Video: Marshawn Brown's highlights vs. Canyon High School
See the Clemens back in action as the Buffaloes prepare for a showdown against Smithson Valley.
With four weeks remaining in the regular season, the number of unbeaten football teams in UIL Class 6A has been whittled to 26. That number will drop by at least one this weekend because two 6-0 clubs from the San Antonio area collide in the Week 8 headliner.
Smithson Valley (Spring Branch) will host Clemens (Schertz) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a District 27-6A showdown. Both teams are 6-0 for the season and 3-0 in district play.
A playoff qualifier in 20 of the last 21 seasons, the Smithson Valley Rangers of head coach Larry Hill are no strangers to big games. Last year, the Rangers finished runner-up in the ultra-competitive district.
Clemens saw a three-year run of playoff seasons end in a 5-5 campaign last fall but 14 returning starters for head coach Jared Johnston have produced a dramatic turnaround.
Friday's winner is hardly home free.
Looming on the schedule of both teams is unbeaten Judson (Converse). Yet another perennial power in the district is Steele (Cibolo), always dangerous even in a rare subpar season to this point.
Here's a look at the Week 8 games to watch in Texas:
Clemens (Schertz) 6-0 at Smithson Valley (Spring Branch) 6-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Running back Marshawn Brown
is the driving force for Clemens with 771 yards and 11 touchdowns. The ball-hawking defense has 12 interceptions, with four apiece coming from Jaques Tyler
and Johnie Graham
. Smithson Valley utilizes Tre'von Moehrig-Woodard
, a TCU pledge, in many roles. He is the leading receiver with 12 catches for 303 yards and five touchdowns and came into the season with 13 interceptions (seven returned for scores). Quarterback Levi Williams
has accounted for 18 touchdowns and 1,062 passing yards.Pearland (4-1) at Dawson (Pearland) 4-1, 7 p.m. Friday
A look back to the last two games of the District 23-6A rivalry is all a potential ticket-buyer needs for encouragement. Pearland needed overtime to pull out a 28-27 win in 2015. Last year, Dawson squeezed out a 34-32 victory. Both come in unbeaten in district play, 3-0 for Pearland and 2-0 for Dawson. Running back Darrius Smith
, an Arizona pledge, leads Dawson. Jaelin Benefield
, a junior, counters as the run threat for Pearland.Georgetown 6-1 at Cedar Park 5-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Since stumbling in a District 19-5A opener, Georgetown has outscored its next four opponents 227-29. Quarterback Cooper Bell
has thrown for 1,495 yards and 24 touchdowns. Caden Leggett
is his favorite target with 33 catches for 699 yards and 12 scores. Cedar Park senior quarterback Mak Sexton
has numbers almost identical to Bell with 1,497 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Defensively, Xavier Owens
has three fumble recoveries for the Timberwolves, a state champion in 2015. Cedar Park is 4-0 in league play and Georgetown is 4-1.Celeste 6-0 at Valley View 6-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Freshmen are making a big impact for Celeste in its 2-0 start in District 6-2A-DI. Damon Crook
is the leading rusher with 348 yards and middle linebacker Thadeus Clark
tops the Blue Devils with 7.5 tackles per game, helping Celeste rebound from an 0-10 season in 2016. Valley View, 3-0 in league play, returned nine offensive and 10 defensive starters including quarterback Brady Jackson
and running back Clint Epperson.China Spring 5-1 at La Vega (Waco) 6-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The only team to defeat La Vega in the last three seasons is China Spring in a 2016 state quarterfinal playoff. La Vega captured its 31st consecutive regular season victory 33-18 over Liberty Hill. Kemoche' Hobbs
, who missed last year's playoff loss to China Spring with an ankle injury, rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns. He returned a fumble 97 yards for another score. China Spring tuned up for the showdown with a 42-14 victory over Burnet. Cayden Johnson
threw a pair of 70-yard touchdown passes. Both teams are 1-0 in District 13-4A-DI. Dating back to 1980, La Vega leads the series, 19-11.St. Pius X (Houston) 4-0 at All Saints (Fort Worth) 6-0, 7 p.m. Friday
The football will be in the air a lot in this matchup of two of the most productive quarterbacks in the state. St. Pius junior Grant Gunnell
, a Texas A&M pledge, is following up an eye-popping statistical sophomore season with more of the same, averaging 515 passing yards and seven touchdowns per game. Jacob Jefferson
has 41 catches for 730 yards and 14 scores. All Saints is led by senior Shaun Taylor
with 1,890 passing yards and 25 scores. His top target is Brendan Harmon
with 25 catches for 603 yards and eight scores. St. Pius X represents TAPPS DI District 3. All Saints is a TAPPS DI Independent.Madisonville 5-1 at Shepherd 5-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Madisonville coach Rusty Nail relies on a ground-gobbling rushing attack. The Mustangs, winners of three games a year ago, average 364 rushing yards with Cornelius Merchant
leading the pack with 689 yards and 11 touchdowns. Shepherd has a potent running attack of its own built around senior Trevor Moye
with 1,022 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensive tackle Caleb Moore
is the Pirates leading tackler with 11.7 per game. This is the District 11-4A DII opener for Madisonville. Shepherd is 1-0 in league play.Eastlake (El Paso) 5-1 at Del Valle (El Paso) 6-1, 8:30 p.m. Friday
Both teams are unbeaten in District 2-5A. Eastlake has played four district games, one less than Del Valle. Senior dual-threat quarterback Justin White
has accounted for 17 touchdowns and 1,839 yards for Eastlake while Ezekiel Jones
has rushed for 606 yards and eight scores. For Del Valle, junior Raymond Montez
has thrown for 1,510 yards and 11 scores. Karch Gardiner
has 36 catches for 696 yards and eight scores.Richland (North Richland Hills) 6-0 at Grapevine 5-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Both teams are 3-0 in District 8-5A. Richland has scored at least 60 points three times this season. Senior running back Rylee Johnson
is the top ball carrier (695 yards) and Drew Trent
the top passer (998 yards). For Grapevine, four-year starter Alan Bowman
, a Texas Tech pledge, has passed for 1,554 yards and 16 touchdowns, while running back RoShawn Prear
has 11 touchdowns to go with 845 yards.Veterans Memorial (Brownsville) 5-1 at Lopez (Brownsville) 6-0, 7 p.m. Saturday
Both teams are 3-0 in District 32-5A. An interception in the closing seconds by free safety Sammy Chapa
helped secure Memorial's latest victory, 21-19. Gustavo Vasquez
threw for two scores and ran for another. Lopez has taken advantage of the running of Jose Echavarria
and the throwing of Alex Ramirez
in its unbeaten start.