'Friday Night Lights': Snakes. Why Does It Always Have to Be Snakes? Edition

It's not even Christmas yet, and Santa Claus has already been good to San Marcos, giving the Rattlers victories over Smithson Valley, San Antonio Marshall, and Harlingen South after a 5-5 regular season to put them in the 5A Division II state quarterfinals. This week Saint Nick has been extra generous and given San Marcos a home gamemore or lessagainst MacArthur from the north side of San Antonio. 7:30pm tonight in Bobcat Stadium, the Rattlers will try to do what 25-5A champ Austin High couldn't do in the first round. But the Brahmas will be ready: not only is MacArthur coming off an emotional 35-34 win over McAllen Memorial, but the school had "Hunt Down the Rattlers" day yesterday, with students encouraged to wear camouflage.

Tonight's other playoff game, a 3A quarterfinal down in San Antone, is a little further south, but Wimberley probably doesn't mind; the Alamodome might be their lucky field after last week's 55-33 win over one of Texas' top 3A teams all season, Cuero. Trailing at halftime, the Texans stormed back with one of the best halves of football in a long time to send the Gobblers back to the turkey patch. Hondo whipped Orange Grove last week, 40-3. UT student radio station KVRX 91.7 FM will give Decemberists and the Knife a rest and carry the game live.

Tomorrow Westlake gets the afternoon under way at noon with their 5A Division I quarterfinal against San Antonio Reagan at the Alamodome. As usual, the Chaps followed a sometimes shaky regular season with playoff poise, and rolled to a 45-19 win over Los Fresnos last week. However, they're facing a hostile crowd and a Rattler team that hung 72 points on Laredo United in their regional semifinal victory. Tune into 1530 AM KZNX to listen. The 4pm Alamodome nightcap is a rematch from 26-4A, as the Hays Rebels, who convinced their coaches to shave their heads (not that they had a whole lot of hair to begin with), try to avenge their 21-7 Oct. 27 loss to the eventual district champ Buffs.

One Central Texas 3A team will be Region 3 champion. But will it be Giddings or Liberty Hill? Smart money has the Buffs, for playmaker supreme Brock Fitzhenry alone, but the Panthers only lost twice this season: to Wimberley and Cuero, by four points each time. Find out 1pm at the Round Rock ISD stadium or on 1300 AM KVET.

Closing out the weekend, Lexington and Somerville face off in a 2A Division II quarterfinal 6pm Saturday at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville. In a Class 1A quarterfinal, Chilton and Thorndale get busy 7:30pm tonight at Temple's Wildcat Stadium – where Austin's Regents Knights go for their first TAPPS Division III state championship 2:30pm tomorrow against No. 1-ranked Cedar Hill Trinity Christian, who beat Austin Hyde Park 34-28 last week.

Finally, the teams may not be from around here, but a pair of Division I state semifinals in the area are worth a mention: Waco Robinson vs. Ingleside in 3A, 7:30pm tonight at Canyon High in New Braunfels; and a great 4A match pitting Fort Bend County's Lamar Consolidated against the Alamo Heights Mules, 7pm tomorrow back at RRISD.

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