The thrill of the high school football playoffs starts this week, and several area teams face challenging first-round matchups.
Jesuit (8-2) will renew a coincidental bi-district rivalry when it hosts Arlington (6-4) on Friday for the third consecutive season in Class 6A Division II. The Colts won the 2020 contest, while the Rangers triumphed last year.
The Rangers carry a four-game winning streak into the matchup after finishing as the runner-up behind Highland Park in District 7-6A during the regular season. Arlington was third in the 8-6A standings and earned the league’s top seed in the Division II bracket.
The winner will advance to meet either Coppell or McKinney next week in the area round.
W.T. White (5-5) will make its third consecutive postseason appearance, seeking its first playoff victory since 2000. But the Longhorns will be a substantial underdog against unbeaten Frisco Reedy (10-0) when they kick off their 5A Division I game on Thursday at The Star.
The Lions finished with an unbeaten regular-season record for the second time in their six-year history. WTW was fourth in District 5-5A. The winner faces either Lancaster or Kingwood Park in the second round.
In TAPPS Division III, Covenant (8-2) will look to continue the momentum from the best regular season in school history in the 11-man ranks when it hosts former district rival Arlington Grace Prep (5-5) on Friday.
The Knights finished second behind powerhouse Dallas Christian in District 2, while the Lions are the third-place team from District 1. The victor will clash with either Lubbock Trinity or McKinney Christian next weekend.
Meanwhile, Parish Episcopal (9-1) earned a first-round bye in TAPPS Division I. The Panthers will launch their quest for a fourth consecutive state crown next weekend against either Bishop Lynch or San Antonio Central.