In Texas high school football, the bi-district round is — to paint with a broad brush — a frickin’ bloodbath.
Close, hard-fought games are the exception for UIL Class 6A and 5A teams. When you have a bunch of district champions facing third- or fourth-place squads from other districts, it just gets — unattractive.
And it’s even worse in 4A.
Check it out: AP No. 2 West Orange-Stark (8-0) met Brookshire Royal (1-8), No. 3 Argyle (10-0) got Snyder (2-8), and No. 6 Midlothian Heritage (10-0) played Lake Worth (2-8).
Three teams with a combined 28 wins faced three teams with a combined five. That’s because there are a bunch of five-team districts where it’s possible to make the playoffs if you merely win once all year.
West Orange-Stark 55, Brookshire Royal 0
Midlothian Heritage 74, Lake Worth 12
Argyle 56, Snyder 21
▪ But if there’s one 4A team that seems to have it figured out, it’s the Hondo Owls.
▪ Four whole districts combined to sweep four other whole districts out of the playoffs. District 4-6A knocked out 3-6A, 10-5A downed 9-5A and 8-5A swept 7-5A. District 4-5A swept 3-5A the second year running!
I’m blaming something in the water, because that’s just sad.
▪ It feels odd to report that Euless Trinity, those guys with the haka and the Texas hero Steve Lineweaver, got past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
▪ Just when you thought those nails were safe — Saginaw Boswell looked like it was going to get drummed out by Denison for most of the game, just one year after its miracle season.
But a furious rally and a few pivotal plays, and Boswell clawed back to the top to win 39-35.
▪ Keller Fossil Ridge decided to try a little banner swagger, facing off with Arlington. And why not? The Panthers just had their first undefeated run in not only school history, but Keller ISD history, and that district has four high schools.
That sort of thing can backfire, though, and it did for Ridge. Arlington 27, Fossil Ridge 13. They’ll rue that sign.
▪ Mansfield pretty much cruised against Keller Central. I’m not sure if this is kosher with coach Dan Maberry or not, and I hope I don’t get junior fullback Theo Owens in trouble, but:
Final score was Tigers 42, Chargers 3. Owens had a pair of touchdowns, so hopefully Coach cuts him a little slack.
▪ McKinney brought state single-game rushing record holder Matt Gadek to its game against Southlake Carroll. You’d think that’d be a thing, right?
But wait! T.J. McDaniel! My, but that young man can run with the football.