Class 5A-Division I
Paetow (12-1) vs. Fort Bend Hightower (11-2), 7 p.m., Rice Stadium
- The Class 5A-Division I Region III final will be a District 10-5A, Division I rematch for Paetow, as they take on Hightower for the second time this season.
The Panthers are coming off a huge victory over Cedar Park in the regional semifinal round. Jacob Brown led the way for Paetow for the second straight game. The senior running back had 241 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries, averaging over 17 yards a touch and Paetow rushed for a total of 312 yards. CJ Dumas and Kole Wilson proved once again why they are so dangerous; Dumas was 12-15 passing for 152 yards and two touchdowns while Wilson hauled in both of those touchdown passes and finished the game with four receptions for 76 yards. Paetow’s defense, held Cedar Park to just 31 yards rushing, but did allow 286 yards through the air.
Paetow blew out Hightower last time the two teams met, but the Hurricanes have been on a run ever since. Hightower comes off its biggest win of the season over Manvel and the team did damage in both the run and pass game. Jeremy Payne rushed for 252 yards and a touchdown while Kendron Penson Jr. had one of his best games of his career through the air, throwing for three touchdowns to zero interceptions and throwing for 203 yards.
Paetow will have to be strong against the Hightower pass game and continue their dominance on the ground with an efficient pass game to get to the state semifinal. Hightower has become a much better team since the groups first meeting, but Paetow has also continued to improve.
Class 6A-Division II
Katy (13-0) vs. Summer Creek (10-3), 1 p.m., Rice Stadium
- Katy handled a strong C.E. King team last week and now gets a game against what seems to be a beatable Summer Creek team.
Both Katy and Summer Creek were dominant in their regional semifinal wins, and both did most of their work on the ground. Katy continued to dominate but did show weakness in the secondary during the second half against King. In the second half, Katy allowed 190 yards through the air in the second half and a touchdown through the air and the pass game also opened up King’s run game, as they ran for two touchdowns in the second half. Katy had success in the pass game, but also got away with a couple of dropped interceptions, including one that could have been returned for a touchdown if caught.
But Summer Creek should be an opponent that Katy can handle as they did in their first few rounds of the playoffs. Summer Creek has suffered three losses so far this year, all in district play. North Shore and Atascocita were both very tough opponents and losses, but Summer Creek also lost to Katy’s last opponent, C.E. King, 35-10 earlier this year. Summer Creek allowed 343 yards on the ground to King in that game, which bodes very well for Katy. The Tigers have also been deadlier than ever in the pass game so far in these playoffs with their full plethora of receivers back healthy.
For the Tigers, the key will be to continue to do what they have been doing while also continuing to improve in the secondary.