After taking place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington since 2010, the three-day high school football fest known as the UIL Football State Championships moves to Houston’s NRG Stadium for 2015.
The result is home-field advantage for Galena Park North Shore in Class 6A Division I, Katy in 6A Division II, and Richmond George Ranch in 5A Division I.
Houston last hosted the UIL football championship games for Class 5A (now 6A) in 2008 at the same facility, which was known as Reliant Stadium at the time.
In 1994, Houston’s Astrodome was the first site to host more than one UIL football championship on the same day, with 5A Division I Tyler, 4A Stephenville and 3A Sealy each winning titles.
All games will be televised live on Fox Sports Southwest.
Class 3A Division I
Cameron Yoe (14-1) vs. Brock (15-0),
5 p.m. Thursday
Notable: This matchup is tradition vs. upstart. Yoe is in the title game for the fifth time in six years — and fourth in a row — having won championships in 2012 and 2014. Meanwhile, Brock is only in its second year of UIL football. The Eagles reached the state quarterfinals a year ago.
Class 3A Division II
Franklin (15-0) vs.
8 p.m. Thursday
Notable: Waskom is looking to win consecutive 3A Division II titles after raising the trophy last year at AT&T Stadium. Franklin is in search of its first UIL title. This is the first of three state championship games matching undefeated teams.
Class 4A Division I
Waco La Vega (15-0) vs. Argyle (14-1), noon Friday
Notable: Argyle is in its third straight title game and fourth in five years. The Eagles won it all in 2013 and lost in double overtime last season. La Vega is looking for its first UIL title after trips to the championship game in 2008 and 1951. The Pirates’ defense is surrendering only 8 points per game in the playoffs.
Class 4A Division II
West Orange-Stark (14-1) vs. Celina (15-0),
4 p.m. Friday
Notable: West Orange-Stark returns to the championship after losing to Gilmer in last season’s 4A Division II title game. Celina is another program that seems to make regular appearances in state title games. This is the Bobcats’ 10th trip to the championship game since 1995 but their first since 2008. Celina has won seven titles; the last came back in 2007.
Class 5A Division I
Richmond George Ranch (15-0) vs. Mansfield Lake Ridge (15-0), 8 p.m. Friday
Notable: The second matchup featuring undefeated teams. These schools are both in only their fourth season of varsity football. In the previous three seasons George Ranch went 31-8 while Lake Ridge was just 10-23. Lake Ridge is averaging more than 61 points scored per game in the playoffs; George Ranch is averaging just over 53 points per game.
Class 5A Division II
Cedar Park (15-0) vs.
Frisco Lone Star (14-1), noon Saturday
Notable: Cedar Park is another team returning to the state championship game after an appearance last season. The Timberwolves lost 38-35 to Ennis last year but are seeking their second state title in four years after beating Lancaster for the trophy in 2012. Lone Star represents the first school from Frisco to play for a football state title. The Rangers are averaging just under 48 points per game in the postseason while Cedar Park is allowing just 13.
Class 6A Division I
Galena Park North Shore (12-3) vs. Austin Westlake (14-1), 4 p.m. Saturday
Notable: Austin Westlake made national news by ending Allen’s 57-game winning streak in the state semifinal. Head coach Todd Dodge is no stranger to state championships, having won four with Southlake Carroll. Westlake has made seven trips to the state final but won only once, in 1996. North Shore has the most losses of any team in a state final this year and started the season 1-3 before winning 11 straight.
6A Division II
Katy (15-0) vs.
Austin Lake Travis (15-0),
8 p.m. Saturday
Notable: Katy is back in the state title game for the fourth consecutive season, having lost the previous two against Cedar Hill. The Tigers have played in 13 previous title games, winning seven (including one as a 1A school in 1959). Lake Travis has won all five of its previous trips to the championship game — consecutively from 2007-2011. It would be the Cavaliers’ first state title in the UIL’s largest classification. Katy is allowing just over a touchdown per game, including three shutouts, in the postseason. Meanwhile, Lake Travis is averaging 45 points per playoff game.