SportsDayHS staff writer Joseph Hoyt breaks down this week’s biggest games, impact players to watch and picks his winners.
Prosper vs. Euless Trinity
Where: 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Pennington Field in Bedford
Both teams are coming off wins in their season debuts, though one was more impressive than the other. Trinity beat Arlington Lamar by a touchdown, overcoming last year’s playoff loss to the Vikings. Trinity, in typical fashion, dominated in the run game. Three-star junior Ollie Gordon had four total touchdowns. Prosper, on the other hand, had four turnovers against Plano Prestonwood but ultimately won by 10. Tight end Cameron Harpole had a game-high 123 yards receiving and a score.
Hoyt’s pick: Prosper 35, Euless Trinity 31
Little Elm vs. North Forney
Where: 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Forney’s City Bank Stadium
North Forney skyrocketed up the area rankings after a 34-31 win over Frisco Lone Star, the previous No. 2 team in the 5A-I state rankings. The North Forney defense, led by SportsDayHS Defensive Player of the Week Roderick Brown, held Lone Star to 237 total yards and 39 rushing yards. Little Elm also had an impressive win and defensive performance in its 6A debut, beating Hurst L.D. Bell 37-0.
Hoyt’s pick: North Forney 28, Little Elm 17
Frisco vs. Frisco Reedy
Where: 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Frisco’s Ford Center at The Star
Frisco went from winless to district champions in two years. The Raccoons started off their pursuit of a second-straight district title with a 17-14 win over Frisco Independence last weekend. Arkansas do-it-all pledge Chase Lowery sealed the game with a late interception. The Raccoons replaced Frisco Reedy as the district champions a year ago. Reedy is coming off a 35-27 win over Frisco Liberty thanks in large part to AJ Padgett’s three touchdown passes. Frisco won last year’s game against Reedy, 35-31.
Hoyt’s pick: Frisco 35, Frisco Reedy 24
Denton Braswell vs. Keller
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at Keller ISD Athletic Complex
The bad news: Denton Braswell allowed 59 points and opened its 6A tenure with a loss. The good news for the Bengals: their offense had a huge game against a top-20 team in the state, scoring 40 points and had more than 600 yards against Rockwall. Quarterback Tristan McClary threw for more than 400 yards and six touchdowns. Braswell’s defense will look for a better performance this time around against Keller and Abilene Christian-bound quarterback Hayden Anderson.
Hoyt’s pick: Denton Braswell 42, Keller 38
Cedar Hill vs. Arlington
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at Globe Life Park in Arlington
This a matchup of two top-12 teams in the 6A area rankings. Arlington made its debut last weekend in impressive fashion, beating Mansfield 37-7. Senior BJ Rogers, an Alcorn State pledge and one of the leading rushers in the area, only needed six carries to rush for 104 yards and two touchdowns. This will be Cedar Hill’s debut. Longhorns quarterback Kaidon Salter, a Tennessee pledge, is one to watch in this game.
Hoyt’s pick: Cedar Hill 35, Arlington 24
Converse Judson vs. DeSoto
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at DeSoto’s Eagle Stadium
DeSoto once again has one of the most talented rosters in the area, and the Eagles’ pursuit of their second state championship will start with a tough task. Judson, the No. 12 team in the latest state rankings, is coming off a 12-2 season and expected to be good, once again. DeSoto has an area-high six players in the SportsDayHS Top 100, including Shemar Turner, the top defensive lineman in the area.
Hoyt’s pick: DeSoto 28, Converse Judson 27
Rockwall-Heath vs. Southlake Carroll
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at Southlake’s Dragon Stadium
This matchup will pit two of the best junior quarterbacks in the area against each other. Southlake Carroll quarterback Quinn Ewers is well known by this point: the Texas pledge is the top-ranked recruit in the nation in 2022 and comes with major expectations for his junior season. Rockwall-Heath quarterback Josh Hoover had a big game in Week 1 and led the Hawks to 72 points. Heath running back Zach Evans is also one to watch.
Hoyt’s pick: Southlake Carroll 45, Rockwall-Heath 28
Sachse vs. Coppell
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at Coppell
Coppell missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2011. The Cowboys’ 2020 pursuit of the playoffs is off to a good start after one week. Coppell got three rushing touchdowns from Jason Ngwu in a 36-21 win over Mesquite, a playoff team last season. Senior KJ Liggins had 101 receiving yards and a touchdown. Sachse is coming off an 8-3 season. The Mustangs won last year’s game against Coppell 33-30.
Hoyt’s pick: Coppell 28, Sachse 27
Flower Mound Marcus vs. McKinney
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at McKinney ISD Stadium
Flower Mound Marcus may have one of the best quarterback-receiver combos in the state with LSU pledge Garrett Nussmeier and Cal pledge J. Michael Sturdivant. Nussmeier threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns against Jesuit last week. Sturidvant had 113 yards receiving and two touchdowns. McKinney had a kickoff return for a touchdown with less than a minute and a subsequent two-point conversion to beat Plano last week.
Hoyt’s pick: Flower Mound Marcus 42, McKinney 21
Mansfield Timberview vs. Red Oak
Where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Red Oak
Like other matchups across the Dallas area, the quarterbacks should be watched in this one. Last week, former Bishop Dunne quarterback Simeon Evans — an Army pledge — made his debut for Timberview, completing nine of 14 passes for 197 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a win over Mansfield Lake Ridge. Red Oak started senior Josh Ervin — the reigning district offensive player of the year — but ultimately played former Duncanville quarterback Chris Parson, a sophomore, for the majority of the game.
Hoyt’s pick: Mansfield Timberview 28, Red Oak 24
Hot ticket: Denton Ryan vs. Denton Guyer
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at Denton’s C.H. Collins Athletic Complex
Was there any possible choice for the hot ticket Game of the Week? Friday marks the renewal of a rivalry for Denton Guyer and Denton Ryan. It’s the first time the two teams have played each other since 2015. This inner-city clash also includes some of the best players in the area. Texas pledges Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman Jr. will face off against Guyer quarterback Eli Stowers and corner Deuce Harmon, both Texas A&M pledges. That’s just the beginning of a vast list of Division I players playing Friday.
Hoyt’s pick: Denton Ryan 31, Denton Guyer 28
Spotlight: Humble Atascocita vs. Allen
Where: 7:00 p.m. Friday at Allen
Allen enters Friday night with a 76-game regular season winning streak. Its last regular season loss was a 27-24 defeat to Coppell on Sept. 28, 2012. There’s a chance the streak could snap this weekend. Allen, the No. 6 6A team in the state, will face on ninth-ranked Humble Atascocita, which is making its season debut. Allen won last week handedly against Plano East using a rotation at quarterback between Jake Wolff and General Booty, both out-of-state transfers. Blaine Green, twin brother of fellow Oklahoma State pledge Bryson Green, had three catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
Hoyt’s pick: Allen 35, Humble Atascocita 28