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5 things we learned from Dallas-area TXHSFB games, from TAPPS favorites to how 6-6A could get interesting

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 10/24/2020 Joseph Hoyt, The Dallas Morning News

Here are five thoughts played from Dallas-area football games on Oct. 22-23.

Finding a way to win

It’s not often a team with six turnovers wins, especially against a talented opponent, but that’s what Arlington Martin — the No. 9 team in the area rankings — did Friday, beating South Grand Prairie 11-8. Martin sophomore DK Smittick scored on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter for the only offensive touchdown of the night by either team.

At one point Martin had three turnovers on three-straight special teams plays, but like it did a year ago, the Warriors found a way to come out with a win — something even more important this year amidst the pandemic and the possibility of missing games.

Carrollton R.L. Turner hasn’t won much in recent memory, but is now 2-2 after a 13-12 win over Spruce. The interesting thing about this win: R.L. Turner didn’t throw the ball once. Instead, the team ran the ball 58 times for 266 yards, including 138 yards and a touchdown from Antuan Corona.

Dallas ISD also had one of the best games on Friday.

Carter, the No. 5 4A team in the area rankings, beat No. 7 Wilmer Hutchins 34-30. Quarterback Kace Williams threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Keondre Choice with under 40 seconds left to secure the win.

Speaking of game-winning plays: Colleyville Heritage running back Braxton Ash ended Friday’s game against Richland with a three-yard touchdown run in overtime. It was Richland’s first loss of the season. It was Colleyville Heritage’s first game since its season-opening win over Grapevine.

Whether it’s by blowout or against all odds, local teams proved this weekend there’s multiple ways to win a football game.

6-6A could get interesting

There’s no such thing as an absolute certainty in high school football, but after realignment it appeared there was a chance Plano ISD could miss the playoffs entirely for the second season in a row, a feat that hadn’t happened in the 30 years prior.

Plano and Plano East were two teams with recent payoff history, making them possibilities for the postseason. Plano West, however, entered the season with a 2-38 record over the last four years, creating low expectations.

After four games, Plano West has shown its expectations should’ve been higher. The Wolves held one of the area’s most explosive offenses in check, beating district foe Lewisville 27-17. Plano West trailed 17-13 in the fourth quarter before quarterback Greg Draughn threw two touchdowns to give Plano West the district win.

Here are the four teams that won in the first week of district play: Flower Mound Marcus, Hebron, Coppell and Plano West.

Both Coppell and West weren’t playoff teams last year, but their wins will at least make the road tougher for teams like Flower Mound and Lewisville, two postseason teams from a season ago.

4A-I contender again?

Midlothian Heritage has had an incredible start to its football program. Since 2016, the first year the Jaguars fielded a varsity program, Heritage has a record of 43-10.

A resume like that means expectations should be high, but when you’re a 4A team in the Dallas area it’s hard to steal headlines from the favorite, powerhouse Argyle, which has looked dominant as its gone wire-to-wire so far as the top-ranked team in the state.

Heritage reminded us this weekend why it has the potential to once again go on a deep run. The Jaguars defeated Waco La Vega, a team that’s made it to the state finals the last two season, 31-21. Quarterback Daelin Raeder has been one of the most impressive dual-threat quarterbacks in the area, showcased by his four touchdowns against La Vega.

The only other team to beat La Vega this season was Argyle. Heritage’s win this weekend showed that it once again has the potential for a deep playoff run, even if all roads eventually lead to region counterpart Argyle.

TAPPS favorites solidified?

In boxing, a champion remains that way until a challenger knocks them off. So far, Parish Episcopal, the reigning TAPPS Div. 1 champions, hasn’t led a challenger defeat them.

Episcopal remained undefeated with a 35-7 win over a Fort Worth All Saints team that features a Michigan State pledge at quarterback and the Brockermeyer twins, Tommy and James — both Alabama pledges — on the offensive line.

Episcopal quarterback Preston Stone, a SMU pledge and the top-ranked QB in the SportsDayHS Top 100 area rankings, threw for 401 yards and had four total touchdowns.

Episcopal has solidified itself as a state contender, once again, but it’s not the only local Div. 1 team playing well.

Fort Worth Nolan, another TAPPS contender, beat Bishop Lynch 44-0 this weekend. Parish Episcopal and Nolan will face off in the regular season finale with postseason expectations on the line.

In Div. 2, Dallas Christian keeps on impressive. The undefeated Mustangs beat McKinney Christian 76-0 on Friday thanks in large part to former Sachse running back Shon Coleman’s performance. Coleman had 12 carries for 179 yards and five touchdowns.

TC-Cedar Hill won its third-straight Div. 2 state title last season in its final TAPPS year. Now that it’s gone the door is open, and Dallas Christian looks like a team primed to fill it.

Playoff implication victory

Usually, under normal circumstances, it would be difficult to label the first game of district play as one with playoff implications. But this year, due to the pandemic, every game in zoned districts comes with that pressure.

Mansfield, for example, had a huge win with postseason implications. The Tigers beat Waco Midway 28-24 on Thursday. Senior running back Donerio Davenport ran for 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.

That means Mansfield is 1-0 in its District 11-6A zone with two more games left before initial seeding is finished. Midway, along with Duncanville, was the clear favorite to make the postseason. But now that Mansfield beat Midway, it has an edge up over the two Waco schools for the second zone spot and ultimately one of four playoff spots in the district.

Mansfield will play Duncanville next and finish the first part of the zone schedule against Waco the week after.

Duncanville, Cedar Hill and DeSoto also won in the first week of that district’s zone schedule.

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