As teams begin to look toward the playoffs, MaxPreps identifies 10 possible playoff games that would be fun for players and fans alike.
De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)State:
CIF Bowl Games
This would be a dream matchup for California high school football fans, as it would feature two storied high school football programs with outstanding histories. From the late 1990s-early 2000s, the schools met four times, when the likes of Matt Leinart and D.J. Williams roamed the field. This season, De La Salle is undefeated and Mater Dei has a great shot to capture a Trinity League title. A showdown in the CIF Open Division Bowl Game is not out of the question. Mater Dei will have a much tougher road to the state title game than De La Salle.Katy (Texas) vs. DeSoto (Texas)State:
DeSoto will likely be bound for the 5A-I bracket while Katy is a virtual lock for the 5A-II path, so this showdown is highly improbable. However, it would be a fascinating matchup between the ultra-talented, high-flying DeSoto offense and the methodical ground game and punishing defense of Katy.Goose Creek (S.C.) vs. South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.)State:
With Byrnes getting stunned by rival Gaffney, Goose Creek and South Pointe remain the two undefeated titans of South Carolina high school football. Both are experienced squads that are accustomed to deep playoff runs, as both took home state titles last fall. With South Pointe jumping up to 4A-II this year, there's a great chance these teams meet in November.
Colerain (Cincinnati) vs. St. Ignatius (Cleveland)State:
Ohio has several teams that can run the table and capture a Division I state title undefeated -- a great recipe for a high national ranking. Colerain and St. Ignatius are two of the most well-respected programs in Cincinnati and Cleveland, respectively. St. Ignatius has captured a whopping 11 state titles, while Colerain engineered arguably the greatest team in state history, when its 2004 squad outscored opponents 695-98.Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.) vs. Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)State:
This game would be a rematch of last year's Class 7A semifinal game that Manatee won 19-14. There will be other good teams in this playoff bracket (Lincoln, Aquinas, First Coast), but pitting Dwyer against Manatee would give fans a rare opportunity to see a team that can match Manatee's strength and physicality on defense. Dwyer has shut out four of seven opponents this season and would undoubtedly cause problems for the Manatee offense, which has averaged more than 47 points per game. The likelihood of this matchup took a hit Thursday night when Atlantic (Delray Beach) upset Dwyer, 28-12.St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia) vs. North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.)State:
Both of these teams are ranked in the Xcellent 25. If both remain unbeaten, it could produce the biggest Pennsylvania matchup in years. St. Joseph's Prep has victories over North Penn and LaSalle, while North Allegheny has beaten Gateway and Central Catholic. Young and talented, St. Joseph's Prep should be playing at a high level for years to come -- a level that North Allegheny has consistently performed at for several years.Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) vs. Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.)State:
With apologies to Lassiter, Colquitt County and others, Grayson squaring off against Camden County would be a dream matchup in Class AAAAAA. Grayson entered the season with national title aspirations, but that is now a possibility for Camden County and head coach Jeff Herron, who has one of his best teams yet. Led by Robert Nkemdiche
, Grayson's defense could be nearly impenetrable by playoff time.
American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.) vs. University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)State:
Ironically, two of the best teams in the state of Florida both hail from one of the state's smallest classifications. American Heritage and University may lack the depth of traditional Florida powerhouses, but both are extremely talented and able to hang with any team in the Sunshine State, irrespective of class. University is ranked in the Xcellent 25, while American Heritage is not too far out. Both have some very impressive victories. If the teams meet up in the finals again this year, it could be the best matchup in Orlando.Calvary Baptist Academy (Shreveport, La.) vs. Curtis (River Ridge, La.)State:
John Curtis thrived in the spotlight of its biggest game this season: a 30-3 blowout victory over defending Florida Class 8A champion Plant. Since then, Plant has not lost, but it also hasn't dominated like many expected. In Calvary Baptist Academy, Curtis would have a quality opponent to boost its resume that is otherwise void of very difficult foes. Calvary Baptist Academy has wins over West Monroe and Carencro, so knocking off John Curtis is not out of the question.Hoover (Ala.) vs. Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.)State:
Hoover fell just short of winning the Class 6A crown last season, while Clay-Chalkville, which was ranked No. 1 in the state, was banned from the playoffs due to an eligibility issue. This season, both are undefeated, with Hoover ranked in the Xcellent 25. Clay-Chalkville has the talent to hang with Hovoer, and no team in the state is hungrier for a shot at a state title.