Video: Xcellent 25 High School Football Rankings
This week's Top 25 rankings include Allen, which has won 47 straight.
Heading the list of Texas games to watch in Week 3 is the annual contest for bragging rights in Abilene. The crosstown series between Abilene and Abilene Cooper dates to 1961. Cooper, the younger of the two opened in 1960, leads the all-time series 32-23-1.
Abilene has won five of the last six meetings and has not been held to less than 31 points in that run. The Eagles won the most recent two games by similar scores of 55-38 last year and 56-37 in 2015.
Many teams in the coastal area of the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have yet to begin the 2017 season. Hopefully, the long wait for those schools ends in Week 3.
Abilene 0-2 at Cooper (Abilene) 2-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The 57th renewal of The Crosstown Showdown comes much earlier in the schedule since the teams no longer share the same classification. It has been a slow start for Class 6A Abilene with lopsided losses to Central (San Angelo) and Lee (Midland), but senior Andrew Ezzell has been a bright spot with 448 passing yards and five touchdowns. Cooper has scored over 40 points in each of its wins over Keller and Grapevine thanks in part to Tyrees Whitfield's four touchdown runs.
Midway (Waco) 2-0 at Temple 2-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The passing of senior Tanner Mordecai (479 yards, six touchdowns) and the rushing of junior James Fullbright (381 yards, four touchdowns) has helped Midway to wins over Cedar Park and Cedar Ridge (Round Rock). Temple, a Class 5A state finalist last year, responds with the passing of T.J. Rumfield (589 yards, seven touchdowns) and a balanced rushing attack topped by junior De'jon Overton.
Pearland 0-0 at Manvel 0-0, 7 p.m. Friday
This marks the sixth straight season the neighboring schools have met and Manvel enjoys a 4-1 lead in the series including a 36-0 rout a year ago. Six defensive starters return for an 8-4 Pearland club headed by end Gilbert Ibeneme. Manvel shared the same district with Pearland for four seasons but last year dropped back to Class 5A. Quarterback Kason Martin, one of 12 returning starters for a 13-1 regional finalist, threw for over 3,500 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2016.
Coppell 2-0 at Allen 2-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Senior quarterback Brady McBride has played a key role in Coppell's fast start with 412 passing yards and seven touchdowns. Ryan Hirt paces the rushing attack with 207 yards and two touchdowns. Allen takes aim at its 48th consecutive regular season victory. Senior Brock Sturges has rushed for 293 yards and junior quarterback Grant Tisdale has passed for 187 yards.
The Woodlands 0-0 at Katy 0-0, 6 p.m. Saturday
A year ago, The Woodlands held the then-defending Class 6A Division II state champion Tigers without a touchdown in a solid 26-3 home field victory. That helped spur The Woodlands to a state championship game appearance of its own. Heading the list of returning starters is wide receiver KeSean Carter (1,770 all-purpose yards, 18 touchdowns). Katy in a rebuilding season still went 10-3 last year and returns another in a long line of talented running backs in junior Deondrick Glass.
Vela (Edinburg) 2-0 at Veterans Memorial (Brownsville) 2-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year's District 31-6A champion Vela has a couple of comfortable victories already. Senior free safety Nick Enriquez is the Sabercats leading tackler with 14 solos and four assists. Memorial tied for the District 32-5A crown a year ago and again this season relies on the passing and running of Gustavo Vasquez.
Albany 2-0 at Roscoe 2-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Albany figured to be strong this season with the return of its three most productive offensive players from an 11-2 Class 2A DII regional semifinalist club. Brian Hamilton, a senior, has already thrown for 520 yards and eight touchdowns. Roscoe, a 48-7 loser at Albany last year, advanced three rounds in the playoffs. The Plowboys key returnee this season is Jose Ortega who had 14 touchdown receptions in 2016.
North Shore (Houston) 0-0 at Spring Westfield (Houston) 0-0, 7 p.m. Friday
The teams are meeting for the fourth consecutive time in non-district play. Westfield won the first two and North Shore, the Class 6A-DI state champion in 2015, took last year's game, 36-0. Kerrion Hadnot packs a punch as a North Shore runner. Westfield has an explosive running back of its own in Rayshawn James.
Hereford 2-0 at Pampa 2-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Class 5A Hereford has already matched its 2016 win total thanks to early offensive production by Seth Dixon and Dodge DeLozier. Dixon has accounted for six touchdowns and is coming off a 197-yard rushing performance. DeLozier has run for two scores and thrown for three. Class 4A Pampa senior Brandon Steward has continued his prolific passing ways, already throwing for 683 yards and six touchdowns. Justin Thomas, his favorite target, has 10 catches for 200 yards. Pampa has lost to Hereford the last three seasons.
Gunter 2-0 at Whitesboro 2-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Coming off an undefeated run to the Class 3A Division II state title, Gunter has stretched its winning streak to 18 games. Seven returning starters on defense, including linebacker Zach Lowe and Braiden Clopton in the secondary, have helped limit opponents to a combined 12 points in two games. Whitesboro returns eight defensive starters from a playoff team and has allowed only 13 points. Linebacker Nolan Frith and Weston Hickman in the secondary are key performers.