Due to some technical difficulties in good ol' West Texas, I'm just now getting around to this, but here are some of the top games to look forward to on your Thanksgiving weekend. With the game of the week on tap for some hardcore analysis tomorrow. The third round of the playoffs generally signals the end of mismatched blowouts and the beginning of true playoff football, so get excited!
Carrollton Newman Smith (10-2) vs. Longview (11-1), Saturday at 2 p.m., Corsicana -- I've been on the Newman Smith bandwagon since I saw them play in the season opener against Denton Guyer. I think the Trojans' story is a great one of turnaround and success. But their first playoff appearance since 1983 will come to an end on Saturday. Longview has too many horses. Newman Smith has theirs too with Randall Joyner and Al Lasker, but the key is Longview's don't play both ways. The Lobos will be too much to keep up with and will pull away in the second half. Prediction: Longview 41, Newman Smith 24.
Abilene (11-0) vs. Cedar Hill (12-0), Friday at 2 p.m., Birdville Fine Arts Complex -- It's been a good while since Cedar Hill has faced a legitimately scary opponent, but it's that time again. The Longhorns have punished opponents all year with its running game and efficient, well-timed passing attack -- not to mention its playmaking defense. Abilene has rolled this year, averaging nearly 50 points per game led by RB Herschel Sims' 1,643 yards and 24 TDs. This will be power against power. I'm really tempted to take Abilene here, but give me the No. 1 team in the state. Prediction: Cedar Hill 38, Abilene 35.
Arlington (9-2) vs. Coppell (11-1), Saturday at 1 p.m., Birdville Fine Arts Complex -- Arlington QB Matt Joeckel was huge last week, accounting for a big lump of yardage and eight total touchdowns in the Colts' 70-42 win over Odessa. Coppell is coming off a 14-0 shutout win over Plano East and suffered its only loss this season to Southlake Carroll. The Colts have been peaking gradually all season, which is what you hope for, and they'll continue that trend on Saturday. Prediction: Arlington 38, Coppell 30.
Last week's record: 2-2. Season record: 31-20.
Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/award-winning blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. He's ready for that turkey!