— District 12-6A —
TEMPLE at KILLEEN
Leo Buckley Stadium
Records: Temple Wildcats 6-2, 5-0; Killeen Kangaroos 2-6, 0-5
Last week: Temple 60, Killeen Shoemaker 15; Harker Heights 52, Killeen 17
Last year’s meeting: Temple 49, Killeen 6
Wildcats to watch: RB Samari Howard, WR Mikal Harrison-Pilot, WR Devan Williams, WR Tr’Darius Taylor, QB Reese Rumfield, TE KeAndre Smith, LB Taurean York, LB Faylin Lee, DB Zion Moore, DB Naeten Mitchell, DL Jaylon Jackson, DL Ayden Broen, DL Tomas Torres, DL Eric Shorter.
Kangaroos to watch: RB Emory Arthur, WR Jacobia Thomas, QB Roderick Norman, LB Cameron Gee, LB Marshall Grays, DE Aaron Barnwell.
Note: Simply put, playoff-bound Temple can clinch at least a share of the 12-6A championship with a win over the Kangaroos. Should that happen, the full portion of the gold ball would be Temple’s if it defeats Copperas Cove next week in the regular-season finale. Last week, the Wildcats held the Grey Wolves to more than 200 yards under their rushing average in allowing just 15 points for the second straight game. Temple’s special teams has been a spark of late, blocking two punts and recovering one for a TD two weeks ago and recovering two fumbles last Friday. Howard is second in the area with 1,102 yards rushing. Williams and Harrison-Pilot have combined for 12 TDs receiving and York needs six tackles to reach 100 for the first time in his career. Arthur and Thomas are Killeen’s offensive sparks, but the Kangaroos have struggled in district. They average 22.8 points and give up 41.6 in league games.
— District 9-4A-II —
WACO CONNALLY at GATESVILLE
Records: Connally Cadets 3-4, 2-1; Gatesville Hornets 3-5, 1-2
Last week: Connally 73, Jarrell 29; Gatesville 37, Robinson 20
Last year’s meeting: Connally 56, Gatesville 21
Cadets to watch: RB/DB Tre Wisner, QB Jelanie McDonald, WR/DB Jamarie Wiggins, LB LaMarcus McDonald, LB Daylon Richardson.
Hornets to watch: QB Wesley Brown, WR Carson Brizendine, WR Trevor Smith, WR Logan Edwards, DB Hayden Mooney, LB Theile Alvarado.
Note: Gatesville snapped a three-game skid last week and kept its playoff hopes alive. Tonight, the Hornets seek a second straight win that would go a long way toward solidifying a second consecutive postseason berth. Brown is the focal point of the Gatesville offense, with 742 yards passing and 677 rushing. Brizendine (29 catches, 272 yards) and Smith (21 receptions, 128 yards) are his favorite targets. The Cadets, who are led by the highly recruited Wisner, entered district play on a three-game slide but bounced back to win two of their last three.
JARRELL at SALADO
Records: Jarrell Cougars 2-6, 0-3; Salado Eagles 5-3, 2-1
Last week: Waco Connally 73, Jarrell 29; China Spring 48, Salado 7
Last year’s meeting: Salado 47, Jarrell 0
Cougars to watch: QB Andrew Knebel, RB/DB Derrick Warren, WR/DB Jamarri Price, WR/DB Jalani Price.
Eagles to watch: RB Seth Reavis, QB Hutton Haire, RB Aidan Wilson, RB Adam Benavides, DB Josh Huckabee, RB Kase Maedgen, TE Gavyn Keyser.
Note: Salado looks to get back on track tonight after having its four-game winning streak wiped out last week by district-leading China Spring. The Eagles fell behind 28-0 by halftime but managed a fourth-quarter touchdown, marking the just the second TD that China Spring surrendered thus far in league play. Led by a rushing trio of Reavis, Wilson and Benavides and the dual-threat ability of Haire under center, Salado will try to jump on Jarrell early. After starting the year 2-0, the Cougars have dropped six straight, giving up an average of 47.6 points per game in that stretch while being outscored by 27 points per loss. Warren (894 yards rushing, 12 TDs; 414 yards receiving, six TDs) leads Jarrell in rushing and receiving yards, and Knebel has thrown for 1,027 yards and 14 TDs. Jamarri Price leads the Cougars in tackles at 97.
— District 11-3A-I —
MCGREGOR at CAMERON YOE
Records: McGregor Bulldogs 2-6, 0-4; Yoe Yoemen 3-6, 3-2
Last week: McGregor, idle; Lorena 42, Yoe 20
Last year’s meeting: McGregor 24, Yoe 16
Bulldogs to watch: QB Chad Lorenz, RB Sebastian Torres, WR Cooper Burgess, WR Darieus Dixon.
Yoemen to watch: QB Ryan Muniz, RB Phaibian Bynaum, WR Pharrell Hemphill, WR Kason Goolsby, WR Jaidyn Sanchez, LB Fabian Salomon, LB Colton Barbo, WR Trayjen Wilcox, LB Landen Greene.
Note: Yoe’s up-and-down regular season hits its finale tonight and, after opening the year 0-4, the Yoemen can lock up a playoff spot with a victory over last-place McGregor. Either Troy or Rockdale can also finish 4-2, but Yoe defeated both of those teams. Salomon and Barbo are neck-and-neck for the leading-tackler spot. Salomon has 106 and Barbo 105. Hemphill, Goolsby, Sanchez and Wilcox are all over 400 yards receiving. The Bulldogs offense goes through Lorenz, who has 1,102 yards rushing and 572 passing. But McGregor has had its hiccups on defense, allowing 43.5 points per game during district.
TROY at ROCKDALE
Records: Troy Trojans 2-6, 2-2; Rockdale Tigers 4-4, 2-2
Last week: Troy 21, Caldwell 20; Academy 21, Rockdale 14
Last year’s meeting: Rockdale 46, Troy 38
Trojans to watch: RB Steve Jackson, RB/LB Korey Gibson, QB Jace Carr, RB/LB Kadin Workman, OL/DL Elijah Sunderman, OL Brady Mays.
Tigers to watch: QB Blaydn Barcak, WR Kobe Mitchell, LB Cade Pantaleon, WR/DB Robert Owens, WR/DB Wyatt Windham, OL/DL Gavin Aguilar.
Note: It’s a three-team battle between Troy, Rockdale and Cameron Yoe for the district’s final two playoff berths, so tonight’s outcome will go a long way toward determining the postseason fates of the Trojans and Tigers. Troy will lean on the rushing tandem of Jackson (715 yards, eight TDs) and Gibson (441 yards, four TDs), while Rockdale counters with the dual-threat skills of Barcak (1,420 yards passing, 417 rushing) and a deep corps of receivers that includes Owens (29 catches, 632 yards), Windham (20 receptions, 256 yards) and Mitchell (16 catches, 322 yards).
— District 12-2A-I —
BRUCEVILLE-EDDY at HOLLAND
Records: Bruceville-Eddy Eagles 2-6, 1-3; Holland Hornets 5-3, 3-1
Last week: Bruceville-Eddy 45, Moody 28; Holland 21, Rosebud-Lott 13
Last year’s meeting: Holland 50, Bruceville-Eddy 13
Eagles to watch: QB/LB Colby Tolbert, RB Chad Pate, RB Nick Boaz, WR TJ Horne, LB EJ Jarmon, OL/DL Hunter Carter.
Hornets to watch: RB/LB JC Chaney, RB/DL Clayton Baggerly, OL/DL Albert Martinez, TE/DL Dawson Haney, RB/DL Cole Ralston, RB Joe Chaffin, RB/DL Klay Pursche, QB Desi Cantu.
Note: Holland has won three of its last four, including last week’s victory over Rosebud-Lott that could be key in terms of playoff positioning. With two games left, the Hornets sit in a tie with Hearne for second place, a half-game behind district-leading Thorndale. The Hornets got a season-high 137 yards rushing from Haney last week as they compiled 336 yards on the ground. Holland’s typically stout defense also turned in another solid showing, holding Rosebud-Lott — the area’s leading offense — to just 205 yards, less than half its average output of 420 yards per game. Bruceville-Eddy also comes in off a win over Moody that snapped a three-game slide. The run-first Eagles will look to workhorse Pate to get the ground game working against Holland.
THRALL at MOODY
Records: Thrall Tigers 5-3, 2-2; Moody Bearcats 2-6, 0-4
Last week: Thrall 42, Thorndale 35 (OT); Bruceville-Eddy 45, Moody 28
Last year’s meeting: Thrall 41, Moody 0
Tigers to watch: QB Colter Hill, RB/LB Tyreke Irvin, WR Brady Peterson, WR Hayden Stefek, FB/LB Blair Neighbors.
Bearcats to watch: QB Ryder Hohhertz, WR/DB Cooper Staton, WR Tucker Staton, RB Jonah Bradshaw, OL/LB Hunter Mach, TE/DL Kaden Kollaja, OL/DL Davis Orr.
Note: Moody’s quest to break into the district win column continues against a Thrall squad that’s riding high after last week’s overtime victory against rival Thorndale. Cooper Staton set a school single-game record with 21 receptions last week for the Bearcats, who will have to find a way to contain Hill (1,475 yards passing, 744 rushing).
— District 13-2A-II —
SOMERVILLE at BARTLETT
Records: Somerville Yeguas 3-5, 2-2; Bartlett Bulldogs 2-7, 0-5
Last week: Somerville, idle; Snook 56, Bartlett 8
Last year’s meeting: Somerville 34, Bartlett 12
Yeguas to watch: QB Johnny Legg, RB Devan Green, RB Arvis Burns, WR Verkobe Woodberry.
Bulldogs to watch: RB/LB Jay Polynice, QB/WR Tate Tipton, WR Shamar Wilson, QB/WR Dada Davis, OL Kenneth Smith, RB Rodolfo Rodriguez.
Note: Bartlett, out of playoff contention, can take on the role of spoiler in its season finale. This looks like an important one for the Yeguas, who are one of three teams at 2-2 in district locked in a three-way tie for two playoff spots going into the week. Also in that group are Milano and Snook. Legg has done well with his arm, throwing for 1,287 yards and 13 TDs.
SNOOK at GRANGER
Records: Snook Bluejays 3-5, 2-2; Granger Lions 6-1, 3-1
Last week: Snook 56, Bartlett 8; Burton 28, Granger 22
Last year’s meeting: Snook 50, Granger 13
Bluejays to watch: QB/DB Garrett Lero, RB Lance Lara, RB Jordan Price, RB Mark Moore, DL Cody Noriega, OL Richard Santillan.
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.
Note: Granger’s bid for the district title took a hit with last week’s loss to league-leading Burton, so the Lions aim to bounce back tonight against a Snook team that has won two straight. Ryder (914 yards passing, 315 rushing), Cantwell (709 yards rushing) and McClelland (332 yards rushing, 292 receiving) fuel the offense for the Lions, whose defense limits opponents to an area-low 187 yards per game. The Bluejays got 50-plus yards rushing from four players while totaling 392 yards on the ground last week.
— District 14-1A-II —
OGLESBY at BUCKHOLTS
Jim Hauk Field
Records: Oglesby Tigers 6-2, 1-0; Buckholts Badgers 2-5, 0-0
Last week: Oglesby 60, Mount Calm 0; Buckholts, idle
Last year’s meeting: Oglesby 82, Buckholts 32
Tigers to watch: QB Blake Thompson, RB Brodie Fisher, LB Cash Lee, DB Johnny Gomez, OL/DL Ronaldo Gonzales, OL/DL Matthew Castillo.
Badgers to watch: RB/DB Chevo Luciano, OL/DL Fabian Baez, RB Ivan Baez, QB/DB Decaun Thibedaux, RB Michael Thompson, RB Luke Lorenz.
Note: Following back-to-back open dates, Buckholts finally plays its district opener against Oglesby. The Badgers will need to get their offense cranked up to keep pace with the Tigers, who average 49 points an outing and scored 60 or more three times.
— TAPPS District 3-III/IV —
SHINER ST. PAUL at CENTRAL TEXAS CHRISTIAN
Records: St. Paul Cardinals 6-1, 2-0; CTCS Lions 4-4, 1-2
Last week: St. Paul, idle; San Antonio Holy Cross 38, CTCS 27
Last year’s meeting: St. Paul 49, CTCS 28
Cardinals to watch: RB Zak Johnson, RB/DB Noah Boedeker, QB Jacob Wachsmuth, WR Kade Leist.
Lions 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.
Note: Central Texas Christian got a second straight big game from Ethan Allerkamp last week, who led all players with 268 yards rushing, but couldn’t overcome a late Holy Cross rally in a game that had eight lead changes. The performance helped Allerkamp (174 carries, 1,267 yards, 11 TDs) stay at the top of the area’s rushing list. The Lions, who are idle next week, wrap up the regular season tonight against a St. Paul team that has won three straight TAPPS Division IV state titles. The Cardinals feature a physical, run-based offense led by Johnson and Boedeker, who each had more than 200 yards rushing in their last contest, a 47-20 win over Hallettsville Sacred Heart on Oct. 15.
— TAPPS Six-man District 4 —
SAN MARCOS BAPTIST at HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC
Records: SMB Bears 6-3, 3-2; Holy Trinity Celtics 4-4, 2-2
Last week: Austin Veritas 64, SMB 44; Holy Trinity, idle
Last year’s meeting: SMB 52, Holy Trinity 6
Bears to watch: QB Mitchell Howard, RB Cole Krackau, WR Inaki Infante, RB Wilson Guenther, WR Chizi Efobi.
Celtics to watch: QB Jace Martin, OL Trent Lockhart, DL/FB David Thang, RB Christian Demapan, Austin Morgan, Austin Belbeck.
Note: Holy Trinity had a week to rest since its 60-34 win over Round Rock Concordia on Oct. 15, during which Thang ran for 280 yards and two scores and Martin passed for 187 yards and five TDs. The Celtics aim to use some similar offensive firepower tonight in hopes of posting back-to-back wins for the first time since Weeks 2 and 3 of this season. Martin has thrown for 1,078 yards and 17 TDs with three interceptions, and leading rusher Thang (573 yards rushing, four TDs) averages 9.4 yards per carry. San Marcos Baptist lost to defending state champion Austin Veritas last week, but the Bears have a potent offense that puts up 51.8 points per game, led by the dual-threat Howard (1,446 yards passing, 27 TDs; 643 yards rushing, 16 TDs), who leads the team in rushing.
— Non-district —
LAKE BELTON at SAN ANTONIO DAVENPORT
Records: Lake Belton Broncos 8-0; Davenport Wolves 6-2
Last week: Lake Belton 58, Austin Liberal Arts and Science 0; Davenport 57, San Antonio Pieper 6
Last year’s meetings: Davenport 42, Lake Belton 35; Lake Belton 30, Davenport 15
Broncos to watch: QB Connor Crews, RB D’Arius Wilkerson, WR Micah Hudson, WR Connor Bartz, DB Javeon Wilcox, DB Peanut Brazzle, LB Daniel Hardin, DL Adam Walden, DB Bruce Onchweri, LB Ty Legg, RB Tristan Robin.
Wolves to watch: LB Zahir Livingston, RB Shastin Golden, QB Triston Hamlin, WR Emmet Greiman.
Note: This is the second-year programs’ third and final meeting spanning two seasons and serves as the rubber match. Lake Belton has won 16 in a row since losing to Davenport in Week 2 last season. The Broncos avenged that defeat later in the year. The Wolves average 43.8 points per game this season. Their two losses were to Shiner, 28-14, and Lockhart, 63-42. Golden had 68 yards rushing in last year’s second encounter in which Robin posted a game-high 138 yards on the ground. The junior running back returned last week and had a touchdown for the Broncos after missing a significant stretch because of an injury. “It’s going to be a hell of a game. I know that for sure,” said Broncos head coach Brian Cope, whose offense is third in the area with 387.9 yards per game. Of Golden, Cope said, “I think he understands their scheme really well. He’s patient and accelerates through the hole. We have to be ready to wrap up and move our feet at the point of attack.” Crews has a team-high 422 yards rushing and completes 61 percent of his passes. Hudson leads Lake Belton with 731 yards receiving.