Garret Rangel

Lone Star quarterback Garret Rangel and the Rangers will have their Sept. 2 ballgame against Aledo broadcasted on CW33.

Each Thursday night during high school football’s regular season, CW33 will broadcast one of the top matchups in the Metroplex as part of its High School Football Showdown.

CW33 launched its fall football showcase last season, airing games in conjunction with the UIL’s temporary allowance of broadcasts on Friday nights — in part due to capacity restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the UIL Legislative Council voted to allow Friday high school football broadcasts to continue into the 2021 season but only for webcasts streamed online.

As such, CW33’s broadcast schedule for this season is chalked with marquee Thursday night matchups, including a number of local programs.

Below is a look at the games involving high schools within Star Local Media markets that will be part of CW33’s upcoming High School Football Showdown.

Hebron at Denton Guyer

Aug. 26, 7 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

The showcase kicks off in Denton with a meeting between two teams with a degree of familiarity. Hebron and Guyer will square off for the third consecutive season — the Wildcats bested the Hawks in their two prior encounters, including a 56-33 win last year.

Guyer went on to amass an 11-3 record and qualify for the Class 6A Division II state semifinals. The Wildcats should be formidable once again as they embark on their second year under head coach Rodney Webb, returning 14 starters on a team ranked No. 12 by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football in 6A.

Done no favors by a pair of in-season shutdowns related to the pandemic, Hebron fell short of a playoff spot in 6-6A despite a 4-3 record. The Hawks built some momentum for the fall during a productive offseason that included a Division I state championship win in 7-on-7 competition in June.

Aledo at Frisco Lone Star

Sept. 2, 7 p.m. at Toyota Stadium

One of the year’s marquee bouts in 5A, perennial powers rematch in Frisco in a meeting of teams ranked in the preseason top 10 of their respective classifications.

Aledo rolled to its third consecutive and 10th overall state title last season behind a 13-1 record that included an early-season win over Lone Star, 34-32. Neither team led by more than a touchdown during the back-and-forth scrap — capped by a 5-yard touchdown catch by Jo Jo Earle midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bearcats are the preseason No. 1 in 5A Div. II and chalked with a familiar ensemble of Div. I college talent, including defensive back BJ Allen, a Texas commit, and tight end Jason Llewellyn, an Oklahoma commit.

Lone Star, meanwhile, is slotted No. 9 in 5A Div. I to begin the year following a regional semifinal berth in 2020. The Rangers are led by one of the area’s most potent quarterback-receiver combos in Oklahoma State pledge Garret Rangel, who enters his third season starting behind center, and all-purpose threat Ashton Jeanty.

Denton Braswell at Sachse

Sept. 9, 7 p.m. at Homer B. Johnson Stadium

Week Three shifts the broadcast site to Garland for a clash of two teams squaring off for the first time ever.

Sachse looks to exit its non-district schedule on a productive note and has a veteran cast to lean on with nearly two-thirds of its roster back from 2020’s bi-district qualifier. That includes plenty of experience at the skill positions, led by dual-threat quarterback Alex Orji and speedy rusher Brian Okoye.

The Mustangs’ defense, which is projected to return its entire defensive front, will be tasked with slowing a young Braswell offense. The Bengals lit up the scoreboard to the tune of nearly 40 points per game last season but graduated a sizable amount of that production.

McKinney Boyd at Trophy Club Byron Nelson

Sept. 16, 7 p.m. at Northwest ISD Stadium

This non-district rematch required overtime during its 2020 edition. Despite exiting regulation tied just 7-7, Boyd struck on its first overtime possession with a 24-yard touchdown catch by Brooks Rigney to pace a 14-7 victory.

Limiting Nelson to a single touchdown was par for the course for a Boyd squad that later clinched a playoff berth on the strength of a hard-nosed defense, and the Broncos figure to be formidable on that side of the ball again with seven returning starters. That includes reigning 5-6A defensive player of the year and linebacker Ethan Wesloski plus linebacker Jimmy Fex, named newcomer of the year as a sophomore in 2019.

Nelson, meanwhile, wound up qualifying for the playoffs out of 4-6A and expects to contend once again. The Bobcats have six starters back on each side of the ball, including bell-cow rusher Michael Giordano and the one-two receiving punch of Gavin McCurley and Landon Ransom-Goelz — the latter accounting for Nelson’s lone score against Boyd last season. 

Marcus at Plano

Sept. 30, 7 p.m. at Clark Stadium

The first district matchup on the CW33 docket emanates from Plano, showcasing the reigning 6-6A champions against one of Texas high school football’s legacy programs.

Last year’s encounter between Marcus and Plano got out of hand early as the Marauders rode four touchdown passes from Garrett Nussmeier to a 56-17 victory.

With Nussmeier off to LSU, Plano hopes for a better showing on its home field as it embarks on its second season under head coach Todd Ford. The Wildcats managed just one win during a season mired in cancellations but should boast talent out wide with Michael Dorsey and Myles Bourne-Nelson, as well as up front with Sullivan Burns and Chad Smith.

The Marauders, defined by balance on both sides of the ball last season, could lean on their offense early into the 2021 season. Despite Nussmeier’s graduation, Marcus has a viable replacement in either 2020 backup Jaxxon Warren or offseason move-in Cole Welliver to spread the ball around to a dynamic set of pass-catchers, including deep threat Dallas Dudley and towering tight end Connor Vaughn.

The Colony at Denton Ryan

Oct. 7, 7 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

The spotlight shifts back to Denton for a showcase of the reigning 5A Div. I state champions, as Ryan welcomes The Colony. The Raiders captured their first state title in 18 years last season following an unblemished 15-0 campaign and are entrenched as their classification’s No. 1-ranked team entering the season. 

Ryan hasn’t suffered multiple losses in a single season since 2014 and looks to maintain that pace behind a loaded defense. The Raiders return eight starters from a unit that allowed 15.8 points per game last season, led by linebacker Anthony Hill, ranked as the state’s No. 1 prospect for the 2023 class by 247 Sports.

The Colony, meanwhile, had its playoff hopes dashed by an end-of-season coin flip but should be much improved in 2021. The Cougars return 16 starters — the most of any team in 5-5A Div. I — and have several players capable of contributing on both sides of the ball like Shafiq Taylor and Colby Cox.

Creekview at Fort Worth North Side

Oct. 28, 7 p.m. at Farrington Field

The penultimate week of the regular season pivots the broadcast to 4-5A Div. II as Fort Worth ISD and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD collide.

Creekview is starting anew in 2021 after bringing former Ennis offensive coordinator Tony Castillo on board as head coach. A predominantly run-first outfit under the previous regime, the Mustangs sport one of the area’s better passing targets in 6-foot-4 Connecticut commit Sean Sallis, who should already have a built-in chemistry with returning quarterback Garrett Palacio.

Creekview hopes for a better go in its second season as a 5A Div. II program, and a playoff berth could require finding the win column against a North Side team that has righted the ship in recent years for back-to-back playoff berths. The Steers are young with just eight returning starters but should be plenty settled by the time this late-season matchup rolls around.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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