Going into this week’s high school football schedule, eight Texas Longhorn commits have yet to experience a loss in 2017. Last week, one commit’s team fell from the ranks of the unbeatens, while the usually-successful teams of two others are in the very unfamiliar position of being 1-4 and having to turn their seasons around in the second half in order to reach the postseason.
The biggest performances from Week 6’s action were Casey Thompson throwing for half a grand and having a hand in seven touchdowns, Dominick Wood-Anderson tripling his season receptions total in one game, and Jalen Green making plays in the running, receiving, defensive, and special teams areas for his team.
This week, Keaontay Ingram will attempt to avenge one of his team’s two losses from 2016, both the current teams and high school alma maters of Baker Mayfield and Sam Ehlinger will face off in their respective bitter rivalries, and Roschon Johnson will attempt to keep his team undefeated when they play a team they shared a district title with in 2016.
2018 Texas Longhorn football commits
QB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, California)
Last week: Passed for 106 yards in a 48-0 loss to Oaks Christian.
This week: Bye
Notes: Newbury Park’s bye week comes at a good time. After getting blown out 48-7 by Valencia in a game in which Newbury Park was missing several two-way starters, they put together a two-game winning streak, but that streak ended with another blowout: last week’s 48-0 shutout loss to Oaks Christian, a team they had lost to 63-49 in 2016. Newbury Park has not, as of this writing, posted their stats from the loss to their Maxpreps page, but a Los Angeles Daily News recap states that Rising had a mere 106 passing yards and sat out most or all of the second half.
Rising lost a fumble after being sacked early in the 2nd quarter, and when Oaks Christian scored on the ensuing drive that gave them a 24-0 lead. The score was 27-0 at halftime and 41-0 at the start of the 4th quarter. The most notable and consequential play of the game was a late 2nd quarter tackle in which Oaks Christian linebacker Bo Calvert, a US Army All-American committed to USC, suffered an injury later determined to be a broken leg, which likely ended his senior season.
Having lost by a combined 97-7 in games against the CIF Southern Section’s 3rd- and 5th-ranked teams in Division 2 (Oaks Christian and Valencia), Newbury Park gets a bye this week before their next game, against 4th-ranked Calabasas, who is currently 6-0.
QB Casey Thompson (Newcastle, Oklahoma)
Last week: Completed 28 of 54 passes for 518 yards, 6 TDs and 1 INT, and rushed 24 times for 96 yards and 1 TD in a 75-56 loss to Elgin.
This week: Thursday, October 12 at 7:00, vs. Clinton
Notes: Fans expecting to see a football game last week between Newcastle and Elgin instead saw a basketball game break out, or so the final score might lead one to believe. The teams went into the 4th quarter tied at 41, then Elgin outscored Newcastle 34-15 in a wild final frame to pull away for the win in a very high-scoring affair that Elgin’s coach called “the most unbelievable game I’ve ever been a part of.”
The teams combined to gain well over 1,100 yards of offense. Casey Thompson passed for over 500 yards and accounted for seven total touchdowns and threw for a two-point conversion on the night. His six TD passes covered 62, 7, 37, 28, 7, and 34 yards, and five of them were thrown to senior receiver Jacob Morris.
Elgin running back Lewis Shepherd countered Thompson’s production by rushing for over 300 yards and 7 TDs himself, with four of his scores coming in the 4th quarter alone.
The loss dropped Newcastle to 1-5 for the season. Their next opponent, Clinton, is just 2-4 for the year and 1-2 in district play, but the Red Tornadoes also boast one of Oklahoma’s more prestigious football programs, with 12 state championships in their history, the most recent one a Class 4A crown in 2012.
According to NewsOK.com’s football stats, Thompson has passed for 1,875 yards, 17 TDs and 6 interceptions through Newcastle’s first six games this season.
RB Keaontay Ingram (Carthage)
Last week: Had 16 carries for 61 yards and one TD, ran for a two-point conversion, and caught 2 passes for 1 yard in a 42-17 win over Henderson.
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:30, vs. Kilgore
Notes: Henderson’s defense kept Ingram relatively contained, as he managed just 62 yards from scrimmage on 18 touches, but their focus on stopping him helped open things up for Carthage’s passing game. Carthage Bulldogs QB Gunner Capps had a very efficient night, completing 12 of 14 passes for 241 yards and 4 TDs, the last two of those TD passes came in the second half and each covered 70 yards or more.
Ingram’s only TD came on a one-yard run about four minutes into the game and gave Carthage a 6-0 lead. The PAT was missed, and when Henderson answered with a TD on their ensuing possession they took a 7-6 lead. But Carthage scored 22 points in the first six minutes of the 2nd quarter and never trailed again. Their halftime lead was 28-10.
The two teams had both been unbeaten coming into the game, and with the win Carthage moved to 5-0 and extended their winning streak to 15 games, while Henderson fell to 5-1. Henderson was one of two teams to beat Carthage in the regular season in 2016, and this week Carthage takes on the last team to beat them: Kilgore. Kilgore is 5-1 this season, and their only loss was a 44-41 defeat in Week 4 to Class 5A program Texarkana Texas. At this point in the 2016 season Kilgore was 3-3, but they defeated Carthage 41-34 and went on to win the championship of District 9-4A Division 1. Kilgore’s season ended in the second round of the playoffs when they fell 27-21 to a Stafford team that Carthage would later beat 27-26 in the Region 3 final of the 4A D1 bracket.
Carthage retained the #1 spot in this week’s AP rankings for Class 4A, receiving 21 out of 25 first-place votes. Kilgore is not ranked but did pop up in the “others receiving votes” column. TexasFootball.com ranks Carthage #1 and Kilgore #8 among 4A D1 teams. On Sunday Ingram was offered by a school which, like Carthage, is undefeated and highly-ranked, has the Bulldog as its mascot and red as part of its school colors: Georgia.
WR Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor)
Last week: Team lost to Pearland 35-28.
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:00, vs. Alief Elsik
Notes: I have not found stats for the Taylor-Pearland game listed anywhere, but the Houston Chronicle’s recap says Pearland led 28-14 at halftime and was up by as much as 35-14 before two 4th quarter scores by Taylor made the score closer. Eagles was not mentioned in that recap and no stats for Taylor’s team were given.
This week Taylor faces an Alief Elsik squad coming off its bye week and whose last game was a 39-14 loss to Pearland in Week 5. When the teams played last season, Taylor won 68-7.
WR Rondale Moore (Trinity - Louisville, Kentucky)
Last week: Did not play in a 45-0 win over Louisville Eastern.
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:30, vs. Louisville Seneca
Notes: Trinity’s QB completed 20 of 23 passes for 213 yards and one TD, but Rondale Moore was not the receiver on the team’s only passing TD, and a tweet from a local outlet indicated that he did not dress out for the game.
Several key players not dressed for Trinity: Rondale Moore, Nick Cardosi, Caleb Murray, Vaque Dennis to name a few.— Louisville Catholic (@LouCathSports) October 6, 2017
In last week’s post I noted that in the nine times Trinity and Eastern played each other between the 2007 and 2016 seasons, Trinity won all nine games and their average margin of victory was 45 points. Naturally, Trinity won last week’s game over Eastern 45-0. The score probably won’t be any prettier this week when Trinity, the 12th-ranked team in this week’s USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings, takes on 0-7 Seneca, a team that has scored just 28 points this season, has won just once in its last 33 games dating back to the end of the 2014 season, and whose 2015 and 2016 games against Trinity resulted in losses by a combined score of 100-0.
Moore visited Purdue for its win over Minnesota last week. He’s been on de-commit watch for a few weeks now, but is still a Texas commit, as of this writing.
WR Al’Vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar)
Last week: Caught 3 passes for 31 yards in a 40-7 win over Houston Westside.
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:00, vs. Houston Chavez
Notes: We’re going into Week 7 of the Texas high school football season, and Houston Lamar has only played in three games (two were cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey) and Al’Vonte Woodard has caught just 6 passes for 66 yards and is still awaiting his first TD of 2017. In 2016 he caught a team-high 42 passes for 909 yards and 15 TDs in 13 games played. It’s fair to say he’s frustrated about his lack of production so far in his senior year.
This is by far the weakest season as a receiver i’ve ever had... it’s like i’m not on the field... SMDH!!!— Al'vonte Woodard⁴ (@Vonte_4) October 8, 2017
He’s also definitely excited to get his college career started, and his other tweets over the weekend were very pro-Longhorns.
He’ll get his next chance to blow up the stat sheet on Friday against an 0-4 Houston Chavez team that has been outscored by an average margin of 40 points per game. Lamar beat Chavez 49-0 in last year’s meeting.
TE Malcolm Epps (Spring Dekaney)
Last week: Caught 2 passes for 13 yards in a 22-0 loss to Spring Westfield.
This week: Thursday, October 12 at 7:00, vs. Aldine Eisenhower
Notes: Dekaney suffered its second consecutive loss last week, and for the first time in 2017 Malcolm Epps did not show up in the defensive side of the stat sheet. He has been playing snaps at defensive end as a senior and was credited with at least three tackles in each of Dekaney’s first three games.
On the winning side of the scoreboard was Westfield and Epps’s future college teammate, defensive tackle Keondre Coburn. They’ll try to get their season back on track tonight against 1-3 Aldine Eisenhower, a team Dekaney beat in 2016, 43-7.
TE Dominick Wood-Anderson (Arizona Western College - Yuma, Arizona)
Last week: Caught 14 passes for 98 yards, and rushed once for three yards in a 29-27 win over Snow College.
This week: Saturday, October 14 at 7:00, vs. Phoenix College
Notes: From last week’s post: “Snow is 5-0 and has allowed 60 rushing yards and 210 passing yards per game this season. Arizona Western, as noted in previous posts, has run the ball on well over 60% of their snaps, so to beat Snow they’ll either have to air it out more or break through Snow’s run defense.”
In last Saturday’s game against then-6th ranked Snow College, Arizona Western uncharacteristically attempted 45 passes to just 38 rushing attempts, and the 376 yards they gained through the air amounted to almost three times their net rushing yardage in the game (134). Wood-Anderson was the primary beneficiary when it game to targets and catches, as he reeled in 14 receptions (his total for the entire 2016 season) and tripled his number of catches for the season in one game. His catches didn’t gain a lot of yardage though, as his longest reception gained 20 yards, and even with 14 catches he wasn’t able to crack the century mark in receiving yards.
Arizona Western improved to 4-0 for the season and moved up from 5th to 3rd in this week’s NJCAA Football rankings. On Saturday evening, the Matadors will face 2-4 Phoenix College (not to be confused with the University of Phoenix), a team whose two wins both came against 0-6 Glendale, and whose four losses were all by margins between 29 and 37 points.
The Yuma Sun did a story three weeks ago on Wood-Anderson and the career path that took him from high school quarterback to junior college defensive end-turned-tight end, to coveted national recruit. The article is behind a paywall (you can buy a one-day subscription for $0.99) so I won’t quote it here, except to share that Arizona Western’s head coach Tom Minnick - who has seen around a dozen tight ends pass through AWC on their way to the FBS level (including former Longhorn Blake Whiteley), and at least two who have earned NFL snaps, in his ten seasons at the school - says that while Wood-Anderson still has a lot of work to do in developing his game and learning the intricacies of the tight end position, “athletically, he’s probably better than any tight end we’ve had.”
OL Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland)
Last week: Team lost to Frisco Reedy 35-28.
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:00, at Frisco Centennial (at Frisco’s Toyota Stadium)
Notes: Wakeland suffered its first loss of the season last week to nearby intra-district foe Reedy, a very young school that improved to 5-0 in what is just its second season to have a varsity football team. Reedy is the newest out of the fast-growing Frisco ISD’s eight high school campuses that will have a senior class this school year, and its current attendance zone borders a portion of Wakeland’s, so this could be a good rivalry in the years to come.
Wakeland held first half leads of 14-7 and 21-14, but the game was tied at 21 at the half after Reedy scored on a TD pass with just 25 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. Reedy scored a TD in both the 3rd and 4th quarters to take a 35-21 lead. Wakeland cut the deficit to 35-28 on a TD scored with 3:10 left in regulation and had a chance to tie the game after their defense forced Reedy to punt on their ensuing possession, but they only got as far as Reedy’s 34-yard line and their last two snaps of the game resulted in incomplete passes.
Wakeland is 4-1 for the season and 1-1 in district play, and this week they take on a Frisco Centennial team that’s 2-3 overall but 2-0 in district. Wakeland won 56-14 when the teams played in Week 7 of the 2016 season.
OL Reese Moore (Seminole)
Last week: Caught one pass for two yards in a 35-32 win over Midland Greenwood
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:00, at Pecos
Notes: Last week, Seminole and Greenwood went into the 4th quarter tied at 14, then erupted for a combined 39 points in the game’s final twelve minutes. Seminole held a 28-25 lead after a Greenwood TD with 2:27 left in regulation. A 37-yard TD run by Seminole with just 0:55 left in regulation gave the Indians a seemingly comfortable 35-25 lead, but Greenwood scored with ten seconds left to pull to within three points, and the game wasn’t truly over until after Greenwood failed to recover the ensuing onside kick. Seminole rushed for 365 yards as a team, but had to overcome four turnovers (including three lost fumbles) to sneak away with the win.
Seminole’s win moved them to 5-1 for the season and will face another 5-1 team on Friday in Pecos, a team with one lopsided loss, two lopsided wins, and three other wins that came by a combined margin of eight points. Seminole won the teams’ 2016 matchup, 44-21.
DT Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield)
Last week: Team beat Spring Dekaney 22-0.
This week: Thursday, October 12 at 7:00, at Aldine MacArthur
Notes: Westfield hasn’t posted individual defensive stats this season, but last Friday its defense limited Dekaney to 35 rushing yards and just 159 yards of total offense in a shutout win that improved their record to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in district play.
Somewhat strangely, Westfield was ranked 10th in Class 6A as recently as two weeks ago, and despite winning both of their games since then the Mustangs have slipped out of the top ten and are one of nine teams to show up in the “others receiving votes” section. State ranked or not, Westfield can move one step closer to a district championship with a win tonight over 1-2 Aldine MacArthur, a school that lost in the 5A Division II state championship game in 1993 and has not won a single playoff game since then. The Generals last reached the postseason in 2007, and have finished a season with a record above .500 only three times since reaching the state championship 24 years ago. Westfield won handily over MacArthur in 2016, 41-0.
LB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy - Bradenton, Florida)
Last week: Team defeated Venice (Florida) 38-12.
This week: Bye
Notes: IMG started slow last week in its game against Venice, which at the time was Florida’s 2nd ranked team in Class 7A. IMG led 17-12 going into the 4th quarter, but they scored three times and their defense put the clamps on Venice to win by a final score of 38-12. IMG gained 430 offensive yards but were hamstrung by 21 accepted penalties that cost them 210 yards of field position. They mostly kept Venice off the board by keeping their running game in check. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s recap of the game said that Venice’s longest run of the night covered only five yards.
IMG gets a bye this week before they travel to the Mountain Time Zone to face Utah powerhouse Salt Lake City East, that state’s two-time defending 4A state champions.
LB Byron Hobbs (Fort Worth Eastern Hills)
Last week: Team lost to Colleyville Heritage 52-6.
This week: Saturday, October 14 at 1:00, at Fort Worth Dunbar.
Notes: After starting off the 2017 season with wins in two of their first three games, Eastern Hills dropped its first two district games against Richland and Colleyville Heritage - probably two of their district’s three best teams - by a combined score of 112-12. Eastern Hills has not posted any stats from last week’s loss to Heritage to its Maxpreps page, but I doubt Hobbs suited up for the game. He’s been recovering from a dislocated clavicle that he suffered mid-way through Eastern Hills’s Week 2 game and I believe he hasn’t played since.
On Saturday afternoon, Eastern Hills will face longtime city rival Dunbar, a team they haven’t beaten since 2010. Dunbar is typically one of Fort Worth ISD’s better teams, and sometimes its best, but the Wildcats are 0-5 so far in 2017, with those losses coming to a 6A team and four 5A teams that nobody would describe as weak. Two weeks ago Dunbar lost to Colleyville Heritage, 56-36.
DB B.J. Foster (Angleton)
Last week: Had 5 carries for 31 yards and a TD in a 70-0 win over Victoria East.
This week: Bye
Notes: I accidentally omitted B.J. Foster from last week’s post, but since these posts get roughly the amount of comments as Baker Mayfield’s career wins in Ames, Iowa, nobody pointed it out and I didn’t realize it until I was finishing up this piece.
Angleton attempted just seven passes and 13 different players got at least one offensive touch in their 70-0 pasting of Victoria East last week. The halftime score was 63-0.
Angleton retained the #7 ranking in this week’s AP poll for Class 5A, and they have outscored their first five opponents by a combined 279-14. The Wildcats get a bye this week before resuming their district schedule next week against a Lamar Consolidated team led by senior QB William Brown, a SMU commit.
DB Jalen Green (Houston Heights)
Last week: Rushed 10 times for 92 yards and 3 TDs, caught one pass for a 34-yard TD, and made six tackles in a 31-12 win over Houston Bellaire.
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:00, at Houston Westbury (at Butler Stadium)
Notes: It was another week, and another game in which Jalen Green affected the game in multiple ways. In Week 5 he passed for a TD, ran for a TD, and returned a punt for a TD. Last week he reached the end zone three times as a rusher and once as a receiver, and he also affected field position by returning three kickoffs for a total of 137 yards. Yes, there’s a reason he’s the state’s #5 recruit on the current 247Sports Composite rankings.
Heights improved to 4-0 for the season and 2-0 in district play. This week they will play a 2-2 Westbury team whose two wins came against teams that are both 0-4 now, and whose two losses were against teams with a combined record of 4-3. Heights won last season’s matchup with Westbury, 29-0.
DB DeMarvion Overshown (Arp)
Last week: Team lost 37-0 to Elysian Fields.
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:30, at Beckville
Notes: Arp got blown out at home last week by Elysian Fields, the defending champions of District 9-3A Division II. Elysian Fields QB Garrett McIntosh passed for 317 yards and 5 TDs on the night. Overshown was not mentioned in the game recap on ETFinalScore.com, but there was probably little worth mentioning about the game from Arp’s side.
With the loss, Arp fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in district play. The Tigers have a date this week with 5-1 Beckville, a team that was undefeated until they were upset 8-6 last week by previously winless Harleton. A loss to Beckville would greatly hurt Arp’s playoff chances, as a game against Class 3A’s 9th ranked team, West Rusk, awaits them next week. Arp defeated Beckville 59-21 in 2016.
DB Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele)
Last week: Bye
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:30, vs. New Braunfels
Notes: Steele began this season as the 5th ranked team in Class 6A, but mid-way through the regular season the Knights have a 1-4 record for the first time in the program’s history, and the four losses already represent the most they’ve had in a season since they went 4-6 in their inaugural varsity campaign (2006). In fact, going into the start of this season, Steele’s fourth most-recent loss was in the semifinals of the 2014 6A Division II playoffs.
In their defense, they played as solid a quintet of opponents as probably any team in the state began their season with, and their four losses came against teams that will go into Week 7 with a combined record of 20-1. The latter half of their schedule should be easier, but still features two opponents that currently have one loss or fewer, one of which is this week’s foe, 4-1 New Braunfels. The Unicorns, like Steele, are coming off their bye week and their last two games both had final scores of 49-7: a Week 5 win over cross-town rival New Braunfels Canyon, and a Week 4 loss to Class 6A’s 2nd ranked team, Converse Judson. Steele’s last game was a 35-28 loss in Week 5 to Judson.
K Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis)
Last week: Bye
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:30, at Austin Westlake
Notes: Lake Travis-Westlake is always a big rivalry game, and this year the teams go into the contest ranked 7th and 5th, respectively, in Class 6A. Oklahoma QB and Lake Travis alum Baker Mayfield’s recent comments about Texas QB and Westlake alum Sam Ehlinger never beating Lake Travis in his high school career were equal parts trash talk toward Ehlinger heading into this Saturday’s Red River Showdown, and bulletin board material for current Westlake Chaparrals squad as they prepare to host their hated rival Lake Travis this week.
It’s been ten years since Westlake’s last win over Lake Travis. When the teams played last year, Lake Travis went into the game ranked 3rd and Westlake ranked 5th, and hopes were high on Westlake’s side that Ehlinger could help his team end its eight-game losing streak in the rivalry. But Ehlinger, who had already missed four games earlier in the season due to injury, hurt the thumb on his throwing hand early in the game and sat out the rest of the contest, and Westlake (whose senior backup QB had also been lost for the season) was pummeled 49-7.
I haven’t talked much about Lake Travis’s personnel in this year’s posts, but the Cavaliers’ senior QB Matthew Baldwin, who passed for 10 TDs and no interceptions while backing up All-State QB Charlie Brewer (now at Baylor) in 2016, has completed 69% of his passes and thrown for over 1,800 yards, 24 TDs and just 2 INTs through Lake Travis’s first five games. Baldwin committed to Colorado State in July. Lake Travis has for a few years now held the title belt for being Texas’s preeminent QB factory.
2019 Texas Longhorn football commit
QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)
Last week: Passed for 299 yards and 4 TDs in a 59-21 win over Baytown Lee
This week: Friday, October 13 at 7:00, vs. Port Arthur Memorial
Notes: Port Neches-Groves never punted and got offensive production from several players in their blowout Homecoming night win last week over Baytown Lee. PN-G moved to 4-0 with the win, and this week they face an undefeated Port Arthur Memorial team in a game that could play a role in deciding the champion of District 22-5A. In 2016, PN-G, Port Arthur Memorial and Vidor finished in a three-way tie with 7-1 records in district play. PN-G’s 33-28 loss to PAM was the only blemish on their district record.
Notably, this will be PN-G’s first game played under Friday night lights in over a month. Hurricane Harvey forced the cancellation of several games and drastic rescheduling of others in southeast Texas, and after playing their first game on Friday, September 8, PN-G’s next three games were played on a Wednesday, Monday, and Saturday.