(Complete Region IV playoff pairings are listed below this story.)
SAN ANTONIO – Judson football coach Sean McAuliffe can talk about Austin Lake Travis now.
Asked late last week about the strong possibility that the Rockets and Cavaliers could meet in the next round of the playoffs, McAuliffe understandably shrugged off the question.
After all, Judson and Lake Travis still had to get past the regional semifinals.
“This matchup (Judson-Lake Travis) that people are talking about won’t ever come if we don’t handle our business this week,” McAuliffe said. “That’s really that simple. Our kids have done a great job and the coaches I get to work with every day have done a great job of taking it one week at a time, one opponent at a time. If we do what we’re supposed to do and things work in our favor, we’ll work on next week’s dream matchup that everyone’s talking about next week.”
The Rockets and Cavalier both won to set up a rematch of their playoff meeting last year, when Lake Travis walked off the field at Royal-Memorial Stadium with a 47-39 victory in the second round.
Lake Travis (11-1) and Judson (12-0) clash in the Class 6A Division I state quarterfinals at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Alamodome. The game will be the third between the state powerhouses in the last two years. The Rockets beat the Cavaliers 65-45 in a game that was televised statewide on the first Friday of the 2017 season.
Judson punched its ticket to the state quarterfinals with a 69-18 rout of San Benito, on the road Friday night, and Lake Travis cruised to a 56-14 win against Weslaco on Saturday at the Alamodome.
Judson-Lake Travis III is the second game of a tripleheader scheduled at the Alamodome on Saturday. Wagner, Judson’s sister school, and Mission Veterans Memorial meet in a 5A Division I game at 10 a.m., and Brandeis plays Austin Westlake in 6A Division II at 6 p.m.
Wagner (12-1) has won 11 consecutive games since losing to Judson 35-28 in the second game of the season. The Thunderbirds, who beat Corpus Christi Flour Bluff on Friday, are in the state quarterfinals for the second time in school history. Wagner reached the fourth round of the playoffs as a fourth-place qualifier in 2010, finishing 7-7 after losing to Stevens.
The Thunderbirds, who dropped from 6A to 5A with this year’s UIL biennial realignment, won their first district title this season. Wagner opened in 2005 and played its first varsity season in 2006.
Brandeis (11-2) rallied for a 33-32 victory against Brownsville Hanna on Saturday to earn a spot opposite Westlake (12-1) in the 6A Division II state quarterfinals. The Chaparrals beat Steele for the 6A Division II regional championship last year.
Brandeis is in the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2014 and fourth since it opened in 2008. The Broncos trailed Hanna 27-7 early in the third quarter before sophomore quarterback Jordan Battles sparked them to a comeback with his running and passing.
Westlake beat Lake Travis 44-14 in a District 25-6A game on Oct. 12. The Chaps’ only loss of the regular season was to Houston Cypress Ranch (25-21).
Three other area schools – La Vernia (Class 4A Division I), Navarro (4A Division II) and Falls City (2A Division II) – have reached the state quarterfinals.
Falls City (13-0) squares off against Burton (12-0) on Thursday night at the Alamodome. On Friday night, La Vernia (12-1) plays Liberty Hill (11-1) at Rattler Stadium in San Marcos, and Navarro (10-2) meets Cuero (12-1) at Comalander Stadium.
Two other games involving teams outside of the San Antonio area play at the Alamodome on Friday. Mason (13-0) takes on Refugio (11-2) in 2A Division I at 3:30 p.m., and Corpus Christi Calallen (12-1) faces Port Lavaca (10-3) in a 5A Division II game at 7:30 p.m.
UIL Football Playoffs
Region IV finals (state quarterfinals)
Class 6A / Division I
Judson (12-0) vs. Austin Lake Travis (11-1), Saturday, 2 p.m., Alamodome
Class 6A / Division II
Brandeis (11-2) vs. Austin Westlake (12-1), Saturday, 6 p.m., Alamodome
Class 5A / Division I
Wagner (12-1) vs. Mission Veterans Memorial (12-1), Saturday, 10 a.m., Alamodome
Class 5A / Division II
Port Lavaca Calhoun (10-3) vs. Corpus Christi Calallen (12-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Alamodome
Class 4A / Division I
La Vernia (12-1) vs. Liberty Hill (11-1), Friday, 7:30 p;.m., Rattler Stadium, San Marcos
Class 4A / Division II
Navarro (10-2) vs. Cuero (12-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., Comalander Stadium
Class 3A / Division I
Yoakum (11-2) vs. Edna (12-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos
Class 3A / Division II
East Bernard (12-1) vs. Tidehaven (7-6), Friday, 7 p.m., Alvin ISD Freedom Field
Class 2A / Division I
Mason (13-0) vs. Refugio (11-2), Friday, 3:30 p.m., Alamodome
Class 2A / Division II
Falls City (13-0) vs. Burton (10-2), Thursday, 7 p.m., Alamodome