Video: Xcellent 25 High School Football Rankings
Westlake joins the national rankings as it's set to face Smithson Valley in this week's UIL second round.
The distinction of practicing and playing a game on Thanksgiving week belongs only to the UIL football teams that remain alive in the second round of the state playoffs.
Workout routines change because of the holidays, but coaches and players alike are not complaining.
With no classes on Friday, many games have been scheduled for afternoon kickoffs. For the bigger venues, such as Arlington's AT&T Stadium, it is an opportunity for an extra day of multiple games.
Here's a look at top match-ups in the area playoff round:
Westlake (Austin) 11-0 vs. Smithson Valley (Spring Branch) 10-1, 1 p.m. Friday, San Antonio's Alamo Stadium; Class 6A-DII Region IV
Junior Taylor Anderson is the latest in a long line of talented Westlake quarterbacks with 2,012 passing yards and 789 on the ground. Nakia Watson, a Wisconsin pledge, has rushed for 1,394 yards and 20 scores. Only a six-point loss to Clemens (Schertz) separates Smithson Valley from a perfect season. Among its nine victims are two stalwarts, Steele (Cibolo) and Judson (Converse). Junior quarterback Levi Williams has thrown for 1,931 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Lake Travis (Austin) 9-2 vs. Judson (Converse) 10-1, 2 p.m. Saturday, Austin's Royal Memorial Stadium; Class 6A-DI Region IV
A rematch of the season opener won at home by Judson 65-45. Lake Travis quarterback Matthew Baldwin, a Colorado State pledge, has thrown for 2,902 yards and 34 touchdowns. Garrett Wilson is his favorite target with 64 catches for 1,238 yards and 17 touchdowns. Nathan Parodi's four interceptions leads the Lake Travis defense. Judson quarterback Julon Williams, a Houston pledge, is carrying the ball less since returning from injury two weeks ago, yet still leads the team with 1,890 passing yards and 658 on the ground. Sincere McCormick is capable of carrying the rushing load with 1,046 yards and 12 touchdowns. Kevin Wood Jr. is Judson's leading tackler with 101.
San Angelo Central 11-0 vs. Mansfield 10-1, 7 p.m. Friday, Mansfield's Newsom Stadium; Class 6A-DII Region I
Central's Maverick McIvor is having a terrific junior season, passing for 2,996 yards and rushing for 845 with a hand in 47 touchdowns in leading his team to the District 2-6A title. Gage Smith leads the defense with five interceptions. Senior Avery Chatman has rushed for 1,129 yards and senior Shawn Hartsfield has thrown for 1,427 yards for District 4-6A champion Mansfield. Kason Cooper has four interceptions to lead the defense.
Coppell 10-1 vs. Horn (Mesquite) 10-1, 1 p.m. Friday, Allen's Eagle Stadium; Class 6A-DI Region II
Both went 7-0 in their respective districts. Senior quarterback Brady McBride, a Memphis pledge, has thrown for 1,979 yards and 34 touchdowns. Ryan Hirt, a junior, is the leading rusher with 1,170 yards and 11 scores. Thomas Edwards tops the team in tackles with 105. Junior quarterback Jermaine Givens Jr. has had a hand in 45 touchdowns to lead Horn. Givens has thrown for 2,442 yards and rushed for 1,155. Maureese Wren leads the Horn defense in sacks with eight to go with 750 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Lamar (Houston) 8-1 vs. Fort Bend Ridge Point (Missouri City) 9-1, noon Friday, Katy's Legacy Stadium; Class 6A-DI Region III
Ty Holden leads Lamar with 940 passing yards and another 473 on the ground. His favorite target is Al'vonte Woodard, a University of Texas pledge, with 23 catches for 541 yards and six touchdowns. Isaiah Ibeto leads Lamar in tackles with 84, 19 coming for lost yardage. Ridge Point's Aaron Allen, a Louisiana Tech pledge, has thrown for 1,994 yards and 20 touchdowns. Mason McBride is the top ball carrier with 845 yards and six scores.
Permian (Odessa) 9-1 vs. Martin (Arlington) 10-1, 3:30 p.m. Friday, Arlington's Maverick Stadium; Class 6A-DI Region I
Permian started slowly in its bi-district victory before coming alive. Ed Williams rushed for 290 yards and four touchdowns in a 50-17 triumph over Coronado (El Paso). Quarterback Juma Otoviano has returned from a knee injury suffered in Martin's only loss to Mansfield in mid-October. Brayden Willis and Sorrell Brown both have topped 1,000 all-purpose yards for Bob Wager's team.
San Marcos 10-1 vs. Westfield (Houston) 10-0, 2 p.m. Saturday, Prairie View's Panther Stadium; Class 6A-DII Region II
Senior quarterback Prudy Calderon, a Rice pledge, has had a hand in 29 touchdowns while rushing for 1,750 yards and throwing for 1,272 more. Junior Jamon Johnson has rushed for 1,344 yards and 17 touchdowns. For Westfield, the passing of Terrance Gipson (1,461 yards, 14 touchdowns) and the rushing of Houston pledge Rayshawn James (594 yards) has helped preserve an unbeaten season.
Kennedale 10-1 vs. Van 10-1, noon Friday, Frisco's Ford Center; Class 4A-DI Region II
The rushing combination of DJ Kirven (1,300 yards, 23 touchdowns) and Jaden Knowles (1,284 yards, 23 touchdowns) spearheads the Kennedale attack. Devan Mason is a defensive star with five interceptions. Van overcame a 21-point deficit in a 35-28 bi-district victory over Princeton behind Garrett Moseley's 234 rushing and 193 passing yards.
Rio Hondo 9-1 vs. Navarro (Geronimo) 10-1, 7 p.m. Friday, Corpus Christi's Wildcat Stadium; Class 4A-DII Region IV
Rio Hondo quarterback Tyler Bush has thrown for 2,524 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 993 yards. Erik Pizarroo is his No. 1 target with 80 catches for 1,337 yards and 18 scores. Joey Ortega is the tackle leader with 107. For Navarro, quarterback Will Eveld and running back Chris Gomez are the big guns on offense. Tyler Law leads the defensive side in tackles.
Goliad 9-1 vs. Hallettsville 9-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Edna's Cowboy Memorial Stadium; Class 3A-DI Region IV
Goliad junior Logan Bland is leading rusher with 1,253 yards and 25 touchdowns. On defense, Bland is the leading tackler with 105, 22 coming for negative yards. Quarterback Rocky Morris had thrown for 1,830 yards and 19 scores. For Hallettsville, an early-season one-point loss to Yoakum mars an otherwise perfect record. In a 47-0 bi-district victory over Luling, DJ Taylor threw for 199 yards and four touchdowns, ran for one score and returned an interception for another. Jackson Taylor caught two scores.
Five other intriguing matchups:
De Leon 11-0 vs. Celeste 10-1, 6 p.m. Friday. Alvarado's Head Stadium; Class 2A-DI Region II.
Del Valle (El Paso) 10-1 vs. Coronado (Lubbock) 11-0, 4 p.m. Friday, Roswell, N.M.'s Wool Bowl; Class 5A-DI Region I.
Mt. Vernon 11-0 vs. Kemp 10-1, 2 p.m. Friday, Mesquite's Hanby Stadium; Class 3A-DI Region II.
Sweetwater 10-1 vs. Brock 9-2, 7 p.m. Friday, Vernon's Lion Stadium; Class 3A-DI Region I.
Yoakum 10-1 vs. George West) 10-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Converse's Rutledge Stadium; Class 3A-DI Region IV.