Class 5A, Division I
Paetow (9-1) vs. Galveston Ball (5-5), 6 p.m., Legacy Stadium
- Paetow earned a No. 1 seed for the first time in the football programs history and for its efforts face Galveston Ball in the first round. The Panthers finally will have senior running back Jacob Brown back in the mix and a one-two punch between he and Damyrion Phillips will make Paetow tough to handle for any team in the playoffs. The Panthers defense has been dominant all season with the teams front seven forcing constant pressure on almost any team Paetow has faced so far. The Panthers have been run first but can pass as they need to as they have averaged 253 yards rushing and 144 yards passing per game so far this season.
Paetow’s opponent, Fort Bend Bush, lost three district games this season and comes in as a No. 4 seed. They lean heavily on their passing game on offense, as junior quarterback Seth Williams has averaged 174 yards through the air and Brice Williams has been very good at receiver, as he has 619 yards and seven touchdowns on 39 catches this year.
Paetow come into the game as heavy favorites and if they keep up their dominant performances on the ground and on defense, they should be able to take care of business and get the win.
Class 6A, Div. I
Tompkins (9-1) vs. For Bend Travis (6-4), 6 p.m., Rhodes Stadium
- Tompkins has the No. 1 seed from District 19-6A in Division I and will face Fort Bend Travis on Thursday.
The Falcons have used an exceptional passing attack led by Cole Francis and have lost just once so far this season. Francis has already passed for 2023 yards and 20 touchdowns this year and his top receiving Josh McMillan II has helped his cause, catching 42 passing for 742 yards and seven touchdowns so far, while Wyatt Young has also been exceptional, catching 30 passes for 558 yards and six touchdowns and also rushing for six touchdowns. Caleb Blocker, Colin Marshall and Young have also been a steadying force from the backfield, helping bring balance to the offense.
Travis has boasted a strong offense this year but has been very reliant on quarterback Anthony Njoku. The senior has passed for 1464 yards and 18 touchdowns and has also rushed for 739 yards and nine touchdowns. Robert Sims III and Gabriel Van Wyk have been a nice one-two punch at receiver for the team as both have over 400 yards receiving and Sims has caught seven touchdowns.
Tompkins defense has been up to the task against most offenses this year, but the secondary has given up plays in the passing game at times. The Falcons will need a good day on defense and need its offense to keep doing what it has been doing to continue its run.
Seven Lakes (7-3) at Ridge Point (9-1), 7 p.m, Hall Stadium
- Seven Lakes is back in the postseason for the third time in four seasons, and is still looking for the schools first ever playoff victory. Standing in their way, like each of the past two times they have made it to the playoffs, is Ridge Point. The Panthers ended the Spartans season last year in a 56-20 loss.
The Spartans offense has been run first this season. Sophomore running back Barrett Hudson has steadily improved all year, and has rushed for 835 yards and five touchdowns while senior running back Michael Amico has rushed for 469 yards and also has five touchdowns. Grayson Medford has been a duel threat for the team, the senior has passed for 870 yards and seven touchdowns and has also been a force in the running game with 466 yards and seven touchdowns.
Ridge Point has been able to do whatever they want to teams offensively all season and quarterback Bert Emaneul Jr. has been unstoppable. The senior has thrown for 1932 yards and 25 touchdowns while not throwing an interception all season and has also rushed for 743 yards and ten touchdowns. Running back Ezell Jolly has also had a great year, rushing for 668 yards and ten touchdowns. Marvin Session is the teams top threat at wideout and has 721 yards and ten touchdowns on 38 receptions to lead a high powered passing game in which five different players have over 100 yards on the year.
Seven Lakes defense will be tasked with shutting down the high powered Rams offense for the second straight year and will have a big task in slowing down Emanuel. The Spartans offense will have to throw the ball at times and try to keep pace against what is also a very stout Ridge Point defense.
Class 6A, Div. II
Katy (10-0) vs. Fort Bend Clements (7-3) 6 p.m. Legacy Stadium
- Katy has been a machine all season, steamrolling through opponents with its run game and will look to do the same when the face Fort Bend Clements on Friday to open the playoffs. Katy’s run game has been led by Seth Davis, as the junior has rushed for 1781 yards and 22 touchdowns so far and Dallas Glass has emerged as a strong secondary back for the team, rushing 940 yards and 13 touchdowns. Nic Anderson seems to finally be back to full health but the Tigers have lots of injuries that they are hoping to get players back from, including to leading receiver Antonio Silva and fullback Isaiah Smith.
Clements has been inconsistent this season. The Rangers passing attack has averaged under 200 yards per game and the run game has been subpar, averaging just 131 yards. One player to keep an eye on for Clements is Patrick Smith, the senior leads District 20-6A in receiving, he has caught 47 passes for 845 yards and ten touchdowns so far this year, and is also a big part of the teams defense in the secondary.
Katy will look to continue its dominance on both sides of the ball while limiting the Clements run game.
Cinco Ranch (6-4) vs. Fort Bend Bush (5-5), 7 p.m. Rhodes Stadium
- Cinco Ranch and Fort Bend Bush come into Friday’s matchup looking very even on paper.
Cinco Ranch has ridden its electric pass game all season and Gavin Rutherford has continually delivered for the team. The junior has passed for 2213 yards and 23 touchdowns and has only thrown three interceptions all year as he continues to march towards the Cinco Ranch record books. Seth Salverino continues to be a big play threat, and has caught 36 passes for 890 yards and nine touchdowns, while Noah Abboud has settled back in with the offense, and has caught 27 passes for 343 yards and six touchdowns. Sam McKnight has continued to develop in his first varsity season at running back and has helped provide balance to the offense.
Bush is a defense first team and has limited teams severely on that end of the field. The Broncos only allowed one team to score over 20 points on them in district play. Offensively, the team has not been very strong, and only got to 20 points in four of their seven district games. Quarterback Tyler Hilder averages 83 yards per game in the air and the team averages just under 150 yards on the ground per game.
It will be a battle of strengths between these two teams, as Cinco Ranch’s high powered offense will try to get the team enough points to win against a very talented Bush defense.