It’s crazy to think that it’s already the final week of the high school football season, and there are playoff spots and playoff seedings to be decided — so many it’s hard to keep up.
Among the 10 Class 6A, 5A and 4A districts covered by the Star-Telegram, 10 out of 40 playoff spots have not been clinched.
Colleyville Heritage (6-3, 5-1 District 8-5A) and Richland (9-0, 6-0) both locked up playoff berths, but Friday’s game at Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex is for the district title and the No. 1 seed in Division I. The winner will face Fort Worth Arlington Heights, the other plays South Hills.
A victory by Richland will also make the Rebels the outright district champions with an undefeated regular season. Quarterback Trae Self set the single-season school record for touchdown passes with 36 — adding three last week in the first half against Dunbar.
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The Rebels have another thing on their mind, the 61-0 beatdown they suffered last year against Heritage.
A Heritage victory would result in a three-way tie atop the 8-5A standings with Richland and Grapevine, if Grapevine beats Birdville.
Prediction: The Panthers have won the past two meetings, but this is Richland’s year, 41-38.
Martin vs. Lamar
It will be win or stay home Thursday night at Cravens when Arlington Martin (5-4, 4-2) and Arlington Lamar (5-4, 3-3) play for the final playoff spot in District 4-6A.
Lamar leads the all-time series 19-11-2, but Martin has won eight of the past 10 meetings.
Lamar quarterback Chance Fuller threw for six touchdowns last week, tied for second most in Arlington ISD history, three going to Vikings receiver Dayton Dubs. The Warriors beat Arlington 51-21, as Juma Otoviano rushed for 225 yards and four touchdowns.
Prediction: Hard to imagine Martin staying home — the Warriors haven’t missed the playoffs in the Bob Wager era, last falling short in 2005. Martin sneaks in 34-31.
Lake Ridge vs. Waxahachie
Another play-in game Friday at Lumpkins Stadium when Mansfield Lake Ridge (5-4, 3-3) visits Waxahachie (6-3, 3-3) for the final spot in District 10-5A.
Lake Ridge was last year’s Class 5A Division I state runner up, but the Eagles are in danger of missing the playoffs. After playing Legacy close the previous week, Lake Ridge took a step back with just seven points in a loss to Timberview last week.
Prediction: Waxahachie was 6-0 and state ranked, but lost three straight, including 42-35 to Lancaster. However, coach Jon Kitna’s team led 14-0 and then 28-21 at halftime, so it’s a step in the right direction. Indians 45-30.
Brewer vs. Eaton
White Settlement Brewer (3-6, 3-3 in 6-5A) and Haslet Eaton (3-6, 3-3) both won last week to set up a third play-in game Friday at Northwest ISD Stadium.
Brewer outrushed Azle 313-72 in a 55-14 victory while Eaton gained 244 yards rushing and three touchdowns by sophomore Titus Swen to outscore Saginaw 14-3 in the fourth quarter of its 40-33 win.
Prediction: Can Eaton complete the storybook tale and make the playoffs in its first year of UIL varsity competition? Yes, 30-28.
Euless Trinity (6-3, 3-3) and Trophy Club Nelson (3-6, 3-3) can get in with wins this week over Flower Mound Marcus and L.D. Bell.
Prediction: Trinity is in jeopardy of snapping its streak of 18 consecutive playoff appearances. Nelson can become a postseason team after starting 0-5. Both get it done.