Playoffs Kick Off With Some Dandies

Newman Smith will look to continue surprise season

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A star-studded weekend schedule awaits.

    With the regular season behind us, we can now look forward to the games that count, or the "money games".

    There are quite a few intriguing matchups in the opening week of postseason play, and will highlight a few of them here.

    Sherman (8-2) vs. Carrollton Newman Smith (8-2), Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Plano's Clark Stadium -- Both teams have their only losses to teams who have been in the state polls at one or another. Sherman lost to Lake Dallas and Denison. Newman Smith lost to Highland Park and Denton Guyer. As everyone knows by now, this is the Trojans' first playoff appearance since 1983 and they set a school record with eight regular-season wins. The Trojans are led by their version of "The Triplets" with QB Aldo Quiroga, RB Randall Joyner and WR Al Lasker. Sherman is led by senior QB Madison Carter and has been rejuvenated this year under new head coach Gary Kinne. The Bearcats do have playoff experience though, and I think in a game like this, that will be a factor. Prediction: Sherman 31, Newman Smith 27.

    Denison (9-1) vs. Richardson Pearce (6-4), Friday at 7:30 p.m., Frisco's Pizza Hut Park -- The Yellow Jackets are back in the state poll after last week's win in the 111th Battle of the Ax over Sherman, which in my book is the greatest high school rivalry in Texas. Denison is loaded with talented seniors, most notably QB Jordan Taylor and RB D.J. Jones, one of the best runners in the state. Richardson Pearce has a lights-out offense behind QB Caleb Lewis, who's thrown for 2,618, 26 scores and 14 picks. But Lewis has no defense support him, and Denison has a dangerous defense to go with their electric offense. Prediction: Denison 48, Richardson Pearce 31.

    Lovejoy (9-1) vs. Wills Point (9-1), Friday at 7:30 p.m., Greenville -- The Leopards have taken 3A by storm after returning all 22 starters from last year's squad. Their only loss came to a seasoned Farmersville squad and now they will take on a Wills Point team that beat that same Farmersville team. Lovejoy is led by do-it-all QB Michael Means, who has thrown for 1,572 yards 12 TDs and four picks, while rushing for 948 yards and 19 touchdowns. Prediction: Wills Point 24, Lovejoy 17.

    Last week's record: 3-1. Season record: 27-16.

    Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/award winning blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. He'll be at Denton Guyer-Saginaw Boswell tonight.