Topic: Semifinal Playoff Picks 2019
The Chargers may have been eliminated, but that doesn't mean we stop trying to pick some winners. Just 12 games left in the private school 11-man season. With 16 teams left, there are 5 Eagles including at least 1 in each division. Will this be the year every division is won by the Eagles? I doubt it and I hope not.
This Week: (Season: 80-18)
Plano John Paul II vs. San Antonio Antonian @ Georgetown -- This may be the least likely semifinal I could have imagined when the year started. The Apaches entered 2019 having won 9 games in the last two seasons, they've now won 9 this year after defeating Prestonwood on a game ending Hail Mary. The Cardinals are the perennial losers in Division I, having never won a playoff game in program history until this year. Prior to Coach Teague's arrival John Paul had lost 32 in a row an had never won more than 3 games in a season. In his first year, they broke the steak but still won just 2. In year two, the Cardinals reached 4 wins for the first time. This year, they've exploded for a 7-3 regular season and 2 playoff wins. With 9 vicotries in 2019, John Paul II has as many wins this season as they did from 2012-2018 combined. Given these histories it should come as no surprise the school have never met in football. Now that we've done the history lets look at the teams. The 3 defeats for the Cardinals came to Dallas Christian by 11, Prestonwood by 12, and a blowout by Parish Episcopal. The Apaches took 3 losses in a row to Beeville Jones, Boerne, and Houston St. Thomas. The struggles of the schools south of I-20 in the Division I playoffs led to us pretty much counting out the District 3 runner-up. Of course, 3rd place in District 2 didn't really inspire confidence yet here we are. The Cardinals offense has been dynamic against inferior opponents and generally struggled against the best opposition. Then, they dominated Nolan last week in posting 49 points. They also snuck by Central Catholic, but similar margin that Antonian playd with them. The Apaches beat Prestonwood which JP2 could not do in the regular season. I really don't know about this one, mainly because I wouldn't have imagined them playing in the semifinals. Blind guess, the Cardinal run continues. John Paul II to the state final 33-30.
Dallas Parish Episcopal vs. Houston St. Thomas @ The Star -- In the other half of the bracket we get the teams we expected. The Panthers have been the best team in Division I all year, except for the loss to All Saints in Week 4. Given what has taken place since, I'm just considering that the aberration. While many teams have not played well off the 1st round bye, the Panthers likely benefited as they had played 10 games in 10 weeks leading up to that bye. Only the All Saints loss saw the Panthers fail to reach 30 points, and a 44-6 blowout of Midland Christian certainly announces to the field the Panthers readiness. The Eagles managed 9 wins after dropping their first 2. Some years it seems the big games with Strake Jesuit and St. Pius are all that interests in the Eagles. This year has been different with their first semifinal appearance since 2014. St. Thomas is another squad that snuck by Central Catholic. The Buttons lost to 3 of the 4 semifinalists by a combined 9 points. They may have been better than a 5-6 team. The weather will not be a factor in this one which I think only helps the Panthers. Parish beat TCCH in Week 2 to open their season while St. Thomas lost to the Tigers 50-0. The Eagles beat Bishop Lynch by 4 to reach Round 3, but the Panthers bested them by 40 earlier in the year. While it is a year of upsets in the Division I playoffs, Parish gets to its first Division I title game 42-21.
Grapevine Faith Christian vs. Trinity Christian - Cedar Hill @ TC-Addison -- The Lions slid by DC with 2 late touchdowns to turn a 17-14 deficit into a 28-17 win, and at 10-1 will certainly have their shot at the king. The Tigers are the back-to-back state champions and have been largely unchallenged this season after losing to Parish in Week 2 in OT. Dallas Christian closed to within 4 early in the 2nd half, but the Tigers galloped away in the later stages. At 24 points, it was the closest margin of victory for TCCH on the season. The Lions have only been beaten by UIL power Canadian. Admittedly the Tigers level of dominance is hard to match, but the Lions have not had the same margin in their wins. Just a 4 point win over FWC makes it hard to pick Faith here. A win over SPC champion Country Day is a nice one, and they did wind up with not too dissimilar score against DC. However, the champs are on top until someone can knock them off. Tigers try for 3 in a row after winning 42-21.
Regents School of Austin vs. Houston Second Baptist @ Waller -- The Eagles and Knights meet for a spot in the title game for the 2nd straight year. Regents took home a shutout win, 35-0, last year. The Eagles are the only undefeated team left Divisions I or II and have lit up the scoreboard all year. Only Victoria St. Joseph held Second Baptist under 38 points, and they did it twice. I suspect the Knights will be the best defense the Eagles have seen this year. The Knights have scored 29 or more in every game this year. There are a few common opponents. Regents bested Brentwood, Fort Bend, and Lutheran South by scores of 35-6, 45-14, and 34-13. Second Baptist won 43-29, 56-12, and 42-14. There isn't much there to go on there. The upset here will be if its a blowout. Neither side would surprise me as a winner. I think they'll hold each other relatively in check. I'll go low scoring, and with Regents to reach a 4th straight title game. Knights win 22-19.
Lubbock Christian vs. Colleyville Covenant Christian @ ACU -- The Eagles are 12-0 again and a prime contender for the Division III title and will break a streak of taking on the Lions three weeks in a row. The Cougars are a more surprising Round 3 participant. Reaching the semis after a 3-6 regular season. Both squads won road games at Lubbock Trinity. The Eagles were much more dominant early on, but have regained offensive prowess with 52 and 56 in their two playoff games. This shouldn't be the day Lubbock Christian is knocked off, but the Cougars did just reverse a regular season loss to Pantego. No turkeys left after thanksgiving, so it won't be easy. Eagles return to the state final, 31-21.
Boerne Geneva vs. The Woodlands Christian @ Bastrop -- The Eagles are back in the semis for a 3rd straight season. Willow Park Trinity bested them in the final last season. The Warriors are the other 12-0 team in Division III. Perhaps a battle of 13-0 squads for a title next Saturday? The Eagles had a ugly 1-4 start, but against good opponents. Now Geneva is a 7-0 run and have been excellent against Division III opposition this year. TWCA's low game of the season was 34 points. Geneva will not be an easy out, but this should be the Warriors year. I think the TWCA offense is too much, but the playoffs do strange things. Warriors reach their first state title game, 42-21.
Muenster Sacred Heart vs. Hallettsville Sacred Heart @ Riesel -- The Sacred Heart showdown pits two teams on opposite ends of the playoff expectations. The Indians came into the playoffs at 4-5 before posting wins over First Baptist and Brazos Christian. The Tigers came off a 1st round bye at 10-0 and got by Legacy Prep 20-12. At one point illness led to cancelling a game with lack of players for the Indians. The Tigers have looked to be a top contender in Division IV all year. Only 3 of 11 opponents reached 20 against the Tigers. The Indians scored 20 or more just 6 times in 11 games, but have done so in their last 3. The Northern Sacred Heart's are a clear favorite, but the Southern variety did play the defending champion to a 7 point game. I feel like I've picked too many favorites this week, but I'll take another. Tigers reach another state final, 32-22.
Shiner St. Paul vs. Fort Worth Lake Country Christian @ Temple -- Last year's championship was both expected and unexpected for the Cardinals. On the one hand, they are always in the mix in Division IV, deserving to be complimented for making the most of their relatively small enrollment (almost certainly smaller than a 6-man champion this year). On the other hand, they finished the regular season at 2-8. Accomplishing the rare 6-8 state championship. It was a better year for the Cardinals, posting a 7-3 regular season and earning a 1st round bye. The three losses to much larger schools in Geneva, Victoria St. Joseph, and Weimar. Lake Country enters at 8-4 having just taken out the District 4 champion in Rosehill. Muenster Sacred Heart and Dallas Covenant account for two of the Eagles losses. Covenant was the Cardinals most recent playoff opponent. St. Paul scored 63 while Lake Country just 14. The Eagles have been playing well to reach this point, but St. Paul should have enough. The Cardinals reach yet another state final with a 35-20 win.
Quick Hits finishes the year at 103-27. Amazingly consistent from year to year.
Picks Archive: https://genericviewssports.blogspot.com/