
Justin Northwest (5-1, 3-0) at Southlake Carroll (5-1, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium, Southlake
Jarret: The Northwest Texans should be commended for having handled their business to this point to make this a District 4-5A showdown. I like the way they play as a team, and it has paid off with some close victories this season. Carroll is a handful for anybody right now. They are just crushing opponents. The Dragons have won five straight by an average of 54 points. They also have one of the top quarterbacks in the state in Texas A&M commit Kenny Hill. Carroll should roll in this one.
Josh: Southlake Carroll has Kenny Hill. Justin Northwest doesn't. Kenny Hill is by leaps and bounds the best player that will take the field at Dragon Stadium on Friday night. The rest probably doesn't matter. Justin Northwest is having a solid season and should be a playoff team, but the Dragons are unstoppable right now. Since the season-opening 24-0 loss to Allen, Carroll has outscored its opponents 284-17. Carroll continues to roll on Friday.
Granbury (5-1, 3-0) vs. Fort Worth Southwest (5-1, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Clark Stadium, Fort Worth
Jarret: This is a big game in District 7-4A. It doesn't matter who seems to takes the snaps at Southwest, they just keep putting up points. Last week, Justice Adams-Jones stepped in for Wesley Harris, who is out with an undisclosed injury, and led the Raiders to 382 total yards of offense en route to a 54-19 victory over Trimble Tech. Granbury has won five straight for the first time in more than four decades and appears to be in the midst of a special season. I think the Pirates will give Southwest all they want, but the Raiders have an elite receiver by the name of Robbie Rhodes, whom Granbury has no answer for. Southwest by less than a touchdown.
Josh: If there's one thing Southwest does well, it's move the ball. The Raiders have 2,730 yards of offense this season, led by an explosive rushing attack that features three runners with at least 290 yards rushing. Granbury's offense is completely dependent on running back Justice Love, who has run for 647 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Pirates also have won five straight after dropping their season opener. I think that streak ends against Southwest and its elite running game.
Stephenville (6-1, 1-0) at Alvarado (5-1, 1-0)
7:30 Friday at Charles Head Stadium, Alvarado
Jarret: For all of the showdowns in the bigger classifications, this 7-3A matchup could end up being the most entertaining of them all. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the state, both are used to winning and contending for state titles. They are in each other's way and I don't expect either team to give an inch. Alvarado will play its ball-control style and pound the football with rushers Lee Hardy and Marcus McNeil. Stephenville quarterback Tyler Jones will spread the ball all over the field and try to play at a fast tempo. This is a coin flip, but I'll take the Stephenville Yellow Jackets.
Josh: Stephenville quarterback Tyler Jones is the most dynamic playmaker in this matchup, leading the Yellow Jackets in rushing touchdowns. Their defense has been solid all season but faces its toughest test against Alvarado. The Indians have two running backs with more than 600 yards rushing in Lee Hardy and Marcus McNeil. But Alvarado's defense has been the most impressive, holding down Fort Worth Southwest's explosive offense in a 20-13 win this season. I think defense and the home field leads Alvarado to a big-time win.
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