High School Huddle: Breaking down the week’s top games

Posted Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Reporters Ryan Osborne and Travis L. Brown of dfw-Varsity.com and the High School Huddle sound off on the games of the week:

Arlington Martin vs. DeSoto

7:30 p.m. Friday, Midlothian Multi-Purpose Stadium

Ryan: Martin and DeSoto opened the season last year, and DeSoto was dominant. And, really, DeSoto won by a wide margin in the third round of the playoffs last year against Martin. But this is a chance for Martin to take another step up that ladder. They’ve been right there in that tier sort of below DeSoto and Allen, and I think this is a chance to really break through. As we saw last season, they started the year kind of slow with a young team and got better and progressed. I still think DeSoto is going to win this. They have as much talent as any team in DFW. But this is a chance for a young, but relatively experienced Martin team to make a statement, especially heading into district in a few weeks.

Travis: It seems like Martin lost everything in the graduation of one of the nation’s top recruits, current Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, along with his counterpart who is now at Oregon, Justin Hollins. However, looking past those two big holes is a very experienced team that returns eight offensive starters and six starters on the defensive side. Among those starters are players in key positions like linebacker Josh Watson, quarterback Eric Walker and running back Nic Smith. This will be a Martin team that will take some people by surprise, sans Garrett, and just might pull the upset over DeSoto.

Austin Westlake at Southlake Carroll

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dragon Stadium, Southlake

Ryan: I think what some people might forget is how good a coach Todd Dodge is and was at Carroll before he moved to North Texas and struggled there. He went 79-1 and won five state championships with Carroll from 2002-2006. This should be a spread offense game. You have Ryan Agnew at quarterback for Carroll. They made a pretty good run in the playoffs last year, but with Agnew getting another year of experience, I think he can take them deeper. As far as this opening game, Dragon Stadium is going to be packed, and it’ll be one of the great opening games to get out to. Carroll is going to protect its home turf, but Westlake and Carroll — it’s hard to find two more storied programs playing each other on opening weekend.

Travis: Southlake Carroll coach Hal Wasson took a big step out of the shadow of former Carroll coach Todd Dodge in 2011 when he nabbed his first state championship at the helm of the Dragons. Now, he has just three more to go before catching up to the Dragon coaching legend. But in the near future, Wasson has the chance to prove himself head-to-head against Dodge, who returns to Dragon Stadium as the coach of Austin Westlake. Carroll returns some outstanding players on the offensive side of the ball in quarterback Ryan Agnew and running back Jordan Humphrey. But Dodge’s experience could get the better of Carroll.

Aledo vs. Cedar Park

7:30 p.m Friday, McLane Stadium, Waco

Ryan: Aledo will put up plenty of points, as it returns most of an offense that set a national scoring record (1,023) last season. The biggest question will be how the Bearcats replace 10 starters on defense. They have a lot guys who played significant minutes last year. They have Johnny Durham at cornerback — he’s the lone returning full-time starter and a Texas State commit. Aledo is going to win this one, but don’t be surprised if it’s a shootout as both defenses get acclimated to a new season.

Travis: Two teams predicted to take their respective districts this year. Cedar Park will naturally stick to their program staples of strong defense and a run game to attempt to start their season off on the right foot. Aledo’s weapon is one of the best all-around athlete’s in the state, wide receiver Ryan Newsome. He has a returning quarterback in Luke Bishop to feed him the ball from multiple positions. Aledo comes into the game as one of the favorites to return to state again this year and will begin their season with a win at the new digs in Waco.

Euless Trinity vs.

Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy

7:30 p.m. Friday, Pennington Field, Bedford

Ryan: This is an interesting matchup, especially since ECA is a team that plays a national schedule and is in Texas for three weeks playing state teams. They can put up points — they won 58-56 last week. Trinity can sometimes get out to a slow start, but it’s hard to pick against the Trojans at Pennington Field. Trinity wins.

Travis: Teams that haven’t faced Trinity before have no way to prepare for the size and strength of the Trojan linemen. Give me Trinity at home.

Hebron at Coppell

7:30 p.m. Friday, Buddy Echols Field, Coppell

Ryan: Coppell is the better team, so I’ll go with the Cowboys. But this is more of a litmus test for the rest of Coppell’s district, which includes Carroll, Trinity and Heritage. You know those teams will be watching closely how Coppell does.

Travis: New head coach at Coppell, but exact same system will leave no speed bumps for the Cowboys. Coppell over Hebron.

Allen at Denton Guyer

7:30 p.m. Friday, Apogee Stadium, Denton

Ryan: Easy pick here. Allen. Can’t go against the Eagles until they lose, which they haven’t in nearly two years. That’s not to say Guyer isn’t solid itself. The Wildcats, who won the Class 4A Division I title last year, lose QB Jerrod Heard but have a talented sophomore in Shawn Robinson taking the helm.

Travis: Both good teams with state title possibilities, but the biggest school in the state will have the bigger talent. Allen over Guyer.

Predictions

MatchupRyanTravisEric Zarate
Keller vs. Midland LeeLeeLeeLee
Austin Westlake vs. CarrollCarrollWestlakeCarroll
Aledo vs. Cedar ParkAledoAledoCedar Park
DeSoto vs. MartinDeSotoMartinDeSoto
Eastern Christian vs. TrinityTrinityTrinityTrinity
Ennis vs. TimberviewTimberviewEnnisEnnis
Allen vs. Denton GuyerAllenAllenAllen
Anchorage South vs. StephenvilleStephenvilleStephenvilleStephenville
Dallas Jesuit vs. Arlington BowieBowieJesuitBowie
L.D. Bell vs. Keller CentralCentralBellBell

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