It's a whirlwind this football season. All of the classes from 4A on down are into the regional semifinals. TAPPS is into the second round, and 6A and 5A are still finishing out the regular season. That's where we find ourselves today in this corner of #txhsfb space - a Week 10, 7-6A showdown in the heart of Richardson.
And we also get to go back to the single-game preview for this one.
PREVIEWING RICHARDSON (5-3, 4-1)
Richardson has won five of its last six games after starting the season 0-2, led by dual-threat quarterback Aaron Bertrand. In those five wins, Richardson has averaged 22.2 points per game, which is right around their season average, while holding teams to just 14 points per game. It has helped, though, that two of those games (and wins) have come against the vastly inferior Irving schools.
On the whole, despite being 5-3, Richardson has been an up-and-down team. In three games - going 2-1 in such instances - Richardson had eclipsed the 300-plus yard mark. In last week's win over Irving MacArthur, it didn't even get over 200 yards of offense but still won.
The aforementioned Bertrand leads the team offensively with 784 yards rushing and 416 yards passing, totaling 17 total touchdowns. Richardson is a run-heavy team, averaging 180 yards per game on the ground this year to just 94 through the air.
Turnovers have been the bug-a-boo for Richardson this season, as it has turned the ball over 14 times this year to just 10 takeaways - a net-negative difference of four.
PREVIEWING LAKE HIGHLANDS (8-0, 5-0)
Having already equaled last year's win total, Lake Highlands has been rolling this season, averaging nearly 47 points a game and only being in one game decided by a touchdown or less - a win over Jesuit.
Like Richardson, Lake Highlands is a ground-heavy team, amassing more than 2,500 yards on the ground as a team, led by Noelle Whitehead's 1,257 yards and 11 scores. Quarterback Mitch Coulson is also a dual-threat quarterback, as he has 1,609 total yards and 25 total touchdowns. Lake Highlands' run game accounts for two-thirds of the team's offensive output, which averages out to 318.5 rushing yards per game.
Unlike Richardson, Lake Highlands is a highly-opportunist team defensively and has plus-6 turnover difference this year and has not lost the turnover battle in any game.
PREVIEWING THE GAME
This series has been completely dominated by Lake Highlands since before most of the players in this matchup were in preschool. Since 2005 (the furthest MaxPreps goes back), Lake Highlands has won every matchup with Richardson by an average of 23 points. Only three times in the last 15 meetings has the game been a one-possession game.
And TexasFootball.com expects more of the same, with Lake Highlands entering as 33-point favorites.
Let's examine how the teams match up.
|Points Per Game||21.6||46.6|
|Points Allowed Per Game||22.3||22.3|
|Passing Yards Per Game||94.0||165.3|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||180.8||318.5|
|Total Yards Per Game||274.8||483.8|
Clearly, Lake Highlands has the offensive edge. Since district play started, Lake Highlands has increased its points per game average by four points, scoring 56 or more points twice. Meanwhile, Richardson has not had a big boost offensively, only scoring 2 points more a game since district play started, which includes a 7-point showing against Irving.
From a standings perspective, a win would seal at least a share of the district title for Lake Highlands. It holds the tie-breaker over Jesuit, which would put Lake Highlands in the W7 position come playoff time. A win for Richardson would create some havoc for the standings as it, Lake Highland and Jesuit would all have one loss with a week to play, assuming Jesuit wins this week as well.
Lake Highlands seems like a vastly superior team in virtually every category and has simply dominated this series for the longest time. Expect that to continue as Lake Highlands locks up that W7 spot for 6A Division I playoffs.
Lake Highlands 52, Richardson 21
It was back to another 3-loss week (Prosper, Arlington Heights, Arlington Lamar), which dropped the season win percentage to below 83 percent. Here is this week's batch of games (combines Star-Telegram picks and Dallas Morning News and Denton Record-Chronicle assignments):
Lake Highlands over Richardson
Azle over Justin Northwest
Euless Trinity over Haltom
Arlington Bowie over Arlington
Argyle over Waco La Vega
Fort Worth Nolan Catholic over Plano John Paul II
SGP over Arlington Lamar
Colleyville Heritage over Burleson Centennial
Mansfield Summit over Midlothian
Duncanville over DeSoto
Melissa over Paris
Byron Nelson over Keller
Hurst LD Bell over Fort Worth Chisholm Trail
Denton Guyer over Little Elm
Denton Ryan over Frisco Independence
Parish Episcopal over Plano Prestonwood