Week 4 in the Metroplex can only mean one thing: district football is upon us. With all do respect to the big non-district games early in the season, nothing can match a crosstown district rivalry on a Friday night. Districts 10-5A, 6-4A, and 15-4A kick off on Friday, with the rest of the area set to follow in the coming weeks.
Here's a look at the top five area games to keep an eye on this week:
Colleyville Heritage (2-1, 1-0) vs. Grapevine (2-1, 1-0): The Panthers and the Mustangs renew their 6-5A rivalry on Friday in a game that could go a long way to giving one team a leg up on the rest of the district competition.
Heritage and Grapevine have a lot in common this year; both teams were absolutely blasted by the opposition two weeks ago and followed the loss up with big district wins in week 3. It seems fitting that the two schools that share a stadium would also share similar highs and lows this year.
While both defenses have come to play on various occasions, you should probably expect an offensive shootout. Grapevine WR Ted Hull-Ryde and Heritage QB Jeff Calvert have been doing it all for their teams. Hull-Ryde has 101 yards rushing and 214 receiving, while Calvert has been averaging 272 total yards of offense for the Panthers.
This rivalry has produced some classics over the years, and I wouldn't expect this one to be any different. Expect a high scoring game with Calvert and the Panthers pulling it out late in the fourth quarter.
Pick: Colleyville Heritage
Mesquite Horn (2-1) vs. Denton Guyer (1-1): Want to see a fireworks show on Friday night? Then you may want to take a trip to Denton for a game that's sure to produce a lot of points and very little defense.
Horn is averaging 27 points per game this season, and that's all thanks to QB Collin Strahan (745 yds, 7 TDs) and his ability to stretch opposing defenses. Guyer gave up 42 points to Cedar Hill's Driphus Jackson two weeks ago, so they'll need to be especially careful with Strahan. Receiver's Jakeem Grant and JaCorey Shepherd should give the secondary all they can handle.
Guyer's all-everything QB J.W. Walsh doesn't need an introduction. With the offense averaging 43 points per game, there's no reason to think he won't have another big game against the Horn defense. Throw in the fact that he's had almost two weeks to gameplan and watch footage on Horn and you have a recipe for a big game from the area's top signal caller.
Both teams would love to finish non-district play with a big win, but I think the time off will be a benefit to Guyer in this game.
Garland (2-1) vs. South Garland (2-1): South Garland and Garland open 10-5A play with a rivalry game that could set the tone for district play. South Garland's fast start to the season was cut short last week, as the team ran into a Plano West buzzsaw. The offense only mustered 7 points and 220 yards of total offense -- after averaging 25 points per game prior to last week -- in a 21-7 defeat that left a sour taste in their mouth going into the district opener.
Garland, on the other hand, started their season off on the wrong foot before stringing together two really nice wins on the road against Lake Highlands and Duncanville. Averaging almost 40 points per game, Garland's offense has been very efficient over the last couple of week. The chemistry between quarterback Dawson Hadnot and receiver Ja'Taveon Green has been a big reason why they've been so successful. Green has over 300 yards receiving, accounting for more than three-quarters of Hadnot's passing yards.
Even though Garland is the road team, they definitely have momentum on their side. Expect to see a lot of Hadnot to Green in a big district win for Garland.
Red Oak (3-0, 1-0) vs. Mesquite Poteet (3-0, 1-0): Mesquite Poteet could be the biggest surprise in the area after the first three weeks of the season. The past two years for Poteet have been forgettable, as the team only managed to win one game, going 1-19 in the process. Quarterback Beau Norwell (623 yards, 6 touchdowns) has been a big reason why Poteet has been able to turn things around.
They'll get their biggest test of the season tonight against Red Oak, considered by most to be one of the best teams in 15-4A. The Hawks have outscored the opposition 103-38 in the first three games of the season, once again making them the favorite to with 15-4A.
While it's great to see Poteet playing well once again, it's difficult to see them getting past a Red Oak team that's superior on both sides of the ball.
Pick: Red Oak
North Mesquite (2-1) vs. Plano West (2-0): One of the best running backs in the area takes on one of the best defenses in area in a non-district tilt that's being billed as the game of the week.
North Mesquite, winners of their last two, get one last shot to impress the pollsters before starting district play next week. Running back Joseph Bergeron (Texas commit) is one of the best in the state, averaging over 7 yards per carry in his first three games.
Plano West could have the best defense in the area, allowing 10.5 points per game (third best in the area) in their first two road contests against Arlington Martin and South Garland. Defensive back Jared Bujko anchors one of the nastiest secondary groups in the area. They should get little work this week against North Mesquite, a team that prefers to pound the rock over putting it in the air.
Expect Plano West to be up to the challenge of facing Bergeron in their first home game. Look for the Wolves to stack the box and force North Mesquite's best player to make plays.
Pick: Plano West