5A D1 Region 2 Bi-District
Wakeland Wolverines (7-3) @ Prosper Eagles (8-2)—TR., 11/16/17 @ 7:00 PM—Allen Stadium
All of a sudden, the Wolverines found themselves with their backs against the wall and the playoffs being far from a certainty—something surreal since they started off the season 4-0.
Then Wakeland reeled off a streak of a different sort, winning their final three games of the year, and in convincing fashion, averaging a 22-point margin of victory over that span.
The Prosper Eagles had an easier go of things during their regular season rush to the playoffs. They avoided the dreaded district losing streak, and save for their Week 8 loss at the hands of The Colony, could have run the gamut of 14-5A.
However, that lone district loss might have just been what the talented Prosper players needed to refocus, as they went on to trounce Carrollton Creekview and Lake Dallas to close out their season by scoring 111 points while allowing just 28 points over their last two games.
For the Wolverines to pull off the first-round win, it’s going to be all about containing the Eagles’ key offensive stalwart, RB Kaleb Adams (1,210 yds., 22 TDs). Adams’ 22 rushing scores are tops in 5A in the area.
On the flip-side, the salty Prosper defense will be tasked with trying to keep Wakeland’s QB Dylan Cadwallader (2,581 yds., 38 TDs, 6 INTs) from picking apart their secondary. His 38 passing TDs put him in a two-way tie for the most in our area (with some kid who won a State Championship last year).
McKinney North Bulldogs (7-3) VS Centennial Titans (4-6)—Fri., 11/17/17—7:00 PM John Clark Stadium
Warning! Turn away now!
It’s 501.3 ypg. Sorry, but I warned you.
But, the Bulldogs aren’t nearly as intimidating on defense, where they certainly give up their fair share of points, as they’ve held just three teams to fewer than 28 points during the regular season.
One team scored exactly 28 points against the Bulldogs in Week 3, and that team was your Centennial Titans.
Sure, the playoffs are a different beast altogether, but a regular season matchup can at least provide a glimpse into a potential playoff outcome. The Titans lost that game 34-28, but their defense made the adjustments in the second half, as they kept the Bulldogs off the board entirely.
Ultimately, it was a game that came down to defense, as a Titans’ pick-six put them on the board first, and a late fourth quarter fumble recovery essentially put the game on ice for the Bulldogs.
Not that there wasn’t plenty of offense with Centennial’s Hunter Williams (1,379 yds. 9 TDs) having a monster game, as his 229 yards, two-TD output can attest. McKinney North’s own stellar RB, Lamar Lucas (1,319 yds., 16 TDs) would gladly welcome a repeat of his three-TD, 149-yard performance too.
Time will tell of course, but Round 2 for the Bulldogs and Titans will likely mirror their earlier contest, one with plenty of offense with the deciding factor being defense.
5A D2 Region 1 Bi-District
Lone Star Rangers (9-1) VS The Colony Cougars (7-3)—TR., 11/16/17 @ 7:00PM—The Star
As silly as it sounds, losing a game—especially a hard fought one between two teams almost equal in ability—can be a fantastic impetus. It certainly was for the super-talented Lone Star Rangers as they immediately rattled off a six-game winning streak of the bloodbath variety; pitching three shutouts while only allowing a team to score more than twice in one game, the epic Week 10 showdown with the Reedy Lions.
The Colony Cougars present a very tough Bi-district matchup for anyone, including the Lone Star Rangers. In many ways, they’re built the same—stockpiled with athletic playmakers on both defense and offense.
The Cougars are allowing just 19.9 points per game, which is impressive, but doesn’t quite cast the same glow as the Rangers’ searing 13.4 ppg allowed.
For The Colony to pull off the upset, they’ll need a repeat of their Week 9 matchup against Prosper, one that saw them stop a very potent offense and pull off a sturdy 14-7 win.
Truth be told though, 14 points is not going to be enough to stop the likes of M.J. Rivers and company, with their combined 2,832 yards of offense and 37 total touch downs.
5A D2 Region 2 Bi-District
Reedy Lions (9-1) VS Lake Dallas Falcons (6-4)—Fri., 11/17/17 @ 7:00 PM—The Star
The Lions’ lone loss on the year, of course, was against the aforementioned Lone Star Rangers. But if there is such a thing as a “positive” loss (and I strongly believe there is), then you have to look in the direction of the second quarter of that 63-35 shootout. That’s when Reedy scored three touchdowns against the best defense in the area—something NO other team managed all season.
That’s a huge sign that bodes well for the Lions moving forward. Reedy is absolutely legit, and the Lake Dallas Falcons are going to find their hands full with a Lions offense that can grind a defense right into submission. This of course is not to say that the Falcons of Lake Dallas aren’t going to put up a fight.
District 14-5A is a tough one, especially considering that the Little Elm Lobos reside there, and in spite of their +203 point differential did NOT make the playoffs this year. Yes, that’s amazing in its own, but there is no coincidence that it was the Lake Dallas Falcons that essentially knocked them out of the playoffs, thanks to their huge Week 9 win over the Lobos.
The Falcons could certainly pull of a Bi-district upset. However, in order do so, they need to find success early and often in the air, or Reedy might just roll them right out of the first round with their quickness.