High School Football

Grapevine vs. Richland: How do you pick winner in the perfect matchup?

Perhaps the biggest game of the season highlights Week 8, with Grapevine and Richland squaring off Friday in a District 8-5A showdown at Birdville ISD Fine Arts/Athletics Complex.

This could well be the only area game this late or later in the season that will feature two undefeated teams — 6-0 overall, 3-0 in 8-5A — although current undefeated squads Aledo and Justin Northwest meet in Week 10.

For Richland, senior quarterback Trae Self starts the conversation with 25 touchdowns passes to just four interceptions on the season. The Rebels have a strong supporting cast behind him: running backs Rylee Johnson (491 yards, 7 TDs) and Shamar Johnson (5 TDs), and receivers Landon Le, Caleb Wells and Rashee Rice, who have a combined 1,154 yards receiving and 18 TDs.

Grapevine shows some similarities in offensive output, with junior quarterback Alan Bowman (22 TDs, 2 INTs), running back Zach Wolf (385 yards, 4 TDs), and receivers Dylan Gonzales (412 yards, 5 TDs) and Zack Carnes (363 yards, 7 TDs).

Two of the more explosive teams in the Metroplex, Grapevine (54 points per game) and Richland (53 ppg) will test out each other’s defense. The Mustangs have allowed seven points in the past three games, while the Rebels allowed just 1 yard of total offense in a 78-0 win over Fort Worth Polytechnic last week.

Neither team has played an offense like the other, so this will be a great test to see who has a district title and deep playoff run in its future.

It’s a toss-up Friday with the tiebreaker going to the home team, Richland 41-38.

Boswell vs. Northwest

The unbeaten Northwest Texans can’t look past Thursday’s contest with visiting Saginaw Boswell — also 3-0 in District 6-5A — before their potential district-title match with Aledo in two weeks.

Boswell freshman quarterback Brayden Thomas leads the Pioneers with 735 yards passing, 11 TDs and 2 INTs in just three games, while running back Damon Williams (187 yards, TD vs. Brewer) and receiver Isaiah Mayfield (81 yards, 2 TDs vs. Brewer) are offensive playmakers.

Northwest quarterback Prince Mavula has been efficient with 1,571 yards, 19 TDs and just one interception. But the better surprise might be Syrus Moore’s move from receiver to running back. He leads 6-5A with 979 rushing yards and 11 TDs.

Iowa commit Gavin Holmes is a threat on offense and special teams. Against Saginaw, he had 150 receiving yards and a TD, and a 95-yard kickoff return.

Like Grapevine and Richland, this is the best team either one has faced and will tell the tale on whether a shot at dethroning Aledo is in the cards.

Northwest is the healthier team. Texans, 42-28.

Burleson vs. Burleson Centennial

Another year of “The Battle of the Boot” on Friday night as Burleson and Burleson Centennial have 2-1 District 9-5A records.

Burleson has won the past three meetings; the Elks enter the game averaging 33 points per game while giving up 21. The Spartans are scoring 31 points per game and give up 23.

This is the year Centennial snaps the streak and takes it 34-31.

Briefly

▪ Trophy Club Nelson decides its own fate after upsetting Euless Trinity last week. The Bobcats (1-5, 1-2 5-6A) have a good shot at the playoffs if they win out, and that quest starts this week against Lewisville (3-3, 1-2). The momentum continues, Nelson 24-21.

▪ Speaking of Trinity, the Trojans are searching for answers after suffering a second straight loss, first time that’s happened since 2013. The Trojans face a big rivalry game on Thursday with Hurst L.D. Bell. Trinity hasn’t lost in the series since 1998. Trojans get back to their winning ways, 50-14.

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