The final weekend of the regular season is capped off by a five-star matchup between 19-5A rivals Katy and Cinco Ranch that will leave one of the state’s heavy hitters with their first loss of 2010.
Saturday’s 11 a.m. tilt at Rhodes Stadium will feature an array of Division I caliber performers on both sides for the 9-0 programs. Cinco Ranch RB K.C. Nlemchi (SMU commit) is hitting his stride after early season injuries, entering the contest with 1,139 yards and 18 touchdowns, while sophomore Jamel James complements him with 998 yards and 14 scores with an impressive 9.2 yards per carry.
As usual, coach Gary Joseph and the defending state champion Tigers are loaded, as RB Donovonn Young -- who has a host of top-tier programs eying him (Memphis, Texas A&M, Arkansas) -- brings his 1,526 yards and 26 touchdowns to the table of this high stakes contest. DE Nick Narcisse is reaching top form and is one of the anchors of a defense that has held three of their last four opponents to less than 14 points.
Katy will also be watching for the results of the Katy Taylor-Seven Lakes matchup later Saturday. If the Spartans win, it would drop the Tigers (much to the chagrin of their potential foes) to Division II when the playoffs begin next Thursday night.
While Cinco Ranch-Katy is the marquee matchup, it serves as the backdrop to what will be a wild finish for the right to hang on beyond Saturday evening.
*District 24-5A has a convoluted scenario, as Clear Creek, Clear Brook and Dickinson have 3-3 records, but 2-4 Clear Lake can find a way grab one of the two available spots, as Pearland and Clear Springs are locked in.
*Chavez and Westbury open the weekend with a Thursday night clash that will give the winner the last spot in 20-5A.
*Texas City has been outscored 88-15 in the last two weeks, not an ideal scenario for a Stingarees team that needs a win at Friendswood on Thursday night to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Mustangs have had nearly two weeks to stew over a last-second loss to Santa Fe, and if coach Steve Van Meter’s squad pulls off the win, it would spring the door open for La Marque to return to the playoffs for the first time in three years.
*Foster can lock up a playoff berth with a win over Brazosport, but if the Exporters can spoil the Falcons’ postseason aspirations, hope will spring eternal for both them and Lamar Consolidated in District 23-4A.
*Houston Austin and Houston Yates meet at Delmar Stadium, with the winner taking the outright District 21-4A, as Coach of the Year candidate Pete Gareri brings in a Mustangs team riding the run-pass threat of QB Casey Davis, who has combined for 18 touchdowns.
*Two districts will have elimination games for the final postseason berth. Magnolia West meets Waller in 17-4A, while Houston Reagan and Sharpstown meet in a winner-take-all tilt in 21-4A.