Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) has come a long way from last season, when it finished 3-7 and lost 61-7 to DeSoto. The Wolves (5-0) will find how far they've come when they travel to No. 11 DeSoto for a game Friday.
"We definitely had to look at that video as much as we didn't want to," said Mansfield Timberview coach James Brown. "They have a bunch of guys back and schematically, they're the same, so we had to take a peak at that."
While the Wolves were hurt by six turnovers in last year's game, they also had a hard time containing DeSoto quarterback Desmon White, who passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 99 yards. This season, White has rushed for 585 yards and eight touchdowns and passed for 1,365 yards and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions. While Mansfield Timberview is allowing only 144 yards a game, Brown remains concerned about White.
"He was an unbelievable quarterback last year and he's even better this year," Mathis said. "We have to shore up the passing lanes and maintain eyes on him all the time. We've seen him take things to the house on broken plays. We need to force him to go through two or three progressions, rather than one."
DeSoto is 5-0 and has outscored opponents 242-82, but Eagles coach Claude Mathis is concerned his team might be overwhelmed by all the activities surrounding homecoming.
"We have a lot of distractions going on, a lot of things that could lead to us not concentrating," Mathis said. "Plus, the NFL will be on campus on Friday to televise some of our game. It will be a little interesting this week."
Last season was Brown's first at Timberview. With a full year to install his offense, the Wolves are scoring 33.4 points a game.
"This team is a good group of young men," Brown said. 'They're very coachable with good character. With an extra year, we were able to build better relationships with the team."
Both teams had a bye week to prepare for the district game. Brown said he didn't use the extra time to throw in new plays.
"We needed that week to get healthy," Brown said. "It wasn't a matter of changing our identity. It was more working on the philosophy of what we've taught them. It's too hard to go into a game of this caliber, you can't make changes and expect to be good."
Massey Matchups prediction: DeSoto 41, Mansfield Timberview 7.
Other interesting games in the Super 25 and Next 25:
No. 16 Jenks, Okla. vs. Broken Arrow, Friday: Jenks (5-0) has been dominant the past two weeks, defeating Sapulpa 59-7 last week and Edison (Tulsa) 41-14 the week before. Jenks' receiver-defensive back tandem of Steven Parker and Dylan Harding has been impressive. Parker has three interceptions this season and one touchdown catch and Harding has four touchdown catches and 16 tackles. It will be difficult to shut down the offense of Broken Arrow (4-1). While quarterback Coleman Key threw touchdown passes for all four of his team's scores in a 28-7 defeat of Bixby last week, Broken Arrow also rushed for 196 yards. Tigers linebacker Gyasi Akem had seven tackles and a fumble recovery against Bixby. Massey Matchups prediction: Jenks 35, Broken Arrow 27.
No. 25 Mallard Creek (Charlotte) vs. Hough (Cornelius), Friday: Both teams are 6-0. Mallard Creek is playing its second game without quarterback Emiere Scaife, who is out for the season with a broken ankle. It didn't matter last week as the Mavericks won 69-0 at Hopewell (Huntersville). Mallard Creek won last year's matchup with Hough, 28-3, to clinch its conference. Hough rolled to a 73-0 defeat of Robinson (Concord) last week as running back Tylan Murrell ran for three touchdowns. Quarterback Josh Stilley is also a weapon for Hough, throwing for 1,156 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Mallard Creek's defense has allowed only 4.6 points a game over its past five games. Massey Matchups prediction: Mallard Creek 35, Hough 14.
No. 27 Bingham (South Jordan) at Jordan (Sandy), Friday: Bingham (7-0) has allowed only 13.4 points a game and has 19 quarterback sacks, but the Miners have a big test this week in the defending 5A champion Beetdiggers. Jordan (4-3) started the season slowly, but has won its past three games behind quarterback Austin Kafentzis, who has thrown for 1,618 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Miners have plenty of offense as running back Scott Nichols has run for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns and quarterback Kyle Gearig has thrown for 962 yards and 14 touchdowns. Massey Matchups prediction: Bingham 38, Jordan 27.
No. 39 Eden Prairie, Minn. vs. Wayzata (Plymouth), Saturday: Seven of the past large-school Minnesota state titles have been won by the Lake Conference schools. This is a rematch of last season's state 6A semifinal, won 21-7 by Eden Prairie. However, Wayzata's Trojans won last year's regular-season meeting, 16-0. Eden Prairie is 5-0 this season with running back Anthony Anderson running for 449 yards and four touchdowns and running back Dan Fisher rushing for 434 yards and five touchdowns. Wayzata is 4-1, losing 24-14 to Lakeville South (Lakeville) on Sept. 6. Tanner Bedard has rushed for 425 yards and eight touchdowns for the Trojans while three different Wayzata players have thrown touchdown passes. Massey Matchups prediction: Eden Prairie 40, Wayzata 20.