- Jeff Andrews, ESPNDallas.com
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With few surprises in the Class 5A Division I bracket, Euless Trinity’s road to a consecutive state title has unraveled as expected – difficult.
After thwarting a very good Allen team last week, Trinity (12-0) faces Arlington Martin (10-2), which stumbled in nondistrict only to rebound and win 10 straight games.
Should Trinity win, it will likely play Coppell (12-0) in the Region 1 finals. After that, its projected opponent is Round Rock Stony Point (12-0), which Trinity beat in the state semifinals last year. Trinity’s opponent in the state finals would undoubtedly be tough.
If the bracket continues with no upsets, five of Trinity’s six playoff opponents would be teams that have been state-ranked at one point this season.
Rematches highlight Division II Region 1
Class 5A Division II Region 1 is giving old foes a chance to get reacquainted with each other.
Denton Guyer (10-2) will play Abilene Cooper (11-1) in the playoffs for the third straight year. Guyer beat Cooper both times in heated contests that came late in the Class 4A playoffs in 2008 and 2009.
Guyer comes into the game after exacting revenge on Cedar Hill, which
beat Guyer in nondistrict play. Cooper comes in somewhat wounded after three starters were dismissed from the team over the weekend.
Southlake Carroll (9-3) hopes to get revenge on the team that helped knock it out of the national spotlight – defending Division II champion Abilene (9-3).
Coming off a stunning 79-1 stretch, Carroll fell to Abilene in the playoffs during Hal Wasson’s first season as head coach in 2007. The Dragons haven’t sniffed a state title since.
Abilene has been hurt by injuries this year, including a big one to star running back Herschel Sims, who didn’t play in Abilene’s 45-28 win over El Paso Coronado last week.
DeSoto faces resurgent Austin Bowie
Few saw Austin Bowie reaching the third round of the playoffs.
The Bulldogs (8-4) started the year 2-3 and were manhandled by Class 4A Waco Midway, 42-7, in nondistrict, but Bowie won six of its last seven, including playoff wins over Georgetown (35-17) and a strong Klein Collins team (26-16).
DeSoto has yet to be seriously challenged in the playoffs after decimating Dallas Skyline, 38-0, in the area round, but Bowie’s running game, led by Brelyn Sorrells (1,766 yards, 22 touchdowns), has given teams fits.
Tough schedule has Mesquite Horn prepared for playoffs
Mesquite Horn (8-4) may have the ugliest record for a state-title contender in the state.
A brutal nondistrict schedule and a tough district handed Horn losses to Coppell, Denton Guyer, DeSoto and Longview, all of which are still alive in the playoffs.
But experience against good teams has proved valuable as Horn has rolled through its two playoff games, topping Division II favorite Copperas Cove (48-14) and Rowlett (44-22).
Horn faces another team with an ugly record in the third round – Leander (7-5). The Lions started the year 0-4 but have won five straight, including playoff wins over Austin (24-0) and Klein (14-7).
If Horn wins, it may get another shot at Longview, which plays Tomball in the other Region 2 game.
Coppell hits the road for third-round game
A lost coin toss will cost Coppell (12-0) a long trip out to Midland where it will play Midland High for what could be a shot at Euless Trinity.
Head coach Joe McBride lost the flip to determine where the two teams will play. Midland chose its home venue of Grande Communications Stadium.
Despite playing what’s essentially a road game, Coppell is the favorite after an undefeated regular season and decisive playoff wins over Plano (23-6) and Duncanville (35-10).
Midland (11-1) has been equally dominant with its lone loss coming against Abilene. The key matchup comes when the Bulldogs have the ball. They average 38.9 points per game against a Coppell defense that gives up just 9.5.