It’s a Black Friday edition of BON’s weekly Texas Longhorn commits preview. I hope everyone reading this had a happy and belly-filling Thanksgiving Day, and that today ends with your favorite college football team having clinched their best record since 2013.
The first weekend of the Texas high school football playoff ended with ten Texas Longhorn commits advancing to play another day, while the other nine UT commits have seen their seasons come to an end.
Last week, 2018 commits Keaontay Ingram, Rondale Moore, and Reese Moore all scored multiple touchdowns to lead their teams to victories. Al’Vonte Woodard and Malcolm Epps also reached the end zone. Those five players combined to score ten touchdowns, but their production was matched by a superstar “We are not losing this game!” performance from 2019 quarterback commit Roschon Johnson, who had a hand in ten (10!) total touchdowns and scored the winning points for his team in the final minute of their first round game.
Rondale Moore’s team will play in the semifinals of Kentucky’s 6A playoffs, while some of his future teammates in Texas will face tough matchups in the second round of the playoffs.
Below you can read about each Longhorn commit that played in the first round of the playoffs, and when and where each of the ten whose teams survived last week’s action will be playing today (Friday) and Saturday).
2018 Texas Longhorn football commits in the playoffs
RB Keaontay Ingram (Carthage)
Last week: Had 18 carries for 150 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 46-10 win over Huffman Hargrave in the bi-district round of the 4A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 6:00, vs. Freeport Brazosport (at Porter’s Texan Drive Stadium) in the area round of the 4A Division I playoffs.
Notes: The 1st quarter didn’t go according to script for Carthage in their first round playoff game against Hargrave last week. Hargrave attempted and recovered an onside kick to start the game, and though they got no points out of that possession they frustrated Carthage multiple times in the quarter and kept them from getting on track. According to ET Varsity’s recap of the game, Carthage muffed a punt return (which Hargrave recovered), had a pass intercepted, and turned the ball over on downs in the early parts of the game.
Carthage led 6-3 going into the 2nd quarter, then expanded their lead to 12-3 when Keaontay Ingram ran for a 28-yard TD with 7:24 left in the first half. Ingram ran in another TD from one yard out five minutes later to put Carthage ahead 18-3. Two interceptions by Carthage led to two more scores in the final two minutes of the half, and the Bulldogs took a 32-3 lead into halftime. Hargrave scored a TD on their first drive of the second half, but they did not score again in the game.
Ingram’s three TD runs were Carthage’s first three scores of the game. Carthage’s defense got four interceptions (one of them a pick six) from senior defensive back Jacorey Ware.
The win improved Carthage’s season record to 11-0, and allowed the Bulldogs to advance to the second round of the playoffs for an 11th consecutive season. The program missed the playoffs a few times in the early 2000s and late 1990s, but the last time they reached the postseason and lost in the first round was way back in 1997.
Carthage has failed to advance to the third round just once in their previous nine seasons (2014). Attempting to keep them from advancing beyond the second round will be a 8-3 Brazosport team that demolished Houston Worthing 66-0 in its first round game. That win advanced Brazosport to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1999. They are in the postseason for the first time since 2008, and for just the second time since 2002.
Brazosport’s three losses this season were a pair of 28-point defeats to Columbia (a non-playoff team) and Sweeny (a playoff team in 4A Division II), and an overtime loss to their district’s champion El Campo. The Exporters also have a 41-37 win over 5A playoff qualifier Porter on their resumé. Five of their games (four wins) were decided by six points or less, so they’ve been in their share of close games, but they’ve lost badly to a pair of teams that aren’t anywhere near Carthage’s caliber.
WR Rondale Moore (Trinity - Louisville, Kentucky)
Last week: Gained 254 yards from scrimmage and scored three TDs in a 49-17 win over Simon Kenton in the third round of the Kentucky 6A playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 7:30, vs. Central Hardin (at Lexington’s Kroger Field) in the semifinal round of the 6A playoffs.
Notes: According to multiple published reports, Rondale Moore got the ball on a variety of catches and rushes to compile 254 yards on 20 offensive touches. He scored two receiving touchdowns (one a 44-yard scoring reception on a slant) and one on a ten-yard sweep run. According to the Louisville Courier Journal, he had 13 touches for 159 yards in the first half alone. Trinity led 35-0 by the time there were 5:53 left in the 2nd quarter.
In last week’s preview I said Simon Kenton would probably be the best team Trinity had faced in two months, and that seems to have borne out by the game’s result. Though Trinity scored on its first five possessions and jumped out to a a big lead in 1.5 quarters of play, Simon Kenton managed to have a bit of success afterward and put 17 points on the board against a Trinity team that had allowed just 8 points per game going into the contest.
The win was Trinity’s 28th straight going back to the beginning of the 2016 season. Beating Simon Kenton should be considered a good harbinger for the Shamrocks, as they met and defeated Simon Kenton in the playoffs four previous times (2001, 2005, 2008, and 2011), and in each of those years they went on to win a state championship.
Trinity is now two wins away from its 25th football state championship. The Shamrocks will attempt to get the first of those two on Friday against a 11-3 Central Hardin team. Central Hardin began its season 4-3, but has since won seven straight games to reach the 6A state semifinals for the second time in three years. In 2015 they reached the semis only to fall 50-0 to eventual state champion Louisville Male.
Trinity and Central Hardin have had one common opponent this season in Ballard. Trinity beat Ballard 49-0 on October 20 in its last regular season game, and Central Hardin beat Ballard the following week, 21-0.
WR Al’Vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar)
Last week: Caught 3 passes for 47 yards and one TD, and completed a pass for 22 yards in a 14-10 win over Cypress Falls in the bi-district round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 12:00, vs. Fort Bend Ridge Point (at Katy’s Legacy Stadium) in the area round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Lamar fell behind 10-0 to Cypress Falls midway through the 2nd quarter in their bi-district playoff game last week. But they held Cy Falls scoreless after that and a touchdown each in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to win a tight 14-10 contest.
Woodard’s touchdown catch was a 34-yard reception with 3:36 left in the 2nd quarter, and it cut Lamar’s deficit at the time to 10-7. Lamar would take a 14-10 lead following a 5-yard run by senior quarterback Ty Holden with 8:15 left in the 3rd quarter, and that TD completed the game’s scoring.
Lamar’s defense held Cy Falls to 8 first downs and 225 total yards, with just 62 yards coming on the ground. Based on the game’s box score, Lamar’s offense was balanced, but sloppy and not terribly effective. The Texans gained 283 total yards and converted 16 first downs, but they averaged less than 4 yards per carry and fumbled six times, though they fortunately did not lose any of them.
Lamar is in a tough playoff region and each opponent from here will be stronger. Notably, Lamar is the only Houston ISD school that survived the bi-district round of the playoffs and advanced. In the area round the Texans will face the champion of District 20-6A, Fort Bend Ridge Point. Ridge Point has won eight straight games and is 9-1 for the season, with the only blemish on their record a 41-34 double overtime loss to Dickinson on September 22. Against their opponents not named Dickinson, the Panthers won by an average margin of just under 30 points. They advanced to the area round via a 40-23 bi-district win over Katy Cinco Ranch, the runner-up from District 19-6A, and a team that had not allowed any regular season opponents to score more than 30 points.
Ridge Point has the most prospect-heavy roster Lamar has faced this season, by far. The Panthers’ headliners are Michigan commit Mustapha Muhammad, the state’s top tight end in the 2018 class, and Missouri linebacker commit Chad Bailey. Their other future D1 senior talents include Louisiana Tech QB commit Aaron Allen, UTSA defensive back commit Jarrett Preston, Nevada defensive back commit Knowledge Smith, Army wide receiver commit Adam Bazan, and UMass defensive tackle commit Dennis Osagiede. Their defense also boasts one of the state’s top junior prospects in defensive end Nelson Ceaser.
These are two of the Houston area’s most talent-rich programs of the past few years. The winner of this game will face the winner of Friday’s Galena Park North Shore-League City Clear Springs game.
TE Malcolm Epps (Spring Dekaney)
Last week: Caught 7 passes for 55 yards and 1 TD in a 49-9 loss to Klein Collins in the bi-district round of the 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Epps caught his seventh TD pass of the season in last week’s bi-district playoff game against Klein Collins, but it wasn’t nearly enough for the Wildcats to come out ahead of Class 6A’s eighth-ranked team.
Collins scored the game’s first three TDs and took a 21-0 lead with 9:58 left in the 2nd quarter. Dekaney got on the scoreboard five minutes later with a 29-yard field goal, but Collins scored another TD in the final minute of the half to take a 28-3 halftime lead. Epps’s touchdown came on a 6-yard reception with 1:57 left in the 3rd quarter, but that only succeeded in making the score 35-9, and Dekaney did not score again.
The Wildcats finished with an overall record of 6-4. Dekaney has a weird history in that it won a state championship in its varsity program’s fourth season (2011), but this season represented just its fourth playoff appearance, and the Wildcats have not won a playoff game in any season before or since their 2011 state title.
Malcolm Epps finished his senior season with 27 catches for 508 yards and 7 TDs, and he was also credited with 11 tackles, 5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery while playing defensive end in the season’s first three games. According to the 247Sports Composite ratings, he is currently ranked as the state’s #24 recruit and the nation’s #7 tight end and #191 overall prospect.
OL Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland)
Last week: Team lost 38-14 to Prosper in the bi-district round of the 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: In the first round of the 2016 playoffs, Wakeland beat Proper 20-9 and went on to advance to the third round of the 5A Division I bracket. Last Thursday, Prosper returned the favor, scoring 31 unanswered points to run away from Wakeland by a final score of 38-14.
Prosper scored first on a one-yard run with 6:54 left in the 1st quarter to lead 7-0. Two TD runs by Tre Adams - the latter scored with 8:07 left in the 2nd quarter - gave Wakeland a short-lived 14-7 lead. But Prosper tied the game two minutes later on the first of three TDs scored by Kaleb Adams, who rushed for 245 yards on the night. A 20-yard TD pass with just six seconds left in the first half gave Prosper a 21-14 lead going into halftime. Prosper scored 17 more points in the second half, while Wakeland’s possessions after halftime ended with a punt, interception, turnover on downs, lost fumble, and turnover on downs.
Prosper rushed for 321 yards as a team on the night, while Wakeland was held to a paltry 11 rushing yards on 15 attempts. Wakeland’s junior QB Dylan Cadwallader completed 21 of 32 passes for 285 yards and 2 TDs. Wakeland scored its two TDs on its second and third possession of the game, then two of its next three drives ended with interceptions in Prosper territory. Cadwallader finished his junior season - his first as Wakeland’s starter - with a 67% completion rate, 2,855 passing yards, 40 TDs and 8 INTs.
Wakeland finished its season with an overall record of 7-4. Rafiti Ghirmai committed to Texas in August and played his senior season at right tackle. He is currently ranked as the state’s #38 prospect, and the nation’s #21 offensive tackle and #281 overall recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite ratings. In the posted results from last January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl Combine, Ghirmai was listed as 6’6” and 287 pounds, with a wingspan of 6’7”. I suspect at least one of those figures was rounded up, as he measured 6’4” and 290 pounds two months later at the Nike Football The Opening Dallas Regional event. The major recruiting services list him as a tackle prospect, but there’s at least a decent chance he ends up playing an interior line position in college. His senior highlights can be viewed below.
OL Reese Moore (Seminole)
Last week: Caught 2 passes for 84 yards and 2 TDs in a 43-6 win over Dalhart in the bi-district round of the 4A Division II playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 2:00, vs. Iowa Park (at Abilene’s Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium) in the area round of the 4A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Moore’s two catches in last Thursday’s playoff win over Dalhart both resulted in 42-yard touchdowns. He opened the game’s scoring with a 42-yard TD catch with 7:07 left in the 1st quarter. His other 42-yard came thirty seconds into the 2nd quarter and pushed Seminole’s lead to 22-0. The Indians scored two more times in the quarter (the latter on a return of a blocked punt) and led 36-0 at halftime. Dalhart scored its only points of the game on a one-yard TD run with less than a minute left in the game.
Seminole rushed for only 141 yards and produced 269 total yards in the game, which was far below its average, but the Indians forced two turnovers and held Dalhart to 114 total yards and just 5 first downs, while forcing them to punt six times.
Like fellow commit Al’Vonte Woodard, Reese Moore, who plays tight end for his team, has gone from being a virtual non-factor as a receiver early in the season to being a big-time contributor over the past few weeks. In Seminole’s last four games he has caught 10 passes for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns. And that’s from a future offensive tackle!
Seminole and Dalhart made some news around the state for playing their bi-district round playoff game in Portales, New Mexico. For their second round game Seminole will be well within the state of Texas and the familiar confines of the Central Time Zone, as they’ll face a 7-4 Iowa Park team at Abilene Christian University’s brand new stadium on Friday afternoon.
Iowa Park was the runner-up out of District 3-4A Division II, and advanced to the area round by beating Life School Waxahachie last week in bi-district, 51-14. The Hawks have scored 38 points per game this season, but also allowed 28 points per contest. Earlier in the season they lost by single digits to Childress (a good 3A Division II team) and Gainesville (a non-playoff 4A Division I team), and suffered a pair of 28-point defeats to state ranked opponents in Wall (#2 in Class 3A) and district-mate Graham (#9 in Class 4A). This game will be a re-match from last year’s area round, in which Seminole beat Iowa Park 46-27 and eventually advanced four rounds deep into the playoffs.
Iowa Park, which is about 10 miles west of Wichita Falls, was one of the best small school teams in north Texas in the latter half of the 1960s. Between 1965 and 1970, the school won two 2A state championships (an outright title in 1969 and a co-championship with Refugio in 1970) and reached the state semifinals two other times. But after their co-title in 1970, the Hawks missed the playoffs for the next 14 seasons, and though they’ve had some extended playoff runs in recent years (they’ve advanced to the third round fives times in the past 19 seasons), they’ve made it past the third round just once in the past 47 years (1986) and haven’t reached their program’s powerhouse heights of the late 1960s.
DT Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield)
Last week: Made two tackles for loss in a 42-10 win over Houston Stratford in the bi-district round of the 6A Division II playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 25 at 2:00, vs. San Marcos (at Prairie View’s Panther Stadium) in the area round of the 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: In their bi-district round matchup last week with Houston Stratford, Westfield got four touchdowns from senior running back Edwin Allen (who came into the game with just five rushing TDs on the season) and scored 21 points in each half to get a dominating win. Westfield’s defense held Stratford to 165 total yards and 9 first downs. Westfield was assessed a dozen penalties in the game but its 440 offensive yards more than doubled Stratford’s output, and the Mustangs outgained Stratford on the ground 296-62.
The win improved Westfield’s overall record to 10-0. The Mustangs advancing to the second round is far from a surprise, as they’ve failed to reach the second round just twice since 2004. A win on Saturday would get them into the third round for the eleventh time since 2001, but to do that they’ll have to defeat 10-1 San Marcos, the champion of District 14-6A.
San Marcos’s only loss for the season was a 54-42 defeat at the hands of New Braunfels on September 15. The Rattlers have scored 42 points per game, and they advanced to the area round by beating Round Rock Westwood in the bi-district round, 64-50. They’ll be attempting to advance to the third round for the first time since 2006.
San Marcos is led by senior quarterback Prudy Calderon, a defensive back recruit currently committed to Rice. As a junior, Calderon made 92 tackles, intercepted four passes, and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. He made the move to QB for his senior season and has passed for nearly 1,300 yards, rushed for over 1,700 yards, and accounted for 39 total TDs (12 passing, 27 rushing). Calderon rushed for a season-high 354 yards and 4 TDs in last week’s win over Westwood, the seventh time he’d topped 150 rushing yards in a game. BON’s own Cody Daniel wrote about Calderon back in February.
DB B.J. Foster (Angleton)
Last week: Did not play in a 79-14 win over San Antonio Highlands in the bi-district round of the 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 7:30, vs. Boerne-Champion (at San Antonio’s Heroes Stadium) in the area round of the 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Angleton has played its last three games without injured five-star recruit B.J. Foster, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed them down one bit, as the Wildcats won those three games (two of them against playoff qualifiers) by a combined score of 161-28. Last week’s victim, San Antonio Highlands, became the first team all season to score more than seven points against Angleton, but their 14 points was far from enough, as Angleton cracked the 70-point barrier for the third time in 2017 en route to a season-high 79 points.
The Wildcats rolled up 668 total yards for the game and coasted to an easy win after taking a 51-0 lead at halftime. Highlands scored its first TD with 8:05 left in the 3rd quarter, but that only cut the deficit to 65-7. Six of Angleton’s scoring plays covered 60 or more yards, including a 72-yard kickoff return following a 1st quarter safety.
B.J. Foster’s timetable to return to the field is uncertain, but Angleton’s head coach said two weeks ago that he would return “when we need him back”.
Their next opponent is the fourth-place team from District 26-5A, Boerne-Champion, who advanced to the area round with a 38-27 win over Austin. Boerne-Champion is 6-5 overall this season and is led on offense by senior QB Davis Brin, a Tulsa commit who has thrown for over 2,400 yards and 23 TDs this season, but he has also been intercepted 12 times (he had 13 interceptions as a junior). Brin has also rushed for 403 yards and 6 touchdowns, and he distributes the ball to a quartet of receivers who all have 28 or more catches and a combined 23 touchdowns.
Among Boerne-Champion’s four losses were lopsided defeats to fellow 5A playoff team Prosper in Week One (47-13) and to state-ranked district-mate Dripping Springs on October 20 (60-21). This is BCHS’s fourth straight season to advance to the second round; in each of the past two seasons they reached the third round before falling to Corpus Christi Calallen. A win by Angleton would advance them to the third round of the playoffs for the seventh time since 2008.
DB Jalen Green (Houston Heights)
Last week: Team lost to Langham Creek 60-15 in the bi-district round of the 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Green was not mentioned in either the box score or the Houston Chronicle’s recap of the Heights-Langham Creek playoff game, and likely did not play. He suffered a broken collarbone last month and likely would not have returned to the field until at least the second round of the playoffs, had Heights advanced that far. Any notion of that happening was put to rest by Langham Creek in last week’s bi-district playoff. Heights got on the scoreboard first on a 2-yard run with 10:23 left in the 1st quarter to take a 7-0 lead. But Langham Creek scored the game’s next 53 points and would score a pair of touchdowns in each quarter to win 60-15. Langham Creek led 29-7 at halftime and 46-7 going into the 4th quarter.
Langham Creek compiled 592 yards of total offense, converted 29 first downs, punted only once, and had only one turnover. Heights gained a respectable 343 total yards and punted only twice, but also turned the ball over three times and was assessed 15 penalties, which backed the Bulldogs up 129 yards.
This is the second straight season Heights has had its season end with a first round loss to Langham Creek. In 2016, Langham Creek won 50-13. This is also the fourth straight season Heights has reached the playoffs and lost in the first round. The Bulldogs finished their season 6-3 overall. The team’s MaxPreps page credits Jalen Green with 189 yards and 3 TDs passing, 29 carries for 347 yards and 8 TDs, 3 catches for 93 yards and 2 TDs, 13 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a punt returned for a TD, all in just five games played.
Green received his jersey for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl two weeks ago. He last played in Heights’s October 13 win over Houston Westbury, but he hopes to be recovered from his collarbone injury in time to suit up for the Army All-American Bowl, which will be played in San Antonio at the Alamodome on January 6. As of this writing, Green is the #5 recruit in the state and #40 recruit in the nation, according to 247Sports’ Composite ratings.
DB D’Shawn Jamison (Houston Lamar)
Last week: Made 3 tackles and forced a fumble in a 14-10 win over Cypress Falls in the bi-district round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 12:00, vs. Fort Bend Ridge Point (at Katy’s Legacy Stadium) in the area round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: See Al’Vonte Woodard’s notes.
DB Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele)
Last week: Made ten tackles and forced a fumble in a 31-3 win over San Antonio Brennan in the bi-district round of the 6A Division II playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 2:00, vs. Austin Vandegrift (at New Braunfels’ Cougar Stadium) in the area round of the 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: In their bi-district playoff game against Brennan, Steele used a strong run defense and an even stronger rushing attack to earn a convincing 31-3 win and advance to the second round for the 11th straight season. Steele got 255 rushing yards and 2 TDs from Rice commit Brendan Brady and gained 409 rushing yards as a team, while its defense limited Brennan to less than 3 yards per carry on 31 rushes.
Brennan was playing without Oklahoma State running back commit Jahmyl Jeter, who rushed for 200 yards against San Antonio Brandeis on October 20 but missed every game afterward with an injury. Their other top offensive weapon, senior wide receiver Alex Wise, was limited to 44 yards on 4 receptions after averaging 22 yards per catch coming into the game.
Brady scored the game’s first TD less than two minutes into the 1st quarter to give Steele a 7-0 lead. Brennan made a field goal with 4:27 left in the opening frame to cut the deficit to 7-3, but they never scored again. Brady’s second rushing TD and a 18-yard TD pass from freshman QB Wyatt Begeal to senior receiver Terrance Ingram gave Steele a 21-3 halftime lead, and they would later tack on ten more points in the 4th quarter.
Steele is in Region IV, which is usually the weakest of the four Class 6A regions in terms of overall depth and level of competition. The Knights have reached at least the fourth round of the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons, and they’ll likely be favored to do the same this year, though to make it out of their region and advance to the state semifinals they’ll probably have to beat either state-ranked Austin Westlake or a Smithson Valley team that beat them 43-20 back in September. But first thing’s first, and in the area round Steele will have to get past a 7-4 Austin Vandegrift team that finished in 3rd place out of District 25-6A.
This game will be a re-match from the area round of the 2016 playoffs, when Steele beat Vandegrift 17-0 and eventually reached the 6A Division II state championship game. It will also be a game between two of the very best 7-4 teams in the state.
As with Steele, Vandegrift’s four losses all came against quality opponents: Odessa Permian, Cedar Park, Austin Westlake, and Lake Travis, four teams that will go into round two with a combined overall record of 39-4. Vandegrift lost to Cedar Park on September 8 by a lopsided score of 38-7, but their other three losses were decided by a combined 18 points, and they lost to undefeated Westlake by just two points.
Vandegrift advanced past the bi-district round with a 28-27 win over San Antonio Johnson. The school played its first varsity football season in 2010, has made the playoffs in six of its eight seasons, and has never lost in the first round. This is the Vipers’ fifth straight season to advance at least as far as the second round.
K Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis)
Last week: Made 4 of 5 PAT attempts in a 42-12 win over San Antonio Madison in the bi-district round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 25 at 2:00, vs. Converse Judson (at Austin’s DKR Memorial Stadium) in the area round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Lake Travis played its first round game without star QB Matthew Baldwin, a Colorado State commit who recently picked up offers from Ohio State, Minnesota, and Kentucky. In place of the injured Baldwin, sophomore Hudson Card passed for 151 yards and 3 TDs, and rushed for 166 yards and 2 more TDs, as Lake Travis beat San Antonio Madison 42-12.
That win advanced Lake Travis to the area round for the fifth straight year. On Saturday at DKR Memorial Stadium they will face Converse Judson, who defeated them 65-45 in the season’s opening week. Judson’s star QB Julon Williams, a four-year starter committed to Houston, accounted for 500 yards of offense and four touchdowns in that game. Williams recently missed time with an injury but returned last week to produce 255 total yards and 3 TDs in Judson’s 55-14 bi-district win over San Antonio Warren.
The health of the two team’s QBs will be a big factor in the game. The winner of that game will be the favorite to advance to the 6A Division I state semifinals from Region IV.
2019 Texas Longhorn football commit in the playoffs
QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)
Last week: Completed 10 of 14 passes for 302 yards and 5 TDs, and rushed 36 times for 254 yards and 5 TDs in a 72-69 win over Crosby in the bi-district round of the 5A Division II playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 24 at 8:00 pm, vs. Texas City (at Houston’s NRG Stadium) in the area round of the 5A Division II playoffs.
Notes: In a not-so-bold prediction in last week’s post, I forecast that the Crosby-Port Neches-Groves playoff game would feature lots of points. The teams wound up combining for 141 points, 1,443 total yards, and just one turnover. Both starting QBs passed for over 300 yards and at least 5 TDs, and the game also featured two 200-yard receivers and three players who rushed for at least 150 yards.
Crosby’s junior QB Jaiden Howard compiled 457 total yards and tossed 6 TDs, and when he wasn’t passing or running for some of his 150 yards on the ground, he was handing the ball off to Baylor commit Craig Wiliams, who rushed for 353 yards and 4 TDs.
But Roschon Johnson was the game’s big star, with 556 offensive yards and 10 total TDs. In a game that went back and forth from the beginning, Crosby went into the 4th quarter with a 56-48 lead. The teams traded a pair of scores each in the 4th quarters first nine minutes, with Johnson running for two-point conversions on PN-G’s first two TDs and Crosby failing to convert the two-point try on their second score, which left them with a 69-64 lead with 3:18 left in regulation. Johnson led PN-G down the field and scored on a two-yard run with 0:25 left, then ran in the two-point conversion to give his team a late 72-69 lead, which ended up being the game’s final score.
Awaiting PN-G in the area round is a 5-5 Texas City team, which last week beat Houston Waltrip 24-14 for the school’s first playoff win since 2013. Texas City lost its first three games this season (two of them to eventual 6A playoff teams), but rebounded to finish in a tie for 3rd place in District 23-5A. The Stingarees lost to each of their district’s other three playoff qualifiers by an average margin of 17 points.
Texas City and Port Neches-Groves have played in a combined eight state championship games in their history and have won five state titles, but the schools have met in the playoffs only once previously, in a second round game in 1974, which PN-G won 9-7.
Other 2018 Texas Longhorn football commits
All of these players have ended their season.
QB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, California)
Rising suffered a season-ending knee injury late in Newbury Park’s October 27 loss to Moorpark. Newbury Park later lost in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. Rising finished his senior season with 1,689 yards and 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions passing, and 496 yards and 9 TDs rushing. He is currently rated as the nation’s #157 overall recruit and the #7 pro-style quarterback prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
QB Casey Thompson (Newcastle, Oklahoma)
Thompson transferred to 4A Newcastle from 6A Southmoore before the start of his senior year. Newcastle struggled to stop good teams defensively, but with Thompson under center the Racers finished 3-7 after going 2-18 over their previous two seasons. The 369 points Newcastle scored in 2017 was 42 more points than they scored in 2015 and 2016 combined. But that improvement wasn’t enough for Newcastle to qualify for Oklahoma’s Class 4A playoffs.
Thompson finished his senior season with 3,217 yards, 37 TDs and 9 interceptions passing, and 884 yards and 8 TDs rushing. The current 247Sports Composite ratings slot him as the nation’s #258 overall recruit and #12 dual-threat QB prospect, and Oklahoma’s #5 recruit.
WR Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor)
Eagles missed his team’s last four games due to an unspecified injury. Taylor lost four of its final five games to finish with an overall record of 3-5 and did not qualify for the 6A playoffs. Eagles finished his senior season with 15 catches for 230 yards and 4 TDs. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 6, 2018 in San Antonio. The speedy 6’3.5” 215-pound Eagles is currently rated by the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s #31 recruit and #6 wide receiver, and the state of Texas’s #4 recruit.
LB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy - Bradenton, Florida)
Adeoye committed to Texas in early June, and transferred from St. Louis-area school Ritenour to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida in July. He was part of an absurdly talent-laden defense for an IMG team that finished 8-0, beat multiple state- and nationally-ranked opponents, and spent the entire season as the #2 team in the USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings. Ayodele was credited with 25 tackles and one sack for the season. He is currently ranked as the nation’s #110 recruit and the #4 inside linebacker prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite ratings.
LB Byron Hobbs (Fort Worth Eastern Hills)
Hobbs was injured in his team’s second game this season and did not play again until seven weeks later. His team struggled in his absence and finished the season with a 4-6 overall record and did not qualify for the 5A playoffs. Hobbs is a three-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite ratings, and he is ranked as the state’s #47 recruit and the nation’s #25 outside linebacker prospect.