The season has reached Week 7 and most teams are hitting the meat of their district schedules, so it's make or break time for most teams on the verge of staying in playoff contention. We look at some of this week's more interesting match ups and pick the games to watch in the region.
Running back Jock Tilghman leads the San Antonio area in rushing with 1,362 yards and 14 touchdowns and is the heart and soul of the Cougars' offense. Tilghman rushed 35 times for 206 yards in last week's thrilling 32-31 overtime win over O'Connor but will need more offensive help against a stout Warren defense. Quarterback Hayden Greenbauer should be that compliment, accounting for 901 all-purpose yards on his own.
Quarterback Daniel Horstman and running back Matt Owens provide the offensive balance Warren relies on to win. Horstman is completing almost 67 percent of his passes and has thrown for 898 yards and eight touchdowns, while Owens chips in roughly 110 yards and a touchdown per game. The Warriors, however, thrive on defense and have yet to allow a District 28-5A opponent to score more than 14 points.
Warren's defense is tough to crack and we see Clark being too one-dimensional to do it.
Warren 27 Clark 24
The Tigers bounced back from an ugly 10-7 win over East Central to pound South San 41-7 last week. Carroll has been an up-and-don team all season, eeking out victories over Victoria Memorial and Gregory-Portland while blowing out Laredo Nixon. Running backs Jonathan Anderson and Anthony Davis are the keys, with the duo averaging 86 yards and two touchdowns in district play.
Wagner is hoping its tough non-district schedule begins to pay off this week. The Thunderbirds have been ultra competitive in District 27-5A action, with their lone loss coming at the hands of cross-town rival Judson. Wagner is averaging 36 points per game its three district games, with running backs David Glasco and Tyrea Brown combining for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Carroll may be undefeated, but its too inconsistent so we'll take Wagner in an upset.
Wagner 31 Carroll 28
San Marcos gave Tivy all it could handle in last week's 42-28 defeat, gaining over 500 yards of offense and 390 on the ground. That said, the Antlers didn't exactly struggle to move the ball either, rolling up almost 460 yards with running back Quincy Kibbett getting 225 of those yards either running or catching the ball. Tivy's only loss came at the hands of 5A power Madison and even it couldn't slow down the Antlers' offense.
Canyon showed it was the real deal in hanging tough in a 28-21 loss to Steele last week. Canyon's defense was gashed for 320 yards on the ground, but it's proved tough most of the season. The Cougars are surrendering just 22 points per game and thrive off turnovers. Quarterback Tyler Denson runs a balanced offense and has accounted for 1,185 yards of offense and 10 touchdowns.
This one should be a shootout and we like Tivy's chances in a high-scoring affair.
Tivy 45 Canyon 38
Pflugerville may not win many style points, but it continues to win games. The Panthers reminded many just how dominating they can be in last week's 35-7 win over Anderson. Pflugerville allowed just 220 yards and eight first downs and controlled the line of scrimmage with 321 rushing yards. Add in a 15-point margin of victory per game and it's tough to not like Pflugerville.
Last week's 37-21 loss to Bowie marked the first time all season the Maroons failed to score more than 21 points in a game. Austin can score points in bunches, averaging 30 per game, and is rarely stopped more than a handful of times. Quarterback Jacob Morgan has thrown for 1,390 yards and 13 touchdowns, while receiver Emory Blake has 600 receiving yards and eight of those scores.
In a classic battle of offense versus defense, we'll go with Pflugerville and its defense.
Pflugerville 28 Austin 27
Garrett Gilbert crossed the 2,000-yard mark in last week's 57-0 rout of Lampasas and tossed six touchdown passes. The Cavaliers' offense has been on fire of late outscoring its past three opponents 162-29 and posted an average of 487 yards the past four weeks. Even scarier still is the defense's play during that stretch, forcing seven turnovers in its last four games.
Since a season-opening loss to New Braunfels Canyon, the Hawks have been playing dominating ball. Close wins over Hutto and Elgin have been sandwiched between blowouts of Del Valle and Lampasas. Led by running backs Marquese Dunn and Kenny Williams (906 yards and eight touchdowns combined), Hendrickson is averaging 38 points in its last four games.
Can Hendrickson's ball-control running game keep Lake Travis' high-powered air attack off the field? We don't think so.
Lake Travis 49 Hendrickson 28
The Chaparrals' offense came alive last week, rolling up 433 yards in a 49-22 win over Bastrop. An even better sign for Westlake is Ryan Swope's progress since being banged up earlier this season. In the past three weeks, a healthy Swope has rushed for 420 yards and eight touchdowns and could be the spark that light's the Chaps' offense again.
Connally's defensive play has improved over the past four weeks and the Cougars are starting to see the dividends. Connally forced six turnovers in last week's 45-7 win over Akins, and is averaging roughly three takeaways and 14 points per game in its last four games. The bigger question is an offense that has scored more than 22 points just once all season.
We see Connally getting some stops, but not enough to take down a resurgent Westlake.
Westlake 38 Connally 20
McCallum shook off a three-game losing streak with a 27-18 win over Crockett, its second-straight victory. The Knights don't look like their usual dominating selves, having allowed more points than they've scored this season, but could be getting in a groove. Omasha Brantley rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns last week and McCallum is averaging 175 yards on the ground its past two games.
LBJ's defense has been solid all season, yielding just 18 points per game. The Jaguars big issues are with an inconsistent offense that either explodes or implodes. In its three victories, LBJ's offense is averaging 40 points. In it's three losses the Jaguars are scoring just 15 per game.
McCallum may be peaking, but we just don't see LBJ's D getting pushed around.
LBJ 28 McCallum 21
San Antonio Cole ruined what would have been a matchup of unbeaten District 27-2A leaders with its 27-14 upset of Harper last week. The Longhorns got 199 yards of total offense and a touchdown from quarterback Reagan Randle, but turnovers proved costly. Despite being outgained by just two yards, Harper's three turnovers proved too costly to overcome.
The Panthers have been crushing opponents all season, but are on a serious run of late. Blanco has won its last three games by a combined score of 139-26, with its defense posting its third shutout of the season last week. Running back Layton Dworaczyk has rushed for 666 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging more than 10 yards per carry.
This matchup looks good on paper, but we see Blanco's offensive balance and tight defense as the difference in this one.
Blanco 42 Harper 21