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Texas Longhorn commits: Playoff round 3 preview

One Longhorn commit plays for a state title this weekend, while nine others hope to survive the 3rd round of the Texas playoffs.

NCAA Football: Texas at Southern California
Freshman TE Cade Brewer was the Longhorns’ only 2017 signee to play for a UIL state championship team (Lake Travis, 2016 6A Division I).
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the Thanksgiving holiday there were ten Texas Longhorn football commits whose season had not yet ended. One week later, the teams for each of those ten still have at least one game left in their season. That’s the first time in my three seasons of writing these preview posts that every Longhorn commit’s team that reached the second round of the playoffs all won in the same week.

While Rondale Moore’s team plays for a Kentucky state championship this weekend, nine of his future teammates have games in the third round of the Texas playoffs. Four of last week’s victors won by eight points or less, and there will be more very tough matchups for some of them this week. Adding to the playoff intrigue, four teams with UT commits will be playing in re-matches against teams they faced in the 2016 postseason.

Six commits will play tonight (Friday), three more on Saturday, and one on Sunday. So while the regular season for your Texas Longhorns is now over, the next batch of Longhorns are still fighting to keep their season going, as they aim to reach the Texas state championships in three weeks. Below is my weekly recap of last week’s action, and where Tom Herman’s future charges will be taking the field this weekend.

2018 Texas Longhorn football commits in the playoffs

RB Keaontay Ingram (Carthage)

Last week: Had 15 carries for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 45-21 win over Freeport Brazosport in the area round of the 4A Division I playoffs.

This week: Friday, December 1 at 7:30, vs. Silsbee (at Lufkin’s Martin Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the 4A Division I playoffs.

Notes: In the area round last week against Brazosport, Carthage put the game away early, accumulating 390 total yards in the first half alone and building a 38-7 lead going into the 3rd quarter. Ingram scored Carthage’s first and last touchdowns, opening the scoring with a 6-yard TD run barely a minute into the game, and later adding a 35-yard TD run early in the 3rd quarter that gave Carthage a 45-7 lead.

Trailing 31-7 and facing 4th down at their own 32-yard line with less than thirty seconds left in the 2nd quarter, Brazosport made what they probably considered a “what do we have to lose?” decision and went for it, but turned the ball over on downs, leaving Carthage with great field position and just enough time to tack on another score before the half. After his TD run on Carthage’s first possession of the 3rd quarter, Ingram sat out the rest of the game, as did most of his fellow starters.

Carthage has now won 22 straight games dating back to last season, and that’s only the second-longest current winning streak involving the team of a Longhorn commit (see: next entry). Through 12 games, Keaontay Ingram has compiled 1,862 yards from scrimmage and scored 29 total touchdowns, despite sitting out most or all of the second half for some of Carthage’s blowout wins. Carthage’s offense has been far from a one-man show, as Ingram’s cousin, fellow senior Dewaylon Ingram (a Sam Houston State commit) has 49 receptions for 887 yards and 12 TDs, and two other receivers both have at least 39 catches and over 790 yards from scrimmage.

Carthage’s round 3 opponent is Silsbee, a team that began the 2017 season 1-4 but has since won six straight games and entered the playoffs as the champion of District 10-4A Division I. Silsbee played and lost to a pair of highly-ranked foes early in the season. In their season-opener on September 8, the Tigers lost 41-17 to Newton (which finished the regular season as the #4 team in Class 3A), and three weeks later they fell 34-17 to defending 4A Division II state champion West Orange-Stark (which spent most of the season as 4A’s #2 team behind Carthage).

Carthage and Silsbee had two mutual opponents during the regular season: Center and Huffman Hargrave. Carthage beat Center 42-12 in district play, and beat Hargrave 46-10 in the playoffs. Silsbee beat Center 37-17 in the playoffs, and beat Hargrave 62-30 in district play. The two schools have faced each other in the playoffs five previous times, and this will be their fifth postseason matchup in the span of six seasons. Carthage won their 2012 and 2013 playoff tilts handily, but the combined margin of their 2015 and 2016 playoff victories over Silsbee was ten points, while Silsbee’s only postseason win over the Bulldogs came in 1998.

WR Rondale Moore (Trinity - Louisville, Kentucky)

Last week: Caught one pass for 5 yards, had two carries for 4 yards, and returned a punt 58 yards for a TD in a 49-3 win over Central Hardin in the semifinal round of the Kentucky 6A playoffs.

This week: Sunday, December 3 at 2:00 (Eastern Time), vs. Louisville St. Xavier (at Lexington’s Kroger Field) in the 6A state championship.

Notes: Moore wasn’t his usually productive self, but his Trinity teammates waltzed to an easy win over a 10-win Central Hardin team last week to bring the program to within a win of its 25th football state championship.

Central Hardin’s first drive ended with a field goal, but they never scored again and Trinity held them to just 95 total yards for the game. Moore’s 58-yard punt return TD - described as “electrifying” by Louisville Catholic Sports - came with 9:53 left in the 2nd quarter and gave Trinity a 28-3 lead.

In Kentucky high school football, the games move to a running clock when the point differential reaches 36 points. Trinity’s games have ended with a running clock numerous times this season, and in last week’s 6A state semifinal it took them less than two full quarters. Trinity’s final TD of the first half gave them a 42-3 lead with 3:09 left in the 2nd quarter, and the rest of the game was played under a running clock.

Trinity has now won 29 straight games and will play for its 25th state championship on Sunday afternoon. The Shamrocks’ opponent, longtime local rival St. Xavier, will be aiming for its 13th state championship. Trinity and St. Xavier are about six miles apart and both are all-boys Catholic high schools. Their football teams have faced each other at least once in every season since 1956 (Trinity’s first season to have a senior class), and their rivalry has been described as the best in Kentucky high school football. The schools have played each other for a state championship five previous times, most recently in 2009 (St. Xavier won 34-10), and Trinity has a 3-2 edge in those games.

Texas high school football fans who annually attend or watch on TV the UIL’s late December state championship games are familiar with the huge crowds that fill Arlington’s AT&T Stadium in those weekends, with the biggest games often drawing 30,000-40,000 or more attendees. This gives high school football aficionados in Texas a lot of pride and many will take to Twitter or message boards to scoff at the comparatively meager crowds that state championship games in other states regularly draw. For example, Florida’s eight FHSAA state championship games in 2016 (which were all held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on the same weekend in December) had an official attendance of 33,082...combined. But the crowd for the Bluegrass State’s 6A final this weekend probably won’t be one Lone Star State natives can sneeze at.

When Trinity beat St. Xavier 28-0 on September 29 at Louisville’s Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the game drew an estimated attendance of 24,000. For a regular season game! Even with this weekend’s 6A state final being played in Lexington some 75 miles away from both schools, and with the game having an unusual Sunday afternoon kickoff, I’d bet on Trinity and St. Xavier’s re-match for the KHSAA 6A state championship being among the more well-attended state championship games across the country this month.

Lexington last hosted Kentucky’s football championships in 1976. Kentucky’s state finals were played in Bowling Green on the campus of Western Kentucky from 2009 to 2016, and only one state championship game at any level in that period was played before more than 10,000 spectators, but over 15,000 attended the 2007 6A final between Trinity and St. Xavier in Louisville, and over 21,000 watched those two schools play for the 4A state title in 2005, 2003, and 1997 (all of those games were also played in Louisville).

WR Al’Vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar)
DB D’Shawn Jamison (Houston Lamar)

Last week: Woodard caught 2 passes for 21 yards, and Jamison returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown, had one carry for an 8-yard TD, intercepted a pass, and made 3 tackles in a 36-29 win over Fort Bend Ridge Point in the area round of the 6A Division I playoffs.

This week: Friday, December 1 at 7:00, vs. Galena Park North Shore (at Houston’s Rice Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the 6A Division I playoffs.

Notes: Facing a loaded Ridge Point team in last week’s area round, Lamar committed two turnovers, was assessed 14 penalties, and was outgained by over 200 yards on offense, but still managed to escape with a 36-29 win. Lamar only gained 162 yards of total offense, but the Texans scored two of their five touchdowns on kickoff returns.

D’Shawn Jamison returned the game’s opening kickoff for an 82-yard score to give Lamar an early 7-0 lead. Two field goals and a 41-yard TD catch by four-star tight end Mustapha Muhammad (a Michigan commit) gave Ridge Point a 13-7 lead in the first minute of the 2nd quarter.

The teams exchanged the lead four times afterward, with D’Shawn Jamison reclaiming the lead for Lamar with an 8-yard TD run with 3:36 left in the 2nd quarter. Ridge Point drove deep into Lamar territory on its next possession before Jamison intercepted a pass, but when he fumbled the ball on the return it was picked up for a three-yard return TD with 0:53 left in the quarter by Ridge Point’s senior RB/LB Chad Bailey, a Missouri commit. But the ensuing kickoff was returned for a 69-yard TD by Lamar sophomore Alex Hogan, and a successful two-point conversion gave the Texans a slim 22-19 lead going into halftime.

Ridge Point tied the game midway through the 3rd quarter on a 40-yard field goal, but Lamar re-took the lead at 29-22 with 1:41 left in the 3rd quarter on the first of Isaiah Iberto’s two second half TD runs, and the Texans never trailed again. Ridge Point cut the deficit to seven points late in regulation and had possession of the ball in Lamar territory in the game’s final seconds, but ultimately ran out of time (BON’s Aggie readers can no doubt sympathize).

Lamar’s regional semifinal opponent is longtime Greater Houston powerhouse North Shore. Lamar and North Shore have both produced dozens of Division I football athletes in the past decade and a half, and both have sent multiple players to the 40 Acres. Lamar alums Drew Kelson, Brian Orakpo, John Bonney, and Holton Hill have worn the burnt orange, as have North Shore standouts Chykie Brown, Trey Hopkins, Barrett Matthews, Sedrick Flowers, and Tristian Houston. It would make for a heck of an alumni game if those two schools ever organized one.

North Shore has won at least one playoff game in 18 consecutive postseasons, and the Mustangs have now advanced to the third round of the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year. They have a 8-3 overall record in 2017, with those losses coming against a trio of teams that have also reached the third round of their respective playoff brackets: Spring Westfield, Manvel, and Humble Atascocita, schools that currently sport a combined record of 32-1. Since their 38-21 loss to Atascocita on October 13, North Shore has beaten six consecutive opponents by an average margin of 41 points.

Lamar and North Shore have both been perennial playoff teams for two decades, but have only met in the postseason on two previous occasions. North Shore eliminated Lamar in the third round in 1996, and seven years later a North Shore team once described as the “#1 high school football team of the MaxPreps era” beat Lamar in the third round of the 2003 5A Division I playoffs en route to the program’s first state championship.

This Lamar-North Shore regional semifinal game will be played tonight at Rice Stadium. Any bets that it will draw more than the 19,354 fans that the Rice Owls averaged for their five home games in the 2017 season?

OL Reese Moore (Seminole)

Last week: Caught one pass for nine yards in a 29-27 win over Iowa Park in the area round of the 4A Division II playoffs.

This week: Friday, December 1 at 7:00, vs. Bushland (at Lubbock’s Lowrey Field) in the regional semifinal round of the 4A Division II playoffs.

Notes: Seminole went into last week’s area round game against 7-4 Iowa Park as the owner of a 10-game winning streak. The Indians looked like they might coast to an 11th straight victory when they went into halftime with a 29-7 lead. But Iowa Park made a late rally, courtesy of three touchdowns by senior running back Billy Pearson. Pearson, who had 21 carries for 180 yards on the night. Pearson ran for a short TD in the final minute of the 3rd quarter to cut Iowa Park’s deficit to 29-14, and later scored twice in the game’s final 2:15. The latter TD came on a 60-yard run with 0:59 left in regulation and gave Iowa Park a chance to tie the game, but Pearson was stopped on an attempted two-point conversion, and Seminole preserved a precarious 29-27 lead.

With the win over Iowa Park, Seminole advanced to the third round of the playoffs for a second consecutive year, something the Indians had never done before. To advance to the fourth round, Seminole will have to slow down a high-powered Bushland attack that has averaged 45 points per game this season. In last week’s 58-20 area round win over Godley, Bushland’s senior quarterback Colten Moore passed for 314 yards, rushed for another 154 yards, and accounted for six total TDs.

Bushland is 10-2 overall and won the championship of District 1-4A Division II. Seminole and Bushland have never faced each other in the playoffs. Bushland, which is a short distance west of Amarillo, opened its high school in 2005 and played its first varsity football season in 2006, and has failed to make the playoffs only twice. The Falcons’ 2009 team advanced all the way to the 2A Division II state final, where they were routed 62-14 by a Daingerfield team that included future Texas Longhorns Steve Edmond and Chris Jones.

Fun fact, during its ninth year of existence, Bushland High School had not one but two alums taken in the first 99 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft: offensive lineman Weston Richburg (#43 overall) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (#99 overall). Pretty remarkable for a Texas panhandle school that was in Class 2A at the time.

Like Seminole, Bushland is currently on a long winning streak after starting off its season with a loss. Two losses, in Bushland’s case. The Falcons lost 47-23 in Week One to Canadian (the #5 team in Class 3A), then fell the next week in a high-scoring matchup with Class 5A program Amarillo Caprock, 52-49. Since then they have won ten straight games by an average margin of 28 points.

DT Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield)

Last week: Made 7 tackles and one tackle for loss in a 47-3 win over San Marcos in the area round of the 6A Division II playoffs

This week: Saturday, December 2 at 2:00, vs. Lufkin (at Porter’s Texan Drive Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the 6A Division II playoffs

Notes: San Marcos’s senior QB Prudy Calderon (a Rice commit) went into last week’s area round game with Westfield averaging just shy of 160 rushing yards per game. Westfield held him to a season-low 20 yards on 23 carries. The Mustangs rolled up nearly 600 yards of total offense while limiting San Marcos to just 64 total yards.

Westfield advanced to the third round with their resounding win, and on Saturday afternoon gets to face 10-2 Lufkin, the runner-up of District 12-6A and a team that is in the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Lufkin had lost in the first round of the playoffs in seven of its previous eight seasons going into this fall.

Westfield and Lufkin have been playoff opponents twice before, with each team winning one of those meetings. Westfield eliminated Lufkin in the first round in 2011, 30-27, and ten years before that, eventual 5A Division II state champion Lufkin beat Westfield in the fourth round of the 2001 playoffs, 26-19.

DB B.J. Foster (Angleton)

Last week: Team defeated Boerne-Champion 69-7 in the area round of the 5A Division I playoffs.

This week: Friday, December 1 at 7:30, vs. Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (at San Marcos’s Bobcat Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the 5A Division I playoffs.

Notes: Once again, Foster did not show up in the box score for Angleton’s game. And for the fourth straight game, his absence made little difference, as Angleton rolled over Boerne-Champion in the area round 69-7. It was the Wildcats’ fifth win of the season by 60 or more points.

Angleton led 42-0 at halftime and scored three touchdowns each in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarters. Champion scored its only TD with 5:20 left in the 3rd. Angleton scored eight offensive touchdowns, one on a 1st quarter pick-six, and one on a 4th quarter punt return. Senior running back TaMerik Williams, an SMU commit, was Angleton’s top offensive playmaker in Foster’s absence, scoring four touchdowns and gaining 226 yards from scrimmage on 16 touches.

This is the seventh time in ten seasons that Angleton has reached the third round of the playoffs. Angleton’s regional semifinal opponent is 10-1 Corpus Christi Flour Bluff, which finished with the second-best record in the south zone of District 30-5A. Angleton is in Region 4 instead of their usual Region 3, so a third round matchup against a south Texas/coastal bend team is new for them; they have never previously had a playoff game against any schools from Corpus Christi.

Flour Bluff’s roster includes senior offensive lineman James Bagnell, a Rice commit who moved to Corpus Christi from Pennsylvania earlier this year, senior running backs Simeon Wells (no relation to this writer) and Devin Burlingame, who both have over 1,000 rushing yards this season, and senior tight end/receiver Brendan Suckley, a high-grades, high-effort player who definitely would have made the shortlist for Unheralded Athlete of the Week had I continued that feature with this season’s posts.

Angleton head coach Ryan Roark said back in November that the recently-injured Foster needed time to recover but would be back “when we need him”. That time appears to be tonight, as an article at previewing the game indicates that Foster is slated to make his return. Angleton won its first two playoff games sans Foster by a combined score of 148-21.

DB Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele)

Last week: Made 12 tackles, caught one pass for five yards, and scored on a two-point conversion catch in a 36-18 win over Austin Vandegrift in the area round of the 6A Division II playoffs.

This week: Friday, December 1 at 7:30, vs. Weslaco East (at The Alamodome) in the regional semifinal round of the 6A Division II playoffs.

Notes: Steele continued its hot streak in last week’s area round, beating Vandegrift to win its seventh straight game since suffering the first four-game losing skid in program history early in the season. Steele got four total touchdowns from senior running back Brendan Brady, a Rice commit who has gained 900 yards from scrimmage and scored 11 touchdowns in Steele’s last four games.

Brady’s first TD, a 30-yard reception from freshman QB Wyatt Begeal came with 2:52 remaining in the 1st quarter, and Caden Sterns’s subsequent two-point conversion reception gave Steele a 8-0 lead. A touchdown and field goal in the first few minutes of the 2nd quarter gave Vandegrift a brief 10-8 lead, but Brady scored on two rushing TDs in the last four minutes of the first half to re-take the lead for Steele, and Vandegrift never got closer than nine points in the second half.

The win over Vandegrift advanced Steele to the third round of the playoffs for an eighth straight year. Their opponent will be a 9-3 Weslaco East team that finished in a three-way tie for second place in District 32-6A. This will not only be a re-match from last year’s regional semifinal round, but also the third time Steele and Weslaco East have met in the postseason; Steele beat East in the third round of the playoffs in both 2014 (48-17) and 2016 (56-0). East has reached the third round four previous times but has never advanced further than that. Steele, meanwhile, has reached at least the fourth round in seven consecutive seasons.

K Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis)

Last week: Made one of two field goal attempts and two of two PAT attempts, recovered his own onside kick, averaged 46.7 yards on three punts, and had four touchbacks on seven kickoffs in a 47-39 win over Converse Judson in the area round of the 6A Division I playoffs.

This week: Saturday, December 2 at 1:00, vs. Los Fresnos (at Los Fresnos’s Aguilar Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the 6A Division I playoffs.

Notes: Lake Travis atoned for one of their two regular season losses last week with a wild 47-39 comeback win over Converse Judson, which beat Lake Travis in Week One, 65-45.

It was a game of momentum switches, as both teams had extended runs to seize the lead at key moments. Lake Travis led 14-3 after a TD pass from Colorado State commit Matthew Baldwin to junior receiver (and recent recipient of a Texas offer) Garrett Wilson with 10:27 left in the 2nd quarter. Over the next six minutes Judson scored on a safety and got three TDs from senior QB Julon Williams (a Houston commit). Williams’s 35-yard TD pass to Kishaun Fisher with 4:25 left in the 2nd quarter gave Judson a 26-14 lead. A 48-yard Cameron Dicker field goal with 1:50 left in the half cut the deficit to 26-17, then Lake Travis outscored Judson 30-13 in the second half, and attempted two-point conversions instead of PATs following each of their four second half touchdowns.

Judson made it a one-possession game at 47-39 following a TD scored with 3:15 left in regulation, and recovered the ensuing onside kick to give them a chance to tie the game, but the Rockets turned the ball over on downs on their last possession. Garrett Wilson finished the game with 7 receptions for 129 yards and 3 TDs, ran four times for 25 yards and one TD, and scored on a two-point conversion reception following Lake Travis’s last TD, which gave them a 47-33 lead with 5:18 left in the 4th quarter.

Cameron Dicker did not attempt any PATs in the second half, but he got in on the game action after Garrett Wilson scored his third TD of the game to get Lake Travis to within 33-31 with 2:15 left in the 3rd quarter. Lake Travis attempted an onside kick following that Wilson score, and Dicker himself recovered it, though that possession ended with a missed 46-yard field goal attempt.

Lake Travis’s opponent in round three is Los Fresnos, a 9-3 team from far south Texas that finished in a three-way tie for 2nd place out of District 32-6A and reached the playoffs for a 13th straight season. Los Fresnos is currently on a five-game winning streak, and their three losses in the first month and a half of this season came by a combined margin of 16 points. Lake Travis and Los Fresnos met at this same point in the 2016 playoffs, and Lake Travis rolled to a 54-7 win. This is the seventh time in its history that Los Fresnos has reached the third round of the playoffs, and their sixth occasion in the span of 12 seasons, but their Falcons have never advanced to the fourth round. It would be a shock if that changed with tomorrow afternoon’s game.

2019 Texas Longhorn football commit in the playoffs

QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)

Last week: Completed 7 of 18 passes for 67 yards and one TD, and rushed 24 times for 193 yards and a TD in a 24-17 win over Texas City in the area round of the 5A Division II playoffs.

This week: Saturday, December 2 at 1:00, vs. College Station (at Humble’s Turner Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the 5A Division II playoffs.

Notes: Roschon Johnson rushed for nearly 200 yards in last week’s area round game against Texas City, but he had a very inefficient night as a passer, completing just 7 of 18 pass attempts. After accounting for at least four touchdowns in all of Port Neches-Groves’s first ten games, Johnson had only one passing TD and one rushing TD against Texas City, but PN-G still got the win to advance to the regional semifinals.

The two teams were even in terms of yardage and neither team averaged as much as ten yards per pass completion, but PN-G won the turnover battle 2-0, with a freak fumble late in the game ending a promising Texas City drive in heartbreaking fashion and allowing PN-G to ice the game.

PN-G led 10-3 at halftime and extended their lead to 17-3 on a TD pass from Johnson with 8:16 left in the 3rd quarter. Texas City found the end zone about two and a half minutes later, then tied the game at 17 after a TD run with 9:04 left in the 4th. Three Roschon Johnson runs covering 48 total yards got PN-G rolling on their ensuing possession, and that drive ended with a 18-yard TD run by Jose Ceja to give PN-G a 24-17 lead. Texas City advanced deep into PN-G territory with a chance to tie the game late, but according to the Houston Chronicle’s recap of the game, a Texas City ball-carrier ran for 18 yards from the PN-G 21-yard line and appeared to be bound for the end zone, but he “was tripped up and had a teammate run into him in a freak play that caused a fumble into the end zone, which PNG recovered for a touchback with 3:01 remaining.”

Johnson and his teammates successfully ran out the clock afterwards. For their efforts, the Indians were rewarded with a third round matchup with College Station, the team that ended their season in the third round of the 2016 playoffs by a score of 52-28. That 2016 College Station team won its first 14 games before having its season end with a 31-30 defeat in the state semifinal round to eventual 5A Division II state runner-up Corpus Christi Calallen. This is College Station’s third straight season to reach the third round.

This year’s College Station squad is 10-2 and has arguably played a much tougher overall slate of opponents than have the 10-1 Port Neches-Groves Indians. College Station’s two losses were a seven-point defeat in Week One to the current #3 team in Class 6A, Austin Westlake, and a 58-41 loss two weeks later to private school power Houston St. Pius X, a team that will play in the TAPPS Division I state semifinals on Saturday and whose roster includes at least six FBS commits.

College Station owns wins this season over Temple (last year’s 5A Division I state runner-up) and a very solid Georgetown team that they beat 34-31 in last week’s area round. The Cougars are quarterbacked by senior Marquez Perez, a Tulsa wide receiver commit.

Other 2018 Texas Longhorn football commits

All of the following players have concluded their seasons

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.

QB Casey Thompson (Newcastle, Oklahoma)

Thompson finished his senior season with 3,217 yards, 37 TDs and 9 interceptions passing, and 884 yards and 8 TDs rushing. His team finished 3-7 and did not qualify for the playoffs.

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.

TE Malcolm Epps (Spring Dekaney)

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. His team reached the 6A Division II playoffs but lost in the first round.

OL Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland)

Ghirmai’s team finished 7-4 overall and lost in the first round of the 5A Division I playoffs.

LB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy - Bradenton, Florida)

Ayodele was credited with 25 tackles and one sack while playing 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.

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 finished 4-6 and did not reach the 5A playoffs.

DB Jalen Green (Houston Heights)

Green finished his senior season 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. He suffered a broken collarbone in October and missed his team’s last four games. His team finished 6-3 overall and lost in the first round of the 6A Division II playoffs.

DB DeMarvion Overshown (Arp)

Arp finished 4-6 overall and lost to Newton (Class 3A’s 4th-ranked team) in the first round of the 3A Division II playoffs. I somehow neglected to recap that game in last week’s post, but the final score was 58-0 and the game was even more lopsided than that score indicates (Newton led 42-0 at halftime), so it’s one Overshown and the Arp faithful would probably rather forget. Arp beat Newton 13-6 in the regional finals of last year’s playoffs, so this year’s result represented a large serving of revenge for the Newton Eagles upon the Arp Tigers.