Apologies for failing to post the Friday Night Lights Weekly Wrap for the last several weeks. In lieu of that, here's a breakdown of commits and targets still in action across the state as the playoffs heat up.
Abilene High 41 Cedar Hill 17
Not only did Aaron Benson's high school career at Cedar Hill come to an end, but the talented Abilene Eagle squad upset one of the top-ranked teams in the entire country in the Longhorns, ranked as the top 5A team in the state. Sims was the star of the contest, carrying the ball 30 times for 276 yards and four touchdowns, all scored out of the Wildcat formation the Eagles unveiled with quarterback Ronnell Sims slowed by a groin injury. One of those touchdowns from Herschel Sims helped change the game -- after the Abilene defense held Cedar Hill out of the end zone on fourth down leading 27-17, on the next play from scrimmage, Sims raced 95 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.
Abilene will play Arlington Bowie on Friday.
Sulphur Springs 33 Frisco Liberty 31
After falling behind on a late touchdown, Sulphur Springs drove down the field to set up a game-winning field goal, knocked through by Fernando Arellano from 17 yards out with 1:26 remaining for the victory. Bryant Jackson caught five passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns in the game, continuing a trend of strong play at the receiver position in the playoffs that has included several leaping touchdown grabs over defenders. Jackson also added eight tackles on defense.
Sulphur Springs will face Denison in the next round.
Daingerfield 64 East Chambers 14
Despite missing wide receiver and Texas commit pulling off their third blowout so far in the playoffs, blasting East Chambers with the aid of 21 points during a span of just more than a minute in the first quarter. During the burst, running back Koko Smith, who tallied 169 yards and five touchdowns in the game, bookended the explosion with two touchdown runs, while the Daingerfield defense pitched in with a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown for the second score, then set up the third touchdown with a forced fumble on the subsequent possession by East Chambers., who did not play for unspecified reasons, Daingerfield had no trouble
Daingerfield will next face Newton in the regional final.
Cayuga 38 Lovelady 29
Traylon Shead and quarterback Malcome Kennedy, a Texas A&M commit, make for a heck of a backfield. Lovelady found that out the hard way on Friday night, as the dynamic duo combined for all but 82 yards of Cayuga's total offense that included the ground game churning out 603 rushing yards, led by Shead's 330 yards and 220 by Kennedy. Perhaps more impressively, Shead's three touchdowns on the day put him in first place all-time in Texas high school history with 137 for his career, surpassing Jacquizz Rodgers' mark of 136. One of those touchdown runs went for 93 yards and another for 47.
Cayuga will face Quan Cosby's alma mater Mart in the state quarterfinals on Saturday.
Tyler 37 Klein Collins 24
Ashton Dorsey and the Tyler defense forced four turnovers by Klein Collins and the offense got rolling after a slow start to allow the Lions to play another week. Despite being a game-time decision, Dorsey and the rest of his defensive teammates held the prolific Klein Collins rushing attack, which includes Ja'Michael Rozier, the son of former Nebraska great Mike Rozier, to only 43 yards on the ground.
Fort Worth Nolan 36 Houston St. Pius X 28
The high school career of Greg Daniels ended after Nolan stopped a fourth and goal from the two yardline by St. Pius X with 11 seconds remaining.
Nolan will advance to the TAPPS Division I championship game.
Graham 28 Bridgeport 23
Case McCoy's Steers lost only one game during the regular season when Brownwood blocked an extra point that would have tied the game. They were also on the other side of such a play, as Graham used a blocked extra point to pull out a close victory over Bridgeport earlier in the season. This time, Graham jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but had to hang on at the end to pull out another close victory that may not have come down to a final play, but was dramatic nonetheless. Bridgeport came up inches short on a fourth down with just under six minutes remaining in the game and Graham barely converted a crucial third down to run out the clock. For the game, Case McCoy completed 16 of 29 passes for 238 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, while adding 25 yards on the ground.
McCoy and the Steers will face Wimberley in Waco on Friday in the divisional quarterfinals.
[Update]: Forgot about De'Aires Cotton's Alief Taylor team:
Brazoswood 42 Alief Taylor 19
Alief Taylor kicked a field goal, benefited from an inadvertent safety on a kickoff return, and scored a touchdown in the final minutes of the first half to rally from an early 21-7 deficit. However, after halftime Brazoswood returned to their dominant form of the early first half, scoring on a long touchdown drive and converting a forced fumble into a touchdown to take a commanding lead. The loss ends the high school career of Longhorn commit De'Aires Cotton after he and the Alief Taylor defense allowed more than 300 rushing yards to two Brazoswood backs.
Brazoswood will face Katy Cinco Ranch in the regional finals.
Denton Guyer 57 Abilene Cooper 34
It was an easy victory for Taylor Bible, quarterback JW Walsh and Denton Guyer after roaring to a 28-0 lead. Perhaps it was because they have revenge on their minds and poor Abilene Cooper was simply the team standing in the way of a rematch with Denton Ryan on Saturday, the only team to beat Guyer this season. Walsh was the star of the game, rushing for 114 yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns, while completing eight of nine passes for 143 yards and three more touchdowns.
Lake Travis 52 Flour Bluff 13
The march continues for the Cavaliers, who haven't missed a beat in replacing Garrett Gilbert with , just as they didn't miss a beat when they replaced Todd Reesing with the talented Gilbert. Brewer totalled more than 300 yards of offense in the game, finding wide receiver Connor Floyd three times for touchdowns and helping Lake Travis win their 43rd consecutive game, a streak that spans two state championship and reaches back to September of 2007, when the Cavaliers lost a close game to Westlake, a game that included current Texas A&M running back/wide receiver Ryan Swope, two current Longhorn baseball players in Cohl Walla and Jordan Etier, who caught a touchdown pass, and current Texas kicker Justin Tucker, along with an uncharasteristic four interceptions by Garret Gilbert.
Lake Travis will face Alamo Heights on Friday in the regional final.
Wimberley 24 Brownwood 17
Brownwood hung in the game despite miscues in the fourth quarter, but a third fumble in the final frame finally did in the Lions. Jaxon Shipley led Brownwood with nine catches for 147 yards and one carry for 12 yards, but could not find the end zone, while star sophomore Dennis Smith of Wimberly scored twice and racked up 183 yards on 25 carries, giving him 513 yards rushing in three post-season games.
Arlington 31 Coppell 29
2011 Texas target Miles Onyegbule connected with quarterback Matt Joeckel for a 14-yard gain on 3rd and 13 to keep the game-winning drive alive and kicker Taylor Nelson-Cook, who struggled on Tuesday in practice when he missed every single kick he attempted, knocked through a 29 yarder with two seconds left on the clock to win the game. Onyegbule finished with five catches for 57 yards.
Arlington will play Euless Trinity on Friday in the divisional finals.
Cypress Woods 28 Skyline 21
When Skyline overcame DeSoto behind an incredible performance from Mike Davis a little more than a week ago, DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis said he believed it was the state championship game. He went on to say that he would be shocked if Skyline didn't win it all this season. Well, consider him shocked, as Cy Woods clearly had different plans about Skyline playing for the state championship, using an option pass for the second time on the drive to score a late touchdown to tie the game with 1:44 left before Skyline's Javia Hall threw his first interception of the season. A touchdown pass on third down won the game, as the talented Skyline defense, featuring 2010 linebacker Corey Nelson and 2011 standouts Anthony Wallace and Franklin Shannon, repeatedly gave up big plays in the second half.
Cy Woods will face Stony Point on Saturday in the regional final.