Video: Top 5 Texas Games of the WeekNo. 24 Tompkins (Katy) at No. 25 Fort Bend Travis tops this week's slate of action.
The quality of playoff teams in the UIL Class 6A Division I Region III playoff bracket appears to be unusually strong this season.
The 16 Greater Houston teams that have found their way into the bracket have a combined record of 134 wins, 24 losses. Six are ranked in the MaxPreps Texas Top 25, three are undefeated and seven others are 9-1. A case could made for any of this weekend's eight bi-district games to be on the list as a MaxPreps Texas Top Game.
Unbeatens Katy, ranked No. 2, and No. 11 Cy-Fair (Cypress) are on a collision course in the area round if in bi-district they can defeat Ridge Point (Missouri City) and Bellaire (Houston), respectively.
Defending state champion North Shore (Houston), ranked No. 3, has a bi-district date against fellow 9-1 Dobie (Houston). North Shore, with two playoff wins, could be looking at avenging its season-opening loss to Katy in the third round.
Even though most of the big names are in the top of the bracket, the lower eight teams sport an identical combined season record of 67-12. The match-up between 10-0 Fort Bend Travis (Richmond) and 9-1 Tompkins (9-1) is the game involving the best two season records.
Here is a preview of this week's top games. (MaxPreps Texas Top 25 ranking included):
No. 24 Tompkins (Katy) at No. 25 Fort Bend Travis (Richmond)
Class 6A Division I Region III bi-districtThursday, 7 p.m., Mercer Stadium, Sugar Land
Tompkins: QB Jalen Milroe (6-2, 186), RB Marquis Shoulders (5-9, 150), RB R.J. Smith (6-1, 180), WR Taurean Muhammad (5-11, 170), LB Kobee Madriz (6-0, 196).
Fort Bend Travis: QB Eric Rodriguez (5-11, 185), RB Aundre Smith (5-8, 175), WR Parker Washington (5-11, 185), WR Jarrell Farr (5-7, 144), DE/LB John Henderson (6-3, 230).
Tompkins (9-1) has a 1,000-yard, 20-touchdown rusher in senior Smith and a productive passer in Milroe (1,991 yards, 23 touchdowns). Gabe Atkin is a favorite Milroe target with 652 receiving yards. Tompkins' lone defeat came at the hands of No. 2 Katy 35-30. Never before in 12 varsity seasons had Travis (10-0) won more than eight games. Senior quarterback Rodriguez has thrown for over 2,400 yards and had a hand in 36 touchdowns. Receivers Farr (63 catches, 914 yards) and Washington (49 catches, 829 yards) have combined for 26 touchdown receptions. The winner advances to face either Lamar (Houston) or Cypress Falls (Houston).
No. 9 Guyer (Denton) vs Hebron (Carrollton)
Class 6A Division II Region I
Friday, 7:30 p.m., Children's Health Stadium in Prosper
Guyer: QB Eli Stowers (6-4, 200), RB/SS Kaedric Cobbs (5-10, 213), WR/CB Seth Meador (5-11, 175), LB/RB Johnathan Jones (5-9, 182), DL/OL Dotun Olanipekun (5-10, 250).
Hebron: QB Carson Harris (6-1, 210), RB Jaylon Lott (6-0, 190), RB Isaiah Broadway (6-0, 190), LB Carter Norrie (6-0, 215), S Darius Snow (6-0, 210).
Guyer (9-1) opened the season with a statement road win at No. 14 Aledo. The Wildcats' only loss came at the hands of District 5-6A rival Carroll (Southlake). The offense is built around the running of Cobbs (1,571 yards, 27 touchdowns) and the passing and scrambling of 6-4 junior Stowers (combined 2,826 yards, 32 touchdowns). Hebron (8-2) lost early at No. 17 Martin (Arlington) despite first-half dominance, and at Marcus (Flower Mound) in mid-October. Dual-threat quarterback Harris has over 1,100 passing yards and 820 yards on the ground. The winner advances to face either Cedar Hill or Pearce (Richardson).
Steele (Cibolo) at No. 19 Westlake (Austin)
Class 6A Division II Region IV
Friday, 7:30 p.m., Chaparral Stadium
Steele: WR/CB Jaylon Jones (6-3, 195), QB Wyatt Begeal (6-1, 186), RB Troy Gaddis (5-10, 152), WR Daryn McKnight (5-6, 161), DL/TE Christian Garza (6-1, 225).
Westlake: QB Kirkland Michaux (6-4, 200), WR Ryan Lindley (5-10, 165), WR Mason Mangum (6-1, 175), DB Sage Luther (5-11, 185), OL Connor Halverson (6-4, 260).
This is a matchup of programs that know how to win in the playoffs. Westlake (9-1) has gone at least four rounds deep in four consecutive seasons. Steele (8-2) had an eight-year stretch of reaching the fourth round snapped in the area round last season. Westlake's season is marred only by a one-point loss to District 25-6A rival Lake Travis. Westlake is scoring at a 52.7 per game clip. After consecutive District 26-6A losses to No. 20 Judson (Converse) by three points and No. 19 Clemens (Schertz) by five, Steele has reeled off five consecutive victories with improved defensive play. Steele leads the series 2-1 but lost the last meeting 28-14 to Westlake in the 2017 Region IV title game. The winner advances to face either Roosevelt (San Antonio) or Brennan (San Antonio).
Lamar (Arlington) at Trinity (Euless)
Class 6A Division I Region I
Friday, 7 p.m., Pennington Field, Bedford
Lamar: QB Jack Dawson (6-0, 185), RB Caleb Phillips (6-0, 200), RB Anthony Williams (6-0, 180), WR Trevon West (6-0, 170), WR Cam Brady (6-3, 193).
Trinity: RB Zechariah Moore (5-7, 155), LB Zion Fonua (6-1, 225), QB Marcus Ervin (6-3, 200), RB Valentino Foni (6-0, 180), DT Poukesi Vakauta (6-2, 265).
A pair of 9-1 teams with a long playoff history face off in a bi-district playoff that looks more like a third-rounder. No. 16 Martin (Arlington) accounted for Lamar's only loss. Trinity's slip-up was a three-point defeat at Haltom (Haltom City). The Trojans will be making their 17th consecutive playoff trip. Lamar is embarking on its 10th playoff appearance in the last 11 seasons. Trinity depends on a physical offensive line to open running lanes for Moore (1,154 yards, 11 touchdowns). Lamar quarterback Dawson has thrown for 18 touchdowns and run for five. The winner advances to face either Montwood (El Paso) or Midland Lee (Midland).
The Colony at Lancaster
Class 5A Division I Region II
Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium
The Colony: QB Mikey Harrington (6-2, 165), WR Myles Price (5-9, 170), WR Keith Miller (6-4, 200), DT Marcus Moore (6-2, 275), OL Cameron Thomas (6-4, 260).
Lancaster: QB Glenn Rice (5-11, 175), RB Tre Bradford (6-1, 195), WR LaTrell Caples (6-0, 173), CB Lorando Johnson (6-2, 190), DE James Grace (6-1, 210).
The Colony (8-2) takes a lethal passing attack to its seventh consecutive playoff appearance. Harrington has thrown for 3,024 yards and 36 touchdowns, taking advantage of talented receivers Price (1,195 yards, 11 touchdowns) and 6-4 Miller (828 yards). The Cougars losses were to No. 12 Lone Star (Frisco) by three points and in two overtimes to Independence (Frisco). The only two teams to take down Lancaster (8-2) are Texas Top 25 No. 1 Duncanville and No. 13 Highland Park (Dallas) in overtime. Sophomore quarterback Rice Jr. has thrown for 1,821 yards and 22 scores. His favorite target is Caples (655 yards, 11 touchdowns). Bradford (865 yards, 16 touchdowns) is the leading rusher. The winner advances to face either McKinney North (McKinney) or Magnolia West (Magnolia).