Star-Telegram and dfwvarsity.com editor Eric Zarate, left, and reporter Travis L. Brown of the High School Huddle sound off on the games of the week. Visit dfwvarsity.com to catch the show and to find photo galleries from many area games.
Keller Central (1-3, 0-1 in District 4-5A) vs. Keller (3-1, 0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex
Eric: Central has lost its last two games to 3-1 Lamar and 3-1 Carroll. The Chargers need to win a game against one of these good teams and Keller would be the perfect place to start. Establishing control with the offense is the best place to begin. Keller took a hit from undefeated Justin Northwest last week when the Indians’ rushing game was held to 74 yards. Expect that to get better this week; the Indians will win convincingly.
Travis: Keller proved it was a team that could contend for the district title a week before district play began with a 20-0 win over Hurst L.D. Bell. Although it dropped its district opener to Justin Northwest last week, Keller could still vie for the title should Northwest encounter a few slip-ups in the weeks to come. That being said, Keller moves past Keller Central this week.
Euless Trinity (2-2, 1-0 in District 6-5A) vs. Irving MacArthur (2-2, 1-0)
7 p.m. Thursday, Irving Schools Stadium
Eric: Trinity has won two straight by running the ball effectively, a trend I see them continuing this week against a team that allows 162 rushing yards a game. Trinity’s biggest failure is self-inflicted. They’ve been flagged 46 times for 420 yards this season, including 26 for 260 in the last two games. MacArthur is also on a two-game win streak, but I don’t see them winning a third straight.
Travis: Who would have thought Trinity and MacArthur would have entered this game with the same record. That means this is going to be a barnburner, right? Well, not so fast. If you look at both team’s pre-district schedule, especially the losses, the strength of schedule Trinity faced was on a much higher level than MacArthur, who posted losses to Richardson and Plano. Trinity isn’t exactly the same team as they have been in years past, but they shouldn’t have much trouble with MacArthur this year.
Grapevine (0-4, 0-1 in District 6-5A) vs. Colleyville Heritage (2-2, 0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine
Eric: Grapevine desperately needs a win, and this realistically could be the start of three consecutive wins because they get Irving and Carrollton Turner after this week. Heritage fell behind quickly to Trinity last week, 28-0 by halftime. A better start is crucial for the Panthers this week. Heritage wins, but it won’t be easy.
Travis: It’s a rivalry game so anything goes. However, I think the anything would have to be a miracle for Grapevine to pull off this upset in the battle for Mustang-Panther Stadium. Although Heritage is 0-1 in district, their first game was against district title front-runner Euless Trinity. At times, Heritage was able to move the ball a bit on offense against the Trojans, so they should be just fine against Grapevine this week. The only question is what Heritage’s quarterback situation looks like this week and going on in the season after two snap callers left the Trinity game with injuries.
Richland (1-3, 0-1 in District 4-5A) vs. Haltom (3-1, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex, North Richland Hills
Eric: Another rivalry game, this one between the Birdville district’s oldest schools. Haltom and their 38 seniors are much-improved from 2012. They started 1-3 last year. The Buffalos beat Richland 49-6 last year, and I expect a similar score this week.
Travis: Haltom has demonstrated it’s a completely one-dimensional offense, throwing for only 44 yards in four games. However, it has a platoon of rushers that can carry the load, five of whom have tallied over 100 yards this season. Seven rushers have found the end zone for Haltom this year as well. On paper, it looks like Haltom should run away with this one, and I think they will win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Richland stays close in this one.
Keller Fossil Ridge (3-1, 1-0 in District 4-5A) vs. Justin Northwest (4-0, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Northwest ISD Stadium, Justin
Eric: This might be the best game of the week. Both teams are playing particularly well. Fossil Ridge handed Richland a loss last week, and even the Panthers’ loss two weeks ago was to a 3-2 Hebron team. Four-and-oh Northwest has built those wins on tougher-and-tougher opponents each week, and it’s really paying dividends. Last week Northwest was up 24-0 on Keller and coasted to a convincing win. The Texans should go to 5-0.
Travis: This is the premier matchup of Week 5 in Tarrant County. This game could very well decide the first and second seed out of District 4-5A. Justin Northwest has established itself as a powerful passing offense behind quarterback Jesse Drummer and a wide receiving corps of Chase Morrison, Emmanuel Moore and Brady Byrd. On the other hand, Fossil Ridge brings to the table one of the best defensive back corps in North Texas, led by senior Nick Foster. Give me the defense in this game that will most likely go down to the wire.
Eric Zarate, left, and Travis Brown present High School Huddle..
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