The Star-Telegram continues its “Spring Forward” series with a look at the top Class 5A games in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Colleyville Heritage Panthers at North Forney Falcons (August 30)
Both teams are looking to build off appearances in the regional round, with a combined record of 21-5. Over 1,300 combined points were scored between the two. Head coaches Joe Willis (Heritage) and Randy Jackson (North Forney) faced off in 2015 and 2016 when Jackson was at Grapevine.
The Panthers return two of the top prospects in the state in 2020 utility Drew Sanders (Oklahoma commit) and 2019 WR Kam Brown (Texas A&M commit). Brown has recorded 125 catches, 2,000 yards and 30 TDs in two seasons. He had 1,190 yards and 19 TDs in 2017, and was first team all-district. He was named district offensive sophomore of the year in 2016.
Established in 2009, North Forney went to the playoffs for the third time last season, and the regional round for the first time in program history. North Forney averaged over 50 points per game, but Jackson will have to find replacements for QB Colby Suits (4,300 total yards, 61 TD), RB Calvin Ribera (1,800 rushing, 20 TD) and WR Jordan Carroll (1,050 receiving, 13 TD).
Highland Park Scots at Frisco Lone Star Rangers (September 13)
Can the Scots win a third-straight state title? They will have to do it without John Stephen Jones, grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who will play at Arkansas. Highland Park almost had to find a new coach after 20 years, but Randy Allen came back to the sideline after a brief retirement.
Chandler Morris (2020 QB), son of former SMU coach and current Arkansas coach Chad Morris, is the projected starter. The Scots will be led by seniors-to-be Finnegan Corwin (31 catches, 653 yards, 11 TD), Prince Dorbah (81 tackles, 12 for loss, 10 sacks, 20 QB hurries), Hudson Clark (54 tackles, 2 INT, 14 deflections), Ryan Khetan (64 tackles, 3 INT) and Jon Jurgovan (80 tackles).
After winning only 26 games through their first five seasons, the Rangers have gone 36-6 over the past three years with a trip to the state finals in 2015 and state quarterfinals in 2017. Lone Star's average winning margin last season was 40-13, and it allowed single digits six times.
The Rangers look to replace top prospects QB MJ Rivers (4,000 total yards, 53 TD) and RB Kirby Bennett (931 rushing, 11 TD). They do have 2020 WR Marvin Mims back. Mims (1,300 receiving, 14 TD), was district offensive newcomer of the year in 2017 and holds seven scholarship offers from TCU, Wisconsin, Arkansas and more.
Boswell Pioneers at Brewer Bears (September 28)
The Pioneers have been a playoff regular for the past 12 years, clinching a berth 10 times. Boswell made history in 2016 when it went to the state quarterfinals for the first time in 40 years.
Boswell has gone 30-9 the past three seasons win campaigns. The Pioneers never finished a season with 10 or more wins from 2004-14, according to Max Preps.
The Bears have reached the playoffs the past three years, but are still looking for a bi-district win for the first time since 1991.
Brewer picked up a big free agent in the off-season in head coach Todd Peterman, who comes over from DeSoto where he won a state title in 2016. Peterman went 32-8 with the Eagles.
Highland Park Scots at Mansfield Legacy Broncos (October 12)
A state champion vs. a state semifinalist headline this district match up.
The Broncos will have one of the best defenses in the state highlighted by 2019 DB Jalen Catalon.
In two seasons, Catalon has recorded 297 tackles (10 for loss), 12 INTs, 10 deflections and five fumble recoveries. He's the No. 8 ranked safety in the nation and a two-time all-state selection.
If that wasn't enough, Legacy also returns 2019 defensive linemen Taurean Carter (65 tackles, 16 for loss, 8 sacks) and Enoch Jackson (52 tackles, 19 for loss, 6 sacks). Both are 3-star recruits and made the Star-Telegram list of top 2019 recruits in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Denton Ryan Raiders at Colleyville Heritage Panthers (October 12)
After going 5-5 in 2014, Ryan went 41-3 over the past three seasons with back-to-back trips to the state semifinals. All three seasons, they started undefeated before Allen and Highland Park eliminated them.
This all came with top QB Spencer Sanders, who will play at Oklahoma State. Sanders was all-state and named Texas Gatorade football player of the year in 2017.
Ryan, which beat Heritage in the 2016 state quarterfinals, does return 2020 RB Emani Bailey, who rushed for 1,244 yards and 14 TDs.
Everman at Crowley (August 31)
FW Arlington Heights at FW South Hills (October 12)
FW South Hills at Crowley (October 19)
Grapevine at Colleyville Heritage (October 26)
Little Elm at The Colony (November 9)
April 2- Top 4A teams
April 3- Top 5A teams
April 4- Top 6A teams
April 5- Top QBs
April 6 - Top RBs
April 9- Top WRs
April 10- Top OLs
April 11- Top DLs
April 12- Top LBs
Check back on Thursday for the top 6A games to watch!