AUSTIN (KXAN) — The six-week journey to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the state championship begins this week in high school football.
Two-time defending state champ Westlake begins its quest for three titles in a row at home against Hutto. Rock Rock hosts Bowie after clinching a share of the district with a win over Vandegrift.
LBJ opens against La Vernia, aiming for a 4A-Division 1 state title. The Jaguars lost in the state semifinals last season.
Here are some games to watch.
Hutto (5-5) at Westlake (10-0) | 6A-D1 | Friday 7:30 p.m. at Chaparral Stadium | LIVE ON KBVO-TV and KXAN.com
To say Westlake has been dominant is a drastic understatement. The Chaps’ closest game was a 34-14 non-district win over Euless Trinity. The Chaps allowed just 36 points in their seven district games and now have quarterback Cade Klubnik back after missing three games with a shoulder injury.
Hutto got into the playoffs with an impressive 31-24 win over Cedar Ridge last Friday night. The Hippos played just one home game all season because of delayed construction on their stadium renovations.
Bowie (8-2) at Round Rock (8-2) | 6A-D1 | Friday 7 p.m. at Dragon Stadium
Bowie is back in the postseason after missing out last season for the first time in 14 years. The Bulldogs only losses were to state powers Lake Travis and Westlake.
Round Rock is coming up a big road win at Vandegrift to earn a share of the district title for the second straight season and the top seed in 25-6A in D1 to give them the home game. Round Rock features a punishing ground attack with running back Tray McCoy-Gay (1373 yards, 17 touchdowns) and sophomore quarterback Mason Cochran (958 yards and 13 touchdowns)
Cedar Park (5-5) vs Buda Johnson (9-1) | 5A-D1 | Friday 7 p.m. at Bob Shelton Stadium
A matchup of a perennial power and the new kids on the block. Cedar Park had to fight their way into the postseason on the final night of the regular season. The Timberwolves are coming off a trip to the state championship game and have not lost a first round playoff game since 2009.
Buda Johnson is playing just their second season and its only loss is to undefeated Dripping Springs.
La Vernia (2-8) vs LBJ (10-0) | 4A-D1 | Friday 7 p.m. at Seguin
LBJ is looking to take that next step after their first perfect regular season in school history. The Jaguars made it so the state semifinals last year only to lose a heartbreaker to Lindale on a last second field goal.
The Jags are battle tested with non-district wins over 5A playoff teams Manor and Liberty Hill. La Vernia went into their season finale 1-8, but knocked off 7-2 Pleasanton 24-20 to earn the that final playoff spot in 14-4A.