Orangebloods - Under the Lone Star Lights: TXHSFB Playoffs Week Four Preview
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Under the Lone Star Lights: TXHSFB Playoffs Week Four Preview

Denton Ryan DB and Texas commit Austin Jordan.
Denton Ryan DB and Texas commit Austin Jordan. (Rivals.com)

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We are getting closer and closer to State Championship weekend in Texas. The Texas high school playoffs have reached the regional finals stage of the postseason, and there are some big-time matchups between heavyweight programs all over the Lone Star State this week.

Allen takes on Southlake Carroll in a battle between two of the top programs in the state. Galena Park North Shore plays Humble Atascocita in a game that will be loaded with D1 talent. Duncanville faces DeSoto in a rivalry matchup that will send the winner to the semifinals. There is no shortage of intriguing games over the course of the next three days.

Below, we preview some of the biggest games and give you players to watch in each contest.

DENTON RYAN VERSUS COLLEGE STATION

2023 5-star Denton Ryan LB Anthony Hill.
2023 5-star Denton Ryan LB Anthony Hill. (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Friday, Dec. 3 – 7:00 p.m. – McLane Stadium (Waco, TX)

Denton Ryan plays against College Station in a massive 5A DI matchup at Baylor’s McLane Stadium on Friday night. Ryan’s only loss on the season came in an overtime battle against Denton Guyer. College Station brings in an undefeated record into Waco on Friday night.

Ryan is loaded with DI prospects. Texas cornerback commit Austin Jordan leads the secondary, while 2023 5-star linebacker Anthony Hill patrols the defense and makes an impact at running back on offense. 2023 all-purpose back Kalib Hicks holds a handful of P5 offers and is very effective at finding the end zone.

At College Station, the Cougars are led by 2023 running back Marquise Collins, who holds Baylor and Texas Tech offers. Quarterback Jett Huff runs the offense very well and has College Station in position to deepen its run this postseason. The Cougars are averaging more than 50 points per game in 2021, and tight end Houston Thomas is a big weapon that Ryan will have to account for.

Ryan defeated College Station last year in the postseason, so there is some recent history between these two. The winner of this game will have a great chance to win a state title this season. OB is set to be in the building for this massive game at McLane.

AUSTIN WESTLAKE VERSUS AUSTIN VANDEGRIFT

2022 5-star Austin Westlake QB Cade Klubnik.
2022 5-star Austin Westlake QB Cade Klubnik. (Rivals.com)

Saturday, Dec. 4 – 2:00 p.m. – DKR Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)

Saturday features an Austin battle between Westlake and Vandegrift. Westlake is a heavy favorite to win another state championship, but Vandegrift will be looking to spoil its cross-town rival in the regional final.

The Chaps are loaded with talent. Led by 5-star Clemson QB commit Cade Klubnik, Westlake has a high-powered offensive attack that can score on anyone. 2023 wideout Jaden Greathouse is one of a handful of weapons that Westlake likes to get the ball to. Texas commit Connor Robertson and 2023 5-star TJ Shanahan Jr. lead the way along the offensive line. Recent Michigan commit Ethan Burke has blown up on recruiting radars after dominating this season at defensive end.

Vandegrift quarterback Brayden Buchanan is a Baylor baseball commit that can hurt defenses with his arm and with his legs on the gridiron. Defensive end Tucker Harrison is a force on the defensive side of the ball. Offensive tackle Ian Reed is an FBS prospect, holding P5 offers from Colorado and Kansas. Jaxon Oliver is a two-way weapon at receiver and defensive back.

ALLEN VERSUS SOUTHLAKE CARROLL

2022 3-star Southlake Carroll WR Landon Samson.
2022 3-star Southlake Carroll WR Landon Samson. (Rivals.com)

Saturday, Dec. 4 – 2:00 p.m. – Apogee Stadium (Denton, TX)

Allen takes on Southlake Carroll in a matchup between two heavyweight programs. Allen dominated Euless Trinity last week, while Carroll blew out Lewisville to get back to this round. The Eagles of Allen are beginning to hit their stride, but the Dragons are still the team to beat in 6A D1.

5-star defensive lineman DJ Hicks and 4-star offensive lineman Neto Umeozulu are the two big headliners for Allen. 2024 QB Michael Hawkins, 2024 defensive end Zina Umeozulu, and 2022 Colorado wide receiver commit Jordyn Tyson are other key pieces on Chad Morris’ squad. 2022 running back Jaylen Jenkins holds offers from Arkansas State and UTSA, and he scored two touchdowns last week.

Southlake is led by 2023 QB Kaden Anderson, who has played very well after Quinn Ewers left for the college level a year earlier than expected. 2023 Running back Owen Allen is one of the most explosive players in the state. South Carolina wide receiver commit Landon Samson is a speedy target, while tight end RJ Maryland is a weapon in the passing attack and is committed to Boston College. Defensive back Avyonne Jones is committed to Wisconsin.

This has the makings of being a very interesting football game. Allen has been clicking in recent weeks, but Southlake Carroll has been a high-powered machine all season long. It’s always must-watch when these two teams take the field together.

DUNCANVILLE VERSUS DESOTO

2022 4-star Duncanville EDGE Omari Abor.
2022 4-star Duncanville EDGE Omari Abor. (Rivals.com)

Saturday, Nov. 4 – 7:00 p.m. – Ford Center (Frisco, TX)

Duncanville and DeSoto are heated rivals with a ton of talent. Duncanville won the matchup earlier this season, but DeSoto held an early lead before the offense fell apart. These two teams will be looking to make some noise at The Star on Saturday night.

2022 Rivals100 EDGE Omari Abor leads an absolutely loaded Panthers defense. Arkansas linebacker commit Jordan Crook, 2023 4-star corner Deldrick Madison, 2024 EDGE Colin Simmons, and 2024 defensive back Ka'Davion Dotson are other notables on defense. Florida State commit Jaylen Early and Oregon commit Cam Williams lead the offensive line. 2025 wide receiver Dakorien Moore is a fast-rising prospect.

DeSoto is headlined by 2023 Rivals100 wideout Johntay Cook, one of the biggest targets for Texas in next year’s class. Oregon receiver commit Boogie Johnson is another dangerous weapon for the Eagles. Running back Chris Henley Jr. has been on a tear during the playoffs. Baylor defensive back commit Devyn Bobby and 2024 defensive lineman Caleb Mitchell lead the defense.

This is the second of a double-header that will be played at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco on Saturday. It is expected to be a sellout, and OB will have you covered on-site.

DALLAS SOUTH OAK CLIFF VERSUS LUCAS LOVEJOY

2023 3-star South Oak Cliff WR Randy Reece.
2023 3-star South Oak Cliff WR Randy Reece. (Rivals.com)

Saturday, Nov. 4 – 2:00 p.m. – Ford Center (Frisco, TX)

The first game of the double-header at the Ford Center on Saturday is South Oak Cliff versus Lovejoy in a highly anticipated matchup. SOC is coming off a huge win over Aledo last week, while Lovejoy has been a consistent title contender all season long.

South Oak Cliff is stacked with talent all over the roster. 2023 4-star defensive back Malik Muhammad is a highly coveted prospect in next year’s class, as is fellow 4-star defensive back Jayvon Thomas – both hold UT offers. Rising 2024 standout Jamyri Cauley has emerged as a big-time prospect as a sophomore, and Texas is one of the programs that has taken notice.

Missouri State quarterback pledge Kevin Henry-Jennings patrols the offense with UNT commit Qualon Farrar, Ke’undrae Hollywood, and 2023 receiver Randy Reece provide explosive weapons.

Lovejoy is headlined by 2023 wide receiver Kyle Parker and 2024 wideout Parker Livingstone. Parker has grabbed a handful of offers this season, while Livingstone was recently offered by FSU. SMU commit Jaxson Lavender is a speedy playmaker. 2024 Payton Pierce is a rising talent at linebacker.

Similar to the Duncanville-DeSoto game, this matchup is expected to have a sellout crowd, and Orangebloods will be in the building.

KATY VERSUS HUMBLE SUMMER CREEK

2022 5-star Summer Creek OT Kelvin Banks.
2022 5-star Summer Creek OT Kelvin Banks. (Sam Spiegelman)

Saturday, Dec. 4 – 1:00 p.m. – Rice Stadium (Houston, TX)

Katy is looking to repeat as state champions, but Summer Creek provides an obstacle for the Tigers to get by. Summer Creek has advanced to the regional final for the first time in it history.

Texas A&M commits Bobby Taylor and Malick Sylla lead Katy, though Taylor will not be in action due to injury. 4-star Oklahoma receiver commit Nicholas Anderson is a dangerous option in the passing game. 2023 running back Seth Davis holds a Florida offer and is always a threat to break loose for a touchdown from anywhere on the football field.

5-star Oregon offensive line commit Kelvin Banks leads the way for Summer Creek. Texas is pushing hard to flip the blue-chip offensive lineman with two weeks until signing day. Defensive end Darien Riley is an intriguing 2023 prospect for the Bulldogs.

HUMBLE ATASCOCITA VERSUS GALENA PARK NORTH SHORE

2022 North Shore DL and Texas commit Kristopher Ross.
2022 North Shore DL and Texas commit Kristopher Ross. (Sam Spiegelman)

Friday, Dec. 3 – 7:00 p.m. – Pasadena Memorial Stadium (Pasadena, TX)

This Houston-area battle has no shortage of high-quality prospects. Atascocita and North Shore have 5-star caliber prospects on its roster, along with several other impact players that will take the field this weekend.

5-star offensive tackle Kam Dewberry – a major UT target – is the headliner for Atascocita. Tulsa commit Keith Wheeler and 2022 Chase Sowell are a dangerous receiver duo that stresses defenses. 2024 Quarterback Zion Brown has stepped up in place of Gavin Sessions, who was injured earlier this season.

5-star defensive back Denver Harris and Texas defensive line commit Kristopher Ross lead the way for North Shore. Those two give the Mustangs a very talented duo to build its defense around. 2022 defensive lineman Tai Leonard holds FBS offers, including Colorado. 2023 safety Jayven Anderson has caught the attention of college programs. 2022 wideout Jhalyn Bailey is a factor on offense.