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The South Dallas County football rivalry between DeSoto and Duncanville has been tilted in a big way to DeSoto for the last decade.
But Duncanville enters this season's showdown, set for a 7:30 p.m. Friday kickoff at DeSoto's Eagle Stadium, eager to change the trend.
The powerhouse programs, separated by only nine miles, boast identical 7-0 season records and 4-0 marks in District 7-6A. Both made deep playoff runs a years ago. DeSoto garnered its first state title. Duncanville's first playoff season since 2011 ended in a Region I title game loss to Allen.
DeSoto has won 10 of the last 11 meetings, with Duncanville's last victory in the series coming in 2008. The teams did not play in 2010-11.
And with one exception, the scores not been close. In DeSoto's current streak of six consecutive wins over its neighbor, the average margin of victory has been 29 points. The only close call came in 2015 when Duncanville fell short in a 16-14 loss.
The head coaches, Reginald Samples at Duncanville and Todd Peterman of DeSoto, both assumed command prior to the 2015 season. DeSoto had a history of coming very close to state title games, only to fall short. Quite often it was Allen that ended DeSoto hopes. Under Peterman, DeSoto finally secured the top prize. Samples inherited a program that failed to make the playoffs three consecutive seasons and ended that dubious distinction last year.
DeSoto enters this year's showdown riding a 23-game winning streak that dates to the 16-0 title run a year ago. In that campaign, DeSoto defeated Duncanville 41-17. Duncanville comes in having won 12 of its last 13.
Here's a look at the Week 9 games to watch in Texas:
Duncanville 7-0 at DeSoto 7-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
For only the second time this season, Duncanville's dominant defense allowed two touchdowns in a game, a 28-14 victory over South Grand Prairie last week. The Panther offense, led by Trazon Connley (863 passing yards) and Keilon Elder (889 rushing yards), was held below 41 points for the first time. DeSoto, No. 4 nationally in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, has not allowed more than 14 points in its last six games. Courtney Douglas triggers the offense with 964 passing yards. DeSoto defensive backs Gemon Green and German Green have verbally committed to Michigan.
Permian (Odessa) 6-0 at San Angelo Central (San Angelo) 7-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Both teams are 3-0 in District 2-6A. The storied Permian football program has already matched last season's win total and it's not too early to dream of a possible seventh state title, which would be the first since 1991. Senior quarterback Steve Steen, committed to the Naval Academy, had a hand in five touchdowns — three by rush — in a 49-7 dismantling of Tascosa (Amarillo) last week. Central junior quarterback Maverick McIvor, the son of former University of Texas quarterback Rick McIvor, has thrown for 2,077 yards and rushed for 616 resulting in a combined 35 touchdowns. The Bobcats defense has 16 takeaways.
Judson (Converse) 7-0 at Clemens (Schertz) 7-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Both teams are 4-0 in District 27-6A. Senior Julon Williams, a University of Houston pledge, has accounted for 25 touchdowns with 1,333 passing yards and 633 as a runner. Inside linebacker Brody Stoepler leads a hard-hitting defense with 10.3 tackles per game. Clemens relies on the running of Marshawn Brown (808 yards, 12 touchdowns) and a defense which has notched 17 sacks and 16 turnovers including five interceptions by Jaques Tyler.
McKinney 6-1 at Allen 7-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
McKinney senior Matthew Gadek set a state record last week with a 599-yard rushing performance in a 63-50 victory over Plano East, raising his season total to 1,461. He carried 48 times and scored six touchdowns. Allen's defense has yielded only 65 points all season. Since opening Eagle Stadium in 2012 (and being closed for repair in 2014), Allen is 31-0 at home. Junior quarterback Grant Tisdale paces the attack with 1,075 passing yards and 16 touchdowns while Brock Sturges, verbally committed to Arizona State, has rushed for 834 yards and 13 scores. Allen is 4-0 in District 6-6A and McKinney is 3-1.
Sinton 6-0 at Cuero 6-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The balanced Sinton offense features the churning legs of Tristan Canales (1,129 yards, 16 touchdowns) and the passing arm of Colt Gorman (1,138 yards, 14 touchdowns). Cuero tries to find ways to get the ball in the hands of junior Jordan Whittington, be it as a runner, receiver, kickoff returner or punt returner. He averages 168.5 yards per game. Linebacker John Rodriguez is the Gobblers' leading tackler this season with 48. Both teams are 2-0 in District 15-4A-DII.
Seminole 7-1 at Sweetwater 7-0, 7 p.m. Friday
Cade Barnard rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns in Seminole's 38-6 victory over Lamesa last week. Bryce Karr led the defense with four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Sweetwater's wins have come by a minimum of 25 points. Chris Thompson leads the Mustangs with 2,366 passing yards good for 31 touchdowns. Kobe Clark has 52 catches for 1,187 yards and 21 scores. Seminole is 4-0 in District 2-4A-DII. Sweetwater, a state finalist in 2016, is 3-0.
Navarro (Geronimo) 7-0 at Wimberley 7-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Senior middle linebacker Tyler Law leads the Navarro defense with 11.5 tackles per game. Wimberley quarterback Jordan Weeks will draw the attention of the Navarro defense. Weeks has thrown for 2,380 yards and 27 touchdowns. Wimberley is 2-0 in District 13-4A-DII and Navarro is 1-0.
Klein Collins (Spring) 6-0 at Stratford (Houston) 5-1, 7 p.m. Friday
Klein Collins keeps defenses guessing with its balance. The Tigers have thrown for 14 touchdowns and run for 15. Carter Rhyne has passed for 957 yards and fellow junior Isaiah Spiller has rushed for 457 yards. After opening the season with a loss, Stratford has won five in a row. The passing of sophomore Drew Murdock and the ground gains of Chaise Ellis (508 yards, eight touchdowns) have kept Stratford on the move. Both teams are 4-0 in District 15-6A.
West 6-1 at Malakoff 7-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Romeo Hernandez is West's top turnover man with four interceptions and a fumble recovery. Offensively, Paeton McFarlin leads in rushing (720 yards) and Nathan Gerik handles the passing (798 yards, 13 touchdowns). Malakoff, a state semifinalist last season, has won 21 of its last 22 games. Quarterback Judd Miller is having another big passing season, following up on 3,527 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2016. Both West and Malakoff are 4-0 in District 9-3A-DI.
San Benito 7-0 at Hanna (Brownsville) 6-1, 7 p.m. Saturday
Tyrone Harper has rushed for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns for San Benito and Erick Retta has thrown for 952 yards and 12 scores. Ryan Reza has 19 tackles for loss including 14 sacks. Hanna has a sack machine of its own. Senior defensive end Sebastian Diaz-Melo has 12 sacks among his 19 tackles for loss. Offensively for the hosts, junior Cesar Mancias has accounted for 1,087 offensive yards split almost evenly between rushing and receiving. Both San Benito and Hanna are 4-0 in District 32-6A.
Note: The Dallas/Fort Worth region in particular is loaded with showdown games this week. Intriguing match-ups not making the final 10 include Grapevine at Heritage (Colleyville) and Legacy (Mansfield) at Lake Ridge (Mansfield) in Class 5A; Carter (Dallas) at Heritage (Midlothian) in Class 4A-DI.