Two of the biggest games of the year are Saturday -- in the SECOND round of the playoffs.
DeSoto and Dallas Skyline were destined to meet up in the Class 5A Division I area round for quite some time. A fluke put Allen into Division II even though the Eagles have one of the biggest schools in Texas. It just so happens they share a district with Plano and Plano East -- two bigger schools. So now, they will meet up with fellow powerhouse Southlake Carroll in the same area round. Two great teams with state title aspirations will see their season end prematurely on Saturday.
Southlake Carroll (10-1) vs. Allen (10-1), 8 p.m. Saturday, Cowboys Stadium -- Not enough can be said about the success of these two programs. Allen is the defending Class 5A Division I state champion and has one of the most battle-tested, warrior-like quarterbacks around in Matt Brown. Southlake Carroll is the team of the decade in Texas high school football and has been a QB-producing factory, as my boys in The Dallas Morning News reported. The winner of this game's road doesn't get any easier. They'd have a likely matchup with either unbeaten Abilene or top-ranked Cedar Hill in the regional final. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing either of these teams play this year, but I'll take the word of a buddy that has seen both schools multiple times and say Allen's defense will win this game by the smallest of margins. Prediction: Allen 30, Southlake Carroll 27.
DeSoto (9-2) vs. Dallas Skyline (11-0), 6 p.m. Saturday, SMU's Ford Stadium -- This game will be one to be at, especially if you enjoy watching guys who will be playing on Saturdays (on a weekly basis) in the coming years. As we talked about in the summer, Skyline entered the season with nine players who had already committed to major colleges and the Raiders could have as many as 14 players sign Division I scholarships on National Signing Day in February. Then there's DeSoto, which has its own version of "the Triplets" made famous by the early 90s Cowboys -- QB Ryan Polite, RB Marcus Murphy and WR Darius Terrell. Terrell's committed to Texas. The Eagles average 43.4 points per game and give up 23.9. Skyline puts up 48.3 points per contest and gives up just 10.3, but you have to remember, Skyline hasn't played near the competition DeSoto has. I think Skyline QB Javia Hall, who's been awful protective of the ball this year, will get Skyline over the top and give it its first quality win this season. Prediction: Skyline 45, DeSoto 31.