Class 4A supremacy is on the line as No. 6 Aledo (1-1) and No 14 Lake Travis (2-0) face off in a highly anticipated battle.
Aledo, the two-time defending Division II champs, looks well past its season-opening loss to a Stephenville team that appears to be no slouch. Johnathan Gray has been his normal self through it all, rushing for 556 yards and nine touchdowns. The Texas commit sits just three touchdowns away breaking the state record for career scores, a mark that most expect him to break tonight.
Also on the Bearcats’ side is a home win streak that dates back to 2007 and momentum from last year’s meeting, when Aledo snapped Lake Travis’ 48-game win streak. (The Cavaliers still went on to win their fourth straight Class 4A title and third consecutive Division I crown.)
This year’s contest could take on a feel similar to 2010. Back then, the Cavaliers were without injured star quarterback Michael Brewer, who is now at Texas Tech. This time around, a shoulder injury could keep starting QB Colin Lagasse out of the lineup. Even so, the Cavaliers won't be too worried. Junior Baker Mayfield has stepped in nicely during the last two weeks, scoring nine total touchdowns. Who they will need, though, is leading wideout Griffin Gilbert. The senior missed last week’s win against Hendrickson with an injury but is expected to play.
This game will be plenty physical and should include tons of scoring, as both teams are anchored by their offense. Lake Travis has the better defense, holding its opponents to less than three yards a carry and 10.5 points a game, but neither team will be depending on its defensive unit to pull out the win.
Prediction: Aledo 35, Lake Travis 31
No. 1 Allen (2-0) at No. 11 Longview (2-0)
The top-ranked Eagles face their first test of the season on the road against an emerging Longview squad. Injuries could play a role in this game, as both starting tailbacks have struggled to recover this year. Allen's Jonathan Williams missed last week's game with back spasms, while J'Haston Faggans missed the Lobos' week two contest with a concussion. In the Eagles' case, quarterback Alec Morris has picked up the slack, throwing for six touchdowns last week in their experienced, high-powered offense. The Lobos, on the other hand, discovered a treasure at tailback, as Tory White filled in and ran for 172 yards last week. An upset isn't out of the question, what with Longview known for its intense home atmosphere. But the wisdom and skilled players that fill Allen's roster are hard to go against, so...
Prediction: Allen 28, Longview 24
No. 8 DeSoto (2-0) vs. No. 22 Cedar Hill (1-1) at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas
A heated rivalry renews itself tonight, when these two Southern Dallas teams face off. DeSoto's defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season, but that will likely change against an explosive Cedar Hill squad. Andre Anderson threw for three touchdowns to help the Horns bounce back from an opening loss and down a solid Denton Guyer program. Still, Cedar Hill will need to play mistake-free football to get past DeSoto.
Prediction: DeSoto 28, Cedar Hill 14
No. 18 Skyline (2-0) vs. No. 20 Bowie (2-0)
Both teams looked impressive in the Herbstreit Classic last weekend, with each putting up 36 points in their victories. Thing is, Skyline's win proved bigger with the Raiders knocking off a talented but reeling Cocoa squad from Florida. Bowie will need another big game from Russell Hansbrough (172 rushing yards and two scores last week) and Devin Williams (two forced fumbles) to pull out a win.
Prediction: Skyline 31, Bowie 20
Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at email@example.com.