High School: 2011 Week 1 preview

Week 1 primer: Your guide to the games

September, 1, 2011

ESPNDallas.com' Travis Brown preview the important high school football matchups during Week 1.

Pride on the line between Plano, MacArthur

September, 1, 2011

No. 8 PLANO (1-0) at IRVING MACARTHUR (0-1)
7 p.m. Thursday at Irving Schools Stadium

When we saw them last: Plano shut out Garland Lakeview Centennial 56-0 behind a balanced attack between RB Rakeem Crawford and QB Richard Lagow. Irving MacArthur put up enough offense to win, but its defense faltered in a 40-33 loss to Mansfield Timberview at Mansfield's R.L. Anderson Stadium.

2010 result: Last year’s matchup in Week 1 was a battle of two unbeatens, after MacArthur beat Timberview 26-10. Plano and MacArthur put up similar stats throughout the game, but MacArthur’s five turnovers helped Plano to a 24-8 win.

What’s at stake: Pride. Plano has a No. 8 area ranking to improve upon and a loss to MacArthur would set them back in the hunt to being one of the area’s best regular-season teams. MacArthur has a tradition of good football that they can defend with a win over Plano.

Key matchup: Defenses. While the outcome of Plano and MacArthur’s games were different, both were able to move the ball on offense through the air and on the ground. The defense that steps up and makes the most stops will lead their team to victory.

Players to watch: Plano LB Xavier Harbert and DE Dwayne Hicks will face the challenge of disrupting MacArthur dual-threat QB Justin Chavez.

Prediction: Plano 35, MacArthur 7

Emotions will be high for Lancaster, Lincoln

September, 1, 2011
7:30 p.m. Friday at Forester Field

When we saw them last: Lancaster started its season off strong with a 25-10 win over Dallas Carter. Lincoln defended Dallas, beating Fort Worth’s O.D. Wyatt 41-20.

2010 result: Lancaster won 19-10, but the game was characterized by the chippy play not only during the plays, but after the whistles. Several players were ejected and 15-yard penalties became as common as first downs. Lancaster QB Davon Hodge was a force on the ground, running for three touchdowns

What’s at stake: Lancaster is on the brink of breaking through as one of the area’s top 4A teams. A big win over Lincoln might be enough to add Lancaster in the 4A top 10 next week. Lincoln is expected to have a down year in District 12-4A with a very inexperienced team, but a few non-district wins could give Lincoln a confidence boost going into district play.

Key matchup: Lancaster’s run offense vs. Lincoln’s defensive front. Hodge will be Lancaster’s top threat on offense again this year, but Lincoln boasts standout players at defensive tackle and at linebacker with Jhailyand Owens and Tabari McGaskey.

Players to watch: Lancaster’s top threats in the air game are WRs Jaquan White and Demarcus Ayers. Ayers also gets the job done on the ground, leading the team in rushing yards after the first game. Lincoln’s McGaskey, Owens and the rest of the defense will have their hands full with these weapons.

Prediction: Lancaster 17, Lincoln 7

Carr. Newman Smith gets test in Denton Ryan

September, 1, 2011
7 p.m. Friday at Standridge Stadium

When we saw them last: Denton Ryan clobbered Sulphur Springs, 25-9, on national television behind another strong performance by its defense. Newman Smith couldn’t keep pace with a solid 5A team in Keller Central, losing 33-7.

2010 result: A year after its breakout season, Newman Smith fell into an 0-2 hole thanks to a 42-17 loss to Ryan, which showed no signs of lacking for offense after losing QB Scotty Young and WR Bud Sasser.

What’s at stake: Offensive progress. The question for Ryan again this year is its offense. The unit will need to make strides each week for the Raiders to get back to the state title game. Newman Smith didn’t exactly light it up last week and will face one of the best defenses in the state in Ryan.

Key matchup: Ryan’s running game vs. Newman Smith’s defense. If the Trojans are going to stay in this game, they’ll need to keep Ryan from lighting up the scoreboard.

Players to watch: Ryan QB Kevin Carpenter may be the difference between Ryan being a very good team and being a great team. Newman Smith RB Tripp Abbot does a little bit of everything for the Trojans.

Prediction: Denton Ryan 45, Newman Smith 10.

Carroll looks to keep momentum vs. L.D. Bell

September, 1, 2011
7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium

When we saw them last: In Zero Week, L.D. Bell destroyed Mansfield Legacy, 63-9, behind an efficient performance from QB Kyle Romano, who threw for 196 yards and rushed for 75 yards and five touchdowns. Carroll QB Kenny Hill turned in his best performance as a starter, throwing for 402 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Dragons to a 38-31 comeback win over Copperas Cove.

2010 result: Amid its QB controversy, Carroll slipped past L.D. Bell, 20-17, on a field goal as time expired. Hill made his varsity debut off the bench, going 5-for-7 for 52 yards.

What’s at stake: Momentum. Carroll got as energizing a win as it could hope for against Copperas Cove with Hill supplying the late heroics.

Key matchup: L.D. Bell’s running game vs. Carroll’s front seven. Carroll got gashed on the ground by Copperas Cove, giving up two 100-yard rushers. Conversely, L.D. Bell beat Legacy by virtue of its running game, which averaged almost eight yards per carry.

Players to watch: L.D. Bell offensive lineman Kimo Tipoti is a Texas A&M commit. Carroll WR/DB Sabian Holmes became a two-way player last year. He started 2011 with a bang, catching 11 balls for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

Prediction: Southlake Carroll 38, L.D. Bell 24.

Poteet looks to build on fast start at Arl. Seguin

September, 1, 2011
7:30 p.m. Friday at Arlington’s Wilemon Field

When we saw them last: Poteet picked up where it left off last season with a 61-22 demolition of Royse City in its opener. Seguin dropped its opener at Ennis by a touchdown, 35-28.

2010 result: In the first-ever meeting of the teams, the Pirates defeated Seguin, 28-7, at Mesquite Memorial Stadium in a defensive game that featured 13 punts.

What’s at stake: Poteet coach Randy Jackson has the Pirates believing now after a Cinderella season. Seguin is trying to avoid its third 0-2 start in the last four years.

Key matchup: Poteet running back Steven Hicks gained 189 yards on only four carries against Royse City and added 62 more on pass receptions. Seguin’s defense allowed 385 yards and failed to force a turnover last week.

Players to watch: Defensive lineman Silas Firstley and free safety Chase Graham are savvy veterans of Poteet’s run to the Class 4A Division II state semifinals in 2010. Seguin has a Hicks of its own, Jordan, who had four catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns against Ennis.

Prediction: Poteet 35, Seguin 21.

S. Garland run game will test Arl. Martin 'D'

September, 1, 2011
7:30 p.m. Friday at Arlington's Cravens Field

When we saw them last: South Garland dropped its home opener, 29-23, to Richardson Berkner on Thursday. Martin stormed past Plano West on the road, 45-7.

2010 result: South Garland piled up over 400 yards of offense, including 360 on the ground, in a 27-14 victory over Martin at Garland's Homer B. Johnson Stadium.

What’s at stake: South Garland wants to avoid an 0-2 start. Martin, on the other hand, is a team climbing in the rankings and needs to win to keep pace. The Warriors are No. 5 in the ESPNDallas.com Class 5A Top 10.

Key matchup: Martin's run defense against a ground-oriented South Garland attack. Colonels' ball carriers Ezekiel Spellman and Dequincy Anderson each went over 100 yards against Berkner and accounted for all three of the team's touchdowns. Martin’s defense allowed Plano West just 2.6 yards per rush last week and only 133 total yards.

Players to watch: South Garland quarterback Trey Porter needs to improve on his 1-for-14, two-interception passing performance against Berkner. Martin quarterback Brodie Lambert threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns and Kyle Hicks turned 16 offensive touches into 215 combined rushing and receiving yards against Plano West.

Prediction: Martin 35, South Garland 17.