— Class 6A Division II —


Wildcat Stadium

Records: Waxahachie Indians 6-4; Temple Wildcats 8-2

Last week: DeSoto 31, Waxahachie 25; Temple 77, Copperas Cove 12

Last year’s meeting: Temple 38, Waxahachie 0

Winner gets: Rockwall-Heath or Garland Naaman Forest

Indians to watch: RB Iverson Young, RB Jayden Becks, WR Keith Abney, LB LaMarkus Reed, LB Corey King, DT Jermy Jackson, DT Brendan White, QB Roderick Hartsfield.

Wildcats to watch: RB Samari Howard, WR Devan Williams, WR Mikal Harrison-Pilot, WR Tr’Darius Taylor, QB Reese Rumfield, LB Taurean York, LB Faylin Lee, DT Tomas Torres, DT Eric Shorter, DT Jaylon Jackson, DT Ayden Brown, DB Zion Moore, DB LaMichael Thompson, DB Jalen Wardale, DB Naeten Mitchell, DB Kaleb Hill.

Note: This is Temple’s ninth straight playoff qualification. The Wildcats host a playoff game for the third time in four seasons (1-1 in the previous two) and look for back-to-back bi-district wins in a rematch with the Indians. Last year’s first-round win was Temple’s first as a 6A school. The Wildcats rolled through District 12-6A this season en route to a second league title in a row. They averaged 54.3 points per game while yielding just 16.6 in 12-6A play. However, head coach Scott Stewart said Waxahachie and first-year head coach Shane Tolleson (formerly the defensive coordinator at Denton Ryan) boast one of the better defenses the Wildcats have seen since facing Austin Westlake and Magnolia West in Weeks 1 and 2. With his four-TD performance a week ago, Samari Howard holds program records in two categories: career points (336) and career touchdowns (53). York and Reed have a combined 233 tackles. The Indians, who allow 22.3 points per game, collected 32 sacks during the regular season, including 13 by White. Young and Becks are a 1-2 punch out of the backfield.

— Class 6A Division I —


Panther Stadium

Records: Belton Tigers 6-4; Duncanville Panthers 8-1

Last week: Belton 45, Killeen 17; Duncanville 76, Waco 0

Winner gets: Garland Sachse or Mesquite

Tigers to watch: LB Donovan Thompson, DL Braxton Haynes, QB Ty Brown, RB Elijah Warner, DB Kage Carmichael, LB Wriley Madden, WR Seth Morgan, RB/QB Slade LeBlanc, TE Bryan Henry, DL Gabe Kalama, DB Aaron Bain, OL Jackson Engelke.

Panthers to watch: OL Cameron Williams, LB Jordan Crook, DE Omari Abor, QB Solomon James, RB Malachi Medlock, TE Jerrale Powers, OL Jaylen Early, DB Deldrick Madison, WR Lontrell Turner, LB Colin Simmons, WR Dakorien Moore, RB Caden Durham.

Note: Belton comes into its first playoff game since 2018 riding a three-game winning streak and playing arguably its best football of the season. But the Tigers’ reward is powerhouse Duncanville, which compiled a 15-2 playoff record in the last three years — going to two state title games (and winning one) in that time — and is on an eight-game winning streak. Boasting District 12-6A’s second-ranked defense, the Tigers recorded 30 tackles for losses in the last three games and forced a season-high seven turnovers in last week’s win. Belton also got a balanced offensive showing and posted a season-high point total against Killeen. The 11-6A champion Panthers have been stingy to say the least, surrendering only 6.8 points per game through an undefeated league campaign that featured three shutouts. Duncanville averages 52.3 points per game, with its lone loss coming to California power Santa Ana Mater Dei, 45-3, to open the season. Belton’s last playoff win came in a 38-30 bi-district decision over South Grand Prairie in 2016.

— Class 4A Division II —


Bruce Field, Athens

Records: Gatesville Hornets 4-6; Carthage Bulldogs 9-0

Last week: Gatesville 49, Jarrell 30; Carthage 56, Shepherd 0

Last year’s meeting: Carthage def. Gatesville (forfeit)

Winner gets: Hamshire-Fannett or Sweeny

Hornets to watch: QB Wesley Brown, WR Carson Brizendine, WR Trevor Smith, WR Logan Edwards, DB Hayden Mooney, LB Theile Alvarado.

Bulldogs to watch: QB Connor Cuff, RB Javarian Roquemore, WR Braeden Wade, WR Kadadriane Bell, WR Noah Paddie, WR Anthony Riggans, DB Brandon King, LB Kip Lewis.

Note: After Gatesville had to forfeit last year’s bi-district meeting because of COVID issues within its program, the Hornets finally get their shot at the two-time defending state champion Bulldogs. Gatesville fought its way through District 9-4A-II and into the playoffs by relying on the legs of Brown, who ranks fourth in the area with 1,035 yards rushing and 23 TDs. Cuff, who threw for 185 yards and four TDs last week in just one half of action, is the triggerman for a Carthage squad that has outscored opponents 365-86 with a defense anchored by Lewis, an Oklahoma commitment.


Eagle Stadium, DeSoto

Records: Salado Eagles 7-3; Rusk Eagles 8-2

Last week: Salado 65, Robinson 7; Rusk 48, Center 45

Last year’s meeting: Salado def. Rusk (forfeit)

Winner gets: Bellville or Orangefield

Salado players to watch: RB Seth Reavis, QB Hutton Haire, RB Aidan Wilson, RB Adam Benavides, DB Josh Huckabee, RB Kase Maedgen, TE Gavyn Keyser.

Rusk players to watch: QB Owen McCown, WR/DB Heston Kelly, WR/DB Elijah Ward, WR/DB Aiden McCown, RB Jermaine Session, RB Trey Devereaux.

Note: This first-round matchup features a clash of opposite offensive styles, with Salado’s run-first scheme squaring off against Rusk’s pass-heavy attack. Salado enters as winner of six of its last seven, with its two highest point totals coming in each of its last two games — a 77-14 win over Jarrell and last week’s 65-7 drubbing of Robinson. Salado averages an area-best 435.8 yards per game with a deep cast of ball carriers led by Wilson (157 carries, 1,162 yards, 22 TDs). Reavis (723 yards, seven TDs) and Benavides (350 yards, two TDs) also had breakout games in recent weeks. Salado, making its third straight playoff appearance and sixth in the last seven years, has outscored opponents by an average of 44.6-16.8. Rusk makes its sixth straight postseason appearance and averages 271 yards passing per game with Colorado commitment Owen McCown (198-for-304, 2,677 yards, 29 TDs), the son of former longtime NFL quarterback Josh McCown. Kelly (100 catches, 1,011 yards, eight TDs) is his top target, and Aiden McCown (22 catches, 527 yards, seven TDs) — Owen’s younger brother — and Ward (37 catches, 681 yards, six TDs) also are threats.

— Class 3A Division I —


Waller ISD Stadium

Records: Academy Bumblebees 9-1; Yoakum Bulldogs 7-3

Last week: Academy 30, Troy 17; Yoakum 54, Hempstead 0

Winner gets: Winnie East Chambers or Huntington

Bumblebees to watch: QB Kasey Mraz, LB/WR Darion Franklin, DB/WR/K Blake Bundy, WR/DB Scout Brazeal, RB Brayden Bartlett, TE Luke Tomasek, RB Zane Clark.

Bulldogs to watch: RB/CB Jayden Jones, QB/CB Cavan Smith, WR/CB Kadarius Price, RB/LB Javon Williams, RB/LB Ashton Douglass, WR/CB Connor Ratcliff.

Note: Making back-to-back playoff trips for the first time since 2014-15, Academy comes into tonight as the winner of five straight after a 13-point fourth-quarter outburst separated it from Troy in last week’s regular-season finale. The Bumblebees average 31.4 points per game and give up 18.9 while doing most of their damage through the air with first-year starter Mraz (140-of-197, 2,143 yards, 23 TDs) directing things behind center. Brazeal (53 catches, 1,099 yards, 12 TDs), the area’s leader in yards receiving and touchdown catches, is Mraz’s go-to receiver, while Franklin (573 receiving yards, seven TDs) also provides a threat. Bundy is a difference-maker in multiple spots, including on special teams as a punter and kicker. The Bulldogs, in their 10th consecutive playoff appearance, are more ground-oriented with Jones (144 carries, 1,452 yards, 21 TDs), who averages 10.1 yards per carry, and Smith (107 carries, 580 yards, four TDs), who is more of a threat to run than throw. Last week’s victory marked Yoakum’s highest point total and lone shutout of the season.


Memorial Stadium, Bastrop

Records: Rockdale Tigers 5-5; Columbus Cardinals 8-2

Last week: Lorena 56, Rockdale 0; Columbus 28, Boling 20

Last year’s meeting: Columbus 42, Rockdale 15

Winner gets: Coldspring-Oakhurst or Anahuac

Tigers to watch: QB Blaydn Barcak, WR Kobe Mitchell, LB Cade Pantaleon, WR/DB Robert Owens, WR/DB Wyatt Windham, OL/DL Gavin Aguilar.

Cardinals to watch: WR/LB Tommy Schobel, TE/DL Kolten Murray, WR/DB Corbyn Cleveland, RB/LB Devin Woods.

Note: In a rematch from last year’s first round, Rockdale will try to flip the script on Columbus. Barcak has 1,504 yards passing for the Tigers but threw for just 75 yards last week and played only one snap at quarterback in the previous game. Owens (37 catches, 709 yards, eight TDs) and Mitchell (352 yards and three TDs receiving, 344 yards and six TDs rushing) are playmakers for Rockdale, which has to find a way to keep pace with a Cardinals team that won the District 12-3A-I title and rides a five-game winning streak into the playoffs.

— Class 3A Division II —


Rattler Stadium, Navasota

Records: Rogers Eagles 7-3; Tidehaven Tigers 5-4

Last week: Rogers 40, Florence 20; Tidehaven 49, Danbury 8

Last year’s meeting: Rogers 41, Tidehaven 34

Winner gets: Odem or Karnes City

Eagles to watch: QB Riley Dolgener, SB/DB Christian Riley, OL/DL Mason Davis, WR/DB RJ Cook, OL/DL Tyler Shelton, WR/DB Alex Vargas, RB Ivan Lopez, WR Zach Davis.

Tigers to watch: QB Logan Crow, RB Chance Robinson, RB Joseph Dodds, DT Jerry Johnson, WR Kevin Rickaway, RB Jose Martinez.

Note: This is Rogers’ fourth playoff appearance in head coach Charlie Roten’s five seasons in charge. The Eagles, winners of three straight entering tonight, look for a third straight bi-district victory. Rogers averaged 39 points during the regular season and yielded 28.4. Riley (933 yards rushing) leads a bevy of capable ball carriers. Six Eagles have at least 200 yards rushing. Dolgener threw just one interception in 99 pass attempts during the regular season, when he completed 52 passes, including 12 TDs. Tidehaven ended a two-game slide last week to wrap up the third seed out of 14-3A-II. Dodds brings good size and speed out of the backfield for the Tigers, who average 32.6 points per game.

— Class 2A Division I —


Tiger Stadium, Bremond

Records: Rosebud-Lott Cougars 6-4; Centerville Bulldogs 9-1

Last week: Rosebud-Lott 49, Bruceville-Eddy 12; Centerville, idle

Winner gets: Garrison or Hawkins

Cougars to watch: QB Zane Zeinert, WR/RB Jamarquis Johnson, WR Breon Lewis, WR/DB Jordan Landrum, WR Clayton Doskocil, OL Easton Fulton, RB Moses Fox.

Tigers to watch: RB Paxton Hancock, WR Ethan Flori, RB Andrew Newman, LB Angel Villarreal.

Note: Rosebud-Lott returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 after finishing fourth in District 12-2A-I. The Cougars clinched their spot with a runaway win last week. Zeinert’s 2,342 yards passing lead the area, and Lewis and Johnson combined to catch 15 of Zeinert’s TD passes. Lewis is 191 yards shy of 1,000 receiving for the season. He averages 23.8 yards per catch. The Tigers haven’t lost since a Week 2 defeat to Corrigan-Camden, 27-19 in overtime. During their eight-game winning streak, they held four opponents to single digits. Overall, Centerville scored an average of 44.3 points and allowed 15.5.

— Class 2A Division II —


Llano Stadium

Records: Granger Lions 9-0; Miles Bulldogs 3-7

Last week: Granger 25, Somerville 20; Christoval 69, Miles 0

Winner gets: Yorktown or Sabinal

Lions to watch: QB Johnny Ryder, RB/LB Donnie Cantwell, RB/LB DJ McClelland, RB/LB Truvante Fisher, OL/DL Javion Faulkner, LB Tripp Wilkie.

Bulldogs to watch: QB/DB Hayven Book, RB/LB Seth Michaelwicz, TE/LB Eli Sanchez, RB/LB Tanner Wood, WR/DB Keagan Riddle.

Note: One week after securing the District 13-2A-II title, Granger looks to add a postseason victory to its ledger and keep its unblemished record intact. Ryder (1,087 yards passing, 515 rushing), Cantwell (709 yards rushing) and McClelland (611 yards rushing, 419 receiving) are all threats with the ball in their hands for the Lions. Miles has been outscored 402-271 and lost its last two games of the regular season.

— TAPPS Division IV —


Aledo Middle School Stadium

Records: CTCS Lions 4-5; Weatherford Christian Lions 7-3

Last week: CTCS, idle; Weatherford Christian 49, Fort Worth Calvary 0

This year’s previous meeting: Weatherford Christian 33, CTCS 12

Winner gets: Dallas First Baptist Academy

CTCS players to watch: RB/DB Ethan Allerkamp, WR/DB Andrew Lange, OL/LB Noah Wood, OL Evan Brown, WR/DB/QB Tristan Eanes, WR/LB Regan Ragsdale, WR Evan Allerkamp.

Weatherford Christian players to watch: QB Hunter McCoy, RB Ezra Jackson, RB Zane O’Donnell, WR Jaxon Foland, Brayden Ditto, Blake Heid.

Note: With new life now that the playoffs begin, Central Texas Christian looks to reverse some of its recent misfortune in which it dropped three of its last four after starting quarterback Alec Gonzalez was injured in early October. CTCS has had players step in to fill the offensive void, such as Ethan Allerkamp (198 carries, 1,322 yards, 12 TDs), who ranks second in the area in yards rushing. But it draws a tough first-round matchup with Weatherford Christian, winner of three of its last four that includes back-to-back shutouts of 54-0 against Fort Worth Temple Christian and 49-0 over Fort Worth Calvary Christian to close the regular season. Weatherford Christian, which defeated CTCS 33-12 in the season opener, has outscored opponents by an average of 31.1-17.7, and is led by McCoy (1,130 yards passing, 680 rushing) and Jackson (1,158 yards rushing, 12 TDs), who averages 14.1 yards per carry.

— TAPPS Six-man Division II —


Wheatley Heights Sports Complex

Records: Holy Trinity Celtics 5-5; Castle Hills Eagles 8-2

Last week: Holy Trinity 68, Austin Hill Country 60; Castle Hills 81, San Antonio St. Gerard 65

Winner gets: Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills or Conroe Covenant Christian

Celtics to watch: RB/WR Zaylin Blackwood, QB Jace Martin, OL Trent Lockhart, DL/FB David Thang, RB Christian Demapan, WR Neri Navarro, Austin Morgan, Austin Belbeck.

Eagles to watch: QB/RB Matthew Blue, WR/LB Chase Harris, WR/CB Piercen Criner, Josiah Wentrcek, Barron Burns.

Note: Holy Trinity looks to build off last week’s outburst in which it came back from a 10-point halftime deficit. Blackwood (716 yards rushing, 12 TDs; 358 yards receiving, six TDs) leads the Celtics in yards rushing and receiving. Martin (121-of-203, 1,549 yards, 22 TDs) and Thang (711 yards rushing, four TDs) also power the offense for Holy Trinity, which aims to win back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 2 and 3. Castle Hills has won three of its last four. The Eagles are led by Blue, who does a little bit of everything on offense. They have outscored opponents by an average of 46.9-28.4.