In Week 5, the Texas Longhorns’ three quarterback commits combined to produce 14 touchdowns, a defensive back commit scored touchdowns passing, rushing, and on a punt return, and another DB commit caught a TD pass.
A few were involved in big-time matchups in Week 5, and that trend will continue this week. Four commits will play in games involving two undefeated teams, and Juco tight end commit Dominick Wood-Anderson will play in a matchup of two nationally-ranked Juco programs. The Week 6 schedule also includes this season’s third contest pitting Longhorn commits against each other. A few commits will be coming off bye weeks, and two others will have a bye this week.
Here’s what’s on tap this weekend.
2018 Texas Longhorn football commits
QB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, California)
Last week: Completed 15 of 25 passes for 170 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, and rushed 6 times for 16 yards in a 20-0 win over Palos Verdes.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:00, at Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, California)
Notes: Newbury Park scored points on two touchdowns and two field goals and produced less than 300 total yards as a team, but it was more than enough as they shut out Palos Verdes 20-0, no doubt helped by their defense forcing four turnovers.
Newbury Park will play one more non-league game this week before starting conference play in two weeks. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has a very different system than the UIL in Texas does, as it splits its schools into geography-based sections and enrollment-based (I think) divisions, as opposed to classifications and districts. As I understand it, rankings are typically done not within divisions statewide, but by section and division. Newbury Park is a Division 3 school in the CIF’s Southern Section, the largest of the CIF’s ten sections. That section has 18 football schools that are in Division 3, and this week Newbury Park is ranked 8th among them. This week they will play an Oaks Christian team that is ranked 5th among the Southern Section’s Division 2 schools. That’s as far as I’ll go in attempting to explain the CIF section/division system.
When those two teams played a year ago it was a shootout with star power under center for both teams, as Cameron Rising and Oaks Christian QB Matt Corral (now committed to Florida) each passed for over 470 yards and rushed for at least 90 yards, and combined to produce 1,234 total yards. That’s not a misprint. Oaks Christian came out on top in that game, 63-49. This week’s game won’t be a true re-match of that game, though, as Corral has since transferred to Long Beach Poly.
QB Casey Thompson (Newcastle)
Last week: Passed for 342 yards and 4 TDs and rushed for 98 yards and 3 TDs in a 52-21 win over Chickasha.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:00, at Elgin
Notes: Thompson’s Newcastle team won its first game of 2017 and snapped a nine-game losing streak that dated back to last season. The Racers ended that streak against the last team they had won a game against, Chickasha, a team whose own losing streak was extended to 13 games last Friday.
With Texas Longhorns offensive coordinator Tim Beck in attendance, Thompson produced 440 total yards and 7 touchdowns, starting with a 67-yard TD pass on the game’s second offensive snap. You can read The Oklahoman’s recap of the game here.
With the win Newcastle improved to 1-1 in district play and 1-4 overall. This week’s opponent, Elgin, is also 1-4 overall but will be looking for its first district win. When the teams played last season, Elgin won 21-0.
RB Keaontay Ingram (Carthage)
Last week: Bye
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:30, at Henderson
Notes: Ingram and his Carthage teammates will travel to face a 5-0 Henderson squad on Friday night in their first district game. Carthage remains the top-ranked Class 4A team in this week’s AP Poll, receiving 20 of 25 first-place votes. Henderson is not ranked but appears in the “others receiving votes” column, and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s current rankings of 4A Division I teams puts Carthage at #1 and Henderson at #7.
Playing solid opponents is nothing new to Carthage, as their last game was a Week 4 win over then 2nd-ranked Gilmer. That said, these two teams are quite familiar with each other and this should be a great game. Carthage and Henderson have played each other four times in the past three seasons and have each won two of those contests. In 2016, Henderson won their district matchup 36-28, but when the teams met again in the third round of the playoffs Carthage won 33-31, and would go on to win the 4A Division I state championship three weeks later.
WR Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor)
Last week: Caught 6 passes for 75 yards and 3 TDs in a 47-25 win over Clute Brazoswood.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:00, at Pearland
Notes: In last week’s win over Brazoswood, Brennan Eagles opened the scoring with a 9-yard TD catch less than two minutes into the 1st quarter. It was his first TD catch of the season, and he went on to make his second and third TD receptions before halftime. A 25-yard TD reception with 2:34 left in the 1st quarter gave Taylor a 20-0 lead, and a 15-yard score with 6:32 left in the 2nd quarter pushed Taylor’s lead to 26-3.
Brazoswood made a field goal as time expired in the 2nd quarter, and got as close as 26-18 after scoring on a TD, safety and field goal within a 6:25 span between the late 3rd and early 4th quarter. But Taylor answered immediately with a 56-yard TD pass from junior QB Charlie McFarland to junior receiver Shea Whiting (who had a game-high 156 receiving yards), then the pair connected on another TD four minutes later to make the score 40-18 with 3:16 left in regulation.
Taylor will next face always-solid Pearland, a 2-1 team coming off a 39-14 district win over Alief Elsik, and whose one loss was a 45-7 beating at the hands of Manvel, Class 5A’s 2nd-ranked team. Taylor beat Pearland 19-14 when the teams played in 2016. Pearland’s last three seasons ended in the 2nd round of the playoffs, but the Oilers reached the 5A (now 6A) Division I state championship game in 2013 (they lost to Allen) and took home a state title back in 2010. Every current senior at Pearland was either in diapers or still in their mother’s womb the last time that school failed to make the playoffs in football (1999).
WR Rondale Moore (Trinity - Louisville, Kentucky)
Last week: Made 11 catches for 81 yards in a 28-0 win over Louisville St. Xavier.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:30, vs. Louisville Eastern
Notes: Moore led his team in receptions in last week’s win, but he did not reach the end zone on any of them. Last week’s Trinity-St. Xavier game was the latest meeting in a longtime rivalry between the two all-boys Catholic high schools, which are located about 6 miles apart in greater Louisville. The game was played before an estimated 24,000 spectators at Louisville’s Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The headline for a column about the game written by a reporter from the Lexington Herald-Leader referred to the game as “Kentucky’s biggest high school football rivalry”. The two schools have faced each other on the gridiron at least once in every season dating back to 1956.
Moore recently visited Purdue, the school to which many writers predicted last month he would flip his commitment, but as of this writing he is still a Longhorn commit. Seven games into his senior season he has caught 72 passes for 901 yards and 7 TDs. The Trinity Shamrocks moved up to the #12 spot in this week’s USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings. After a couple of tight contests in the first three weeks of their season, they have outscored their last four opponents 118-13.
Trinity’s next opponent is district foe Eastern, a 3-3 team whose games against Trinity in recent years have always ended in blowout losses, so it would be reasonable to expect lots of points on Trinity’s side of the scoreboard on Friday. Trinity and Eastern played twice in the 2016 season, once in the regular season and again in the 2nd round of Kentucky’s 6A playoffs. Trinity won both games by a combined score of 105-0. The teams played each other nine times between 2007 and 2016; Trinity won all nine games by an average margin of 45 points.
WR Al’Vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar)
Last week: Bye
This week: Saturday, October 7 at 6:00, at Houston Westside
Notes: Coming off a bye week, Lamar will play its first district game on Saturday evening against a 1-2 Westside squad that last week won its first game of the season, 26-8 over Houston Westbury. Westside is two weeks removed from a 63-7 loss to B.J. Foster’s Angleton team. Going into the first week of October Lamar has only played two games, due to last week’s bye and their first two games getting cancelled following Hurricane Harvey.
TE Malcolm Epps (Spring Dekaney)
Last week: Caught one pass for 37 yards and made 3 tackles in a 25-7 loss to Aldine Nimitz.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:00, at Spring Westfield
Notes: Friday night’s Dekaney-Westfield game will be the third game this season to feature UT commits playing for opposing teams (Keondre Coburn plays for Westfield). In last week’s loss to Nimtiz, Dekaney managed just 185 total yards and the Wildcats completed only 10 of 28 pass attempts, while Nimitz stuck to the ground, rushing 57 times (they attempted only three passes) for 297 yards and 3 TDs as a team.
The loss dropped Dekaney to 2-1 and they’ll face a much tougher opponent Saturday in 4-0 Westfield, which was state-ranked as recently as last week. Westfield won last year’s matchup 37-7.
TE Dominick Wood-Anderson (Arizona Western College - Yuma, Arizona)
Last week: Bye
This week: Saturday, October 7 at 6:00, at Snow College (Ephraim, Utah)
Notes: Arizona Western is 3-0 and ranked 5th in this week’s NJCAA Poll. After a bye last week they will face 6th-ranked Snow College on Saturday night. 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. Arizona Western beat Snow 50-14 when the teams played at this same point last season, and Arizona Western went on to run the table on its Western States Football League opponents.
OL Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland)
Last week: Bye
This week: Thursday, October 5 at 7:00, at Frisco Reedy (at The Ford Center at The Star)
Notes: Wakeland has started off its season 4-0 for the first time since 2009, is averaging 453 yards per game, and has outscored opponents by nearly 30 points per game. Coming off a bye week the Wolverines will face district opponent Reedy, a team that is also 4-0 and, remarkably, is playing in just its second varsity season. A year ago, Reedy was 2-2 and playing with an all-underclassmen roster, with both of their wins being at the expense of fellow first-year varsity programs Northwest Eaton and Denton Braswell. Now they have a roster of veteran players that includes four seniors who earned all-district honors a year ago and the team’s leading tackler, sophomore linebacker William Harbour, who earned co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors for District 13-5A as a freshman last season. (This portion of the column was written earlier in the week, and the Reedy-Wakeland game will have already been played by the time you read this. Its recap will appear in next week’s post.)
Justin Wells of Inside Texas tweeted earlier this week that Ghirmai will attend Saturday’s Kansas State-Texas game.
OL Reese Moore (Seminole)
Last week: Team defeated Monahans 30-13.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:00, vs. Midland Greenwood
Notes: Seminole never trailed in their district opener last week against Monahans, one of three teams to have beaten them in district play in 2016 (Seminole later beat Monahans in the playoffs, though). The Indians dialed up an onside kick to start the game and recovered the ball. They scored the game’s first points on a one-yard run six minutes later. Monahans tied the score at 7 with a TD run with 11:22 left in the 2nd quarter, but Seminole RB/LB and Army commit Cade Barnard scored less than a minute later on a 12-yard run, and Seminole led the rest of the way. Seminole attempted 52 runs (for 218 yards) and just 3 passes in the game. Two of those passes were completed but neither to Reese Moore, who has played TE for his team.
Seminole is now 4-1 and has won four straight games since opening their season with an upset loss to Lubbock High 20-17. This week they will look to avenge another district loss from last season, this time against a Midland Greenwood team that beat them 52-50 in 2016. Greenwood is 4-1 this season and is coming off a 38-0 win over Fort Stockton last week in their district opener.
Reese Moore will reportedly be in Austin for UT’s game against Kansas State on Saturday.
DT Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield)
Last week: Team defeated Spring 15-12.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:00, vs. Spring Dekaney
Notes: Last week’s Westfield-Spring game was mostly a defensive affair in which Westfield took a 12-0 lead on two long TD passes that covered 58 yards or more, then they were kept off the scoreboard while Spring scored twice in the second half to tie the game. It went into overtime, and after Westfield kept Spring from scoring on the first possession, Westfield took their turn and won the game on a 37-yard field goal.
With the win Westfield remains undefeated at 3-0, but they dropped out of the AP rankings for Class 6A after being the 10th-ranked team last week. This week Keondre Coburn will face off against future teammate Malcolm Epps, who plays both tight end and defensive end for Dekaney.
LB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy - Bradenton, Florida)
Last week: Made 5 tackles and 1 sack in a 21-0 win over Miami Northwestern.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:30, at Venice
Notes: Adeoye recorded a season-high five tackles in last week’s win over Miami Northwestern, which began that week as Florida’s top-ranked 6A team. IMG remains the 2nd-ranked team in this week’s USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings, and their competition doesn’t get easier this week, as their next opponent is Class 7A’s 2nd-ranked team, Venice. In 2016, Venice won its first 12 games before falling in the state semifinals to eventual 7A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale. Venice has traveled to face Texas opponents twice in recent years, so some Texas high school football fans will have a bit of familiarity with their program. Venice has just over 2,000 students, which is equivalent to a large 5A school in Texas. They beat Plano East (which has in excess of 5,000 students) in 2013, and opened their 2015 season with a 37-8 win at Stephenville (which might have 1,000 students).
This season, Venice is 4-0 and is fresh off a 41-35 win last week over Braden River, at the time the state’s 4th-ranked team in 7A.
LB Byron Hobbs (Fort Worth Eastern Hills)
Last week: Did not play in a 60-6 loss to Richland.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:30, vs. Colleyville Heritage
Notes: Hobbs suffered a dislocated clavicle about mid-way through Eastern Hills’s Week 2 game and has not played since. His presence wouldn’t have made much of a difference in last week’s shellacking at the hands of Richland, but it did rob fans of a chance to see two future D1 linebackers for the price of one, with Texas A&M commit DeShaun White playing for Richland. White had a sack, three tackles for loss and a pair of forced fumbles in the game.
Eastern Hills faces another strong opponent this week in Colleyville Heritage, a team sporting a 3-1 record and coming off a 56-36 win over Fort Worth Dunbar last week in their first district game. Heritage has also beaten traditional Metroplex area 6A powerhouse Euless Trinity, and their only loss was a 38-21 Week 1 defeat at the hands of 5A’s top-ranked team, Aledo.
Hobbs reportedly will attend Saturday’s Kansas State-Texas game.
DB Jalen Green (Houston Heights)
Last week: Completed 3 of 5 passes for 93 yards and 1 TD, had 2 carries for 86 yards and a TD, made 2 tackles, and returned a punt for a TD in a 68-7 win over Houston Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:00, vs. Houston Bellaire
Notes: Heights could have named their score last week against an overmatched Sam Houston Math, Science, and Tech team. According to the game’s stats on Maxpreps, Green’s two carries went for 46 and 37 yards. The 37-yard run went for a TD with 7:41 left in the 2nd quarter. He later threw for a 56-yard TD with just six seconds left in the first half, returned a punt 51 yards for a TD with 5:51 left in the 3rd quarter and completed a pass for the two-point conversion following that score. Heights led 46-7 at the half.
Heights’s next opponent is a 2-1 Houston Bellaire team that won its first district game last week over Houston Chavez, 42-16. Heights won a close contest over Bellaire when the teams played last year, by a score of 14-11.
DB DeMarvion Overshown (Arp)
Last week: Team lost to Waskom 14-13.
This week: Friday, October 6 at 7:30, vs. Elysian Fields
Notes: Like in most episodes of 24, the action in last week’s Arp-Waskom game tended to happen in the last minute of each quarter. Arp scored the game’s first points on a TD run with 1:23 left in the 1st quarter. Waskom tied the score with a short TD run with 0:43 left in the 2nd quarter. Waskom took the lead after another TD run with 2:48 left in the 3rd quarter. Arp scored a potential game-tying TD with 0:53 left in regulation, but went for a two-point conversion and the lead but were unsuccessful.
The loss dropped Arp to 1-3, with their three losses coming by a combined 16 points. In 2016, Arp didn’t suffer their third loss of the season until the state semifinal round of the playoffs. In 2015, Arp actually began their season 1-5, then won their next six consecutive games to advance as far as the third round of the playoffs, so there’s still time for the Tigers to turn their season around.
Their next shot at turning around their season will be Friday night against 4-1 Elysian Fields, the defending champions of District 9-3A Division II. Elysian Fields won 34-27 when the teams played last year in a game that ultimately decided the district champion. Elysian Fields won their first 12 games before falling in the regional semifinal round of the playoffs in 2016.
DB Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele)
Last week: Caught 2 passes for 27 yards and a TD, and made 9 tackles in a 35-28 loss to Converse Judson.
This week: Bye
Notes: Steele fought to avoid a 1-4 start to their season last week after going into their game against 2nd-ranked Converse Judson witha 1-3 record for the first time in program history. The Knights fell behind by multiple scores, clawed their way back to make it a one-possession game late in the 4th quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
The score was tied at 7 following a Steele TD run by Rice commit Brenden Brady with 3:56 in the 1st quarter, but Judson scored the game’s next four TDs, the last of which gave them a 35-7 lead with 1:24 left in the 3rd quarter. Steele didn’t give up though, scoring three 4th quarter TDs and cutting the deficit to 35-28 after Caden Sterns caught an 18-yard TD pass with 1:56 left in regulation, a score set up by Steele recovering an onside kick after their previous score. But Judson was able to run out the clock on their ensuing possession to preserve their first-ever win over Steele.
This game was highly-anticipated coming into the season, with Judson ranked 4th and Steele 5th in the preseason AP poll for Class 6A. The game turned out to be a good one, but the teams have gone in opposite directions, with Judson now ranked 2nd in the state and showing up in national rankings as well, and Steele having to settle for being perhaps the state’s best 1-4 team at the moment. Those four straight losses, it should be noted, came against teams now sporting a combined record of 19-1.
The Knights have a bye before resuming their district schedule next week, and their five remaining opponents sport a combined season record of 13-12, as of this writing.
K Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis)
Last week: Made 2 of 2 field goal attempts and 5 of 5 PAT attempts in a 60-34 win over Buda Hays.
This week: Bye
Notes: Dicker once again did his job well, making all five of his PAT attempts and both of his field goal attempts, and four of his nine kickoffs went for touchbacks. I have not found distances for his field goals listed online. Lake Travis held a 1st quarter lead of 13-0 and a 3rd quarter lead of 39-21, but Hays made a game of it until late. Hays actually led 21-20 at one point in the 2nd quarter, and after falling behind 39-21 in the 3rd quarter they were able to close the gap to 39-34. But Lake Travis ran away in the final period, with star junior receiver Garrett Wilson (who has 40 catches for 830 yards in Lake Travis’s first five games) scoring on two TD grabs to widen Lake Travis’s lead.
The Cavaliers remained the 6th-ranked team in this week’s AP poll for Class 6A, and they get a bye this week before a huge rivalry matchup in Week 7 against 5th-ranked Austin Westlake.
2019 Texas Longhorn football commit
QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)
Last earlier this week: In a 56-14 win over Livingston on Monday night...
(later) This week: Saturday, October 7 at 7:00, vs. Baytown Lee
Notes: Port Neches-Groves has played a very unusual schedule, mostly owing to reshuffling necessitated by Hurricane Harvey knocking out their first game. They played a rare Wednesday night game, then a Monday night game, and this weekend will play on Saturday night. The rest of their schedule consists of a more normal four Friday games and one Thursday game.
Saturday’s opponent, Baytown Lee, is 0-4 and lost this past Monday, 28-7, to a Lumberton team that PN-G beat 42-0 two weeks ago. Don’t expect this to be a close game. Lee’s overall record since the beginning of the 2014 season is 1-33.