High School Sports

High School Huddle: The big playoff push

Many teams are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, and Ryan Osborne and Travis L. Brown of the Star-Telegram clear up some of the more confusing playoff scenarios in this week’s edition of the High School Huddle.

Arlington Seguin (6-3, 4-2 14-5A) vs. Mansfield Lake Ridge (5-4, 3-3)

7 p.m. Thursday at Mansfield’s Vernon Newsom Stadium

Ryan: Essentially a play-in game between teams that have been competitive in a super-competitive district. I’ll give the edge here to Seguin, which is coming off an impressive win over Lancaster. The Cougars have the defense to slow this game down. That’ll be the key against an athletic Lake Ridge team led by quarterback Jett Duffey.

Travis: Arlington Seguin picked up a huge win over Lancaster last week, thanks to the legs of Darrian Hammonds, who rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown in the game. Hammonds leads the team in rushing with 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns and will be the difference in Seguin’s win over Lake Ridge.

Justin Northwest (5-4, 3-3 5-6A) vs. Keller (5-4, 4-2)

7 p.m. Thursday at Keller ISD Athletic Complex

Ryan: Northwest finally started to come around, putting itself right back in the playoff mix. Keller, meanwhile, played well in a loss to Fossil Ridge last week. Ultimately this will come down to Northwest stopping the Keller rushing attack, and I don’t see that happening. Keller will control its destiny and get back to the playoffs for the first time in a while.

Travis: Keller suffered a slipup in what has been an impressive season so far with its 28-24 loss to Keller Fossil Ridge last week, but I don’t think the Indians will let it happen again. Keller is a well-balanced team between quarterback Caleb Griffin and running back Tyler Tutt, and that is a dangerous combination in high school football. Keller should have no trouble with Northwest this week.

Everman (6-3, 4-2 8-5A) vs. Burleson (4-5, 3-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Burleson ISD Stadium

Ryan: Everman can clinch a spot with a win, while Burleson needs to win by 7 or more. I’ll take Burleson in this one, to not only win but to get the points advantage necessary to clinch. The Elks have been up and down all year, but seem to be healthier now more than ever. Defensive end Kenneth Mann should add plenty of pressure in the pass rush, making Everman more one-dimensional than the Bulldogs already are.

Travis: Burleson has a lot to play for and will surely be up to the task of beating Everman. Preston Paden is Burleson’s everything on offense, passing for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushing for 791 yards and eight touchdowns. However, I don’t think Burleson can win and “cover the spread,” if you will — the 7-point victory they need to clinch a playoff spot. That being said, I’ll take Everman in a close one.

No Huddle

Colleyville Heritage (4-5, 2-3 7-6A) vs. Richland (3-6, 2-3)

7:30 p.m. Thursday at Mustang-Panther Stadium

Ryan: I’ll take Richland in an upset. Relatively speaking, the Rebels have been impressive in district play, and that’s largely in part to the coaching of Ged Kates, who was successful at Arlington Heights.

Travis: Richland has a strong offensive weapon in quarterback Eddie Thomas, who gave Euless Trinity all the Trojans could handle in the first half of Richland’s game against Trinity. However, I was very impressed with the first half Heritage put up against Southlake Carroll and favor them in this matchup.

Fort Worth Eastern Hills (2-7, 2-3 6-5A) at Grapevine (2-7, 2-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Mustang-Panther Stadium

Ryan: Somebody has to take the fourth spot in 6-5A, even though it’ll be a 3-7 team. I’ll take Grapevine to clinch at home.

Travis: Grapevine has some of the best coaching in the area and will be a contender in future seasons. This season that coaching will get them into the playoffs despite a 2-7 season to this point.

Fort Worth Southwest (2-7, 2-3 7-5A) vs. Fort Worth Trimble Tech (5-4, 2-3 7-5A)

7 p.m. Thursday at Scarborough-Handley Field

Ryan: Southwest is familiar with the playoffs, while Trimble Tech hasn’t been in 25 years. I’ll take Southwest to get back in, despite having a down year.

Travis: This is the year Trimble Tech snaps that playoff skid and beats Southwest.

Mansfield Summit (6-3, 5-1 14-5A) vs. Mansfield Timberview (8-1, 6-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday Vernon Newsom Stadium

Ryan: Wouldn’t surprise me if Summit pulled an upset, but I’ll take Timberview to finish 14-5A undefeated.

Travis: Summit will be a tough test for Timberview, but they’ll come out of the game with a convincing win.

Keller Fossil Ridge (7-2, 4-2 5-6A) vs. Trophy Club Nelson (2-7, 1-5)

7 p.m. Friday Northwest ISD Stadium

Ryan: Tough year for Nelson, but wouldn’t shock me to see the Bobcats pull an upset. Still, Fossil Ridge is locked in and peaking at the right time. Panthers win.

Travis: Ridge found its stride again with a good rebound win over Keller last week. The Keshawn Mitchell show will roll on with a win over Nelson this week.

Predictions

Matchup Ryan Travis Eric Zarate
Arlington Seguin vs. Mansfield Lake Ridge Seguin Seguin Seguin
Justin Northwest vs. Keller Keller Keller Keller
Everman vs. Burleson Burleson Everman Everman
Richland vs. Colleyvile Heritage Richland Heritage Heritage
FW Eastern Hills vs. Grapevine Grapevine Grapevine Grapevine
FW Southwest vs. FW Trimble Tech Southwest Tech Tech
Mansfield Summit vs. Mansfield Timberview Timberview Timberview Timberview
Fossil Ridge vs. Trophy Club Nelson Fossil Ridge Fossil Ridge Fossil Ridge
Lake Dallas vs. FW Dunbar Lake Dallas Lake Dallas Lake Dallas
Azle vs. Wichita Falls Rider Azle Rider Rider
Last week 9-1 7-3 8-2
Overall 72-30 73-29 81-21
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