Star-Telegram writers Jarret Johnson 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.
Southlake Carroll (12-1) vs. DeSoto (13-0)
Class 5A Division I Region I state quarterfinals
2 p.m. Saturday, SMU's Ford Stadium
Jarret: What a great matchup between two stacked teams. I know a lot of people will be taking DeSoto, and it's easy to see why. Quarterback Desmon White and running back Dontre Wilson are great, but the Eagles also have very good receivers and excellent line play on both sides of the ball. Of course everyone knows about DeSoto's great team speed. So with all of that stacked against the defending state champs, how can I pick Southlake Carroll to win? For starters they have one of the top QBs in the nation in Kenny Hill with a top-notch offensive line blocking for him. Yet, the main reason I'm picking the Dragons to advance is their great defensive play.
Josh: I agree on Southlake's defense. The Dragons looked great against a physical and tough Euless Trinity team. Not many teams can play that style and that type of game against Trinity and win. DeSoto will be a completely different challenge with all the Eagles' speed. White makes DeSoto so dynamic paired with Wilson. You never know which one is going to take off, and whenever one does, they have the ability to take it all the way for a score. Carroll will have to play its best defensive game yet and get another special performance from Hill. And yet, I'm picking the Dragons to do that. I don't think Hill is going to let Carroll lose.
Dallas Skyline (12-1) vs. Allen (12-1)
Class 5A Division I Region II state quarterfinals
3 p.m. Saturday, Mesquite's Memorial Stadium
Jarret: Skyline was the chic preseason pick to win state by many local pundits, myself included. Despite another great season, they haven't looked as sharp as I expected them to, and I think they're running into a buzz saw in Allen this week. The Eagles are averaging 54 points per outing in the playoffs, including a 42-28 win over a very good Mesquite team in the second round. Allen quarterback Kyler Murray has thrown for over 1,700 yards and rushed for another 1,000 this year, and I think he'll lead the Eagles to victory.
Josh: We all talk about Colleyville Heritage's Cody Thomas and Hill about elite quarterbacks, but we've all been missing out on Skyline's electric quarterback, Devante Kincade. He might be the most complete quarterback in the state, because he has Thomas' arm (37 touchdowns, six interceptions) and Hill's legs (750 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns). It seems inconceivable now to think Carroll could be shut out, but Allen did that, and that game shows how Allen could be a state champion. I'm picking Skyline, however, because of Kincade.
Denton Guyer (11-2) vs. Birdville (13-0)
Class 4A Division I Region I state quarterfinals
2 p.m. Saturday, Southlake's Dragon Stadium
Jarret: Everybody has Guyer penciled in for the state title, but Birdville has been taken too lightly all season. There will be a lot of scoring in this one with each team averaging over 40 points per game in the postseason. Birdville has already set school records for most wins in a season and deepest playoff run, but I don't think the Hawks are done yet. Guyer's a very good team with Jerrod Heard, a dual-threat quarterback running the show, but I think Justin Martin, Xavier Turner and Co. get it done in a minor upset.
Josh: I've loved Birdville all season long. The Hawks are one of the most balanced teams in the area with Martin, Turner and a very athletic defense. I just love this Denton Guyer team. They have more big-game experience than Birdville and feature Heard, who ran for 120 yards, three touchdowns and threw for another in last week's win against Aledo. Aledo had one of the best defenses in the state, yet Guyer dropped 42 points on them. Guyer in a close one.
Stephenville (11-1) vs. Kilgore (11-1)
Class 3A Division I state semifinals
7:30 p.m. Friday, Mansfield's Newsom Stadium
Jarret: Stephenville is the pick here without hesitation. They have now won 11 straight with wins over quality opponents such as Aledo, Kennedale and most recently Abilene Wylie. I know I sound like a broken record, but I'm really impressed with the offensive firepower the Yellow Jackets roll out every week, and I don't see anybody stopping them on the way to a Class 3A state title. They would have challenged in 4A this season. Stephenville by a bunch.
Josh: There was one point in the season where I picked against Stephenville. Not again. The Yellow Jackets are simply manhandling teams, including a demolition of Abilene Wylie last week. Stephenville handled Wylie 59-28 last week, and Wylie is one of the best 3A programs in the entire state. I don't think anyone can stop Tyler Jones and this Yellow Jackets team. Sorry, Kilgore.
Fort Worth Nolan Catholic (11-2) vs. Addison Trinity Christian (11-2)
TAPPS Division I state championship
3 p.m. Saturday, Waco's Floyd Casey Stadium
Jarret: Nolan, Nolan, Nolan. I know it's hard to beat an opponent twice in a season and I understand why coach Joe Prud'homme is trying to keep his kids sharp by not taking TCA lightly. It's his job. But Nolan will win. Critics like to undermine the Vikings' success by citing their private school competition. Well, Nolan played Lancaster, one of the top 4A teams in the state, tough and beat Everman on the road this season before rattling off 10 more wins. Four state titles in five years with this win. Wow.
Josh: Those games against Everman and Lancaster showed that Nolan's dominance against private schools is legit. The Vikings will roll to another state title. Everyone on Nolan chips in, but look for running back Luke Alves, who had 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns last week, to be the leader. Vikings win by multiple scores.
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