Hillcrest, WTW to Face Defending Champs

Nobody said the football playoffs would be easy. But for Hillcrest and W.T. White, the postseason hurdles will get very big, very quickly.

The Panthers (7-3) had their best regular season in seven years and are guaranteed their third consecutive winning season. The reward? A rematch with perennial power Aledo on Thursday in the Class 5A Division II bi-district round.

The unbeaten Bearcats (10-0) overwhelmed Hillcrest in the first round of the playoffs last year 77-13 en route to winning a state title. This year, they have averaged 55 points per game and might be even better.

Meanwhile, the Longhorns (6-4) are in a similar spot after earning back-to-back postseason berths for the first time in 40 years. But for their first playoff win since 2000, they’ll have to beat defending 5A Division I state champion Denton Ryan (9-1) on Thursday.

Both Hillcrest and W.T. White finished fourth in their respective districts during the regular season. However, Jesuit was the regular-season champion in District 7-6A.

The Rangers (9-1) will carry an eight-game winning streak into a Division II bi-district rematch against Arlington on Friday at Postell Stadium. The Colts (4-6) upset Jesuit in the same round, on the same field, a year ago.

The TAPPS playoffs also begin this weekend, with defending Division I champion Parish Episcopal (9-1) earning a bye in the first round. The Panthers will face either Plano Prestonwood or Houston St. Pius X next weekend.

In other TAPPS action, Covenant (5-4) will start the Division III playoffs on Saturday at Lubbock Trinity.

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