Texas high school football playoffs: Must-see games involving Houston-area teams

A look at the top local matchups this week, plus predictions, dates, times and locations.

Photo of Josh Criswell
Katy defensive back Gavin Johnson reacts after Atascocita wide receiver Claude Slaughter dropped a pass during the second half of a high school football game, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Katy, TX.

Katy defensive back Gavin Johnson reacts after Atascocita wide receiver Claude Slaughter dropped a pass during the second half of a high school football game, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Katy, TX.

Eric Christian Smith/Contributor

The regional round of the UIL Texas high school football playoffs has arrived, with several teams from the Houston area turning in strong performances over the last two weeks.

As we enter the third round of the postseason, three local squads—Katy, Lake Creek and North Shore—are still undefeated. New Caney and Shadow Creek both had their perfect seasons ended last week at the hands of Tomball and Summer Creek, respectively, a pair of four-loss teams that are getting hot at the right moment.

The deeper you get into the playoffs, the tougher it is to decide which games to dedicate your attention to. That said, here are five must-see matchups involving Houston-area teams this week.

Fort Bend Marshall (11-1) vs. Lake Creek (12-0)

This could be the most intriguing showdown in the entire state, regardless of classification. It features a perennial power in Fort Bend Marshall and a program on the rise in undefeated Lake Creek, both of which finished in the top five of the final Dave Campbell's Texas Football rankings for Class 5A Division II.

Lake Creek sophomore Tyvonn Byars entered the year as a relative unknown. He's since emerged as one of the most dominant running backs in the state, rushing for 2,291 yards and 37 touchdowns with an average of 9.2 yards per carry, according to MaxPreps. FB Marshall has an elite rushing attack of its own, though, racking up 1,750 yards on the ground in the last five games alone. With just 6.3 points allowed per game, compared to 19.4 for Lake Creek, the Buffalos' stingy defense could be the difference.

Prediction: Fort Bend Marshall wins

Lake Creek running back Tyvonn Byars (21) runs for a 47-yard gain in the third quarter a District 10-5A (Div. II) high school football game at Montgomery ISD Stadium, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Montgomery.

Lake Creek running back Tyvonn Byars (21) runs for a 47-yard gain in the third quarter a District 10-5A (Div. II) high school football game at Montgomery ISD Stadium, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Montgomery.

Jason Fochtman/Staff photographer

Duncanville (11-0) vs. The Woodlands (10-2)

The Woodlands is undoubtedly an underdog in this one, as it goes up against an undefeated Duncanville team that is ranked third in 6A and looking to make it to the state title game for the fourth time in five years. That said, the Highlanders' explosive offense gives them a chance against any opponent. They won their first two playoff games by a combined score of 135-34, with a 62-21 rout of a one-loss Klein Cain team last week.

Prediction: Duncanville wins

DeSoto (10-2) vs. Tomball (8-4)

Along with the team we'll mention next, Tomball was among the biggest surprises of the area round. The Cougars got blown out in their final two games of the regular season, losing to Klein Collins and Klein Cain by an average of 37 points to fall to 6-4. The playoffs have been a different story. After cruising past Cypress Woods in the first round, Tomball erased a double-digit deficit to stun undefeated New Caney 16-15 last week.

The Cougars have momentum on their side, but they also have a battle-tested opponent awaiting them. DeSoto's only losses are to Duncanville and Baltimore's St. Frances Academy, both of which rank in the top 10 of USA Today's national rankings. The Eagles won their other 10 games by an average margin of 33.3 points.

Prediction: DeSoto wins

Katy (12-0) vs. Summer Creek (8-4)

Summer Creek's Lloyd Avant (25) runs in for the touchdown against Shadow Creek's Maurice Williams Jr (3) during the first half of a Region III-6A, Division II high school football game at TDECU Stadium on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 in Houston.

Summer Creek's Lloyd Avant (25) runs in for the touchdown against Shadow Creek's Maurice Williams Jr (3) during the first half of a Region III-6A, Division II high school football game at TDECU Stadium on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 in Houston.

Karen Warren/Staff photographer

Katy might be a nationally-ranked program, but Summer Creek isn't going to be intimidated by the big red machine. The Bulldogs—whose four defeats came by a total of 17 points to teams that had a combined four losses in the regular season—overpowered undefeated Shadow Creek in a 36-20 win last week, a performance that followed up a 72-7 thumping of South Houston in the bi-district round. Don't be surprised if either four-loss team from the Houston area makes a deep run over the next few weeks.

Nonetheless, Katy is still Katy. The 12-0 Tigers are ranked fifth in the state and 15th nationally, with wins of 59 and 41 points to open the playoffs. Could we see another Katy run to perfection as we did in 2015?

Prediction: Katy wins

Fulshear (11-1) vs. Smithson Valley (11-1)

Smithson Valley closed out the regular season at No. 9 in Class 5A Division I, but Fulshear could've easily made a case to appear in the final rankings. The Chargers have offensive firepower in bunches, scoring at least 50 points seven times in 12 games. Last week's 50-38 win over A&M Consolidated was the latest example of this—senior quarterback Parker Williams completed 11 of 12 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns, while Davion Godley headlined a 235-yard rushing effort with 100 yards and three scores on the ground.

Three years removed from a 1-9 season, Fulshear is a darkhorse state title contender in its fifth year of varsity football.

Prediction: Fulshear wins

Below are the dates, times and locations for all UIL Texas high school football playoff games involving teams in the Houston area, via TexasFootball.com.

CLASS 6A DIVISION I

Duncanville (11-0) vs. The Woodlands (10-2), 3 p.m. Saturday at Pflugerville’s The Pfield
Waxahachie (10-2) vs. Spring Westfield (11-1), 2 p.m. Saturday at Hutto’s Memorial Stadium
Katy Cinco Ranch (9-3) vs. Galena Park North Shore (12-0), 2:30 p.m. Friday at Katy’s Rhodes Stadium
Fort Bend Ridge Point (10-2) vs. Humble Atascocita (10-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Cypress’ Cy-Fair FCU Stadium

North Shore Mustangs running back D'Andre Hardeman Jr (28) runs past Atascocita Eagles defensive back Braylon Conley (4) during the high school football game between the Atascocita Eagles and the North Shore Mustangs at Turner Stadium in Humble, TX on Thursday, October 27, 2022.

North Shore Mustangs running back D'Andre Hardeman Jr (28) runs past Atascocita Eagles defensive back Braylon Conley (4) during the high school football game between the Atascocita Eagles and the North Shore Mustangs at Turner Stadium in Humble, TX on Thursday, October 27, 2022.

Tim Warner/Contributor

CLASS 6A DIVISION II

DeSoto (10-2) vs. Tomball (8-4), 4 p.m. Friday at Pflugerville’s The Pfield
Killeen Harker Heights (11-1) vs. Spring Dekaney (9-3), 6 p.m. Friday at Waco’s McLane Stadium
Katy (12-0) vs. Humble Summer Creek (8-4), 2 p.m. Friday at Humble’s Turner Stadium
Fort Bend Hightower (10-2) vs. Houston King (8-4), 1 p.m. Friday at Cypress’ Pridgeon Stadium

CLASS 5A DIVISION I

Fulshear (11-1) vs. Smithson Valley (11-1), 1 p.m. Friday at Seguin’s Matador Stadium

CLASS 5A DIVISION II

Fort Bend Marshall (11-1) vs. Montgomery Lake Creek (12-0), 1 p.m. Friday at Houston’s Delmar Stadium
Brenham (8-4) vs. Port Neches-Groves (10-2), 6 p.m. Friday at Houston’s NRG Stadium

CLASS 3A DIVISION I

Columbus (11-1) vs. Cameron Yoe (9-3), 7 p.m. Friday at Bastrop’s Memorial Stadium
Franklin (12-0) vs. Hitchcock (11-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Shenandoah’s Woodforest Bank Stadium

CLASS 3A DIVISION II

Wallis Brazos (9-3) vs. Tidehaven (10-2), 2 p.m. Friday at Iowa Colony’s Freedom Field

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