The most anticipated regular season game in TAPPS Division II has arrived as Dallas Christian (7-0) travels to take on two-time defending state champion Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill (6-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Chargers kept their undefeated record intact with a 35-29 double-overtime victory over San Antonio Cornerstone Christian a week ago.
Quarterback Zack Haaland shouldered the load with 20 carries for 181 yards and four touchdowns, while TJ King rushed for 48 yards and a score.
The Tigers, meanwhile had no problems with McKinney Christian in a 51-0 rout.
Shedeur Sanders was an incredibly efficient 27-of-31 for 380 yards and five touchdowns. Emari Matthews rushed for 120 yards and a score on just seven carries, Elijah Yelverton had nine receptions for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Amiri Crowder (6-92, TD), Charles Thompson, Jr. (6-77, TD) and Marques Buford Jr. (4-84, TD) also had big games.
The teams have some similar numbers coming in.
Dallas Christian has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 275-72, while TC-Cedar Hill has a 265-67 point differential.
The Chargers have held every opponent to 14 points or less with the exception of last week in the double-overtime game against Cornerstone Christian.
The Tigers surrendered 33 points in an overtime loss to Division I Parish Episcopal in the second week of the season. In their five games since, they have allowed 21 total points with three consecutive shutouts, including a 24-0 blanking of the same Cornerstone Christian team Dallas Christian faced a week ago.
Dallas Christian has been a balanced offense but has relied more on the run of late and is averaging better than 220 yards per game.
King (88-622, 6 TDs) is averaging better than seven yards per carry and could get more of a workload this week.
Haaland has also taken to the ground more in recent games and has rushed 71 times for 536 yards and 11 scores.
Haaland has been effective throwing the ball, completing 65-of-115 passes for 943 yards and 11 touchdowns with only one interception. Peyton Veasley (20-374, 4 TDs), Parker Robertson (17-172, 3 TDs) and King (10-116) have been Haaland’s main targets.
Zach Reid (58 tackles, 10 TFL, 6 sacks) and King (54 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 INTs) continue to lead the way on defense. Other players to watch include Sam Johnson (49 tackles), Matthew Mata (47 tackles), Tyler Winfree (35 tackles, 7 TFL), Blaine Bills (7 TFL), Johnson (3 INTs) and Robertson (3 INTs)
Both of those units will need to be firing on all cylinders on Friday.
Sanders looks to be peaking at the right time of the season coming off last week, and he has completed 76.3 percent of his passes (129-of-169) for 1,530 yards and 19 touchdowns with only two interceptions.
The Tigers have a pair of capable running backs in Matthews (85-479, 6 TDs) and Desmond Moultrie (69-351, 2 TDs) and Yelverton (33-342, 4 TDs), Rodrick Weaver, Jr. (27-248) and Thompson, Jr. (19-349, 6 TDs) lead the receiving corps.
The TC-Cedar Hill defense is an aggressive unit that has recorded 64 tackles for loss, 19 sacks and seven interceptions.
Last season the Tigers took advantage of two defensive touchdowns and a safety that led to a 37-16 victory.
The teams met twice during the 2017 campaign, with TC-Cedar Hill claiming a 27-14 win in the regular season and then using a stifling defense to post a 27-0 shutout in the state semifinals.