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Texas Longhorns commits: 2016 season recap

Wrapping up the 2016 high school season, and the senior campaigns of UT’s six new commits.

2017 running back commit Toneil Carter (left) and freshman linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch
@CarterToneil

In the four weeks since my last post, which previewed the Texas high school football state championship weekend, the Texas Longhorns have added six football commits to their 2017 recruiting class, all of whom had previously committed to other schools. The lone commit from four weeks ago whose team reached the state championship round went home with a runner-up medal, though one of the players who has since committed came from a school that won a state championship, which ensures the continuation of a streak I’ll have more on a bit later.

I’ll have notes on those items, and give a final rundown of each commit’s known stats and postseason honors they have received

DE Taquon Graham (Temple)

State championship week: Team lost 16-7 to Highland Park in the 5A Division I state championship game.

Notes: I said in my state championship preview that if the 5A Division I state title game between Temple and Highland Park came down to the wire that would likely favor Temple, as they went into the championship round with six of their previous eight games having been decided by seven points or less, with at least a couple of those games being decided in the final minute. As it turned out, the game was close throughout, and though Temple trailed late the Wildcats had the ball twice in the 4th quarter with a chance to tie the game, but they were not able to pull off the victory.

The game featured a few big offensive plays but was largely a defensive struggle. The teams’ offenses combined for less than 600 total yards and just 21 points. This relative lack of offensive fireworks probably shouldn’t have been surprising in a game that paired two of the more modestly successful offensive attacks to reach a state title game in recent years. Unlike 5A Division II champion Aledo, which seem to annually average 50+ points per game, Temple and Highland Park both had scoring averages in the 30s, and neither team’s offense averaged so much as 435 total yards per game, per stats posted on each school’s MaxPreps page. For comparison, Temple’s 2014 team that lost to Aledo in that year’s 5A Division I state championship averaged 48 points and just under 500 total yards per game.

Temple lost a fumble in Highland Park territory on their first possession, but drew first blood the next time they had the ball, scoring with 4:59 left in the 1st quarter on a 38-yard run by senior running back Jemiyah Franklin. Highland Park punted on each of its first three possessions and didn’t have a single snap beyond their own 45-yard line until early in the 2nd quarter, and that was only due to a shanked punt by Temple allowing them to start a drive at Temple’s 45-yard line. But HP would go three-and-out on that drive and Temple responded with a 16-play drive that took them from their own 8-yard line to the Highland Park 20, but they turned the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass on 4th-and-6 from the HP 22. As it turned out, that was only the second most consequential turnover on downs that Temple would have in the game.

Five plays after taking over at their own 22, Highland Park faced a 3rd-and-10 at their 37-yard line. The Scots had made just 3 first downs in the first one and a half quarters of the game, but the Scots converted that 3rd down with 27-yard pass from John Stephen Jones (grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones), then on the next play Jones scored from 36 yards out on a quarterback draw to tie the game with 3:49 left in the half. The teams traded interceptions on their last possessions of the first half.

The 3rd quarter was mostly offense-free, with the teams making a combined two first downs in that quarter’s first five possessions. After a Temple punt, HP took over at its 45, and nine plays later they faced a 4th-and-goal from one yard out, and Jones followed his blockers into the end zone to give the Scots their first lead of the game at 14-7 with 1:46 left in the 3rd quarter. Temple seemed poised to tie the game on their subsequent drive, as they drove as far as the HP 5, but the Wildcats failed to move the ball on 3rd-and-2, and junior running back Zion Leach was tackled for a loss on 4th-and-2 to end what would be their last best scoring chance of the game.

Highland Park then went to work trying to chew some clock, keeping the ball on the ground for seven straight plays as they drove from their own 5 to the Temple 44, and after the drive stalled there senior punter/backup QB Michael Clarke launched a beautiful punt that bounced out of bounds at the 1-yard line. Two incomplete Temple passes left the Wildcats with in a 3rd-and-10 situation from their own 1, then Highland Park’s senior nose guard Turner Coxe overpowered two blockers to sack Temple quarterback Reid Hesse for a safety, which padded Highland Park’s lead to 16-7 with 5:00 left in regulation and all but iced the game.

After receiving the free kick, HP again kept the ball on the ground, feeding it to senior running back Paxton Alexander (who ran for 145 yards in the game) on seven consecutive plays and advancing the ball 29 yards. Temple still had two timeouts at the beginning of that possession, but didn’t use one until after HP had run six plays and made 2 first downs. HP faced a 3rd-and-4 on their own side of the field with about four minutes left, but Temple didn’t call a timeout, and HP used a simple run play to convert a first down. Temple finally used first of its two remaining timeouts when the clock was down to 1:11. Highland Park eventually ended that drive by taking a knee on 4th-and-12 from the Temple 35-yard line, but by that time there were just 19 seconds left on the clock. After Temple failed to convert on the aforementioned 4th-and-1 play deep in Highland Park territory with 10:28 left in the 4th quarter, the Wildcats possessed the ball for just 38 seconds over the remainder of the game.

Taquon Graham himself didn’t have a great game, making just one tackle by my count from watching the game’s broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest, and he didn’t look like the explosive player he has shown himself to be in highlights from earlier in his career, but he was very likely playing hurt. He missed three games in the first month of the season with what was reported to be a strained hip, and an offensive lineman from a team that faced Temple earlier in the playoffs tells me that in their game there was a play where Graham got knocked to the ground and one of his Temple teammates hit him on the ankle and hurt him. (That same offensive lineman also said Graham was his toughest blocking assignment of the season.) I don’t have any further inside information on the nature or severity of Graham’s injury, but from my viewing of the game on TV he clearly looked like he wasn’t anywhere near 100% against Highland Park.

Playing through an ankle injury (assuming that’s what ailed him) would have been tough in the best of circumstances, and Highland Park featured a pretty talented pair of offensive tackles in junior left tackle Thomas Shelmire, who holds a SMU offer and was named a first team All-State offensive lineman by the Texas AP Sports Editors, and senior right tackle Giff Giffin, who claims offers from several FCS programs (Georgetown, Dartmouth, Davidson, Amherst, and MIT, among others). Graham spent most of his time going against Shelmire, but also had several snaps at left defensive end against Giffin. The two OTs held him more or less in check throughout the game, and when Graham did get the better of them he was usually either too far from the ball to make a play on it, or got to the quarterback a step late after a pass had been thrown. His one tackle of the game that I noticed was a sack on a 3rd-and-9 play late in the 1st quarter that ended a Highland Park drive. Later in the half on a 3rd-and-20 play he beat Giffin for a near sack that helped force an incomplete pass by John Stephen Jones.

Graham’s fellow defensive linemen helped to make up for him not being his normally dominant self, and with about the 5:00 left in the 2nd quarter Temple held a 163-6 advantage in total yardage, according to the FSSW broadcasters. But Highland Park scored their game-tying TD a little over a minute later on a QB draw run to Graham’s side. Lining up at left defensive end, Graham tried to rush around Giffin’s right shoulder, and with Giffin shielding Graham off Jones ran through a wide open B gap and got some good blocks downfield to spring him for a 36-yard TD run. Highland Park ran what looked like the same play two more times; the second time Graham again tried to rush around Giffin’s right shoulder and left a gap where Jones was able to run for about ten yards, but when HP tried it a third time on a 4th-and-5 play with 6:33 left in the 3rd quarter, the B gap closed quickly and Temple snuffed out the play to force a turnover on downs.

There was a play in the 4th quarter on one of Highland Park’s two lengthy clock-killing drives where Graham overpowered the all-stater Shelmire on a bull rush and knocked him off his feet, but running back Paxton Alexander ran underneath Graham and up the field too quickly for Graham to turn and get a hand on him. Like the thrice-injured Sam Ehlinger, Graham is a high-ceiling player who Texas fans should be excited about having in Austin over the next few years, despite them not finishing their careers on a high note. They both just need to rest and get healthy before they take the field as Longhorns.

New 2017 commits

RB Toneil Carter (Houston Langham Creek)

2016 season stats: 155 carries for 1,031 yards and 18 TDs, and 11 receptions for 166 yards and 2 TDs, according to the Houston Chronicle’s stats for Langham Creek.

Notes: The four-star former Georgia pledge committed to Texas on December 19, becoming Tom Herman’s first high school commit since he took over at Texas. Carter led his team to a 8-4 overall record in 2016 and he was a unanimous selection to the All-District 17-6A team as a first team running back. He first played on Langham Creek’s varsity squad a few weeks into his freshman season, and though he never produced gaudy stat lines like fellow 2017 RBs Eno Benjamin and Kennedy Brooks, he has good size (5’11” and a shade under 200 pounds) and speed (he ran the 100 meters in 10.71 seconds at his school’s district meet last spring) and has put some solid work on tape. I suspect he’ll be a favorite with UT fans in the coming years.

He’s had a tough life, to say the least. He grew up in New Orleans and his family lived in that city’s Third Ward, but they left after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast in 2005, and between that time and when he established himself as a star athlete at Langham Creek his family moved a number of times in and around the Houston area, and along the way his mother lost a bout with cancer. Vype Houston published a good article about Carter and his background two years ago when he was a sophomore who was seen at the time as perhaps Houston’s top prospect in the 2017 class.

On New Year’s Day, Carter played for “Team Highlight” in the 2017 Under Armor All-America Game in Orlando, Florida. He rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, and also caught one pass for 36 yards.

RB Daniel Young (Spring Westfield)

2016 season stats: 176 carries for 1,290 yards and 19 TDs, and 5 receptions for 87 yards and 2 TDs, according to Westfield’s Maxpreps page.

Notes: The former Houston commit pledged to the Longhorns on December 23. He helped lead his team to a 10-4 overall record in 2016. The Mustangs advanced four rounds into the playoffs before losing 21-18 to Klein Collins, the team that had ended the season of Damion Miller’s John Tyler Lions in dominating fashion in the previous round. Young was unanimously voted to the All-District 16-6A team as a first team running back. As a junior he was his team’s third-best offensive weapon, behind quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole (now a freshman at Arizona State) and wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (who caught 13 passes in 2016 as a true freshman at Florida). The Houston Chronicle and Maxpreps vary on what Young’s stats were in 2015, but he finished with somewhere between 725 and 800 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns, and was one of three running backs named to District 15-6A’s All-District first team.

TE/H-back Cade Brewer (Lake Travis)

2016 season stats: 64 receptions for 856 yards and 14 TDs; 6 carries for 98 yards and 2 TDs (MaxPreps)

Notes: Brewer, a longtime SMU commit, flipped his commitment to Texas on December 23. A versatile receiver who lined up in a variety of spots in Lake Travis’s high-powered offense, he led the Cavaliers in both receptions and receiving touchdowns as a senior. He was unanimously voted a first team tight end on the All-District 25-6A team.

After dropping its season opener in a 35-28 upset loss to Converse Judson, Lake Travis eked out a 59-56 overtime win over eventual 6A Division II state runner-up Cibolo Steele in Week Two, but was barely challenged for the remainder of the season, as the Cavaliers won their last 15 games en route to winning the 2016 6A Division I state championship. In Lake Travis’s 41-13 win over The Woodlands in the state championship round, Brewer caught seven passes for 76 yards and one touchdown, a 19-yard scoring reception in the 3rd quarter that increased Lake Travis’ lead at the time to 34-6.

Lake Travis averaged nearly 52 points and about 485 offensive yards per game for the season, and along with Cade Brewer their offense also featured Baylor (formerly SMU) quarterback commit Charlie Brewer (no relation), Arkansas wide receiver commit Maleek Barkley (who mainly played running back in 2016), Wisconsin wide receiver commit Cade Green, highly-regarded sophomore receiver Garrett Wilson (who finished with 700 yards and 12 TDs receiving), and Nebraska offensive tackle commit Brenden Jaimes (who I wrote about in one of my weekly recap posts in November 2015).

TE Reese Leitao (Jenks, OK)

2016 stats: 34 receptions for 423 yards and 4 TDs; 42 tackles and 9 sacks.

Notes: A star two-way player and son of DePaul head basketball coach Dave Leiato, Reese committed to Texas on December 29, 11 days after de-committing from Nebraska, to whom he had originally pledged on August 27. He helped his Jenks Trojans to a 11-1 overall record, but a 45-21 loss to Tulsa Union in Oklahoma’s 6A Division I state semifinal round prevented the program from bringing home its fifth straight state title. Jenks, a program described to me by an Oklahoma high school coach as that state’s rough equivalent of Texas’s Katy High, has won 16 state football championships, with 13 of them coming in the past 21 seasons. Starting in 2014, Oklahoma split Class 6A - the classification for its largest schools - into Division I and Division II, which was almost certainly done to help spread the state championship hardware around a bit, as at that time Jenks and Tulsa Union had combined to win every single 6A state football championship since 1996.

Leitao played both tight end and defensive end for Jenks in 2016, was voted the Player of the Year for District 1-6A Division I, and earned a spot on multiple all-state teams. The Tulsa World named him to its All-State first team at tight end, and The Oklahoman named him to its All-State first team at defensive end. Notably, both of those all-state teams were comprised of players drawn from all of Oklahoma’s classifications, not just 6A. He is regarded highly enough at defensive end that some schools recruited him to play that position, and in that respect he’s similar to Longhorn tight ends Caleb Bluiett (who was Defensive MVP of his district as a senior at Beaumont West Brook) and Andrew Beck (who was a first team all-state linebacker at Tampa Plant in Florida), both of whom were originally recruited by Texas to play on the defensive side.

Leitao moved to Jenks as a sophomore when his father took a basketball assistant coaching job at Tulsa. The elder Leitao was named DePaul’s head basketball coach (for the second time in his career) in March of 2015, and the rest of the Leitao family eventually followed him to Chicago, but Reese elected to stay and finish his high school career in Jenks.

OL Derek Kerstetter (San Antonio Reagan)

Notes: Kerstetter committed to Texas on December 26, six months after he originally committed to Oklahoma State. The 6’4” 300-pound “nice guy with a mean streak” (as a recent San Antonio Express-News headline described him) played left tackle for a Reagan team that went 9-2 in 2016 and didn’t pass the ball much but averaged 240 rushing yards per game. Kerstetter was unanimously voted a first team all-district offensive lineman by the coaches of District 26-6A. On Saturday he played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, held in his hometown of San Antonio. He started at right guard for the West squad, and later spent time at center.

He comes from a family of college athletes; his father played tight end at West Texas A&M, his mother played volleyball at the same school, and his older brother Drew Kerstetter just played his senior season as a tight end at the Colorado School of Mines.

DE/LB Marquez Bimage (Brenham)

2016 stats: 57 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 blocked kicks; 30 carries for 118 yards and 5 TDs, and 5 receptions for 133 yards and 2 TDs.

Notes: Bimage committed to Texas on January 6, two weeks after de-committing from Houston. He primarily played defensive end for his Brenham team, and at Texas he could end up playing anywhere from a pass-rushing outside linebacker or inside linebacker in the 3-4 system employed by new defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. As you can deduce from his stats listed above, he was a menace on defense and more than contributed on the offensive side of the ball as well, scoring seven touchdowns on just 35 offensive touches. He helped lead his team to a 8-4 overall record and a runner-up finish in District 20-5A, and after the regular season he was voted a Co-Defensive Player of the Year, sharing the award with Huntsville’s senior linebacker Drew Mahlen.

Other 2017 Longhorn commits

QB Sam Ehlinger (Austin Westlake)

2016 stats/honors: 57/94 for 850 yards, 7 TDs and 3 INTs, and 57 carries for 194 yards and 3 TDs.

Notes: The 2015 6A Offensive Player of the Year just couldn’t stay healthy in his senior season, missing long chunks of the season due to injury on two occasions, before ultimately having his season ended due to a broken wrist suffered in the third round of the playoffs. He graduated high school early and will enroll at Texas this semester, taking the first steps toward fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing for the Longhorns.

WR Damion Miller (Tyler John Tyler)

2016 stats/honors: 41 catches for 912 yards and 9 TDs; 47 tackles, two interceptions, and one blocked kick. Unanimous first team all-district wide receiver for District 11-6A.

CB Kobe Boyce (Lake Dallas)

2016 stats/honors: 36 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble, and one blocked kick; four receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. Unanimous first team all-district cornerback for District 14-5A.

CB Josh Thompson (Nacogdoches)

2016 stats/honors: 71 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries; 15 catches for 210 yards and four TDs. Unanimous first team all-district safety for District 17-5A, and was also a first team all-district offensive utility player.

S Montrell Estell (Hooks)

2016 honors: Named a Co-Offensive MVP for District 7-3A Division II. I have not found any full-season stats reported for him.

K Joshua Rowland (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College)

2016 stats/honors: Made 9-of-12 field goal attempts with a long of 44, made 32-of-33 PAT attempts. Named a NJCAA All-American Second-Team kicker.

Longtime commit no longer in the class: DE LaGaryonn Carson (Texarkana Liberty-Eylau)

In late December, Carson shared with Inside Texas’s Justin Wells (a friend, but no relation to this writer) and other outlets that he was no longer a member of UT’s 2017 recruiting class. He originally committed to Texas in October of 2015 in the middle of a dominating junior season in which he led his team to the fourth round of the playoffs and won Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year honors. The talented but troubled defensive line prospect missed almost all of his senior season due to a pair of suspensions, and he will most likely seek to rebuild his career and reputation at a junior college before moving on to a four-year college. I wish him good luck.

The Longhorn recruit state championship-winning streak continues!

In my final post of the 2015 season, I noted that in every Texas high school football season going back to 1998 and possibly further, at least one future Longhorn had been on the roster of a team that won a state championship. As the 2015 season closed, that streak was not assured of continuing, as Ehlinger, the one commit at the time whose team played for a 2015 state title, saw his Austin Westlake team lose in heartbreaking fashion in overtime to Galena Park North Shore in the 6A Division I state final. But the streak was retroactively kept alive with the later commitment of running back Kyle Porter, whose Katy team had dominated its competition en route to the 2015 6A Division II state crown.

As with 2015, the 2016 season ended with that streak in jeopardy, as the only Longhorn commit playing in state championship week (Temple’s Taquon Graham) did not leave the field a winner in his game. But with the commitment a week later of Cade Brewer, tight end/H-back for the 6A Division I champions Lake Travis, the streak lives on for at least another season. And aside from Brewer there are two other commits with state championship rings to their name: tight end commit Reese Leitao played on Jenks, Oklahoma teams that won 6A Division I state titles in 2014 and 2015, and Juco kicker signee Joshua Rowland was a member of soccer teams at Madison (Mississippi) Central that won three consecutive 6A state championships from 2013 to 2015, and he won all-state honors as the goalie of the 2015 title-winning team.

Based on my cross-referencing of state champion teams from year to year and Longhorns rosters from the years following, I believe 1995 was the last year in which no state champion teams had a future Longhorn on their roster, that season’s various state champions being: Converse Judson, San Antonio Roosevelt, La Marque, Sealy, Celina, and Thorndale. Here is the list I have made of teams featuring future Longhorns that won state titles going back to 1996. If I’ve left off anyone, please let me know.

2016: Lake Travis (Cade Brewer)
2015: Katy (Kyle Porter)
2014: Aledo (Ryan Newsome) and Gilmer (Kris Boyd and Demarco Boyd)
2013: Denton Guyer (Jerrod Heard) and Aledo (Ryan Newsome)
2012: Denton Guyer (Jerrod Heard)
2011: Aledo (Johnathan Gray)
2010: Cibolo Steele (Malcolm Brown and Erik Huhn), Aledo (Johnathan Gray), Carthage (Kendall Thompson), and Daingerfield (Steve Edmond)
2009: Aledo (Johnathan Gray), Carthage (Kendall Thompson), Daingerfield (Steve Edmond and Chris Jones), and Cayuga (Traylon Shead)
2008: Lake Travis (Garrett Gilbert and Paden Kelly), Sulphur Springs (Bryant Jackson), Carthage (Kendall Thompson), and Daingerfield (Steve Edmond and Chris Jones)
2007: Euless Trinity (Eryon Barnett) and Lake Travis (Garrett Gilbert and Paden Kelly)
2006: Southlake Carroll (Tre Newton), Cedar Hill (Thomas Ashcraft and Jarvis Humphrey), and La Marque (Aundre McGaskey)
2005: Southlake Carroll (Tre Newton) and Wimberley (Buck Burnette)
2004: Southlake Carroll (Tre Newton) and Kilgore (Michael Huey, Eddie Jones, and Britt Mitchell)
2003: Galena Park North Shore (Chykie Brown) and La Marque (Rashad Bobino)
2002: Southlake Carroll (Adam Ulatoski), Texarkana Texas (Nathan Jones and Chris Brown), Denton Ryan (Derek Lokey), and Corrigan-Camden (Eric Foreman)
2001: Mesquite (Marco Martin)
2000: Midland Lee (Cedric Benson)
1999: Midland Lee (Cedric Benson), Stephenville (Kendall Briles), and Mart (Quan Cosby)
1998: Midland Lee (Cedric Benson) and Stephenville (Kendall Briles)
1997: Texas City (Jermaine Anderson, Ervis Hill, Tyrone Jones, and Everick Rawls)
1996: Austin Westlake (Adam Hall and Brett Robin)

Other State Championship Notes

Since it’s been nearly four weeks since the end of the high school football season and some readers either didn’t read about the results or don’t remember them, I’ll touch on a few items I mentioned in my state championship preview.

  • I stated that there was guaranteed to be at least one first-time state champion to cap off the 2016 season, owing to the 3A Division I final between Mineola and Yoakum, neither of whom had won a title before. Mineola came out on top in that game, and joining them that weekend as first-time state champs were DeSoto (6A Division II) and Gunter (3A Division II).
  • I mentioned that a Temple win in the 5A Division I championship would give Highland Park three losses for the season, something that did not happen once in head coach Randy Allen’s first 17 seasons at the school. Alas, Highland Park defeated Temple to keep that streak alive and finish the season with a 14-2 overall record.
  • The Aledo-Corpus Christi Calallen matchup in the 5A Division II final had the potential to make history, as Calallen head coach Phil Danaher, who became the state’s all-time winningest football coach earlier in the 2016 season, was coaching for the first state title of his career. Alas, he was denied a championship ring yet again, as Aledo won 24-16 to take home their sixth state championship trophy in the span of eight seasons, and their second state title in the three-year tenure of head coach Steve Wood.
  • I noted that the 6A Division II final between DeSoto and Cibolo Steele featured two head coaches with very little head coaching experience: DeSoto’s Todd Peterman was in his second year as the Eagles’ head man, and Steele’s Scott Lehnhoff was in his fourth season leading the Knights. Also, Lehnhoff is a third generation head coach whose father and grandfather spent a combined 45 seasons as head coaches in their respective careers but never won a state crown. Lehnhoff did not bring home his family’s first state championship that weekend, as DeSoto won 38-29, but Steele will almost surely contend again next fall and in seasons to come. Their team has reached at least the fourth round of the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons.
  • With the 2016 season concluded I can update a stat I mentioned regarding the head coaches of some of the 2016 state finalists and their years of experience. Randy Allen (Highland Park), Phil Danaher (Corpus Christi Calallen), Hugh Sandifer (Abilene Wylie) and Mark Kirchoff (Iraan), the four most experienced of the twenty head coaches whose teams played for an 11-man state title in 2016, now own four state championships in 135 combined seasons as head coaches. Meanwhile, Hank Carter (Lake Travis), Steve Wood (Aledo), Scott Surratt (Carthage), Cornell Thompson (West Orange-Stark) and Jeff Kasowski (Bremond) all led their teams to state championships this past season, and that quintet has now won a combined 15 state championships in just 33 collective seasons as head coaches.
  • West Orange-Stark won the 4A Division II crown for a second straight year, beating Sweetwater in the state championship 24-6. WO-S dominated its slate of opponents in 2016, featuring one of the most dominating season-long defensive performances the state has seen in recent memory. In their 16-0 run the Mustangs outscored their opposition 811-69, which isn’t as absurdly dominant as the legendary 1983 Daingerfield Tigers (who allowed just eight points all season in winning that year’s 3A state title), but certainly comparable to the 2015 Katy Tigers, who crushed everyone in their path on the way to a 6A Division II championship, outscoring opponents 778-62.
  • In the 2A Division II final, the only state championship of 2016 that featured two undefeated teams, Bremond beat Iraan 49-28 to win its third straight championship. Bremond’s quarterback, Texas A&M commit Roushauud Paul, finished his career having never lost a game as a starting QB, and Bremond’s seniors finished off a four year run in which the Tigers went 59-1. The last time the school lost a football game was December 6, 2013 in a 24-7 defeat at the hands of Tenaha in that season’s state quarterfinals.

Thanks for reading, good-bye until August!

Thanks to all who read these reports from week to week during the season. They weren’t nearly as fun to write (and I’m sure not as fun to read) as the 2015 season edition, but hopefully the first year of the Tom Herman era brings renewed vigor on the recruiting trail and success on Saturdays next fall, and that leads to more commits for us to get excited about and to follow the weekly exploits of next fall.