Hitting our stride with predictions in the final weeks

When you reach this point of the season, you need to be peaking. That doesn’t matter if you’re a football team or the guy who is picking these games.

Hopefully, we turned a corner last week. We had to survive at the end in a couple contests. Justin Northwest’s field goal at the gun beat Keller Timber Creek. We also needed Keller Fossil Ridge to pull out a hard-fought overtime victory over Keller Central.

What’s been fun this season is watching Keller’s team make the push to make the playoffs. In 2013, the Indians experienced some success early but struggled at the end and missed the postseason.

The Indians are not in playoffs yet. But they’re knocking on the door. We do know Southlake Carroll is playoff bound.

So now it’s on to the Week 10 selections.

Last Week: 5-1

Season: 41-19

Keller Timber Creek (3-5, 0-5) at Denton Guyer (7-1, 5-0); 7 p.m. Thursday, C.H. Collins Complex, Denton: This is one of two major mismatches of the weekend. The Falcons aren’t going to the playoffs. Guyer has clinched a spot and is playing for clinching at least a share of the District 5-6A championship. QB Shawn Robinson is the best player in this district.

Prediction: Denton Guyer 45, Keller Timber Creek 7

Northwest Byron Nelson (2-6, 1-4) at Keller Central (4-4, 2-3); 7 p.m. Thursday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: The Chargers are a disheartened team, but need to be resilient. The crushing overtime loss to Keller Fossil Ridge really hurt playoff chances. But the Chargers have the easiest road to finish the season. So they must take advantage. Although this team is erratic, Nelson’s first year in Class 6A has been difficult and the Bobcats may not have enough to keep pace.

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Prediction: Keller Central 31, Byron Nelson 20

Denton Ryan (5-3, 3-2) at Justin Northwest (4-4, 2-3), 7 p.m. Friday, Northwest ISD Stadium, Justin: This is it for the Texans. With other tiebreakers going against them with Keller Fossil Ridge and Keller Central, the Texans either win this game or watch their playoff hopes end. Neither the Texans nor the Raiders are consistent, but the Northwest defense is the X-factor. That unit has struggled.

Prediction: Denton Ryan 31, Justin Northwest 27

Keller (5-3, 4-1) vs. Keller Fossil Ridge (6-2, 3-2), 7 p.m. Friday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: The oldest rivalry in the Keller ISD resumes. And like many past meetings, this should be another wild one with an epic, last-second finish. These teams are pretty close. Keller is surging. Fossil Ridge saved its season last week. But there’s just a part of me that likes the way the Indians are playing.

Prediction: Keller 32, Keller Fossil Ridge 31

Colleyville Heritage (4-4, 2-2) at Coppell (4-4, 2-2), 7 p.m. Friday, Echols Field, Coppell: This about as even as it gets. The Panthers and Cowboys have pretty solid running games. QB play has been serviceable. The good news is that the loser still has life to get into the playoffs. The winner clinches.

Prediction: Coppell 35, Colleyville Heritage 23

Haltom (0-8, 0-4) at Carroll (8-0, 4-0): 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dragon Stadium, Southlake: This is other major mismatch of the weekend. In a game like this, it’s a situation where Carroll can get some of its work done with its starters, remove them after the first half to keep them healthy and continue to build toward the playoffs.

Prediction: Carroll 38, Haltom 3

Grapevine (2-6, 2-2) at Birdville (4-4, 3-1); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville Fine Arts & Athletic Complex, North Richland Hills: The Hawks have a very solid program under Jim Skinner and are in the playoffs again. Grapevine has defeated the two teams it should beat in FW Poly and FW Carter-Riverside. The Mustangs just aren’t there yet against teams like the Hawks. But even a loss will not hurt their playoff hopes.

Prediction: Birdville 47, Grapevine 26

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