Three marquee matchups highlight this week of play, one in which the picture of several districts will become more clear by Saturday night.
*The Woodlands have jumped to a 5-0 start behind QB Joseph Schneider, who has emerged as one of the area’s hidden gems. Schneider has thrown 14 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions and leads the Highlanders with 406 yards and six scores on the ground. He’ll lead The Woodlands in a District 14-5A clash against undefeated Lufkin, which has its own dual-threat QB in DeAuntre Smiley, who has completed a whopping 72 percent of his passes to go along with 12 TD passes while adding 459 yards and eight scores on the ground.
The Panthers have scored 42 or more points in four games, including the last two wins over Conroe and Atascocita. Yet for all of the potential offensive fireworks, keep an eye on Highlanders DE Michael Cooper and Panthers DE Darrell Kelly-Thomas, both of whom are committed to Division I programs Arizona and Arkansas respectively.
*District 21-5A begins with a high-stakes tilt as North Shore heads to Port Arthur Memorial to face the undefeated Titans. Memorial averages 406 yards per game behind an offense that features five players with at least 135 rushing yards, including QB Terrance Singleton, who has totaled 14 touchdowns thus far.
The Mustangs have ripped off four straight wins since their Zero Week debacle against Katy, but LB Derrick Matthews and DB Miketavius Jones must contend with a Memorial offense that has averaged 45.2 points per outing. RB Reggie Bryant has given North Shore an explosive element to team with QB Keenon Gibson and WR Davante Davis.
*Control of the ultra-rugged District 24-4A will be on the line when undefeated Friendswood visits an undefeated La Marque squad that has lost the last meetings between the schools. The last time the Mustangs visited Etheredge Stadium, they handed the Cougars a 69-48 drubbing that marked the most points against La Marque.
Friendswood can still light up a scoreboard as QB Pete Matezold has thrown 17 TD passes, while RB/WR Jonathan Johnson has nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards. La Marque has been sparked by the legs of RB Tim Wright, who has 1,147 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, but QB Emmanuel Williams is coming off his best game of the season in last week’s win over Santa Fe. Chances are good this won’t be a defensive struggle.
*Undefeated Pearland looks to slow down a surging Dickinson team that has won three straight after losing their first two. The Gators have been buoyed by their defense in District 24-5A victories over Clear Creek and Brazoswood, but coach Warren Trahan’s unit will have their hands full against a balanced Oilers attack that features RB Dustin Garrison and the accurate passing of QB Trey Anderson, who has completed 63 percent of his tosses with a stellar 12-1 TD-INT margin.