DFW Football: Thursday Playoffs

DFW Football: Thursday Playoffs
DFW Football: Thursday Playoffs (Copyright (c) 2020 VYPE - All rights reserved)

Earlier this week, we broke down the playoff tiers for the 70, 6A and 5A teams in their respective division. There are nine games on the docket featuring DFW-area teams, and we'll preview them all here.


CLASS 6A

6A DI RI: #14 Arlington Martin (8-1) vs. Richardson (5-5)

After a season-opening loss to Denton Ryan, Arlington Martin has done nothing but win. This includes running right through 8-6A unscathed. Martin enters the playoffs, finishing the season ranked 14th in the state, and is battled tested. Richardson enters limping in a bit, losing three of its last four games.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: LB Morice Blackewll (Martin); QB Zach Mundell (Martin); QB Aaron Bertrand (Richardson); DL/OL Drew Moss (Richardson)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Globe Life Park (Arlington)
LINE: Martin favored by 55
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of McKinney Boyd/Lewisville in Area Round

6A DI RI: #2 Duncanville (6-1) vs. Killeen Harker Heights (7-3)

For the third straight season, it's state or bust for Duncanville. The 2020 playoff run could be the most daunting of the three. Second-ranked Duncanville has handled all in-state competition with relative ease. It's closest win was 14 against Cedar Hill. Harker Heights is on a 4-game win streak after starting district play 1-2.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: OL/DT Savion Byrd (Duncanville); WR Roderick Daniels (Duncanville); DB Savonte Sanford-Paige (Harker Heights); QB Terrance Carter (Harker Heights)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Panther Stadium (Duncanville)
LINE: Duncanville favored by 34
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Sachse/Skyline in Area Round

6A DI RII: #18 Rockwall (9-1) vs. Wylie (3-5)

Outside of a thumping against Highland Park to end non-district play, Rockwall has pretty much been doing the thumping. Only two wins were decided by a touchdown or less, which included outdueling Southlake Carroll. The big question for Rockwall this season was how it would do without it's all-world WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and the answer is: quite well. As for Wylie, it relied on a 3-game, season-ending win streak and a bit of bad luck for another district mate to get into the playoffs. Wylie won each of its last three games by three points each.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Braedyn Locke (Rockwall); LB Gage Elder (Rockwall); QB Marcus McElroy (Wylie); DB Jaylan Alexander (Wylie)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium (Rockwall)
LINE: Rockwall favored by 37
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of DeSoto/Killeen Shoemaker in Area Round

6A DI RII: #11 DeSoto (7-1) vs. Killeen Shoemaker (7-2)

Outside of a thumping against Highland Park to end non-district play, Rockwall has pretty much been doing the thumping. Only two wins were decided by a touchdown or less, which included outdueling Southlake Carroll. The big question for Rockwall this season was how it would do without it's all-world WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and the answer is: quite well. As for Wylie, it relied on a 3-game, season-ending win streak and a bit of bad luck for another district mate to get into the playoffs. Wylie won each of its last three games by three points each.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Samari Collier (DeSoto); DE Shemar Turner (DeSoto); RB Devin Brown (Shoemaker); DB Jaylan Alexander (Wylie)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Buckley Stadium (Killeen)
LINE: DeSoto favored by 32
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Rockwall/Wylie in Area Round

5A DI RII: #2 Highland Park (8-0) vs. New Caney (5-5)

Another regular season in the book and another regular season unscathed for second-ranked Highland Park. Even with a new, relatively unproven quarterback this year, the train stayed right on track and marched full steam ahead. Only two games were decided by a touchdown or less as Highland Park hasn't played a close game in more than a month. New Caney finished the last three games 1-2 and were up and down all season. Wins over New Caney Porter and Magnolia West in district play vaulted New Caney into the playoffs.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Brayden Schager (Highland Park); LB Patrick Turner (Highland Park); RB/DB Cale Sanders (New Caney); TE/DE Cameron Cooper (New Caney)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Highlander Stadium (Dallas)
LINE: Highland Park favored by 39
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Wilson/Independence in Area Round

5A DI RI: Frisco Independence (4-4) vs. Dallas Wilson (7-2)

Independence got off to a terrible start this year, going 0-3 and had to have a game cancelled to start district play. Since then, it finished out the season 4-1 with the lone loss coming against Denton Ryan. In the four games it won this year, Indy's offense averaged nearly 60 points a game. Wilson has had its best season in two years and could have been even better had it not loss by just two to Dallas Adams in the middle of the year. Wilson won it last two games of the season, which included a 55-point drubbing over Carrollton Turner.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Braylon Braxton (Independence); S Caleb Ellis (Independence); WR/DB Mileek Gipson (Wilson); TE/LB Jay Matney (Wilson)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Forrester Field (Dallas)
LINE: Independence favored by 27
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Highland Park/New Caney in Area Round

5A DI RI: #10 Colleyville Heritage vs. Fort Worth Brewer (4-4)

It's been a truncated season for Colleyville Heritage this season under first-year coach Kirk Martin. Heritage had a month off between its first and second game and another 21-day break in the middle of it later on, all to finish undefeated. Heritage won its last two games by an average of 32.5 to 4. Brewer hasn't played since mid-November as its last three games were cancelled as was on a two-game skid before that.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: WR/DB Hogan Wasson (Heritage); WR/DB Isaac Shabay (Heritage); QB BJ Williams (Brewer); ATH Kameron Sinclair (Brewer)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Mustang-Panther Stadium (Grapevine)
LINE: Heritage favored by 31
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of El Paso El Dorado/Amarillo in Area Round

5A DI RII: Frisco Lone Star (5-3) vs. Dallas White (6-4)

After back-to-back 3-point losses to open the season, Frisco Lone Star rattled off five straight wins that showed it was still a top-flight program in 5A. It fell by two scores to Denton Ryan in the de facto district championship game, but even without Marvin Mims hauling in just about everything, Lone Star will be a tough out in the playoffs. Likewise, Dallas White won four straight - two by forfeit - before running into a buzzsaw that is Lancaster. White is a program trending up as it had just five wins the previous two season combined.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Garret Rangel (Lone Star); ATH Ashton Jeanty (Lone Star); WR/DB Mileek Gipson (Wilson); TE/LB Jay Matney (Wilson)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Ford Center at The Star (Frisco)
LINE: Lone Star favored by 42
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Magnolia/McKinney North in Area Round

5A DII RII: #2 Aledo (7-1) vs. Dallas Hillcrest (6-4)

Nothing is new out in Parker County as Aledo, ranked 2nd the in the state, continues to dominate its district competition and is talked about as a team to beat come playoff time. 2020 is no different for this bunch, as it has faced tough competition all season, faltering just once to 6A Cedar Hill. Hillcrest had a rough start to the season but ended up going 5-1 in its last six, which includes two forfeits, as it enters the playoffs.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: WR JoJo Earle (Aledo); CB DeMarco Roberts (Aledo); RB/LB Nasir Reynolds (Hillcrest); TE/DE Demarlynn Bell (Hillcrest)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday @ Bearcat Stadium (Aledo)
LINE: Aledo favored by 38
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of North Forney/Denison in Area Round

PICKIN' SZN

It was a 10-1 record last week as the only game missed was South Hills over Polytechnic. It moves the overall record to 148-30 for an 83.15% correct mark.

Here are Week 16 Games (combining Fort Worth Star-Telegram picks and Dallas Morning News assignments)

Frisco Lone Star over Dallas White
Red Oak over Northwest
Fort Worth Lake Country over Colleyville Covenant
Dallas Christian over Fort Worth Southwest Christian
Canyon Randall over Fort Worth Southwest
North Crowley over Byron Nelson
South Grand Prairie over Richardson Lake Highlands
Lewisville over McKinney Boyd
Dallas Jesuit over Arlington
Grapevine over Abilene Wylie
Denton Ryan over Dallas Adams
Burleson Centennial over Azle
Marcus over Prosper
Denton Guyer over Coppell
Dallas Parish over Fort Worth Nolan Catholic