High school football season continues this week, with the area's slate of games loaded with compelling matchups.
Which one is the biggest?
Each week throughout the season, Star Local Media will select five in-market games for consideration as Game of the Week. Readers can vote for their selection on the side of the article.
Voting is open through 10 a.m. Wednesday and the winning game will receive special coverage on Thursday's edition of the Star Local Media High School Sports Podcast.
Marcus at Lewisville
Friday, 7 p.m. at Max Goldsmith Stadium
Matt Welch: The latest installment of the “Battle of the Axe” rivalry transpires Friday between two teams already assured of a playoff berth, but plenty on the line, nonetheless.
Marcus, already assured the district’s top seed in the Class 6A Division II bracket, needs a win to secure the outright district championship, whereas Lewisville is locked into the Division I bracket but will likely know its seed prior to kickoff with Flower Mound, tied with the Farmers for third place, playing Irving MacArthur on Thursday.
If the Jaguars win, they’re assured the district’s top seed in the Div. I bracket, with Lewisville granted the bottom seed.
On paper, this matchup pits two of the district’s most dynamic offenses head-to-head, with Marcus sporting 433.2 yards per game and Lewisville averaging 399.7. The Marauders sport the area’s fourth-leading 6A passer in quarterback Garrett Nussmeier, with Farmer signal-caller Taylen Green checking in at No. 15.
Lovejoy at Frisco
Friday, 7 p.m. at Frisco ISD Memorial Stadium
Bryan Murphy: Although Frisco and Lovejoy each clinched playoff berths last week, plenty remains on the line in terms of district titles and postseason seeding when these two programs square off Friday night.
If the Raccoons tame the Leopards then Frisco finishes the season at 7-1 amongst the rest of 7-5A Division II and would be crowned district champions.
If Lovejoy defeats Frisco, then the Leopards would finish 7-1 but would also need Braswell to lose to Denison to earn the outright district title.
The Leopards are fresh off of a thrilling overtime victory a week ago over Denison and have been no stranger to close contests this season. Meanwhile, Frisco got back in the win column with a pounding over Frisco Memorial and will look to ride its potent rushing attack into the playoffs.
McKinney at McKinney Boyd
Friday, 7 p.m. at McKinney ISD Stadium
Kendrick E. Johnson: For the third consecutive season, McKinney’s “Crosstown Showdown” rivalry between McKinney and Boyd will have major playoff implications.
Whichever teams wins the intense rivalry game, combined with a Plano loss to Prosper, will grab the fourth and final playoff spot for 9-6A.
A win by McKinney will be the first time the Lions have beaten the Broncos in consecutive seasons since the rivalry's inception and, more importantly, could put McKinney in the playoffs for the third consecutive season. A win for Boyd will complete the Broncos' district turnaround and increase the odds that program's long playoff drought stops at four straight years without a postseason berth.
The key matchup of the game will be Boyd’s defense versus McKinney’s offense, as these units have been the strengths of these two particular teams.
McKinney North at Mesquite Poteet
Friday, 7 p.m. at Mesquite Memorial Stadium
Taylor Raglin: Though both teams have already locked up postseason spots in Class 5A Division I (and top-two seeds out of 7-5A DI, at that), the order of finish between the pair is up for grabs in Friday's contest.
Whichever program comes out on top will be the top seed, as North would be the lone 6-0 team in the conference with a victory, and Poteet would both match North at 5-1 and take the head-to-head battle with a win of its own.
North will enter the matchup off its bye week, which followed a narrow win over John Tyler the week before. Poteet took down that same program a week ago, though the Pirates picked up a loss to rival West Mesquite preceding that contest.
Poteet will need to bring the offense it found in early October to keep pace with the high-flying Bulldogs, as North has put up fewer than 40 points just one time in 2019 (Poteet has five such games, though one came at the hands of state power Denton Ryan). North has also been stout enough, defensively, to back up that high-powered attack, giving up 35 or less in five of its last six efforts. For many programs, those are bad days for the stoppers, but North won every one of those bouts.
In any case, both squads will have much to play for in a game that should sharpen both teams for the opening of postseason action.
Rowlett at Sachse
Friday, 7 p.m. at Williams Stadium
Devin Hasson: The most intense rivalry in Garland ISD is renewed with more than bragging rights on the line when Sachse hosts Rowlett Friday at Williams Stadium.
For the Mustangs (7-2, 5-1 in 10-6A), they are hoping to clinch at least a share of the district title for the fourth year in a row.
The stakes for the Eagles (4-5, 4-2) are even higher. Rowlett needs a win to assure itself of a 15th consecutive playoff appearance. A loss on Friday, coupled with a Naaman Forest win over Lakeview, would end that streak.
Sachse is riding a five-game winning streak since a one-point loss to Wylie and the ground game has carried the load with 1,000-yard rusher Shon Coleman and emerging sophomore Brian Okoye.
Rowlett is coming off a 39-13 loss to Lakeview in which starting quarterback Alex Routt was injured in the second quarter and is questionable this week.
This has been a hard game to predict. Two years ago, many thought Sachse was the prohibitive favorite, but they needed to rally from a two-touchdown deficit to earn a 42-35 victory.
Last season, it was expected to be evenly matched with the district crown once again on the line, but the Mustangs rolled to a 48-0 rout in the most lopsided game in the history of the series.