Keller Citizen

Predicting bi-district round football playoff games

Northwest quarterback Prince Mavula will be trying to lead his school to its first-ever football playoff victory Friday night against Denton.
Northwest quarterback Prince Mavula will be trying to lead his school to its first-ever football playoff victory Friday night against Denton. Special to the Star-Telegram

Because we’re still neck deep in the football playoffs with 10 of our teams still playing, the selections will continue.

However, we wanted to give you an idea of some subplots concerning the upcoming girls basketball season. Yes, that season begins on Tuesday. Unfortunately, its start can kind of get lost in the crowd because there is so much overlap between the football playoffs and volleyball playoffs.

There are some good storylines that will develop in 2016-2017.

▪  Colleyville Heritage drops down to Class 5A and of course, shares District 8-5A with rival Grapevine. Dianna Sager’s program offers one of the best players in the area in junior guard/forward Bryn Gerlich.

▪  Grapevine coach Lindy Slagle welcomes back a little more experienced team from last year’s squad. There should more experience at the guard position.

▪  Southlake Carroll coach Teri Morrison must come up with some offense after the transfer of Priscilla Smeenge. The Lady Dragons struggled to score in 2015-2016. They will be in a District 5-6A where Euless Trinity should be considered the favorite.

▪  Justin Northwest also moves down to Class 5A and has one of the best scoring combos in Alexus Brigham and Equayla Smith. The Lady Texans should test Aledo for the District 6-5A championship.

▪  Northwest Byron Nelson welcomes new coach Jim Avery, who takes over for Darren Wilson. Avery has a young and growing roster. But he is without valued member Hunter Roach, who is out with a torn ACL.

▪  Keller should be the favorite in District 3-6A.

As for the playoffs, congratulations to Carroll, Colleyville Heritage, Grapevine, Byron Nelson, Justin Northwest, Euless Trinity, Keller Central, Keller Fossil Ridge and Keller Timber Creek for making the postseason party.

For Birdville, Haltom, V.R. Eaton, Hurst L.D. Bell and Keller, the offseason begins shortly with coaches taking stock of what went right and what struggled.

We had a solid performance in the final week of the regular season. We missed on Colleyville Heritage beating Richland. We’re not surprised by that. But the good news is that we missed all of those games of consequence in 8-5A. We also missed Grapevine over Richland and Colleyville Heritage over Grapevine.

Last week: 9-1

Season/Percentage: 97-23 (.808)

Fort Worth Arlington Heights (8-2) vs Colleyville Heritage (7-3); 7 p.m. Thursday, Saginaw Chisholm Trail HS; Class 5A Division I Region I bi-district: Finally, the Panther team that Joe Willis had been waiting to see arrived when it beat Richland, 53-36. And it was the running game that did it. The Yellow Jackets are a solid Fort Worth ISD team and will give the Panthers a push. But in the end, CHHS’s overall talent wins.

Prediction: Colleyville Heritage 37, FW Arlington Heights 26

Arlington Bowie (8-2) at Keller Central (6-4); 7 p.m., Thursday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller; Class 6A Division I Region I bi-district: Both these teams have been incredible stories. The Volunteers used an opening 40-39 upset of Flower Mound Marcus to ignite their season. The Chargers finished the regular season winning six of their last seven. This is an even game.

Prediction: Keller Central 32, Arlington Bowie 27

Keller Fossil Ridge (7-3) vs. Mansfield (8-2); 7 p.m., Thursday, Vernon Newsom Stadium, Mansfield; Class 6A Division II Region I bi-district: The Panthers come into these playoffs not playing at the level you would have thought. They struggled before finally putting away Keller last week. The defense faces the challenge of national running back prospect Kennedy Brooks. That’s probably going to be the difference.

Prediction: Mansfield 35, Keller Fossil Ridge 22

Wylie (5-5) at Carroll (9-1); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dragon Stadium, Southlake; Class 6A Division II Region I bi-district: Carroll doesn’t have to throw much to make a living these days. The running game does the talking. The Pirates have been just decent this year and thus, their record is even. Carroll should roll here.

Prediction: Carroll 44, Wylie 18

Fort Worth Southwest (6-4) vs. Grapevine (9-1); 7 p.m. Friday, Pennington Field, Bedford; Class 5A Division II Region I bi-district: Grapevine continues to play at a high level under head coach Randy Jackson. This program has reached its highest total since the 1998 then-Class 4A state championship team won 10 games. This won’t be close.

Prediction: Grapevine 44, Fort Worth Southwest 16

Euless Trinity (7-3) at Allen (10-0); 7:30 p.m. Friday Eagle Stadium, Allen; Class 6A Division I Region I bi-district: The Trojans are in the playoffs, but this is a really difficult matchup against the Eagles. When you’re playing Allen in Allen, that’s like fighting the Romans in Rome.

Prediction: Allen 39, Euless Trinity 24

Keller Timber Creek (6-4) vs. Arlington Martin (6-4); 7:30 p.m. Friday, UTA’s Maverick Stadium, Arlington; Class 6A Division I bi-district: Keller Timber Creek’s defense has been the issue all season long. Its offense hasn’t. But then again, the Warriors present a similar story. This game is a tossup, but the Warriors get the advantage because the game’s in their building.

Prediction: Arlington Martin 44, Keller Timber Creek 40

Fort Worth South Hills (10-0) vs. Richland (9-1); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saginaw HS; Class 5A Division I Region I bi-district: J.J. Resendez is an excellent coach at South Hills. He knows how to get maximum out of his team. But the concern is that the Scorpions haven’t seen an offense that’s as explosive as what the Rebels offer. This should be a fun game to track.

Prediction: Richland 49, Fort Worth South Hills 37

Northwest Byron Nelson (4-6) vs. Denton Guyer (8-2); 7:30 p.m. Friday, C.H. Collins Complex, Denton; Class 6A Division II Region I bi-district: Just because their record is under .500 doesn’t mean that the Bobcats are lucky to be in the playoffs. The Bobcats played their way in. Guyer is probably too talented. But I do think the versatile Nelson passing attack keeps it interesting.

Prediction: Denton Guyer 39, Northwest Byron Nelson 30

Justin Northwest (9-1) at Denton (9-1); 7 p.m. Friday, Denton HS; Class 5A Division I Region I bi-district: Well, here it is again for the Texans. This game represents the opportunity to collect that first playoff win. It’s going to be tough on the road against a very solid program that Kevin Atkinson has put together. But we’re going to take a flier.

Prediction: Justin Northwest 34, Denton 31

Let’s win them all!