To say Longview faced a tall task in No. 5 DeSoto on Thursday is probably an understatement. DeSoto entered the contest 9-0 and averaging nearly 50 points per game. Plus, after No. 1 Allen had its way at Longview earlier this year, some thought the Lobos' huge homefield advantage wasn't such a big deal anymore.
Today, most are singing a different tune about the No. 12 Lobos, thanks to their defense.
While holding DeSoto to its lowest point total of the year, Longview DL Jalen Porter forced DeSoto QB Desmon White to fumble in the end zone with 1:49 to go, resulting in the decisive safety in the Lobos' 23-21 win. The result was Longview's eighth straight District 11-5A crown and huge momentum boost entering the playoffs.
If that's a taste of a weekend filled with district-deciding contests, this should be fun.
No. 2 Katy (9-0) vs. No. 25 Cinco Ranch (8-1)
Cinco Ranch made its debut in our state rankings this week. So what's the Cougars' reward? Oh, just a date with rival and No. 2 Katy. Katy has been inching closer and closer to Allen in the rankings and another district title could certainly help its case. Ricky Bickham and all of his 5-5, 145-pound frame stepped up last week for Tigers, rushing for 149 yards and three scores. But Cinco Ranch has a set of playmakers in RB Jamel James and QB Cole Thomas.
My pick: Katy 38, Cinco Ranch 21
No. 4 Lake Travis (9-0) at Cedar Park (8-1)
The last time these two met to close the season, Cedar Park knocked off the Cavaliers for the District 25-4A title. Mix this bit of vengeance with a Lake Travis squad that's averaging 51 points per game this season and led by the ever-improving start QB Baker Mayfield, and you figure it could be a long night for Cedar Park.
My pick: Lake Travis 42, Cedar Park 24
No. 17 Manvel (9-0) at No. 24 Dawson (8-1)
The District 24-4A title will be on the line in this contest with Manvel clinging to a one-game lead. Dawson is coming off a tough loss to La Marque, which saw its furious comeback from three touchdowns behind vanish in the final two minutes. Meanwhile, Manvel had its way against winless Ball behind Selwyn Green's three scores.
My pick: Manvel 31, Dawson 28
Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.