By Elliott Moore, CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Allen (1) starts their state title defense with star junior quarterback Kyler Murray and ranked as the top team, with a couple of early season tests against Southlake Carroll (4), Cedar Hill (5) and Hebron (9) in three of the first four weeks. You can catch the game with Southlake Carroll on TXA 21.

Allen will again be the team to beat in the area, with all that they return on every side of the ball. As the state’s second largest high school, they have tons of players to choose from and plug into the game. Their defense has a great set of linebackers in Tay Evans, Christian Sam and Zach Bishop. They are big and fast everywhere you look.

Their only slip up last year was against Coppell (3) in overtime, and that will again be a tough game.

DeSoto (2) returns quarterback Desmond White from an excellent team last year. Defense will be their strength, and they are led by defensive back Nick Orr and a strong D-line. DeSoto plays Arlington Martin in Week 0 and will have a tough test against Cedar Hill in district.

Coppell and DeSoto are reloading and will be dominant throughout the season, returning some of the biggest prospects in DFW. They both went undefeated through the regular season last year. Coppell and head coach Joe McBride are loaded again to play through a tough schedule, matching up with Longview in the Tom Landry Classic week, and then Allen on September 27, Hebron and FM Marcus. Their defense will be tough again: defensive end Solomon Thomas, linebacker John Herubin and cornerback Troy Parker.

Southlake Carroll is debuting at a fourth ranking, and faces Allen in Week 0. That might be the best matchup we see all year in 5A. The Week 0 matchup could easily put them in the driver’s seat in 5A if they win their opener against Allen. They are replacing a lot of talent, but that’s just reloading for Southlake Carroll. Junior quarterback Ryan Agnew takes the reigns and should make the team productive and potent. You know that this well-coached team will again go deep into the playoffs.

Cedar Hill returns after losing the 5A Division 2 state title. Running back Larry Hill will carry the load, and they always have a lot of talent to plug into a game. Like a lot of the teams on the preseason list, they play a brutal schedule — including 4A state champion Denton Guyer in Week 0 and DeSoto in district play.

Euless Trinity (6) is a traditional power that will grind and wear down opponents with physicality. Their offensive line and running game will again be the strength, playing keep-away and shorting the game for teams who like to play fast. They play Oklahoma power Jenks, rival L.D. Bell and DeSoto in the regular season.

Dallas Skyline (7) brings a talented defense and a lot of speed to the new season for Coach Samples. The quarterback job appears to be an open competition to pair with some talented skill players like wide receiver Carlos Strickland, running back Jordan Stephenson and sophomore running back Daleon Ward. But they will have a hard time repeating the success of the last few years.

Also in 5A, you will notice the emergence of Plano West and Hebron. The latter is led by some highly touted returning starters, and Coach Brazil has them poised for a playoff run. They should be battle tested by the end of the season with Allen, Plano, Coppell and FM Marcus as regular season foes.

The duo of Bowie (8) and Arlington Martin (11) return a lot of good players from last year’s teams, and they showdown on the last week of the season. You can see that game on TXA 21. Bowie gets quarterback Keaton Perry back after an injury last year, letting Tony James return to being a weapon at wide receiver. Danny Dearman takes over for Coach Perry, who left behind a cupboard full of talent for 2013.

Plano West (10) has a pair of running backs that will carry the load for them in junior Soso Jamabo and senior Auston Anderson. They are both highly touted in the backfield, can be used together, and represent different successful running styles. This should make them a threat come playoff time.

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