With the UIL Playoffs less than two weeks away, every game’s importance is heightened accordingly—especially for the four teams still in the mix for a playoff berth. District 9-4A should be down to the wire as only The Colony has locked up a trip to the postseason. That leaves four Frisco ISD schools fighting for the three remaining spots.
Frisco High School (3-2) @ Frisco Heritage (3-2)—7:00 PM @ Toyota Stadium
The Raccoons came up just shy of moving into second place in the district last week as the Centennial Titans held on for the one-possession win. Led by RB Max Steitle, Frisco High relies on a bruising running game and the precision passing of QB Jake Battaglia (862 yds, 9 TDs, 3 INTs).
Frisco Heritage boasts District 9-4A’s second leading passer, QB Malik Walker (1,623 yds, 21 TDs, 10 INTs). Walker has plenty of weapons as WRs Keaton White (615 yds, 10 TDs), Chris Baez (268 yds, 3 TDs) and four other wideouts who have at least 100 yds and one TD apiece. The Coyotes don’t have a running back with the same gaudy numbers as Steitle, but they do have two backs—Sean Jones and Kene Nwangwu—with over 900 combined yards and 6 TDs; plus Walker who has run for 7 scores himself.
The Raccoons defense is the third best at stopping the run in the district, and second at stopping the pass. The Coyotes are adept at squelching the pass, but in order for them to win in Week 9, they’d better have an answer for Steitle.
Frisco Centennial (4-1) @ The Colony (5-0)—7:00 PM @ Cougar Stadium
Centennial’s huge win over Frisco High Week 8 paved the way for this week’s Lifestyle Frisco Game of the Week. A win against undefeated The Colony, and Centennial will clinch a playoff berth as well as move into a first-place tie.
The Colony may be considered an underdog in this matchup. Last week in the second quarter, the Cougars lost their star running back Bryan Hammond, to a knee injury. Earlier this week it was discovered that the senior suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and is done for the season. Losing a player of his caliber (1,572 yds, 22 TDs) will be difficult to overcome. Backup running back Alec Gibbons did a fine job replacing Hammond last week as he rushed for 125 yds and two TDs.
When a team’s star player is responsible for over half of their offense’s yards, the defense can be overlooked. To look past the Cougars defense would be a fatal mistake. The Colony ranks third in the area in total defense (196.5), fifth in rushing defense (105) and seventh in passing (91.5). The Titans’ dynamic offense will have their work cut out for them, and should be up for the challenge.
Centennial is led by the district’s top passer, Kelly Cordova (1,926 yds, 19 TDs, 4 INTs). Cordova can do it with his legs as well as he has 507 yds and eight more TDs. Kamari Burnett (546 yds, 6 TDs) is can grind out yards on the ground, or in the air (208 yds, TD). District 4A’s top WR, Devin McCord (701 yds, 6 TDS), ranks sixth in the area easily beats double teams and is a true game-changer. McCord is joined by fellow WRs DJ Jackson (383 yds, 7 TDs) and Jackson Grimes (354 yds, 5 TDs).
This will one of The Colony’s biggest tests of the year, and although their defense is one of the best, can the Cougars put up enough points to beat a playoff-hungry Titans team?
Frisco Wakeland (3-2) Vs. Little Elm (0-5)—7:00 PM @ Frisco ISD Memorial Stadium
Although the Lobos are eliminated from playoff contention, there are plenty of postseason implications for the Wolverines.
Wakeland has two talented RBs in Brent Altieri (670 yds, 7 TDs) and Alex Marr (435 yds, 8 TDs). Although they have one of the area’s top wideouts in Justice Williams (495 yds, 2 TDs), their QB Jackson Lamb (1,121 yds, 7 TDs, 8 INTs) can be prone to the pick.
On the other side of the ball, the Wolverines have the district’s third-best total defense (310.1) and are quite good at stopping the run. An ability to limit the damage on the ground is critical against Little Elm as they have the area’s fourth best rusher in Caleb Chapman.
Chapman (1,1543 yds, 14 TDs) will get his yards regardless of the opposition’s defense—he is just that good. With an elite runner and a fine defense, you have to wonder why the Lobos are winless in district. The answer is twofold: 1. District 9-4A is incredibly talent-rich and competitive, and 2. The Lobos’ offense is essentially a one-man show.
Frisco Lone Star (0-3) Vs. Carrolton Ranchview (0-2)—7:00 PM
On paper, these two teams matchup very well. The Rangers have the edge in total offense (429.6 ypg) with Ranchview holding the advantage in total defense (324.5 ypg allowed).
For the Rangers to win tonight, they will have to shut down option QB Keidrien Wadley (1,405 total yards of offense) as well as RB Dominique Carter (439 yds, 7 TDs). Slot receiver Raghib Ismail (yep, the son of the former Dallas Cowboy) possesses game-changing speed.
To my mind, the Rangers have too many offensive weapons for Ranchview. With QBs Chase Moake (987 yds, 10 TDs), Jason Shelley (860 yds, 7 TDs) and their three favorite targets—Jordan Jones (511 yds, 6 TDs), Michael Bordes (419 yds, 4 TDs) and Austin De Leon (417 yds, 2 TDs) Ranchview’s defense will have their hands full. And let’s not forget about stud running back Ramon Harris (1,015 yds, 13 TDs).
Can’t make it to the games this week? No problem, Lifestyle Frisco has got you covered. Follow @TMurrayHowell for scoring updates and check back on Tuesday for a re-cap of all of this week’s hard-hitting action.