A look at notable games around the Dallas area heading into Week 5 of the #txhsfb season...
Rockwall vs. Rockwall-Heath
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Rockwall’s Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium
These two played arguably the Dallas area’s most entertaining regular-season game a year ago. Expect this year’s installment to be worth a watch, too. Rockwall-Heath outlasted Rockwall 79-71 in double overtime last September, and while both sides graduated key pieces from last year’s high-scoring affair (namely both starting quarterbacks), the crosstown rivals haven’t missed much of a beat in 2022. Heath (3-1), the No. 13 team in The Dallas Morning News’ area 6A rankings, has won three straight games since its Week 1 loss versus No. 1 Denton Guyer and has averaged the fourth-most total offensive yards (489.5 per game) of any Dallas-area 6A team. With four-star Clemson wide receiver pledge Noble Johnson in the fold, No. 12 Rockwall (3-1) has the weapons to keep pace. Expect this game to be crucial in deciding a District 10-6A champion come season’s end.
McFarland’s prediction: Rockwall 42, Rockwall-Heath 36
Waxahachie at DeSoto
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at DeSoto’s Eagle Stadium
All eyes are on No. 10 Waxahachie (4-0) as it climbs in the polls and District 11-6A supremacy. Averaging 48 points per game (third-best among area 6A teams), Waxahachie has a plus-155 point differential and beat Cedar Hill in Week 3 for the first time since 1999. A win over No. 5 DeSoto (3-1) would be monumental. Since its Week 2 loss against nationally ranked St. Frances (Md.), DeSoto has returned to form with wins over South Oak Cliff (42-23) and Skyline (63-0). Junior quarterback DJ Bailey passed for six touchdowns in DeSoto’s Week 4 win over Skyline with five-star Texas pledge Johntay Cook II catching eight passes for 179 yards and two scores. DeSoto edged out a 31-25 win last year versus Waxahachie. Expect another close one this week.
McFarland’s prediction: DeSoto 28, Waxahachie 24
Prosper Rock Hill at Prosper
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Prosper’s Children’s Health Stadium
Prosper Rock Hill (2-2) posted a gut-check win in Week 3, as it rallied from a 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Denton Braswell 50-49. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Sperry passed for 278 yards and three touchdowns -- including the go-ahead score in the final seconds -- and rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns. It’ll face No. 8 Prosper (3-1), which fell 23-6 to Guyer in Week 3. A note for Rock Hill’s defense: teams have averaged 63.6 points per game the week after playing Guyer. With Rock Hill in the midst of its third varsity football season, this will be the first all-Prosper ISD game in the district’s history.
McFarland’s prediction: Prosper 40, Rock Hill 21
Plano East at Plano
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Plano’s John Clark Stadium
Can Plano East (3-0) continue its winning ways? It’ll need to top crosstown rival Plano (1-2) to do so. East, which is seeking its first 4-0 start since 2018, has been led by senior running back Daniel Fayombo (579 rushing yards, six touchdowns), senior quarterback Drew Devillier (nine passing touchdowns to one interception) and senior wide receiver Rushil Patel (406 receiving yards, six touchdowns). Each rank within the top seven of all Dallas-area 6A players in their respective yardage categories. Plano may be primed to play spoiler, winning four consecutive games against East.
McFarland’s prediction: Plano East 27, Plano 21
Allen at Denton Braswell
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Braswell’s Carrico Stadium
On a three-game winning streak, No. 5 Allen (3-1) has found its form offensively. Junior Kayvion Sibley rushed for 146 yards and a score against No. 8 Arlington Martin in Week 3 and 210 yards and four touchdowns against McKinney Boyd in Week 4. Braswell (2-0), which was area-ranked through two weeks, has scuffled defensively of late with a 79-20 loss against No. 6 Trophy Club Byron Nelson in Week 3 and a 50-49 loss against Prosper Rock Hill in Week 4. If Braswell wants to compete with Allen, its offense will need to keep pace.
McFarland’s prediction: Allen 42, Denton Braswell 24
China Spring at Parish Episcopal
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Parish Episcopal’s Gloria H. Snyder Stadium
The back-to-back-to-back TAPPS Div. I state champion faced its first setback against a UIL opponent in Week 4 with a 31-28 loss against South Oak Cliff. China Spring (4-0), which went undefeated last year and won the 4A Div. II state championship, should pose another test for Parish Episcopal (3-1). For reference, China Spring beat area-ranked Melissa (2-2) 42-41 in Week 2. Episcopal has yet to crack the 30-point margin through four games, though its defense has kept it more than competitive.
McFarland’s prediction: Parish Episcopal 28, China Spring 21
Fort Worth Nolan at Dallas Christian
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Dallas Christian’s Wheeler Field
The top private school showdown in DFW this week pits No. 2 Dallas Christian (4-0) against ninth-ranked Fort Worth Nolan (1-3), which has lost three consecutive games. Dallas Christian has been led by senior running back Zach Hernandez, a Rockwall transfer who rushed for 441 yards and 13 touchdowns in the season’s first four games, and sophomore quarterback Luke Carney, who has a 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Nolan is looking to avoid its first four-game losing streak since 2015.
McFarland’s prediction: Dallas Christian 31, Fort Worth Nolan 24
Lancaster at Longview
Where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Longview’s Lobo Stadium
Lancaster has more than impressed through four games with wins over No. 7 South Oak Cliff, No. 18 McKinney North and a decent showing versus Guyer, the area’s top-ranked 6A team. Can it continue its run with an upset of Longview (4-0), the state’s top-ranked 5A Div. I team? No. 3 Lancaster is fresh off of a 74-point performance versus McKinney North, and it’ll need to play equally as well against a Longview team that has a plus-179 point differential. Lancaster’s defense — led by four-star junior safety Corian Gipson — will have its hands full with Jalen Hale, Longview’s four-star senior wide receiver. Longview beat Lancaster 34-14 in last year’s playoffs. A win would go a long way for either side come postseason seeding time.
McFarland’s prediction: Longview 31, Lancaster 24
North Crowley at Euless Trinity
Where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bedford’s Pennington Field
A bit of recent history is on the line in this District 3-6A showdown. North Crowley (4-0) is seeking its first 5-0 start since 2005, and Euless Trinity (0-4) is looking to avoid its first five-loss season since 1997. No. 18 North Crowley has fielded one of DFW’s best defense through the first month of the season under first-year coach Ray Gates and has allowed the fewest total offensive yards per game (146.5) of any area 6A team. Trinity, under the direction of first-year coach Aaron Lineweaver, has struggled to score at just 24.3 points per game (down from over 40 points per game last year). Trinity’s calling card is running the ball, but North Crowley has given up just 23.25 rushing yards per game this season.
McFarland’s prediction: North Crowley 24, Euless Trinity 14
Sunnyvale at Kaufman
Where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kaufman’s Lions Stadium
No. 5 Sunnyvale (2-2) enters Friday’s game with a bit of momentum after two consecutive wins, scoring 40 points in each. No. 3 Kaufman (3-1) has been led by running back Johnathan Wrenn (254 rushing yards, three touchdowns) and most importantly is undefeated (3-0) against 4A opponents this season.
McFarland’s prediction: Kaufman 24, Sunnyvale 17
Flower Mound Marcus at Hebron
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Hebron’s Hawk Stadium
With undefeated starts from Plano East and Coppell, the District 6-6A postseason race quickly became interesting. That means this showdown between No. 15 Flower Mound Marcus (1-2) and Hebron (2-1) is an important opener to district play. After losses to No. 3 Southlake Carroll and No. 7 Highland Park to open the season, Marcus rebounded with a win over Euless Trinity in Week 3 before its Week 4 bye. Marcus, led by four-star junior quarterback Cole Welliver and four-star senior Oregon wide receiver pledge Ashton Cozart, has won its last two games versus Hebron. Under the direction of first-year coach John Towels, Hebron is on a two-game winning streak with victories over Wylie and Northwest Eaton.
McFarland’s prediction: Flower Mound Marcus 30, Hebron 21
Frisco Wakeland at Frisco Lone Star
Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Frisco’s Ford Center
This game looked like the marquee Frisco ISD game back in the preseason; a showdown of the expected top two teams in the district. Frisco Reedy (4-0) has beaten, leaving Wakeland (1-3) and Lone Star (2-1) fighting for second. There isn’t much room for error for Wakeland — which has already lost two District 6-5A Div. I games — if it hopes to make the postseason. Lone Star dominated this game a year ago with a 33-3 win but only scored seven points in its Week 3 loss versus Reedy.
McFarland’s prediction: Frisco Lone Star 28, Frisco Wakeland 21
On Twitter: @McFarland_Shawn