No. 2 Tyler John Tyler (9-1) vs. Waxahachie (6-4), 7:30 p.m., Friday, Homer B.Johnson Stadium, Garland
Don't look for Tyler John Tyler to start slow this week. You would think after falling behind 24-0 last week in the District 16-4A championship shootout against Whitehouse, JT coach Ricklan Holmes would impress on his football team not to tarry as they open the playoffs against Waxahachie. With the victory over Whitehouse, John Tyler extended its district winning streak to 20 games.
John Tyler averaged 26.4 points per game in five non-district contests, but turned it up scoring 50.4 a game the last five weeks. JT quarterback Greg Ward has passed for almost 2,500 yards and 29 touchdowns without an interception this season. The University of Houston-commit also has 534 yards and seven touchdowns rushing.
Ward's favorite receiver is Oklahoma State University-commit Fred Ross, who has 48 receptions for 923 yards and 14 touchdowns to go with 151 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Another key receiver for the Lions is Darion Flowers (39-696, 6 TDs).
John Tyler DE Tyus Bowser has been an anchor for the defense with 47 tackles, 15 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures.
Waxahachie's leading rushers are RB Treyvon Hughes (185-1,266, 16 TDs) and LaDarron Crawford (72-488, 6). QB Jake Villareal is 78 of 160 passing for 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns with only three picks. Quinn Sargent has 24 receptions for 596 yards.
The winner advances to face the winner between Mount Pleasant and Wylie at a site and time to be determined.
JOE'S PICK: Tyler John Tyler by 14
Whitehouse (9-1) vs. Ennis (8-2), 7:30 p.m., Friday, Memorial Stadium, Mesquite
Whitehouse looks to rebound in this 4A Division II, Region II bi-district game against Ennis after losing for the first time this season a week ago in the 16-4A championship game against Tyler John Tyler. Expect the Wildcats to get out to a fast start with their passing attack of QB Patrick Mahomes to a variety of talented receivers. Mahomes enjoyed a career night last week for yardage (435) and four touchdowns despite the loss. He is 193 of 341 for 3,061 yards and 37 touchdowns. He has suffered eight interceptions. Mahomes has also rushed for 222 yards and six scores.
Among his leading receivers are Texas Tech-commit Dylan Cantrell (52-1,094, 12), Jake Parker (55-770, 7) and Coleman Patterson (41-671, 9).
Whitehouse is one win away from equaling the school record for wins in a season (10) set by the 2006 and '07 teams.
Ennis is a run-first team led by senior quarterback Brandon Adams, who has passed for 974 yards and 13 touchdowns. Two of his favorite receivers are Devin Smith (18-229, 5) and Darby Smith (17-300, 3).
Running backs Nick Gabriel and Terrence Williams, both juniors, have combined to rush for 1,872 yards.
The Lions average 34.9 points and allow the opposition an average of 20.1.
The winner advances to play Sulphur Springs or Wylie East next week in the area round of the playoffs.
JOE'S PICK: Whitehouse by 10
Mount Pleasant (8-2) vs. Wylie (4-6), 7:30 p.m., Friday, Royse City ISD Stadium
Mount Pleasant recovered rather nicely from a disappointing 3-7 campaign in 2011 to win eight games and a playoff berth, finishing as the runner-up behind Sulphur Springs in 14-4A. The Tigers did it primarily with offense and the strong, accurate passing arm of quarterback Monty James. James' favorite go-to receiver was K.D. Cannon. The quarterback and receiver were a lethal combination.
James was 215 of 348 for 3,186 yards and 39 touchdowns, while Cannon had 96 receptions for 1,516 yards and 25 touchdowns.
If Wylie is successful, look for LBs Ja'Vareya Hicks and T'Kevian Rockwell to enjoy big games.
The winner plays either Tyler John Tyler or Waxahachie in a Division I, Region II area game next week.
JOE'S PICK: Mount Pleasant by 7
Sulphur Springs (8-2) vs. Wylie East (7-3), 7:30 p.m., Friday, Poe Stadium, McKinney