Texas High School Football Playoff Preview: State Semifinals

Chris Sommer
December 09, 2019 - 9:14 am
High School Football


We are down to the Final Forty in 11-man high school football.

Forty teams that are one step away from the dream, playing for a state championship at AT&T Stadium. The state semifinals are perhaps the most cruel postseason round of all. Twenty teams will advance to the doorstep of a title this week, while the other twenty will see their playoff journeys end just one round short of reaching Arlington. 

One team - Aledo - remains alive in the chase for history. The Bearcats are two wins away from becoming the first Texas high school to win nine state football championships. 

Meanwhile, Mart is looking for a three-peat in 2A Division II. 

Some of the semifinal games are rematches from a year ago. It's gonna be a great weekend of high school football. 

These are the complete state semifinal matchups:



Division I

Duncanville 49, Southlake Carroll 35

Rockwall 59, Prosper 42

Galena Park North Shore 76, Humble Atascosita 49

Lake Travis 48, Converse Judson 35


Duncanville (14-0) vs Rockwall (12-2), 2:30 p.m. Saturday at McKinney’s McKinney ISD Stadium


Duncanville:  Has won 14 straight and 29 of last 30 games...Had 517 yards, allowed 527 in win over Carroll...Ran for 334 as a team last week...QB Ja'Quinden Jackson was perfect 8 of 8 passing for 100 yards and 2 TD, also ran for 129 and 3 TD...RB Trysten Smith ran for 174 and 2 TD last week

Rockwall:  Making first appearance in state semifinals since 1987, fifth trip overall...Beat Sweetwater, 13-6, in semis 32 years ago, went on to lose to West Orange-Stark in 4A state title game...WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba is 60 yards away from Texas all-time record for career receiving yards...JSN has 5,364 - Burnet's Jordan Shipley established record of 5,424 from 2000-03...Smith-Njigba had 243 total yards last week, with four receiving TDs and two TDs on the ground...Soph. QB Brayden Locke was 24 of 31 for 448 yards and 6 TD in win over Prosper...WR J.J. Williams caught three passes for 145 yards and 2 TD...RB Zach Henry missed game with injury, RB Khalil Catlett filled in with 55 yards on 21 carries...Rockwall allowed 454 yards last week


Galena Park North Shore (13-1) vs Lake Travis (13-1), 4 p.m. Saturday at Round Rock’s Reeves Stadium



LAST MEETING:  GPNS 51, Lake Travis 10 (12/15/18)

Galena Park North Shore:  Set school record for most points in a playoff game last week...Sr. DB Upton Stout had two interceptions...North Shore is making back-to-back trips to state semis for first time...Shut out Atascosita in second half last week...Sr. RB Zach Evans had 5 total TD...HC Jon Kay: "We got a lot of wear and tear on our bodies."

Lake Travis:  Sr. QB Hudson Card returned from October foot injury last week, threw for three TD, ran for one...RB Weston Stephens had 306 total yards, scored on 70-yard reception, 44-yard run, 52-yard run...Cavaliers are playing same five postseason opponents in order from last year


Division II

Denton Guyer 48, Amarillo Tascosa 7

Spring Westfield 38, Dallas Jesuit 28

Katy Taylor 58, Cypress Creek 20

Austin Westlake 42, San Antonio Brandeis 14


Denton Guyer (13-1) vs Spring Westfield (13-1), 1 p.m. Saturday at Houston's Sheldon ISD Panther Stadium


Denton Guyer:  First meeting with any Houston-area school...Lost in second round of playoffs in 2018...Making first trip to state semifinals since 2013 (sixth overall)...QB Eli Stowers was 8 of 11 for 233 yards and 4 TD last week...Guyer defense held powerful Tascosa Flexbone offense to just 232 total yards and 2.9 yards per carry

Spring Westfield:  Scored final ten points of game last week to break 28-28 tie and advance...Kandal Taylor ran for 204 yards and 2 TD...Westfield lost to state champ Longview in quarterfinals in 2018


Katy Taylor (9-5) vs Austin Westlake (13-1), 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Waco’s McLane Stadium


Katy Taylor:  This is the deepest playoff run in school history...Taylor finished fourth this season in District 19-6A, entered playoffs with 5-5 record...Overwhelmed Cy Creek last week with 17-point first quarter flurry that included fumble recovery for TD, interception return for TD...DB Trevor Woods has four interceptions in the playoffs, with three returned for TD...RB Casey Shorter ran for 118 yards and a TD, RB C.J. Tolbert ran for 113 and a TD

Austin Westlake:  In state semifinals for third straight year...Chaps lost to Beaumont West Brook last year, fell to Cy-Fair in 2017...Only loss this season was to 6AD1 state semifinalist Lake Travis, 26-25, on October 11th...Westlake is led by dual-threat QB Kirkland Michaux



Division I

Denton Ryan 56, Colleyville Heritage 10

Frisco Lone Star 38, Lancaster 20

Alvin Shadow Creek 59, Manor 14

San Antonio Wagner 74, Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial 14


Denton Ryan (14-0) vs Frisco Lone Star (14-0), 2 p.m. Saturday at Allen’s Eagle Stadium


LAST MEETING:  Denton Ryan 28, Frisco Lone Star 21 (9/21/17)

Denton Ryan:  RB Emani Bailey ran for school-record 275 yards last week...Bailey scored TDs of 39, 48, 48 and 22 yards...Raiders are making fourth straight semifinal appearance, ninth overall...Ryan lost to Highland Park in state semis last three years...Ran for 378 yards in quarterfinal win...DB Ty Marsh had three tackles for loss for hard-hitting Ryan defense

Frisco Lone Star:  WR Marvin Mims broke Texas single-season record for receiving yards last week...Mims caught ten passes for 214 yards and TDs of 84 and 62 yards, now has 2,463 yards this season...Soph. QB Garret Rangel was 20 of 31 for 315 yards and four TD...Lone Star beat Lake Dallas in OT, 55-49, in last trip to state semifinals in 2015 (lost to Cedar Park in championship game)


Alvin Shadow Creek (14-0) vs San Antonio Wagner (13-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday at San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium



LAST MEETING:  Alvin Shadow Creek 41, SA Wagner 24 (12/15/18)

Alvin Shadow Creek:  Scored 49 unanswered points last week after trailing 14-10 in second quarter...Sharks have won 29 of 30 games in two years as a varsity program...QB Kyron Drones had five total TD last week...2018 semifinal with Wagner was played at Houston's NRG Stadium, so this game is in San Antonio...Looking to play in state final for second straight year

Wagner:  Led CC Vets 47-0 at half last week...Thunderbirds set school record for points in a playoff game...Triple option attack ran for 679 yards last week, had 730 yards total offense...Soph. QB Isaiah Williams ran for 208 yards and 2 TD, threw for 2 TD...Jr. RB L.J. Butler ran for 179 and 2 TD, WR Joshua Cobbs had two TD catches


Division II

Lubbock-Cooper 38, Wichita Falls Rider 17

Aledo 43, Ennis 36 (OT)

Fort Bend Marshall 40, Manvel 10

Boerne Champion 49, Corpus Christi Calallen 42


Lubbock Cooper (13-1) vs Aledo (13-1), 3 p.m. Saturday at Abilene’s Anthony Field


Lubbock-Cooper:  Pirates are in state semifinals for first time in school history...Scored 28 unanswered points last week after trailing WF Rider at half, 17-10...Ran for 327 yards in quarterfinal victory...Held Rider to 195 total yards, including 43 in second half...RB Isaiah Johnson ran for 132 yards and a TD, RB Nehemiah Martinez ran for 106 and TD

Aledo:  Two wins away from becoming first Texas high school to win nine state football championships...In semifinals for seventh straight year, nine years out of ten...Sr. RB Jase McClellan had 39 carries for 212 yards and 3 TD in win over Ennis...Sr. QB Jake Bishop scored game-winning TD on 17-yard run in overtime...Bishop ran for 114 yards...Bearcats overcame three lost fumbles to advance


Fort Bend Marshall (13-1) vs Boerne Champion (13-1), 3 p.m. Saturday at College Station's Kyle Field


Fort Bend Marshall:  Beat Corpus Christi Calallen in state semifinals last year, hopes to get another shot at Aledo...QB Malik Hornsby threw for 264 yards and 2 TD last week, ran for 135...Sr. RB Devon Achane ran for 132 and four TD...Achane has 120 total touchdowns in his career

Boerne Champion:  Making first semifinal trip in school history...Lost in first round of playoffs in 2018...Came back last week after trailing CC Calallen early, 14-0...Sr. Luke Boyers hit Soph. WR Davis Pike with 96-yard touchdown pass on third-and-10 to seal quarterfinal win...Boyers threw for 326 yards and 3 TD



Division I

Springtown 56, Dumas 39 

Waco La Vega 44, Argyle 20

Carthage 24, Midlothian Heritage 7

Lampasas 49, Liberty Hill 34


Springtown (13-1) vs Waco La Vega (13-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Midlothian’s Midlothian ISD Stadium


Springtown:  Has won seven straight after losing to Decatur in district play...Scored 56 last week on a Dumas team that was allowing fewer than 15 points per game...Quarterfinal win was 100th career victory for Head Coach Brian Hulett...Porcupines averaging 49.6 ppg this season, 55.0 in playoffs

Waco La Vega:  Ran for 396 yards last week in avenging regular season loss to Argyle...RB Jar-Quae Walton ran for 198 yards and a TD...QB Landry Kinne threw for 102 yards, ran for 88, including 45-yard TD run...Jordan Rogers is extremely effective out of Wildcat formation, ran for three scores last week


Carthage (14-0) vs Lampasas (13-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Porter’s Randall Reed Stadium


Carthage:  Held Midlothian Heritage to a single score last week, one year after allowing 49 to Heritage in quarterfinal barnburner...All four scores last week came on fourth-down plays...In semifinals for fifth straight year...Head Coach Scott Surratt going for seventh state championship at Carthage...Jr. QB Kai Horton recorded his first rushing TD of season last week - has thrown for 43 and has caught a TD pass this season...Held Midlothian Heritage to 175 total yards...Bulldogs defense was stellar, intercepting three passes

Lampasas:  Has set school record for wins in a season...Making first trip to state semifinals since 1986...Looking for first state title...Jr. QB Ace Whitehead accounted for all seven touchdowns in quarterfinal win...Whitehead has 72 total TDs this season (51 pass/21 rush)...Jaylon Porter leads deep Lampasas receiving corps, Porter had three TD catches last week


Division II

Midland Greenwood 36, Iowa Park 33

Texarkana Pleasant Grove 55, Gilmer 21

Silsbee 35, West Orange-Stark 28

Wimberley 42, Geronimo Navarro 12


Midland Greenwood (14-0) vs Texarkana Pleasant Grove (13-1), 6 p.m. Friday at Frisco’s Ford Center


Midland Greenwood:  Making deepest playoff trip since 2002, when HC Rusty Purser's father, Bob, led Greenwood to 15-1 season and appearance in state title game...RB Trey Cross scored game-winning TD with :55 left last week...Brody Ray sealed win with interception in final minute

Texarkana Pleasant Grove:  Looking for third straight appearance in state championship game...TPG lost to Cuero in 4AD2 title game last year, won state championship in 2017...Ran 45 offensive plays to 17 for Gilmer in first half last week...Piled up 461 rushing yards as a team in quarterfinal win...RB KJ Hicks ran for 177 and 3 TD...Jr. Landon Jackson is impact player on both sides of ball


Silsbee (9-4) vs Wimberley (11-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Katy’s Legacy Stadium


Silsbee:  Avenged regular season loss to West Orange-Stark , eliminated rival from playoffs for second straight year...Trailed by 11 late in third period, scored 18 unanswered points to take win...RB Dralyn Taylor scored game-winning TD with 1:45 left

Wimberley:  Texans overwhelmed Geronimo Navarro in revenge spot after losing to Navarro in district play, 42-14...Sr. QB Cooper McCollum threw for 5 TD last week and ran for one...Soph. RB Moses Wray is key performer in Wimberley backfield



Division I

Brock 31, Pilot Point 21

Pottsboro 35, Gladewater 34 (2 OT)

Grandview 34, Troy 13

Columbus 48, Hallettsville 25


Brock (12-2) vs Pottsboro (14-0), 7 p.m. Thursday at Frisco’s Ford Center


Brock:  Eagles got revenge for district loss to Pilot Point...Held Pilot Point to 30 rushing yards, while Brock ran for 268...Workhorse RB Cash Jones carried 37 times for 221 yards and a TD...QB Jaxon Gleaton was efficient 6 of 9 for 89 yards and 2 TD

Pottsboro:  Cardinals just keep winning...Stopped Gladewater's two-point conversion attempt in second overtime last week to win quarterfinal thriller...Pottsboro needed overtime after leading 21-7 in fourth period last week...Offense is triggered by QB Bradyn Plyler and RB Cy Shope


Grandview (13-1) vs Columbus (12-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Round Rock’s Reeves Stadium


Grandview:  Defending 3A Division I champs have won 25 of last 26 games...Zebras' only loss was to Whitney earlier this year...Beat Yoakum in state semifinals last season...Jr. QB Dane Jentsch was 15 of 23 for 148 yards last week, ran for 80 and 4 TD, intercepted a pass on defense

Columbus:  Cardinals avenged regular season loss to Hallettsville last week...RB Tyree Simcik ran for 282 yards and 5 TD...Columbus ran for 329 in quarterfinal win...QB Brock Schobel was 8 of 11 for 116 yards and 2 TD...WR Kaycon Wilson had six receptions for 99 yards and 2 TD


Division II

Canadian 35, Abernathy 31

Gunter 27, Holliday 9

Omaha Paul Pewitt 45, Daingerfield 42

East Bernard 30, Ganado 10


Canadian (14-0) vs Gunter (13-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Vernon’s Lion Stadium



LAST MEETING:  Canadian 17, Gunter 7 (12/14/18) 


Canadian:  Facing Gunter in state semis for fourth straight year...Wildcats had to hold on last week after leading 28-12 at half, overcame numerous turnovers and mistakes...QB Grant McCook is playing through a leg injury...RB Hayze Hufstedler ran for 145 yards and had a key fourth quarter TD run

Gunter:  Looking to advance to state championship game for third time in four years...Sr. RB Bryson Rigsby ran for 82 yards and 2 TD last week, also had two second-half interceptions on defense...Gunter forced key turnovers last week...Ran for 307 yards in beating Holliday for the fifth time in last three seasons


Omaha Paul Pewitt (13-1) vs East Bernard (14-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Waco’s Waco ISD Stadium


Omaha Paul Pewitt:  Pulled off big comeback last week after trailing 30-13 at halftime, 42-31 in fourth quarter...QB Cross Holder threw for three TD, ran for one...RB Kadrien Johnson scored game-winning TD on 29-yard run with 1:48 left...LaJathan Allen had a TD catch on offense, pick-six on defense

East Bernard:  Brahmas looking for first state title since 2012...Have been playing without leading rusher Kobe Brown, who was injured in playoff opener...Wing-T attack is triggered by RBs Kameron Matthews, Tanner Baggett and Devin Chapman...Defense picked off three passes last week...East Bernard lost to state champ Newton in semifinals last year



Division I

Post 52, Hawley 42

Valley View 14, San Saba 12

San Augustine 48, Groveton 28

Refugio 49, Holland 12


Post (14-0) vs Valley View (12-2), 7 p.m. Thursday at Brownwood’s Gordon Wood Stadium


Post: Came back to beat Hawley after trailing 30-21 in third quarter...Antelopes had no punts last week...Averaging 45.5 points per game in playoffs...Has scored 50+ six times this season...Post has wins over 3A Abernathy, New Deal, Stinnett West Texas and Hawley

Valley View:  Has won 11 straight after 1-2 start...Making first trip to state semifinals since 1992...Pulled off quarterfinal win last week despite only 182 yards total offense and six first downs last week...Valley View scored TDs on drives of 16 and 13 yards...Held San Saba team that was averaging 56 ppg to 12 points, 238 total yards...RB Clint Epperson is 2,000-yard rusher this season...Valley View is led by Fr. QB Logan Lewis


San Augustine (13-0) vs Refugio (14-0), 7 p.m. Thursday at Cypress’ Cy-Fair FCU Stadium


LAST MEETING: Refugio 63, San Augustine 21 (12/14/17)

San Augustine:  Gets Refugio in semifinals for second time in three years...Lost to Mason in state semifinals last year...Jayden Hicks scored on punt return, interception return and had 3 TD passes last week

Refugio: After grabbing last-second win over Shiner in regional semifinals, Bobcats roared to big win over previously-unbeaten Holland last week...Refugio led 28-0 after one quarter last week...QB Austin Ochoa was 8 of 15 for 212 yards and 3 TD, also ran for 59 yards and 2 TD


Division II

Stratford 42, Wink 13

Hamlin 43, Wellington 22

Mart 53, Muenster 7

Falls City 35, Bremond 25


Stratford (13-1) vs Hamlin (11-2), 7 p.m. Thursday at Plainview’s Sherwood Memorial Stadium

REGULAR SEASON REMATCH (only one this week)


LAST MEETING:  Stratford 39, Hamlin 6 (9/27/19)

Stratford:  In state semifinals for second time in three years...Sr. QB Walker McBryde threw for three TD and ran for one last week...McBryde was 19 of 23 for 228 yards passing...RB Ty McBryde scored 2 TD...Soph. Cody Rinne had TD catch on offense, interception on defense

Hamlin:  Was ranked #1 in 2A Division II twice this season before mid-season stumbles, including blowout loss to Stratford in late September...Scored 36 unanswered points last week to stun Wellington...QB Braydin Warner was 9 of 10 for 257 yards and 4 TD...WR Cutter Martin had four receptions for 161 yards and TDs of 58 and 87 yards...RB Jevon Williams ran for 116 yards, had 3 total TD


Mart (11-3) vs Falls City (13-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Pflugerville’s The Pfield



LAST MEETING:  Mart 40, Falls City 13 (12/13/18)

Mart: Two-time defending 2A Division II champs caught fire in second half of season after tough non-district schedule...Beat Falls City in state semis last year, defeated Stratford in semifinals in 2017...Have won nine straight...Jr. Roddrell Freeman ran for 218 yards and 2 TD in big win over Muenster...Soph. Ayden Lane leads Panthers' defense, had 14 tackles last week

Falls City: Finished regular season as #1-ranked team in 2A Division II...Will try to overcome nemesis Mart to reach state championship game...Beavers QB Brady Lyssy ran for 356 yards last week, scored TDs of 13, 67, 1, 37 and 1 yards...Falls City is a physical team that will try to impose its will on Mart