Star-Telegram writers Jarret Johnson, left, and Josh Bowe of the High School Huddle sound off on the games of the week. To catch the weekly show, visit dfwvarsity.com, where you will also find photo galleries from the games.
Euless Trinity (10-2) vs. Southlake Carroll (11-1)
Class 5A Division I Region I semifinals
6 p.m. Saturday, Birdville FA/AC, North Richland Hills
Jarret: Fans will be spilling out of the stands for this mega-matchup between two of the top programs in the state. Carroll will be spread out with quarterback Kenny Hill in the shotgun, and Trinity will line up and try and run over the Dragons from the I-formation. The Trojans' defense will make things tough on Hill and Co., probably forcing Carroll to punt more in this game than it has the last two months. Yet, Hill has a knack for making plays in crunch time. The Dragons advance in another memorable showdown.
Josh: As you've said this week, this game should having an amazing atmosphere. These are not only two of the best programs in the state, but also two of the best fan bases. Trinity's defense looked downright scary last week against Mansfield, but Carroll is a completely different animal. The Trojans handled Cody Thomas from Colleyville Heritage but Kenny Hill can beat you with his arms and his legs. I expect this to go down to the wire, much like 2006's matchup between the teams. I love everything about Trinity this season but Hill is such a special player. He'll make some unbelievable plays in the fourth quarter and the Dragons will hold on and advance.
Arlington Bowie (11-1) vs. DeSoto (12-0)
Class 5A Division I Region I semifinals
2 p.m. Saturday, Pennington Field, Bedford
Jarret: Two weeks ago I probably would have picked Bowie. I believe the Vols have the talent to pull off the upset but they have had way too many distractions this time of year to overcome a very good DeSoto team. Eagles quarterback Desmon White is a more polished version of Bowie's Tony James and will get it done this week. DeSoto running back Dontre Wilson, committed to Oregon, is an all-purpose nightmare for opposing coaches. Bowie will put up some points, but not enough. I'm taking DeSoto.
Josh: Despite the distractions, I think Bowie will pull off the upset. I watched DeSoto two weeks ago look a little flustered against Mansfield. The Eagles have a tendency to let their emotions boil over, so I wouldn't be surprised to see their composure wilt a little against Tony James and this high-powered offense. The scoreboard operator will probably get the biggest workout in this matchup; these offenses are ridiculous. I'm taking James and Bowie in the upset.
Arlington (10-2) vs. Cedar Hill (8-4)
Class 5A Division II Region I semifinals
2 p.m. Saturday, Newsom Stadium, Mansfield
Jarret: Cedar Hill was tabbed as a Division II favorite for a state title run at the start of the season by many local pundits and I can see why. They have special playmakers at the skill positions such as quarterback Damion Hobbs and speedster Laquvionte Gonzalez at running back. That being said, Arlington appears to be peaking at the right time. The Colts' defense is flying around making plays and the offense is clicking behind quarterback Connor Huffman, who has elevated his game in the playoffs. I'm picking Arlington in a close one.
Josh: Hobbs and Gonzalez are fantastic, but Cedar Hill has been inconsistent all season. That inconsistency is why I'm taking Arlington. The Colts' defense is elite, and the last time Cedar Hill saw a defense this good (against Mansfield) the Longhorns lost. Arlington might get burned a couple of times early from Gonzalez and Hobbs but I expect the Colts to keep this game at their tempo and pull off the win to advance.
Lubbock Monterey (9-3) vs. Birdville (12-0)
Class 4A Division I Region I semifinals
2 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls
Jarret: Nobody has figured out the Hawks' explosive offense, which averages 53 points a game and attacks defenses in many ways. The unit has a feature tailback in Xavier Turner (1,278, 26 TDs), a bevy of accomplished receivers in Sam Northey, Collin Basinger and Barrett Shaw and a very good offensive line led by All-American Joas Aguilar. Oh yeah, they have this quarterback named Justin Martin. He's thrown for over 2,600 yards with 32 scores and just five interceptions and rushed for another 500-plus yards and 10 scores. Birdville rolls on to the regional final.
Josh: Birdville just seems to be on a mission right now. The Hawks have such a balanced offense, between Turner and Martin. Try to load the box against Turner, and Martin will hurt you through the air. Sit back in coverage to limit Martin's passing and Turner will pick up huge chunks of yards. That's not even mentioning Birdville's defense. The Hawks shut out Crowley in the first half last week in the area round before winning 45-21. Give me Birdville by a couple of touchdowns.
Abilene Wylie (12-0) vs. Stephenville (10-1)
Class 3A Division I Region I final
7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls
Jarret: I had the hardest time with this game because I haven't seen Wylie in person and I have a lot of respect for its program and résumé this season with wins over Argyle, Graham, Monahans and Greenwood, which are all still alive in the playoffs. Wylie is coming off a 56-0 victory over Andrews and the defense is allowing just over 13 points per game. So, it's going to be difficult but I believe Stephenville quarterback Tyler Jones (3,800 total yards and 46 TDs), along with running back Witt Westbrook and receivers Brice Gunter and Jarrett Stidham, are up to the challenge. I'm taking the Yellow Jackets.
Josh: Wylie has been absolutely dominant this season, with no team being able to challenge it, it looks like. But that changes this week. Stephenville is more than capable of giving Wylie not only a good game, but also a loss. The Yellow Jackets have a ton of big-game experience from 4A last season and even beat Aledo this season. And it always helps to have the best player on the field, which Stephenville has in Jones. Anytime you have a matchup between two evenly matched teams, I always like to take the team with the best quarterback. That's why I'm picking Stephenville to advance.
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