Ryan Osborne and Travis L. Brown of the Star-Telegram break down the week’s biggest stories in the High School Huddle.
Mansfield (5-3, 2-2 8-6A) at Cedar Hill (7-1, 4-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Longhorn Stadium, Cedar Hill
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Ryan: Cedar Hill is one of the top teams in the state and should win this game. DaMarkus Lodge proved last week against DeSoto why he’s one of the best — if not the best — receiver in the country, and he’s aided by a playmaker in quarterback Justin McMillan. Still, Mansfield is solid and coming off an impressive win over South Grand Prairie. The Tigers can lose this week and still feel comfortable about making the playoffs if they beat Midlothian next week.
Travis: Mansfield has put up an impressive season so far and has been strong in the run game between rushing leader Emmanuel Esukpa (121 carries for 740 yards and nine TDs) and Julius Lewis (14-243-3), who has also spent plenty of his time this season on the defensive side of the ball. The Tigers can get good playoff preparation against a very strong Cedar Hill team coming off a huge win over DeSoto last week, but the Longhorns should take this game.
Colleyville Heritage (4-4, 2-2 7-6A)
at Coppell (4-4, 2-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Buddy Echols Field, Coppell
Ryan: Coppell’s playoff spot is mostly set, as the Cowboys will be the No. 2 Division I seed out of District 7-6A. Heritage, meanwhile, could lose and still get in the playoffs with a win next week at home against Richland. Still, both teams could use a win, if for nothing other than a morale boost after what’s been an up-and-down season for both. I’ll go with Coppell.
Travis: Coppell has surprised me with the passing ability it has on offense behind quarterback Skyler Bonneau, who posted a season-high 223 yards passing last week against Euless Trinity. The run game has always been there behind the tandem of Brandon Rice and Charles West. That balance should make this a quality game, but Heritage is coming off a close bout with Southlake Carroll and the confidence that kind of performance gains will be key in carrying them over Coppell this week.
Lancaster (6-2, 4-1 14-5A)
at Arlington Seguin (5-3, 3-2)
7 p.m. Thursday, Arlington’s Wilemon Field
Ryan: Lancaster can clinch a playoff berth with a win, while Seguin’s status would certainly be boosted by a victory. Even so, Seguin could lose and get in with a win over Lake Ridge next week. Beating Lancaster is doable for Seguin, but I don’t see it happening this week.
Travis: Tyrell Alexander is exactly what you would want for an offense like Lancaster’s, throwing for 562 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 919 yards and eight touchdowns. Seguin is a good team that will put up a great fight against the Tigers, but I believe Alexander will have a huge game resulting in a Lancaster win.
Euless Trinity (8-1, 4-1 7-6A)
vs. Richland (3-5, 2-2)
7 p.m. Thursday, Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex
Ryan: I’ll take Trinity, even though Richland has played well this year.
Travis: Trinity should ride its strong rushing game over Richland.
Keller (5-3, 4-1 5-6A) vs.
Keller Fossil Ridge (6-2, 3-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex
Ryan: Keller can clinch a playoff spot with a win, which would be huge for the program. But Fossil Ridge is in a bit more of a desperate position, so I’ll take the Panthers to pad — if not clinch — their playoff hopes.
Travis: Keller is in the spot that most thought Fossil Ridge would hold at this point in the season. Fossil Ridge is one-dimensional, so if Keller can stop the run game, they should take this game.
Mansfield Lake Ridge (5-3, 3-2 14-5A)
vs. Mansfield Summit (5-3, 4-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, R.L. Anderson Stadium
Ryan: Again, Summit is without quarterback Braden Nolen, but this is an overall solid football team. Lake Ridge is fast. But Summit knows how to win these games late in the season.
Travis: Lake Ridge has a strong rusher in Duke Carter, who has scampered for 1,204 yards and 13 touchdowns on 163 carries, but Summit is just a little stronger overall and should win.
Fort Worth Trimble Tech (5-3, 2-2 7-5A) vs.
Fort Worth Arlington Heights (8-0, 4-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Farrington Field
Ryan: Arlington Heights and quarterback Deion Hair’Griffin should remain undefeated coming off a big win last week over Fort Worth South Hills.
Travis : Arlington Heights made a big statement last week that it is a complete team and can not only play strong defense, but also out-shoot one of the best offensive teams in the area. Heights should continue its roll over Trimble Tech.
Cleburne (4-4, 4-1 8-5A) at
Burleson Centennial (5-3, 3-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Burleson Stadium
Ryan: Another evenly matched 8-5A game. I’ll take Centennial, which would further the possibility of a four-way tie for second place.
Travis: I always like good quarterbacks in close games and Brian Baca has posted great numbers, passing for 1,881 yards and 10 touchdowns this year. He’ll lead Cleburne past Burleson Centennial.
|Mansfield vs. Cedar Hill||Cedar Hill||Cedar Hill||Cedar Hill|
|Colleyville Heritage vs.Coppell||Coppell||Heritage||Coppell|
|Lancaster vs. Arlington Seguin||Lancaster||Lancaster||Lancaster|
|Euless Trinity vs. Richland||Trinity||Trinity||Trinity|
|Kelelr vs. Keller Fossil Ridge||Fossil Ridge||Keller||Keller|
|Mansfield Lake Ridge vs. Mansfield Summit||Summit||Summit||Summit|
|FW Arlington Heights vs. FW Trimble Tech||Heights||Heights||Heights|
|Cleburne vs. Burleson Centennial||Centennial||Cleburne||Centennial|
|Arlington Martin vs. Arlington||Martin||Martin||Martin|
|Azle vs. White Settlement Brewer||Azle||Azle||Azle|