Five "Must-See" games featuring teams from Central Texas
Thursday, 20th October 2022 - 6:35AM

Garrett Ross

After a week where finding great games was difficult, Week 9 provides no shortage of exciting matchups. Here are five must see games featuring teams from the Central Texas area.

Lorena (6-2, 3-1) vs Franklin (7-0, 3-0)

This battle of defending state champions now has playoff seeding on the line, as Franklin made the jump from Class 3A DII to Class 3A DI during the UIL Realignment over the summer. These two programs did play last season, with Franklin coming away victorious 27-20.

Lorena will look to avoid dropping their second District 11 3A DI game of the season this week, after falling to Cameron Yoe 48-44 in the district opener. The tenth-ranked Leopards have won their last three games in commanding fashion, as they outscored their opponents 152-51.

Last week in their 63-20 rout of Rockdale, Lorena running back duo Braylon Henry and Kasen Taylor combined for 375 yards and 4TD on 14 carries. Taylor also added a kickoff return 85-yards for another touchdown.

Franklin comes into this game as the No. 1 team in the state led by four-star Baylor RB commit Bryson Washington. The Lions have only really been tested once this season, which came in a 41-35 victory over Jasper in mid-September.

Cameron currently holds the top spot of the District 11-3A DI standings, while Franklin sits in second place. If the Lions get a victory over Lorena this week, they can take some possession of the throne with a win over Cameron next week.

Location & Time:
7:30 p.m. Friday at Lorena’s Leopard Stadium

Midlothian (7-0, 5-0) vs Lake Belton (7-1, 5-1)

Midlothian has been dominant this season, as they’ve outscored the opposition 275-89. The Panthers like to control the tempo of the game with their rushing attack, where three different backs have scored 7TD each—De’ago Benson, Michael Garber, and Jordon Richburg.

Lake Belton has looked really good in their first season of UIL play, with a roster loaded with DI talent. The Broncos are coming off a dominating 69-14 homecoming victory over Granbury, where TCU commit Javeon Wilcox came away with two interceptions.

The current District 4-5A DI standings have Lake Belton sitting in first place, despite a 34-33 loss to Killeen Shoemaker, while Midlothian sits in second place.

Location & Time:
7:00 p.m. Friday at Midlothian’s MISD Stadium

China Spring (7-1, 2-0) vs Stephenville (7-0, 1-0)

This will mark another game featuring defending state champions who were paired in the same district following UIL realignment, as Stephenville made the jump from Class 4A DII to 4A DI.

China Spring enters this game off a 42-7 dominating road victory over rival Waco La Vega last week. The second-ranked Cougars trio of offensive playmakers—QB Cash McCollum (16 of 20 for 215 yards and 3 TD), WR Tre Hafford (7 receptions for 103 yards and 2 receiving TD, 1 rushing TD) , and WR Tristan Exline (6 receptions for 88 yards and a receiving TD, 1 rushing TD) torched the Pirates’ defense.

Stephenville enters this game as the No. 1 team in the state, and hasn't lost a game since the 2020 playoffs. The Yellowjackets have won two one-point games this season against Everman (62-61) and Wichita Falls Rider (43-42), and destroyed Waxahachie Life last week 63-20.

Location & Time:
7:30 p.m. Friday at China Springs’ Cougar Stadium

Grandview (6-1, 5-0) vs West (6-1, 5-0)

The District 7-3A DI championship could be settled this week when these two teams collide. Both hold the same record in district play, with Whitney being the wildcard.

Grandview might not be as dominant as in years past, but the Zebras are still a great football team. The lone loss on their schedule this season came in the opening week to currently Class 4A DII No. 9 Glen Rose 43-22.

The Zebras have crushed their past six opponents by outscoring them 354-38.

West entered this season with high expectations and they have delivered. The Trojans lone loss this season came against the defending Class 3A DI state champs Lorena 21-15 in early September.

Offensively, West is averaging 52PPG and holding opponents to 11PPG. The Trojans are coming off a dominating 89-0 victory over Maypearl.

Location & Time:
7:30 p.m. Friday at Grandview’s Zebra Stadium

Chilton (7-0, 2-0) vs Granger (6-1, 2-0)

The championship feeling is back in the air this season in Chilton, as their Pirates sit undefeated and ranked No. 5 in Class 2A DII. Last week in their 56-0 victory over Bartlett, QB Isaiah Reed was 10 of 14 for 311 yards with 5TD spread out amongst three receivers.

Chilton is averaging 43.4PPG, while holding opponents to just 13.4PPG. The Pirates are currently in first place of the District 13-2A DII standings.

Granger is off to an amazing start this season and have worked their way inside of the Class 2A DII Top 10 and No.9. The Lions success this year has been led by their offensive line and the play of senior RB DJ McClelland, who has rushed for 1,119 yards and 16TD and tacking on an additional 3TD receiving.

The Lions lone loss this season came in early September to Thorndale 36-34. Granger is currently riding a 5-game winning streak and sits in second place of the District 13-2A DII standings.

***Chilton will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1972 state title.

Location & Time:
7:00 p.m. Friday at Chilton’s Featherston
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