With the final week of the regular season kicking off tonight, there's a small kink in our weekly routine. There are two mega-important games tonight. One was destined to be my top game of the week, which usually runs on Friday. The other is definitely worthy of being in the "other" big games of the week, but since it's on Thursday as well, it will run today along with the Game of the Week.
On Friday, I will highlight the rest of the big games for the week, one of which might be a mild surprise to some folks who think high school football doesn't exist below the Class 4A level.
Denton Ryan (8-1) vs. Denton Guyer (9-0), 7 p.m., Thursday, at Denton's C.H. Collins Athletic Complex -- This game features crosstown rivals, who respect each other, but don't particularly like each other too much. Guyer beat Ryan for the first time last season en route to the Wildcats' 12-3 season and state semifinal berth. Guyer, ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 4A, won the game by 14 points, and it could've been worse as the Wildcats kneeled on the ball inside the Ryan 5-yard line at the end of the game. The game features two of the Metroplex's top offenses, statistically, including Guyer's No. 1 offense which averages 523.8 yards per game with a heavy dose of the run and an efficient passing game led by QB J.W. Walsh, who's thrown for 20 TDs and just two picks while rushing for 16 scores and nearly 900 yards. Ryan's offense averages 495 yards with a high-octane passing attack led by Texas Tech commit Scotty Young under center. The game will feature loads of Division I prospects and will be a fun one to watch. Prediction: Guyer 45, Ryan 27.
Aledo (8-1) at Birdville (9-0), 7 p.m., Thursday -- This game features two contrasting teams in every way possible. Aledo, the No. 9 team in the 4A state poll, is led by its strong running game behind RB Jonathan Gray and it's stout defense that gives up just 12.4 points per game. Birdville comes in undefeated and sits one spot out of the state's top 10, waiting for someone to slip up. A win against Aledo would get the Hawks into the top 10. The Hawks are an offensive powerhouse, averaging 490 yards per game behind QB Josh Dorman, the area's leading passer with 3,245 yards, 43 touchdowns and just four picks -- pretty amazing numbers. I give the nod to a running game and defense in big games like this. Prediction: Aledo 31, Birdville 24.
Last week's record: 3-1. Season record: 24-15.