Football Friday Night Week 11: Regular Season Finale Outlook
The finale of the high school football is here! Playoffs will get underway next week and Football Friday Night is ready for a busy slate of games tonight in the regular season district finale. Join 600 ESPN El Paso starting at 6:30 p.m. with our pregame show.
Beau Bagley and Paul MacKinnon will take our listeners through the week 11 schedule, featuring our 915 Tours Game of the Week, Bel Air at Del Valle.
Here are storylines to look out for Football Friday Night week 11:
6A in action on Thursday
- Coronado 26 - Montwood 21
- Franklin 48 - El Dorado 40
How about the 5-5 Coronado Thunderbirds after upsetting Montwood in the season finale? In year two of head coach Mike Pry, Coronado has improved significantly and played the tougher tier of 1-6A teams pretty well all season. They will return ATH Ben Wilson, LB Thibaut Spilliaert and WR Cason Golding next year and should take another jump in 2024.
Ravaged by injuries, Franklin wasn't playing for anything but pride in their win against El Dorado on Thursday, 48-40. However, quarterback Shay Smith should be celebrated more.
Over his four-year varsity career, only one year of not starting at quarterback, Smith amassed 4,245 passing yards, 43 touchdown passes to 17 interceptions. On the ground, he's totaled 2,023 rushing with 25 touchdowns. His eye-popping, productive numbers were on full display last night. He rushed for four touchdowns in the first half alone against the Aztecs. I'm excited to follow Smith's college career, no matter the position he elects to play at the Division I level.
Game of the week: Bel Air at Del Valle
It's come down to this for the District 1-5A Division I district championship: Bel Air at Del Valle.
The Highlanders' (8-1, 3-1) lone blemish in district play came to Ysleta, 21-14. Other than that loss, Bel Air has been exceptional all season. They have a high-powered offense led by quarterback Noah Moreno (11 touchdowns) and wide receiver Chris Davis (94 receiving yards per game, 12 touchdowns).
On the flip side, Del Valle (8-1, 4-0) has steamrolled through district play. Their sophomore sensation quarterback in Jake Fette (11 passing touchdowns) hasn't lost a game as a starter for the Conquistadores. Despite losing his top skill player in Shelton Fuller (89 rushing yards per game), they lean on their depth across their roster. Look to receiver Jonathan Estrada as a key contributor Friday night.
Prediction: Del Valle 42 - Bel Air 35
1-4A looks to iron itself out on Friday
Ah, point differential. This is where playoff seeding and district championship crownings could get a bit messy.
And that's only if Bowie (2-1) pulls off the home upset and bests Riverside (3-0).
With a win, the Rangers (3-0) would outright win district 1-4A. Then, Austin (2-1) would take the second place spot and Bowie follows at third. Both Bowie and Austin are set for a Thursday night playoff contest, with both neutral sites to be determined.
If the Bears win on Friday, we have to take out the standings and start looking at point differential. Currently, Riverside leads with a +9 point differential, followed by Austin (+5) and Bowie (+4), respectively. If the Bears win by eight or more points, they become the top seed, followed by the Rangers and the Panthers. Regardless, if Bowie wins on Friday, all three schools would share a portion of the district title.
What a mess! And I'd be shocked if we get to that point.
Prediction: Riverside 35 - Bowie 21