Video: National Top 15 Games of the Week
Three big Texas tilts a part of nation's top games.
It's a testament to the quality of the football programs at Katy and North Shore (Houston) that the playoffs paths of the two sides keep intersecting.
For the fifth time in the last decade, Katy (12-0) and North Shore (11-1), ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the MaxPreps Texas Top 25, meet in a postseason contest with huge ramifications. The winner will be two victories away from playing for a state title. For the loser, it will indeed be Black Friday — the season will be over. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. Friday at NRG Stadium in Houston.
In the previous four playoff meetings this decade, each team has won twice. Katy prevailed in 2010 and 2017, North Shore won in 2016 and again last year in its run to the Class 6A Division I state title.
Quite often over the decade, Katy and North Shore have agreed to schedule early season confrontations and they did so again this year. This marks the third time the teams have met twice in a season. In 2010, Katy swept the series and last year North Shore returned the favor. Katy hopes the pattern continues since it won this year's opener with a second-half comeback, 24-21.
The two sides very likely would have played each other in more postseason games but for occasionally landing in different divisions. That was the case in 2015 when North Shore won the 6A-DI state title and Katy took the 6A-DII crown. Katy holds a 6-4 series lead over the decade but North Shore has won three of the last five.
Here is a preview of the top third-round playoff games this week. (MaxPreps Texas Top 25 ranking included):
Class 6A Division I Region III
Friday, 4 p.m., NRG Stadium
North Shore running back Evans, ranked as one the state's best prospects, is averaging 14.8 yards per carry with 1,309 yards and 16 touchdowns. Dual-threat quarterback Davis has thrown for over 2,000 passing and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 665 yards. Upton Stout has intercepted five passes for the Mustangs. Katy loves to run, but has a proficient passer in McClelland (1,485 yards, 18 touchdowns). Junior Davis has rushed for 311 yards in two playoff games, filling in for the injured Ron Hoff. Defenders Bryan Massey and DQ Dawson each have four interceptions.
No. 1 Duncanville vs No. 7 Martin (Arlington)
Class 6A Division I Region I
Friday, noon, AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Martin has scored 140 points in two playoff blowouts. Junior Mundell has thrown for 1,464 yards, rushed for 695 and had a hand in 36 combined touchdowns. Blackwell had a team-leading 110 tackles. Duncanville's defense has been stingy, allowing only 60 points (5.0 per game). Offensively, Jackson, a Texas pledge, has accounted for 27 combined touchdowns, throwing for 1,306 yards and rushing for 647. The top ball carrier is Smith with 1,270 yards and 19 scores.
No. 14 Lone Star (Frisco) vs No. 15 Highland Park (Dallas)
Class 5A Division I Region II
Friday, 3:30 p.m., AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Lone Star ended Highland Park's 33-game winning streak with a 30-19 victory in the opening month of the season and gave the Scots their closest game in their undefeated 2018 state title campaign. Highland Park has won 20 consecutive playoff contests and is attempting to capture its fourth consecutive state title. Scots quarterback Morris has thrown for 3,419 yards and 40 touchdowns, 12 of those to Savage. Heath is the top rusher with 1,116 yards and 13 touchdowns. For Lone Star, Oklahoma-pledged wide receiver Mims has 82 catches for 2,151 yards and 27 touchdowns. Quarterback Rangel has thrown for 3,786 yards and 43 scores. Jake Bogdon leads the team in rushing with 1,304 yards and 19 touchdowns.
No. 4 Carroll (Southlake) vs Midland Lee (Midland)
Class 6A Division I Region I
Saturday, 5 p.m., Shotwell Stadium, Abilene
Carroll has relied on sophomore quarterback Ewers (3,249 passing yards, 38 touchdowns) and freshman running back Allen (1,035 yards, 20 touchdowns) to accumulate 12 wins. Senior Meyer leads the receiving corps with 73 catches for 1,005 yards and 14 touchdowns. Only a late-season loss to Permian (Odessa) has marred Lee's 11-1 campaign. Junior quarterback Serrano has thrown for 3,593 yards and 48 touchdowns with his favorite target being Loic Fouonji (68 catches, 1,425 yards, 22 touchdowns). Shemar Davis is the top running threat with 829 yards and nine touchdowns.
No. 17 Manvel vs. Barbers Hill (Mt. Belvieu)
Class 5A Division II Region III
Friday, noon, NRG Stadium, Houston
Manvel (12-0) is the only remaining unbeaten team in its division. Yarbrough leads an offense that averages 52 points per game with 2,562 passing yards and 36 touchdowns. Paxton is the top receiver with 782 yards and 10 scores. Eaglin leads the rushers with 1,118 yards and 21 scores. Since opening the season with a loss to Magnolia, Barbers Hill has won 11 in a row. Quarterback Kaopua has thrown for 980 yards, rushed for 407 and had a hand in 21 touchdowns. His favorite target is Cauley with 38 catches for 689 yards. Running back Hagler is the top rusher with 589 yards.