(Complete Region IV pairings are at the bottom of this story)
It’s been a good season, Texas high school football coaches like to say, if your team is still practicing on Thanksgiving.
By then, the regular season is a memory and the playoffs are into the second round. And you know what else coaches and players say: The turkey always tastes better if you’re playing on Thanksgiving weekend.
As we paused and gave thanks on one our country’s most cherished holidays Thursday, high school football teams across Greater San Antonio had morning workouts before going home to enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends. It’s a tradition that’s as big a part of high school football as homecoming mums.
This tweet by @ColeCougar FB on Thursday captured the spirit of the day.
“Blessed to have a Turkey Day practice with our football family this morning and now to be with our families enjoying this day. A lot to be thankful for. Playoffsgiving!”
Cole (9-2) squares off against Altair Rice (10-1) in a 3A Division I at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Bastrop.
Football and Thanksgiving are inextricably linked in our country's popular culture, making the games we watch with family and friends social events as much as athletic contests.
Whether it’s at Class 2A Falls City or 6A Judson, the high school playoffs galvanize a community as few things can. The pride and passion of fans, both young and gold, come together to create a sort of phenomenon. It’s an amazing thing to see.
A tripleheader at the Alamodome, which starts with the Judson-Reagan 6A Division I matchup at noon Friday, highlights the schedule of second-round playoff games in the San Antonio area.
Reagan (9-2) trounced previously unbeaten O’Connor 30-7 in the first round of the postseason to earn a shot at Judson (10-0). The only remaining undefeated 6A team in the San Antonio area, the Rockets advanced to the second round with a 49-14 drubbing of Buda Hays.
Judson finished the regular season No. 3 in the Associated Press 6A statewide poll and No. 1 in the KENS5.com 6A area rankings.
Madison (9-2) plays Austin Lake Travis (9-1) in another 6A Division I game at 2 p.m. Friday at New Braunfels Canyon’s Cougar Stadium. Lake Travis beat Judson 47-39 in the second round of the 6A Division I playoffs last year, and went on to beat O’Connor 38-17 in the state quarterfinals. Aledo defeated the Cavaliers 35-33 in the state final.
Madison has been one of the compelling stories of the 2018 season in the San Antonio area, breaking out of a skid in which it won a total of only 12 games the previous three years. The Mavericks won their first district title since 2012, and haven’t had this many victories in a season since 2013, when they went 11-4 in hall-of-fame coach Jim Streety’s final season.
In the other two games scheduled Friday at the Alamodome, both 6A Division II matchups, Austin Westlake (10-1) meets Brennan (8-3) at 4 p.m., and Steele (8-3) plays Brandeis (9-2) at 8 p.m. Westlake beat Steele 28-14 in the 6A Division II state quarterfinals last year.
Wagner, which won its first district title this season after dropping from 6A to 5A, will head to Corpus Christi to play Ray (7-4) in a 5A Division I game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at venerable Buccaneer Stadium. The Thunderbirds (10-1) have won nine consecutive games since losing to Judson 35-28 in their annual Hammer Bowl.
Two San Antonio schools playing in their first varsity seasons – Veterans Memorial and Harlan – both have 5A Division I playoff games Friday in Corpus Christi. Veterans Memorial is the third high school in the Judson ISD, joining Judson and Wagner.
Harlan (8-3) plays Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial (11-0) at Buccaneer Stadium at 1 p.m., and San Antonio Veterans Memorial (8-3) takes on Mission Veterans Memorial (10-1) at Cabaniss Field at 7:30.
In another 5A Division I game, Southwest (10-1) hosts Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (7-4) at 2 p.m. Friday.
In 5A Division II, state powerhouse Corpus Christi Calallen (10-1) plays Alamo Heights (8-3) at 7 p.m. Friday at Heroes Stadium and Kerrville Tivy (10-1) meets Southside (9-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Alamo Stadium. Southside won its first playoff game in the 67-year history of the football program last week, when it routed Mercedes 56-7.
Boerne (9-2, 4A Division I), La Vernia (10-1, 4A Division I), Navarro (8-2, 4A Division II), Marion (10-1, 3A Division I), Poth (10-1, 3A Division II) and Falls City (11-0, 2A Division II) all play second-round games Friday.
UIL Football Playoffs
Region IV second-round pairings
(Pairings are listed by order of bracket)
Class 6A / Division I
Austin Lake Travis (9-1), vs. Madison (9-2), Friday, 2 p.m., Cougar Stadium, New Braunfels Canyon H.S.
Laredo United (9-2) vs. Weslaco (10-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Farris Stadium
Judson (10-0), vs. Reagan (9-2), Friday, noon, Alamodome
PSJA North (7-4) vs. San Benito (7-4), Friday, 2 p.m., PSJA Stadium, Pharr
Class 6A / Division II
Austin Westlake (10-1), vs. Brennan (8-3), Friday, 4 p.m., Alamodome
Laredo Alexander (9-2) vs. Edinburg Vela (11-0), Friday, 4 p.m., Roma
Steele (8-3) vs. Brandeis (9-2), Friday, 8 p.m., Alamodome
Eagle Pass (9-2) vs. Brownsville Hanna (9-1), Friday, 4 p.m., Benson Stadium, UIW
Class 5A / Division I
Wagner (10-1) vs. Corpus Christi Ray (7-4), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Buccaneer Stadium, Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (8-3) vs. Southwest (10-1), Friday, 2 p.m., Dragon Stadium, Southwest H.S.
Harlan (8-3) vs. Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial (11-0), Friday, 1 p.m., Buccaneer Stadium, Corpus Christi
San Antonio Veterans Memorial (8-3), vs. Mission Veterans Memorial (10-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Cabaniss Field, Corpus Christi
Class 5A Division II
Leander Glenn (7-4) vs. Port Lavaca Calhoun (8-3), Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Bastrop
Kerrville Tivy (10-1) vs. Southside (9-2), Saturday, 6 p.m., Alamo Stadium
Corpus Christi Calallen (10-1) vs. Alamo Heights (8-3), Friday, 7 p.m., Heroes Stadium
Mission Sharyland (8-3) vs. Brenham (7-4), Friday, 1 p.m., Cabaniss Stadium, Corpus Christi
Class 4A Division I
Boerne (9-2) vs.Sealy (11-0), Friday, 2 p.m., Pflugerville
Liberty Hill (9-1) vs. Gonzales (6-5), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Manor
La Vernia (10-1) vs. Lampasas (7-4), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Reeves Complex, Austin
La Feria (10-1) vs. Needville (7-4), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Mathis
Class 4A Division II
Cuero (10-1) vs. Rio Hondo (9-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Corpus Christi Calallen
Llano (7-4) vs. CC West Oso (7-4), Friday, 1 p.m., Alamo Stadium
Rockport-Fulton (7-4) vs. Crystal City (7-4), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Alamo Stadium
Raymondville (10-1) vs. Navarro (8-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Beeville
Class 3A / Division I
Altair Rice (10-1) vs. Cole (9-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Bastrop
Edna (10-1) vs. Jourdanton (9-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Matador Stadium, Seguin
Marion (10-1) vs. Goliad (9-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Jourdanton
George West (10-1) vs. Yoakum (9-2), Friday, 7 p.m., Gustafson Stadium
Class 3A / Division II
Blanco (9-2) vs. CC London (8-2), Friday, 5 p.m., Floresville
East Bernard (10-1) vs. Hebbronville (6-4), Friday, 2 p.m., Matador Stadium, Seguin
Poth (10-1) vs. Van Vleck (10-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Hallettsville
Odem (11-0) vs. Tidehaven (5-6), Friday, 6:30 p.m., Port Lavaca
Class 2A / Division I
Holland (10-1) vs. Wallis Brazos (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m., Giddings
Mason (11-0) vs. Weimar (8-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Buda
Shiner (10-1) vs. Hearne (5-5), Friday, 1 p.m., Giddings
Refugio (9-2) vs. Thorndale (8-1), Friday, 6 p.m., Rutledge Stadium
Class 2A / Division II
Granger (10-1) vs. La Villa (7-4), Friday, 7 p.m., Poteet
Burton (8-2) vs. La Pryor (9-2), Friday, noon, Floresville
Falls City (11-0) vs. Snook (9-2), Friday, 1 p.m., Bastrop
Woodsboro (11-0) vs. Flatonia (6-5), Friday, 6:30 p.m., Ganado