Game of the Week
No. 2 Abilene (Abilene, Texas) 14-0 vs. No. 4 Katy (Katy, Texas) 14-1
Class 5A Division II state championship, Saturday, Alamodome, San Antonio
Weather won't be an issue in this indoor showdown. Abilene enters the contest with a chance to cap off a perfect season, having moved to 14-0 last week with a 29-21 win over Klein. It's no secret what the Eagles will look to do, as Herschel Sims has rushed for more than 2,200 yards and 31 touchdowns while Ronnell Sims and Tony Curtis are each approaching 1,000 yards. Ronnell Sims also has passed for 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Since losing 31-27 against The Woodlands in the second game of the season, Katy has shown why it is a two-time defending champion. The Tigers have won 13 straight after defeating New Braunfels 14-6 last weekend. The Tigers started their win streak with a 35-17 win over Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.), which two weeks ago won its seventh state title in the last nine years. Senior running back Will Jeffery leads the Katy offense with more than 1,800 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns.
Abilene won its first state crown in 1923, and followed up with a loss in the 1927 state final and a win in 1928. The Eagles were dominant in the 1950s with three straight state championships from 1954 to 1956. They haven't won one since. Katy is gunning for its sixth state title in the last 13 years and its third in a row. The Tigers lost in state finals in 1999 and 2005.
Player to Watch
Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
It has been a pretty good month for the soon-to-be Florida Gator, as he started it by being named the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year and now is getting ready for a Class 4A state championship game against FAB 50 No. 45 Niceville (14-0). In the Class 4A semifinals against Armwood (Seffner, Fla.), Elam rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns and also made an impact on defense with a 56-yard interception return for a score in a 41-15 win. Despite rarely playing an entire game because of large leads, Elam has rushed for nearly 1,800 yards and 23 touchdowns and recorded more than 60 tackles. Elam, who is listed as an athlete as a recruit, is the No. 13 prospect in the ESPNU 150.
No. 29 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) 13-1 vs. No. 44 Rocklin (Rocklin, Calif.) 14-0
CIF Division II state bowl championship, Saturday, Home Depot Center
Although Rocklin enters this game unbeaten and has a victory over 2009 CIF Open Division state champ Grant (Sacramento, Calif.), many don't give the Thunder much of a chance against a team that avenged its only loss last week and won the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five Division title. This is primarily because starting quarterback Jimmy Laughrea of Rocklin broke his arm in last week's section final and will not play in the state bowl game. But as ESPN's Lee Corso might say: "Not so fast, my friends." Rocklin's defense, which was just as much a factor as Laughrea in the team's win against Grant, is at full strength. And the player who is starting at quarterback, Tiger Sorenson, has been a starter before and there may not be as much of a dropoff at the position as some might think.
Team on the RISE?
Westlake (Austin, Texas)
The Chaparrals, who count New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees as among their many alumni, are one of those teams that frequently seems to find its groove in the postseason. This year's team started out 4-2 with losses to Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) and Bastrop (Bastrop, Texas). Lake Travis is up to No. 15 in the FAB 50, while the Chaps are knocking on the door. If they win in this week's Class 5A Division I state final vs. No. 32 Trinity (Euless, Texas), they could zoom up toward the top 35 in the final rankings. Westlake's nine-game win streak includes a 42-27 win over Cinco Ranch (Katy, Texas) in the semifinals. Before that, the Chaps knocked off previously undefeated Clark of San Antonio, 37-20. Among the team's standouts have been quarterback Tanner Price (Wake Forest), defensive back Loue Swope (SMU) and linebacker Ellis Glaw, who is uncommitted but could land a Division I college scholarship. Kicker Cody Rademacher (Air Force) has been another strength of the team.