A few upsets made the bi-district playoffs interesting, and that will continue this week as underdogs try to slip past regional favorites.
In Region III, the heavyweights remain however. Here is how the action could progress this weekend:
6A Division I-Region III:
Cinco Ranch (9-2) over Cy Ranch (9-2)
North Shore (7-4) over Clear Springs (6-5)
Lamar (10-1) over Cy-Fair (8-3)
Pearland (10-1) over Dickinson (11-0)
6A Division II-Region III:
Katy (10-1) over Memorial (8-3)
Friendswood (8-3) over Dawson (7-4)
Cy Woods (7-4) over Katy Taylor (8-3)
Manvel (11-0) over FB Travis (7-4)
When you live in Houston — the home of Region III football — only a handful of high school powerhouses can claim your crown and advance to play in the 6A state semifinals.
This fall the Division I-6A race in Region III comes down to one unbeaten squad without much of a track record, Dickinson (10-0), a couple of 9-1 powers with recent pedigree, Pearland and Lamar, and a few outside hopes for Cinco Ranch (8-2), Elsik (9-1), Cy Ranch (7-2) and even North Shore (6-4).
Experience tells me the bi-district winners this week will be:
Cy Ranch, Cinco Ranch, North Shore, Elsik, Cy-Fair, Lamar, Pearland and Dickinson although the final four favorites could be pushed in this weekend’s postseason openers by underdogs like Seven Lakes (8-2).
In Division II-6A, I won’t be stepping on a limb to suggest that Katy (9-1) and unbeaten Manvel (10-0) will meet for the Region III crown in December — unless miraculous upsets happen.
Seven-time state champions, the Katy Tigers should walk through Westside (4-6), Langham Creek (9-1) and either La Porte (6-4) or Hightower (7-3) to reach the regional final.
Manvel is also expected to slay Beaumont West Brook (5-5), Clear Creek (7-3) and either Memorial (7-3) or Cy Woods (6-4) before clashing with the Tigers.
First-round winners in this region will be: Langham Creek, Katy, La Porte, Hightower, Memorial, Katy Taylor (6-3), Manvel and Clear Creek (7-3).
Other 6A powerhouses I see dominating their region include Cibolo Steele (10-0) in Division II-6A, Region IV. Steele would represent a state semifinal for either Katy or Manvel.
Up in Division I-6A, Region IV has no clear favorite, but Converse Judson (6-4) lurks, and that’s always a significant program.
That’s enough forecasting for now as Regions I and II are also loaded for UIL gold.