Believe it or not, the final week of the regular season of high school football is upon us.
Four teams from each district will continue playing at least another week in the postseason.
Most of those teams are already known, though a few are playing for their seasons this week.
Aledo, Southlake Carroll, DeSoto and Ennis are not among them. Theyre ready to start getting serious about state championship hopes.
Fort Worth Dunbar isnt, either.
The 9-0 Wildcats of District 6-4A have big dreams, too, and simply because theyve clinched doesnt mean its time to take a week off.
Its very important to us to go undefeated into the postseason, Dunbar coach Todd Lawson said. Its important to go into the playoffs on a good note.
Heres who has clinched a spot in high school footballs second season. And what some others need to do to join them. Theyll all play in Region I, except for District 15-4A of Region II.
The disciplinary action taken against Arlington Martin for allegedly using an ineligible player has turned District 3-5A into a Rubiks Cube.
Heres what we know for sure: Arlington Bowie, Arlington Lamar and Arlington are in. The Bowie Volunteers will go to Division I in Region I. Arlington will go Division II no matter what.
However, the destination of Lamars Vikings is unknown because of status of the fourth playoff position.
If Fort Worth Paschal upsets Lamar next week, the Panthers are in as a Division II team, sending Lamar to Division I.
Heres where it gets slippery. For Martin to claim the spot, it must beat Bowie next week and root for Paschal to beat Lamar. In the event of a three-way tie between Martin, Paschal and Sam Houston (they could all be 3-4), Martin would get in based on points differential. (Martin has the edge over, in order, Sam Houston and Paschal.)
Martin would be a Division I school.
Sam Houston needs a win against Weatherford and losses by Paschal and Martin. That would eliminate Martin and leave the Texans and Paschal in a tie for the fourth. Sam Houston holds the head-to-head tiebreaker based on an earlier victory over the Panthers.
Sam Houston would be a Division II competitor.
If Martin wins its Tuesday appeal to the UIL state executive committee, the Warriors (Division I) would be in immediately with Bowie (D-I), Lamar and Arlington (both D-II).
When its all settled, these guys will play teams from 4-5A in bi-district.
The last week of the regular season will be playoff warmups for District 4-5A. The top four have been decided.
State-ranked Carrolls presence in the 5A playoffs is as common as turkey on Thanksgiving Day. The Dragons are back, heading to Division I as district champions. Theyll play an undetermined opponent from 3-5A in bi-district.
Keller Fossil Ridge and Justin Northwest have clinched spots in Division II, and Keller Central will go Division I. Opponents wont be determined until next week.
Euless Trinity opened the season with two losses, but rebounded to win its next seven games and the district title.
The Trojans, the biggest school in 6-5A, are in, as are Colleyville Heritage and Hurst L.D. Bell (both Division II).
The Trojans will play an opponent yet to be decided from District 5-5A. Heritage and Bell play this week to determine second place.
Irving would claim the fourth spot with a victory over Irving MacArthur. If Irving loses and Irving Nimitz wins, Nimitz would advance to the postseason based on the point-differential tiebreaker between those two schools and MacArthur. Whoever it is will go to Division I.
Losses by Duncanville and Midlothian on Friday settled all questions a week before the end of the regular season.
District champion DeSoto and Mansfield Timberview will represent the district in Division I. Runner-up Cedar Hill and Mansfield are headed to Division II.
These District 7-5A schools will play in the bi-district round against schools to be determined from 8-5A.
Defending state champion Denton Guyer, the district champion, is riding a seven-game winning streak.
Guyer heads back to Division I and will face the lower seed between Birdville and Saginaw.
Trophy Club Nelson is the districts other Division I school. Nelson will face the higher seed between Birdville and Saginaw.
Wichita Falls Rider and Wichita Falls will play in the 4A Division II bracket.
Fort Worth Dunbar was the smallest school by far among this districts teams, yet the Wildcats are district champions and enter Week 10 unbeaten. Theyll put that record on the line against Saginaw, which along with Birdville, are the districts Division I representatives.
Saginaw Boswell is in, too, and going to Division II.
Dunbar will play Wichita Falls Rider or Wichita Falls, whichever is the lower seed. Boswell will play the other in bi-district.
The Aledo Bearcats have beaten each of their six previous district opponents by an average score of 78-8.
An upset loss this week to Fort Worth Trimble Tech would instantly become one of the great mysteries of 4.5-billion-year-old earth.
Aledo will pursue its state-title hopes in the Division II bracket. The Bearcats bi-district foe will be District 8-4As Burleson.
Two other spots have been settled also. Both will play in Division I.
The winner of Friday's Arlington Heights-Granbury game gets the top seed in Division I and plays Waco or Cleburne. The Heights-Granbury loser is the Division second seed and gets Crowley.
The winner of this weeks game between South Hills and Southwest will take the fourth spot and head to Division II.
Crowley, Everman and surprising Burleson have clinched.
The Crowley Eagles will play in Division I, while the Everman Bulldogs and Burleson go to Division II. The Elks reward? Aledo. Gee, thanks.
Burleson, on a four-game win streak, could finish in a three-way tie for third with Cleburne and Waco, though the Elks own all the points tiebreakers. In that scenario, Waco would be the odd man out.
So, if Waco beats Everman this week (or if Cleburne loses to Waco University), the Waco Lions are in and would play the Heights-Granbury winner in the first round of the 4A Division I playoffs.
If Waco loses and Cleburne wins, its the Cleburne Yellow Jackets who would move on against the Heights-Granbury winner.
Everman will play either Fort Worth South Hills or Fort Worth Southwest.
We knew wed be a lot better than a year ago, said Burleson coach Gary McElroy, whose team lost its first two district games by a combined seven points. We had some kids bust their tails in the last two years.
State-ranked Ennis and Mansfield Legacy are in as Division II and Division I teams, respectively, in Region II. Ennis is the smallest school in the district.
Legacy could be part of a four-way tie with Arlington Seguin, Lancaster and Mansfield Summit, but the Legacy Broncos hold all the tiebreakers. Arlington Seguin, too, would advance in that scenario. Legacy and Seguin would both be 2-1 against the others.
Seguin also holds the points edge in a possible three-way knot with Lancaster and Summit.
So things are looking positive for the Seguin Cougars, who can take themselves out of all tiebreaker scenarios with a victory over 3-6 Red Oak on Friday at Wilemon Field.
Seguin will go to Division II.
Were not going to rest, Seguin coach Carlos Lynn said. In high school playoffs, you have to go in with some momentum. We dont want to back into the playoffs.
That essentially leaves a play-in game between Summit and Lancaster on Friday at Tiger Stadium in Lancaster. The winner goes to the playoffs and Division I.
Thats what were paying attention to, Summit coach Travis Pride said. If we win, were in.
Playoff qualifiers from District 16 await in the first round.
Class 3A expands to four teams for the first time in 2013.
Kennedale and Springtown are in and heading to Division I. Lake Worth and Castleberry are going to Division II.
Undetermined schools from District 5-3A await them all in the playoffs opening round.
There are no holes to fill here.
We have four qualifiers. District-champion and state-ranked Stephenville, the defending champion in 3A Division I, goes back there, as does Alvarado.
Hillsboro and Glen Rose are off to Division II.
Theyll all match up in bi-district against teams from District 8-3A.
Aledo Bearcats Daythan Davis (3) celebrates his second quarter touchdown with teammate Jess Anders (23). The Aledo Bearcats hosted the Granbury Pirates Friday. (Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins)
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