High-SchoolTexas: L.D. Bell

Allen versus Euless Trinity. It's not every day or year that a matchup like this happens in the second round of all times in the playoffs. Only in Texas.

The No. 1 Eagles face their greatest test of the year in No. 3 Trinity, pitting an explosive offense against a defense that hasn't broken — let alone bent — this season. The Trojans actually enter this matchup with the momentum and upper hand for several reasons:

-Trinity ended Allen's season last year in the second round with a 37-35 decision.
-Allen has had to put together late-game rallies in each of its last six games.
-The Trojans D isn't much for allowing comebacks, as it's given up less than 12 points per game this year.

Still, there's a reason Allen has been able to avoid so many upset bids. Having the likes of RB Jonathan Williams and efficient QB Alec Morris leading the offense makes it hard for defenses to hold down the Eagles, who can score in bunches and in a hurry. The Trojans love to eat up the clock behind their running back Joel Kimplea, and it's safe to say they will do the same to reduce Allen's offensive opportunities.

The onus will be on Allen's defense to slow down Trinity's run game and make sure the Eagles' offense can take control of the contest. Should be another classic matchup.
My pick: Allen 38, Trinity 35

Skyline vs. DeSoto
These two also met in the playoffs last year, but it was far from a barnburner as DeSoto shut out Skyline, 38-0. Like most, I'm expecting a much closer game this time around. Division I talent will be all over the field in this matchup, from Skyline WR Thomas Johnson and LB Peter Jinkens to DeSoto DB Bryson Echols and OL Curtis Riser. On paper, Skyline has the advantage from the offensive firepower wielded by Johnson and QB Devante Kincaide along with a nasty defense that's surrendered just 5.7 points per game this year. But DeSoto has played a slightly tougher schedule, facing the likes of Longview and Cedar Hill. This could be a shootout, leaving it up to one of the defenses to assert itself as the X-factor.
My pick: Skyline 35, DeSoto 31

Southlake Carroll vs. Cedar Hill
After struggling in their first-round contests, these two face off with high offensive hopes. Quarterback Kenny Hill leads the way for Southlake Carroll, as he's capable of making plays with his arms and legs. Cedar Hill gets most of its yards behind junior running back Laquvionte Gonzalez, who averages almost 10 yards per carry. Neither defense has been great this season, but Cedar Hill showed signs by allowing less than 200 yards in last week's win against L.D. Bell.
My pick: Southlake Carroll 24, Cedar Hill 20

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Manvel debuts, Pearland drops out of Week 5 Texas rankings

September, 26, 2011
9/26/11
11:07
AM ET
After games ending Saturday, Sept. 24

The top three teams in ESPNHS POWERADE Texas Football Team Rankings polished off unbeaten opponents last week. No. 1 Allen and No. 2 Katy breezed to convincing victories. But No. 3 Trinity (Euless) needed overtime to prevail over 4-1 Heritage (Colleyville), 38-35. The Trojans managed to increase their streak of consecutive regular-season victories to 22. Klein Collins (Spring) saw its regular-season winning streak end at 23 games after a 34-28 loss in three overtimes to Klein Oak (Spring). The defeat cost the Tigers 13 slots in the ranking. Defending Class 5A Division I state champion Pearland dropped out of the Top 25 after its a 31-24 loss to previously winless Clear Springs (League City).

Nationally, Allen moved back up to the No. 3 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50 after De La Salle (Calif.) lost its first game of the year.

And without further ado, here's this week's top 25 (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Allen 4-0 (1)
Alabama commit Alec Morris completed 22-of-32 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns in a dominating 44-7 victory in a District 8-5A opener at 3-1 Plano. On Friday, the Eagles host 2-2 Lewisville.

2. Katy 4-0 (2)
Brooks Haack, a Louisiana Lafayette commit, threw for three scores, rushed for one in a 46-7 rout of 3-1 Seven Lakes (Katy) in a District 19-5A opener. The Tigers face 2-2 Strake Jesuit (Houston) on Friday at Rice Stadium.

3. Euless Trinity 5-0 (3)
The Trojans needed an overtime field goal from Austin Lopez to extend their regular-season winning streak to 22 with a 38-35 squeaker over 4-1 Heritage (Colleyville). On Thursday, the Trojans face 3-2 rival L.D. Bell (Hurst).

Click here for the full ESPNHS POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings.

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