Smell that? That's the sweet, sweet air of Texas high school playoff football, and it kicks off tonight all across the state from 4A through 1A. Six weeks - five in 1A - of teams battling for the right to hoist the UIL state championship trophy in December at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. For some, it's been 58 years in the making, and for other, it's back to it in hopes of putting another ring on it.
So the big boys (6A and 5A) take a back seat to the quick looks until their respective playoffs start as we peak at five matchups in 4A and 3A featuring DFW-area teams.
Kennedale (9-0) vs. Brownwood (4-5)
Kennedale is having its best season since its 9-3 finish in 2018, having ripped through district play with an average margin of victory of 48 points per game. Only three games this season were decided by a touchdown or less, two of which were non-district matchups. Brownwood had a two-game win streak snapped with a 56-point loss to effectively end its regular season as the finale was cancelled last week against Midlothian Heritage. In its wins, Brownwood averaged 41.5 points per game while only averaging 16.8 in its losses.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. @ Wildcat Stadium (Kennedale)
Line: Kennedale favored by 23
Next round: Winner of Melissa/Dallas Carter in Area Round
Melissa (9-1) vs. Dallas Carter (3-3)
Outside of a 20-point loss in a showdown against No. 1-ranked Argyle, Melissa has been untouchable, winning its played games by an average of 28 points per game. Since that Argyle game, Melissa has gone on to score more than 50 points in its last four. Carter started the season 0-3 before winning its last three to finish third in its district. A win over rival Hutchins sparked the 3-game in which Carter outscored its opponents by 60 points in that stretch.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. @ Cardinal Field (Melissa)
Line: Melissa favored by 26
Next round: Winner of Kennedale/Brownwood in Area Round.
Dallas Hutchins (4-1) vs. Kaufman (3-3)
Hutchins' lone loss this year was to rival Carter, and it enters play on a two-game streak that both ended as one-possession games. Due to the coronavirus, Hutchins' schedule has been truncated a bit. Kaufman backs into the playoffs having lost its last three district games after starting 7-4A DI play at 3-0. In those three wins, Kaufman averaged 38 points while only averaging 14 in the three losses.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. @ City Bank Stadium (Forney)
Line: Kaufman favored by 8
Next round: Winner of Waco La Vega/Fort Worth Western Hills in Area Round
Pilot Point (7-3) vs. Clyde (4-4)
Pilot Point enters the playoffs having dropped its season finale and de facto district title game to Brock by 45 points, which ended a brief 2-game win streak. It's been feast or famine for Pilot Point which has averaged 42 points in its 7 wins this year and only scored 41 total points in its three losses. Clyde started the season 1-4 before getting the three wins it needed to get into the playoffs. It then finished the regular season on a two-game skid against Wall and Tuscola Jim Ned, each of which won 8 games this year.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. @ Tarleton Memorial Stadium (Stephenville)
Line: Pilot Point is favored by 16
Next round: Plays Shallowater in Area Round
Iowa Park (7-2) vs. Sanger (8-1)
OK, so we're cheating here as this is a Saturday game, but it's the best Bi-District game on the schedule in terms of records. Iowa Park has won four of its last five games with the only loss being to district foe Graham. In that stretch, Iowa Park won those games by an average of 33 points. Sanger had its season finale canceled, so it hasn't played in two weeks but carries a two-game win streak after an undefeated season was stopped by Aubrey. In four of its wins, Sanger held opponents to 7 points or less.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. @ Ford Center at The Star (Frisco)
Line: Iowa Park favored by 23
Next round: Plays Lubbock Estacado in Area Round
The rest of 4A/3A playoffs games for the weekend
Decatur (5-5) vs. Pampa (8-2)
Dumas (9-1) vs. Lake Worth (6-4)
Fort Worth Benbrook (6-4) vs. Stephenville (5-5)
Waco La Vega (7-2) vs Fort Worth Western Hills (4-5)
Celina (3-4) vs Vernon (2-8)
Glen Rose (9-1) vs Nevada Community (4-5)
Godley (6-4) vs Quinlan Ford (6-2)
Groesbeck (6-3) vs Dallas Madison (3-2)
Grandview def. Teague (forfeit)
Other intriguing games around the area (6A, 5A and Private)
6A: #11 Denton Guyer (5-1) vs. #4 Allen (4-0)
6A: #8 Cedar Hill (5-0) vs. #2 Duncanville (4-1)
5A DI: Frisco Wakeland (5-2) vs. #9 Frisco Lone Star (3-2)
TAPPS: #1 Parish Episcopal (6-0) vs. #2 Fort Worth Nolan Catholic (5-0)