A huge weekend of high school football playoff action is on tap with teams across the area fighting for regional titles.
Eight Houston-area teams are looking to advance in 5A and 6A regional title game with a pair of games set for NRG Stadium.
The 6A division II, region II and III finals will be part of a Saturday doubleheader at the home of the Houston Texans with the Katy Taylor Mustangs (8-5) battling the Cy Creek Cougars (9-4) at 2:00 p.m. That game will be followed by the region II final pitting Dallas Jesuit (9-4) and the Westfield Mustangs (12-1).
Katy Taylor entered the playoffs with just a 5-5 mark, including three straight losses to playoff teams in their district, but the Mustangs have put together three good weeks of football to defeat Elkins, Memorial and Humble to reach the regional final.
Cy Creek started their season with three losses, but have now have won nine of ten games, including a big come-from-behind victory last week against Strake Jesuit. Their 35-point second half paved the way to their 45-33 victory.
The Jesuit team from Dallas is led by a familiar name in the backfield, E.J. Smith. Smith, the son of Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith scored all four touchdowns in the Rangers 28-21 win over Klein Collins this past weekend. Westfield’s lone loss this season came to North Shore in week two on a last second field goal, a 24-21 defeat.
A pair of noon games on Saturday with determine a pair of 5A regional champions. The Shadow Creek Sharks (13-0) are looking for a 2nd straight regional title in just their 2nd varsity season. They arrive at this game against the surprising Manor Mustangs thanks to a great second half on Saturday against rival Foster. The final was 36-31 giving the Sharks their 4th win over Foster in two seasons, all by slight margins. The Sharks and Mustangs will travel to San Antonio’s Alamodome for this showdown.
The other 5A regional final is a long-anticipated rematch at Freedom Field on Saturday between Fort Bend Marshall (12-1) and the Manvel Mavericks (13-0). These district foes battled in the fourth game of the season with Manvel emerging with a hard-fought 38-34 win. Marshall features the star-studded tandem on quarterback Malik Hornsby and do-everything running back Devon Achane, both of whom were a part of last season’s state-runner up squad. Mavericks quarterback Tucker Yarbrough has enjoyed a fantastic season and had three touchdown passes in that September win over Marshall.
The 6A, division I, regional III final matches two behemoths, Atascocita and North Shore, who have piled up huge points throughout the season. The Atascocita Eagles (12-1) are averaging over 52 points per game in their three playoff wins, behind dual-threat quarterback Brice Matthews. They’ve scored over 60 points eight times this season. The North Shore Mustangs (12-1) are the defending state champion, looking for three more wins and a repeat crown. They avenged their only loss of the regular season with their 56-35 win over Katy on Friday. Quarterback Dematrius Davis was electric with 283 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He also threw three touchdown passes.
High School Football Playoffs, Regional Finals (all games Saturday, Dec. 7)
12p 5A Div I : Reg. III Shadow Creek (13-0) vs Manor (8-5) Alamodome
12p 5A Div II, Reg. III : Marshall (12-1) vs Manvel (13-0) Freedom Field
2p 6A Div I, Reg. III : North Shore (12-1) vs Atascocita (12-1) Sheldon ISD (CE King)
2p 6A Div II, Reg. III : Katy Taylor (8-5) vs Cy Creek (9-4) NRG Stadium
6p 6A Div II, Reg. II : Dallas Jesuit (9-4) vs Westfield (12-1) NRG Stadium