Bridgeland vs. Cypress Lakes, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Cy-Fair FCU StadiumThe Bridgeland Bears (6-2, 4-2) were the toast of Cy-Fair ISD after their breakthrough victory over district heavyweight Cypress Ranch in Week 4. The win was the second-year program’s first over a team with a winning record, and it vaulted the Bears into the area Class 6A top 20 for the first time. But the good times didn’t last. They lost two of their next three games to Cy Woods and Tomball Memorial, dropped out of the top 20, and now are fighting for their playoff lives. With Cy Woods, Cy Ranch and Tomball Memorial each with only one loss in District 14-6A, they’re in good shape for postseason bids, meaning Bridgeland or Cy Lakes most likely will miss out, so their showdown couldn’t be any more important. This matchup also promises to set off plenty of fireworks. The Bears average 38.6 points and nearly 293.5 passing yards per game. The Spartans (5-4, 4-3), who conclude their regular season this week, average 42.1 points and 290 passing yards.
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Strake Jesuit vs. George Ranch, 7 p.m. Thursday, Traylor StadiumArea voters may have forgotten about Strake Jesuit (6-2, 4-1) after its setbacks with Beaumont West Brook and Dawson in September, but the Crusaders never forgot how to win. They’ve reeled off four straight victories since that Sept. 27 loss to Dawson – which is working on its best regular season since 2013 and still narrowly defeated Strake 21-17 – including an impressive 21-14 win over Pearland. The Crusaders held Pearland to less than 300 yards and rallied from a 14-0 deficit to win on the road. George Ranch (4-4, 4-1) hasn’t been the same since winning a state championship in 2015, but it’s not the same team that started 0-3 this season either. The Longhorns have won four of five in 23-6A play and, with Dawson and Pearland likely heading to the 6A Division I bracket, they can secure the higher playoff seed in Division II with a win over Strake Jesuit.
Huffman Hargrave vs. Little Cypress-Mauriceville, 7 p.m. Friday, Bear StadiumThe Huffman Hargrave Falcons (8-0, 3-0), currently No. 2 in the area small-school poll, are on the verge of school history. After nearly 50 years of varsity football, they can go undefeated in the regular season for the first time with two more wins – and Little Cypress-Mauriceville is the most significant remaining hurdle (the Falcons finish 11-4A-1 play with 2-6 Livingston). And if they win both games, they’ll match the 1984 area-finalist team as the only 10-win teams in Falcons history, before the playoffs even start. The ’84 team also was the only team to win an outright district title (the Falcons shared crowns in 1975 and 1985). The LC-M Bears (5-2, 3-0) suffered back-to-back non-district losses against West Orange-Stark (36-14) and Jasper (42-14). They also lost 26-12 last year at Falcon Stadium.
Magnolia vs. Magnolia West, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang StadiumAs well as Magnolia (5-3, 3-2) and Magnolia West (5-3, 4-1) have played over the last handful of seasons – Magnolia won 10 games in 2015 and 2016, Magnolia West won nine in 2017 and 2018, and both have district titles in the last three years – and continue to play in spurts this season, neither currently is area-ranked, which speaks to the growing strength of Houston’s 5A programs, and an 8-5A-1 field with powerful Lufkin and College Station lurking at the top. But don’t expect that to diminish the intensity of this rivalry game, especially with Magnolia still needing a victory to clinch a playoff berth. Magnolia West prevailed in the last two meetings, including 28-27 last year, and Magnolia won 21-14 three years ago.
The Woodlands vs. Klein Collins, 7 p.m. Friday, Klein Memorial StadiumSomething odd happened in Week 7. For the first time in this long-time voter’s memory, The Woodlands (5-3, 4-2) dropped out of the area 6A top 20 – after a surprising 28-14 loss to Klein Cain – in a turn of events that seemed unimaginable only a few years ago, when former coach Mark Schmid regularly was leading the Highlanders to double-digit victories. Even in coach Jim Rapp’s first season last year, the Highlanders still secured a co-15-6A title – which they shared with Klein Collins. But The Woodlands still is capable of posting a big win, and it has plenty of motivation this week, needing another win to secure its spot in the postseason. Area 6A No. 11 Klein Collins (8-1, 6-1) lost to Klein Oak for the first time in six years in Week 6 but still can clinch a share of its fifth consecutive district title with a win. Collins and eighth-ranked Oak (8-1, 6-1) both finish the regular season this week.
Honorable mentionShadow Creek vs. Hightower, 7 p.m. Thursday, Hall Stadium
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