Plano East at Allen
Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium
Tim Glaze: Plano East's win over Plano West last week was much-needed, as the Panthers now find themselves firmly in the running for the fourth and final playoff spot in District 6-6A. A date with Allen, though, may put the good times on hold, if only for a week.
Allen enters Friday's game as the No. 1 6A team in Texas, according to several scouting outlets, and have the firepower to back it up on offense and defense. Quarterback Grant Tisdale has looked outstanding after splitting snaps last year with the now-graduated Mitchell Jonke, and Tisdale has top-notch wide receivers in Carson Schleker and Theo Wease Jr. to throw to.
But the biggest issue facing East this week should be running back Brock Sturgis. In recent weeks, the Panthers have struggled against the run. The coaches at East are already tired of hearing about Matt Gadek's 599 rushing yards two weeks ago, but the Panthers also allowed 348 rushing yards to winless West.
Allen has already clinched a playoff spot and is looking for its 12th consecutive district title; East is fighting for its playoff lives. One thing to keep in mind, though, is how well - relatively speaking, of course - Joey McCullough's East teams have fared against Allen in the past. The Eagles had to come from behind in the fourth quarter last year to beat East, and even in McCullough's first year, when the team went 1-9, the Panthers played Allen tight.
Allen should win, but don't expect East to roll over.
The Pick: Allen by 21
Plano Senior vs. Plano West
Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Clark Stadium
Matt Welch: The Plano-West rivalry has been pretty balanced in recent years, splitting the past eight meetings, 4-4. Five of those eight games were contested by 10 points or less.
The Wildcats enter Friday’s homecoming tilt looking to stay afloat in a competitive 6-6A playoff race, while the Wolves are down to two games in pursuit of their first win of the season.
West is coming off a season-best performance on offense, piling up 41 points and 455 yards last week against East. It was the first time all season the Wolves had played a team within single digits in the fourth quarter and given the unpredictable nature of rivalry games, seeing how West builds off that showing against East will be interesting.
Plano, on the other hand, picked up a much-needed 17-5 win over McKinney Boyd last week to snap a three-game losing streak and open up a pathway to the postseason. The Wildcats forced five turnovers in the win and held an opponent out of the end zone for the first time all season.
The Wolves are getting better, and the motivation of avoiding a winless season can be powerful, but Plano’s defense is capable of bringing West back down to earth.
The Pick: Plano by 17