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H.S. football: Bi-district scouting report

November 16, 2018

Key storyline

Opening-round showdowns: Teams understand that in order to play for a UIL state championship, they will have to beat some quality teams along the way.

Those matchups usually occur when a team ventures on a long postseason run — not so much this season.

The opening round of the playoffs features a who’s who of the area’s top teams, headlined by Reagan vs. O’Connor in a Class 6A Division I bidistrict game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Farris Stadium.

O’Connor (10-0) and Reagan (8-2) are meeting in the playoffs for the second straight year and the fifth time overall. Reagan prevailed in 2006 (49-47), 2007 (35-28) and 2011 (51-14) before the Panthers won 45-21 a year ago.

Other marquee first-round encounters include Brennan vs. Johnson, Austin Westlake vs. Clemens and Smithson Valley vs. Austin Lake Travis.

Key matchup

Madison QB Dante Heaggans vs. Warren DL Davare Harrison: Heaggans rushed for 206 yards and two TDs in the Mavericks’ district title-clinching win vs. Johnson and combined with running backs Christian Hernandez (155 yards, three TDs) and Darien Gill (109 yards, TD) to pace a rushing attack that amassed 481 yards and averaged 11.4 yards per attempt. Harrison leads a stout defensive line that last week limited Clark to only 31 rushing yards on 17 attempts.

Under-the-radar game

Smithson Valley at Austin Lake Travis, 7:30 p.m. today: Can lineman Will Gibbens and the Rangers’ stingy defense slow down Lake Travis, which is led by quarterback Hudson Card (1,924 yards passing, 28 TDs) and wide receivers Garrett Wilson (35 catches for 547 yards and nine TDs in six games) and Kyle Eaves (43-634, 9 TDs)? Card, a junior, is a Texas commit and Wilson, a senior and five-star prospect, is pledged to Ohio State.

Smithson Valley, which has won five of six after a 0-3 start, has yielded only 36 points in its last three games and held Judson to 28 points, the top-ranked Rockets’ lowest output of the season.

By the numbers

3: Playoff games contested this weekend at Rutledge Stadium in Converse. Wagner played Harlandale in a Class 5A Division I contest on Thursday, while Judson hosts Hays in a 6A D-I matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Veterans Memorial makes its postseason debut when it faces Laredo Martin in a 5A D-I encounter at 6 p.m. Saturday.

tthomas@express-news.net

Twitter: @en_terrence

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