— District 12-6A —
KILLEEN ELLISON at TEMPLE
Records: Ellison Eagles 1-5, 0-3; Temple Wildcats 5-1, 3-0
Last week: Killeen 27, Ellison 20; Temple 38, Harker Heights 36
Last year’s meeting: Temple 64, Ellison 38
Eagles to watch: RB Damashja Harris, RB Ezekiel Sheridan, WR Traelen Williams, WR Trejon Spiller, QB Faleifa Mauga, DE Devonte Tezino, LB Julio Ramirez, LB James Williams.
Wildcats to watch: QB Humberto Arizmendi, RB Samari Howard, WR AJ McDuffy, WR Mikal Harrison-Pilot, WR Luke Allen, WR Tr’Darius Taylor, DT Jayven Taylor, DE Eric Shorter, LB Taurean York, LB Faylin Lee, LB Marshall Grays, DB Keon Williams, S O’Tarian Peoples, DB Carlton Mack, S Jalen Jackson.
Note: The first step for Temple toward a potential fourth straight victory is to get off to a better start than last week when it fell behind 20-0 before storming back for its victory over Heights. The Wildcats are scoring an average of 38 points per game while the Eagles are logging 23.8. Howard has rushed for at least 100 yards in five consecutive games, and it’s no surprise Temple is 4-1 in that span. McDuffy’s three TDs receiving last week were a single-game career high for the senior. York continues to lead the Wildcats defensively with 50 tackles. Ellison’s three district defeats were by a combined average margin of four points. Harris (6-1, 198 pounds) has 683 yards and five touchdowns rushing, and Spiller (6-3, 180) has team highs of 33 catches, 677 yards and seven TDs. Mauga has completed 82 of 129 passes for 1,292 yards and 11 touchdowns, with six interceptions. Tezino (6-5, 242) has 41 tackles, including seven for a defense that’s allowed 27.6 points per game in district.
— District 11-3A-I —
TROY at ACADEMY
John Glover Stadium
Records: Troy Trojans 5-4, 3-2; Academy Bumblebees 6-3, 2-3
Last week: Rockdale 46, Troy 38; Academy, idle
Last year’s meeting: Troy 42, Academy 14
Trojans to watch: RB Zach Hrbacek, LB Kadin Workman, OL Brady Mays, OL Zach Westbrook, FB/LB Hunter Martin, DL Joel Ramos, DB Xavier Hernandez, QB Jace Carr, WR Jase Schmidt.
Bumblebees to watch: QB/DB Jerry Cephus, RB Darion Franklin, WR/DB Jaylin McWilliams, WR Jayden Simmons, WR/DB Kollin Mraz, DB Xavier LeBlanc, OL/DL Wyatt Gardner, LB Lane Ward.
Note: It’s as clear as can be. The winner of this game grabs the district’s final playoff spot. What isn’t as clear is which seed in the Class 3A Division I postseason will go to the winner. Troy could be as high as the second seed depending on other results, or as low as the fourth. Academy can finish no higher than third. Cephus leads the area with 1,431 yards and 15 touchdowns passing for an offense that does much of its damage through the air, averaging 232.8 yards passing per game. McWilliams, Franklin and Simmons have combined for 19 touchdowns receiving. Meanwhile, Troy’s mode of operation is on the ground with Hrbacek (area-best 2,214 yards, 33 TDs).
LORENA at ROCKDALE
Records: Lorena Leopards 6-2, 4-1; Rockdale Tigers 6-3, 4-1
Last week: Lorena 48, Caldwell 14; Rockdale 46, Troy 38
Leopards to watch: QB Ben Smedshammer, RB/LB Reed Michna, RB Cayden Madkins, RB Kasen Taylor, WR Jadon Porter, LB Callan Weaver, DB Daylan Browder, LB Cason Pitts, OL Kylan Bernardi.
Tigers to watch: RB Cam’ron Valdez, WR/DB Kesean Raven, DL Ty Mayberry, LB Enrique Rivera, QB/WR Kobe Mitchell, LB Chase Mayfield; WR Anthony Dansby.
Note: Tonight’s matchup is the de facto district championship game, with the winner claiming the outright league title. There is more on the line than just the 11-3A-I crown, though. A loss by Rockdale combined with a win tonight by McGregor would drop the Tigers to the district’s No. 3 seed for the playoffs. The Tigers and Leopards run similar one-back, shotgun-based offenses. Smedshammer has completed 60 of 117 passes for 1,107 yards, and Mitchell has completed 88 of 140 for 1,405 yards. Valdez’s 1.255 yards rushing fuel Rockdale’s ground attack that averages 242 yards rushing per game.
— District 13-3A-II —
FLORENCE at ROGERS
Records: Florence Buffaloes 0-9, 0-5; Rogers Eagles 4-5, 3-2
Last week: Riesel 25, Florence 15; Rogers, idle
Last year’s meeting: Rogers 65, Florence 14
Buffaloes to watch: QB Victor Bonilla, RB Brenden Woljevach, WR Jared Jimenez, TE/LB Zhane Shepard, OL/DL Angel Maldonado, OL/DL Gilberto Mora, RB/DB Abraham Hernandez.
Eagles to watch: RB/DB Christian Riley, RB Christian Watkins, RB RJ Cook, QB Riley Dolgener, RB/LB John Hill, WR/DB Ben Hutka, WR Jacob Glasgow, OL/DL Ty Sebek, OL/DL Jayce Jones.
Note: Rogers is already locked in as the district’s No. 3 seed for the postseason, and a win tonight over Florence would give the Eagles an added boost of momentum heading into next week’s playoffs. Riley needs only 94 yards rushing to reach the 1,000-yard plateau for Rogers, which should be well-rested coming off its open date. The Buffaloes have struggled from the opening kick this season, getting outscored 361-101.
— District 12-2A-I —
BRUCEVILLE-EDDY at ROSEBUD-LOTT
Cougar Field, Travis
Records: Bruceville-Eddy Eagles 2-6, 1-4; Rosebud-Lott Cougars 3-5, 1-4
Last week: Holland 50, Bruceville-Eddy 13; Rosebud-Lott, idle
Eagles to watch: QB Trapper Ensor, RB Hunter Diaz, WR Levi LaFavers, WR/DL Caleb Pate, WR Pablo Rubio, WR Colby Tolbert, OL/LB Cameron Fouts, OL Noah Cano.
Cougars to watch: QB Jamarquis Johnson, WR/RB Breon Lewis, QB/LB John Paul Reyna, WR Jordan Landrum, OL Easton Fulton, OL Nolan Kahlig, OL Jackson Hughes, WR Steven Buhl.
Note: While neither Bruceville-Eddy nor Rosebud-Lott will compete for a playoff spot tonight, both teams would like to end their seasons on a positive note. The Cougars average 22.4 points per game and are led offensively by Johnson, who has 792 yards and six TDs passing in addition to 499 yards and five scores rushing in his first season as the starting quarterback. The Eagles average 15.8 points and 317 yards per game while allowing 35.5 points and 347.7 yards per game. Ensor spearheads their offense with 850 yards and four TDs passing, and 544 yards and 11 TDs rushing.
THRALL at HOLLAND
Records: Thrall Tigers 5-4, 3-2; Holland Hornets 7-2, 4-1
Last week: Thrall 41, Moody 0; Holland 50, Bruceville-Eddy 13
Last year’s meeting: Holland 41, Thrall 13
Tigers to watch: RB/LB Dallas Meiske, QB Colter Hill, WR/DB Tyreke Irvin, WR/DB Garrett Crabb, RB/LB Brady Peterson, LB Blair Neighbors, DL Bryce Poling.
Hornets to watch: QB Ayden Tomasek, WR/LB Josh Evans, RB Caleb Evans, OL/DL Marshall Mays, FB/LB JC Chaney, FB/DL Ethan Mann, OL/DL Lenny Lopez, OL/DL Seth Hallbauer, RB/WR Ethan Botts, RB Blaze Wooley.
Note: Both teams have secured playoff berths, but Holland’s postseason seed is yet to be determined. The Hornets can secure the No. 2 seed with either a win or a loss by three points or less. If Thrall wins by four points or more, Holland would fall to the third seed. The Hornets, who have outscored district opponents 208-69, average 386.7 yards per game while yielding an area-best 208.2. Tomasek leads Holland with 669 yards and nine TDS rushing, and 684 yards and eight TDs passing. Holland has gotten contributions on the ground from Josh Evans (330 yards, six TDs), Caleb Evans (273 yards, four TDs), Mann (262 yards) and Wooley (242 yards, three TDs). Thrall, which averages only 34.5 yards passing per game, has three players — Hill (456 yards, seven TDs), Irvin (432 yards, seven TDs) and Meiske (406 yards, five TDs) — with more than 400 yards rushing.
HEARNE at MOODY
Records: Hearne Eagles 7-0, 5-0; Moody Bearcats 1-8, 0-5
Last week: Hearne 42, Thorndale 18; Thrall 41, Moody 0
Eagles to watch: QB Micah Smith, DL Steven Craft-Mitchell, OL Justin Camper, OL Monterrius Smith, LB Jecory McGrew, DL Anthony Jackson, WR Jabari Dunn.
Bearcats to watch: QB Ryder Hohhertz, OL/DL Jayce McBride, CB/WR Donovan Jarzynkowski, RB Trent Curry, LB Hunter Mach, WR Kobe Kirven, WR/QB Cooper Staton.
Note: The Bearcats’ season comes to an end tonight against the Eagles, who have been the class of the district so far. The big reason for Hearne’s success has been Smith, who has thrown for 1,179 yards and rushed for a team-high 363. Dunn has been his favorite target, hauling in 30 catches for 640 yards. Hohhertz has had a memorable season for Moody, passing for 660 yards and rushing for 760.
— TAPPS District 3-IV —
CENTRAL TEXAS CHRISTIAN at SAN ANTONIO HOLY CROSS
Holy Cross Stadium
Records: CTCS Lions 5-1, 1-1; Holy Cross Knights 3-1, 2-0
Last week: CTCS 56, Austin St. Dominic Savio 14; Holy Cross, idle
Lions to watch: RB/DB Ryan Turley, QB/DL Alec Gonzalez, OL Tim Marwitz, LB/FB Connor Ling, WR/DB Andrew Lange, RB/LB Charlie Hudson, OL/DL Johnny Luevano.
Knights to watch: WR/DB Marc Garcia, WR/DB Roman Gonzales, RB/LB Romelo Portillo, TE/DL Amir Ali, OL/DL Kirk Revis, WR Marcos Jimenez-Cedillo.
Note: CTCS hits the road to take on Holy Cross in hopes of moving closer to the top of the district standings. Turley has rushed for 983 yards and 20 TDs for the Lions, and Gonzalez has proven himself in his first year as the starting quarterback by throwing for 907 yards and nine TDs. Ling leads CTCS with 15 catches for 309 yards and a touchdown. Lange has nine catches for 237 yards and four scores for Lions team that averages 400 yards per game while allowing 215.7.
— TAPPS Six-man District 4-II —
AUSTIN HILL COUNTRY at HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC
Records: Hill Country Knights 1-2, 1-1; Holy Trinity Celtics 3-3, 2-2
Last week: Hill Country, idle; San Marcos Academy 52, Holy Trinity 6
Knights to watch: QB Steel Kupec, RB Kyler Cline, WR Ethan Howard, LB Kimo Horvath, DB Kelli Horvath.
Celtics to watch: WR/DB Guido Zecca, RB/DB Zaylin Blackwood, RB Patrick McKenna, LB David Thang, QB Jace Martin, OL Neri Navarro, OL/DL Trent Lockhart, RB/DB Patrick Weisbruch.
Note: The Celtics aim to get back in the win column tonight after a rough loss last week, and they face a Knights team that has played half as many games. Hill Country is a run-first team, with 765 yards on the ground to just 304 in the air. Kupec leads both categories with 225 yards passing and 357 rushing. Holy Trinity has a more balanced attack with Martin (653 yards passing) and Blackwood (306 yards rushing).
— Non-district —
GATESVILLE vs. PECOS
San Angelo Stadium
Records: Gatesville Hornets 3-5; Pecos Eagles 3-4
Last week: Gatesville 35, Jarrell 28; Pecos 21, Snyder 7
Hornets to watch: QB Luke Mullins, OL Evan Hanson, LB Zach Bates, DB Aveyn Sarinana, RB/DB Hayden Mooney, WR Carson Brizendine, WR Parker Allman, WR Trevor Smith, WR Logan Edwards.
Eagles to watch: QB Eli Sandoval, RB/LB Armando Ortega, RB/DB Abel Velasquez, RB Ezekiel Saldana, WR/DB Randall Wilson, OL Everett McGhee.
Note: One week after locking up the final playoff berth from District 9-4A-II, Gatesville tunes up for the postseason with a neutral-site game against Pecos. In his first season with the Hornets, Mullins has thrown for 1,094 yards and 12 TDs. Brizendine (25 catches, 337 yards, four TDs), Allman (20-224-2, Edwards (17-202-5) and Smith (15-189-2) have been his favorite targets. The Eagles are the No. 4 playoff seed out of 1-4A-II.
MCDADE at BUCKHOLTS
Jim Hauk Field
Records: McDade Bulldogs 2-4; Buckholts Badgers 2-6
Last week: Medina 60, McDade 12; Oglesby 82, Buckholts 32
Bulldogs to watch: QB Xavier Candanoza, RB/LB Daniel Alejo, RB Anthony Cotrill, DB Peyton Spriggs.
Badgers to watch: QB Zach Hafley, RB/DB Thomas Maldonado, WR/DB David Lansford, TE/DE Luis Torres, WR/LB Fabian Baez, RB Nathaniel Plumley.
Note: Tonight marks the season finale for Buckholts, which added the matchup with McDade after Mount Calm canceled its season. Hafley (944 yards passing, 592 rushing), Plumley (753 yards rushing) and the receiving trio of Luciano (262 yards), Lansford (259) and Maldonado (258) lead the Badgers’ offensive attack. Alejo who has 533 yards rushing on 52 carries for the Bulldogs.