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Texas football commits in action, Oct. 4-6

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Nine different UT commits scored touchdowns in last week’s games, and this week promises more big performances from #fUTure19.

Texas defensive end commit Peter Mpagi (Richmond George Ranch) gets into his stance during his team’s Sept. 15, 2018 game versus Clear Springs.
Mike Craven (HookEm.com)

Last Friday, the Texas Longhorns’ two quarterback commits combined to throw just three incomplete passes (albeit in roughly three quarters of play), wide receiver commit Jake Smith had over 200 yards from scrimmage on less than ten touches, and nine different commits scored touchdowns. And the #fUTure19 member with the most rushing/receiving yards for the night was... a defensive back commit? Of course it was!

The teams of three commits had byes last week, and four others will have their bye this week. Unlike last week when every UT commit on the schedule had a Friday night game, this week will feature a pair of Thursday tilts and two Saturday evening games. Hopefully the two commits playing on Saturday night will by then be celebrating a win by their future team over a certain Norman, Oklahoma-based college.

I’ve got my usual notes and schedules for this week’s games involving UT commits below, and the game times listed are for each game’s local time.

But with this being Hate Week and all, before we get into those notes, this column will pause for an important message from 2019 QB commit Roschon Johnson.

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2020 QB Hudson Card (Lake Travis)

Last week: Completed 18 of 21 passes for 249 yards and 4 touchdowns, and had 4 carries for 91 yards and one TD in a 66-21 win over Austin High.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:30, vs. Kyle Lehman
Notes: In the four complete games Lake Travis has played this season (one was canceled before halftime due to lightning), Hudson Card has completed 76% of his passes and thrown for 15 touchdowns and no interceptions. He accounted for five total TDs in last week’s win over Austin High, as the Lake Travis Cavaliers built a 52-7 halftime lead. Card and other Lake Travis starters have sat out the second half of a few games already this season, but last week Card’s night was reportedly done before the end of the 2nd quarter.

Expect to see a similar result on Friday when Lake Travis takes on 0-4 Kyle Lehman, which lost to Austin High 47-14 three weeks ago. Lake Travis and Lehman were district opponents in the previous four seasons, and the Cavaliers won each of those four matchups by a combined score of 231-14.

Lake Travis is 4-0 and maintains its #2 ranking in this week’s AP poll for Class 6A, as well as its #8 spot in the USA Today Super 25 Expert rankings.

QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)

Last week: Completed 8 of 8 passes for 158 yards and one TD, and also had a rushing TD in a 49-28 win over Baytown Lee.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:30, vs. Vidor
Notes: Port Neches-Groves’ district-opener versus Baytown Lee last week saw Roschon Johnson return to the field for the first time since spraining an ankle three weeks earlier in a loss to Huntsville.

PN-G scored touchdowns on all three of its 1st quarter possessions, and Johnson set up the latter two scores with pass completions that covered 51 and 75 yards. But Johnson was injured when he completed a 6-yard TD pass with 0:52 left in the 1st quarter and did not return to the game.

In Johnson’s absence, Lee cut the deficit from 21-0 to 21-14 by halftime. But sophomore Blake Bost was inserted at QB in the second half (after senior Grant managed to complete just 4 of 9 passes after replacing Johnson in the 2nd quarter) and he proceeded to complete 7 of 8 passes and threw for a pair of TDs in a 21-point 3rd quarter that gave PN-G a 42-21 cushion going into the 4th. Lee got to within 42-28 less than three minutes into the 4th quarter, but a 2-yard TD run by Bost gave PN-G a 49-28 lead with 5:38 left in regulation.

PN-G is 1-0 in district play and will next face Vidor, which is 3-1 overall and suffered its first loss last week when it took state-ranked Crosby to three overtimes before falling 42-36. I have heard no definitive word on Johnson’s status for Friday’s game.

RB Derrian Brown (Buford, Georgia)

Last week: Rushed for 84 yards and a TD in a 49-0 win over Gainesville Johnson.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:30, at Athens (Georgia) Cedar Shoals
Notes: Derrian Brown nearly outgained the Johnson Knights by himself last Friday, despite only playing one half of football. He ran for 84 yards and a TD in helping his Buford Wolves take a 35-0 halftime lead, and Buford’s defense held Johnson to just 97 offensive yards.

Buford improved to 4-2 overall with the win and started off regional (Georgia’s equivalent to district) play 1-0. Buford is Class 5A’s third-ranked team in this week’s Georgia Sports Writers Association poll, and its only two losses have come at the hands of Archer (Georgia’s 5th-ranked 7A team) and Deerfield Beach (Florida’s #1 team in Class 8A).

Buford will travel to face fellow 4-2 team Cedar Shoals on Friday. Cedar Shoals’s two losses both came by 7 points. The teams faced each other in both of the past two seasons, with Buford winning both contests by a combined score of 112-14.

WR De’Mariyon Houston (Oklahoma City Millwood)

Last week: Had one receiving TD in a 44-22 win over Norman Community Christian School
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:00, vs. Washington
Notes: De’Mariyon Houston’s Millwood team, Oklahoma’s top-ranked 2A squad, got an unexpectedly tough game from a Community Christian team that was winless a season ago and has never reached the playoffs since joining the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association four years ago. The teams were tied at 8-8 late in the 2nd quarter when Houston hauled in a TD catch “right before the buzzer” to give Millwood a 14-8 halftime lead, according to the Norman Transcript.

Community Christian scored first in the 3rd quarter to briefly take a 15-14 lead before Millwood re-took the lead. Millwood led only 30-22 early in the 4th quarter before pulling away for a 44-22 win. The 22 points for Community Christian were the most Millwood has allowed in a game since its 56-33 win over Tulsa Victory Christian in the 2016 2A state championship.

Millwood improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in district play. On Friday the Falcons will play Washington in a re-match of last year’s 2A state championship game, which Millwood won 42-7. Washington is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in district play and has outscored its first five opponents 177-32.

WR Jake Smith (Notre Dame Prep - Scottsdale, Arizona)

Last week: Caught 6 passes for 169 yards and 2 TDs, had 3 carries for 43 yards and scored on a two-point conversion run in a 52-19 win over Tempe McClintock.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:00, at Scottsdale Horizon
Notes: It was just another average game for Jake Smith: 212 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 9 offensive touches in last Friday’s 52-19 win over McClintock. No big deal. Smith has not added any recent highlights to his Hudl page but he shows up in the first two plays of this highlight video from the Notre Dame-McClintock game.

Smith now has 26 total touchdowns for the season, and his Notre Dame Prep team is 7-0 and ranked 4th in Arizona’s Class 5A. Notre Dame has scored at least 41 points in every game except one. The Saints are 2-0 in Northeast Valley section play and will next face Scottsdale Horizon, which is on a three-game winning streak after starting its 2018 season with three straight losses. Horizon and Notre Dame prep have faced two common opponents so far: Phoenix Sunnyslope (who Notre Dame beat 41-27 and Horizon beat 42-28) and Tempe McClintock (who Notre Dame beat 52-19 last week, and Horizon beat 58-7 two weeks before that). Despite their campuses being just six miles apart, Notre Dame and Horizon have not played each other in football since 2012.

WR Jordan Whittington (Cuero)

Last week: Did not play in a 43-21 win over Wharton.
This week: Bye
Notes: Cuero beat rival Wharton last week for the third straight year, and for the fifth time in the span of seven seasons. Jordan Whittington did not play and has yet to make his 2018 season debut, owing to a groin injury that has nagged him since the spring.

Cuero is 4-1 and has a bye this week, then will play the first of its five district games on October 12.

TE Brayden Liebrock (Chandler, Arizona)

Last week: Caught 6 passes for 104 yards and one TD in a 45-34 win over Gilbert (Arizona) Perry.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:00, vs. Phoenix (Arizona) Brophy College Prep
Notes: In a matchup that sounds like the answer in a word association game as given by a fan of the TV sitcom Friends, Chandler beat Perry last Friday 45-34 in a re-match of last year’s Arizona 6A state championship (which Chandler won 49-42).

Brayden Liebrock had by far his most productive game of the season, catching 6 passes for 104 yards and a TD. His touchdown came on a five-yard reception with 33 seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter and gave Chandler a 23-7 lead at halftime. It was one of four TD passes on the night for Chandler’s senior QB Jacob Conover, a BYU commit.

Chandler scored early in the 3rd quarter to extend its lead to 30-7. The teams traded scores for the rest of the 3rd quarter, then in the 4th quarter Chandler got a safety and a TD run from senior running back DeCarlos Brooks, a California commit who finished the night with 43 carries (not a typo!) for 246 yards and 2 TDs. Brooks’s 4th quarter TD gave Chandler its biggest lead of the night at 45-20 with 6:58 left in regulation. Gilbert scored twice in the game’s final six minutes to make the final score more respectable.

The win was Chandler’s fifth straight victory and gave the Wolves a 1-0 start to sectional play. They are the top-ranked team in 6A and this week re-entered the USA Today Super 25 expert rankings at #24, after falling out of that national ranking following their season-opening loss to Corona (California) Centennial, the current #10 team in the nation.

Chandler has wins over Arizona’s current #3 and #5 teams in 6A, and next week will play #9 Chandler Basha. But before that they will face 5-1 Phoenix Brophy College Prep, whose head coach is former NFL quarterback and recent former Waxahachie (Texas) head coach Jon Kitna. Brophy College Prep lost 7-0 in its season-opener to 6A’s current #6 team Peoria Liberty, but has beaten its six subsequent opponents by an average margin of 29 points. Chandler beat Brophy College Prep in each of the previous three seasons by an average margin of 33 points.

TE Jared Wiley (Temple)

Last week: Bye
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:30, vs. Belton
Notes: Temple is coming off a bye and will play local rival Belton on Friday. The Temple Wildcats are 4-0 overall and 2-0 in district play, and have faced nary a challenge so far this season. Belton is 3-0 in district play and has won four straight game overall since a season-opening 38-17 loss to Austin Westlake, the 10th-ranked team in Class 6A in this week’s AP poll. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football ranks Temple 13th in 6A.

Temple has beaten Belton five straight times, dating back to 2011. The two teams have a pair of common opponents this season in Killeen schools Harker Heights and Shoemaker. Temple beat those two by a combined score of 87-6, while Belton (who played each school the week after Temple did) won both of those games by a combined 90-34.

OL Tyler Johnson (Conroe Oak Ridge)

Last week: Credited with ten pancake blocks in a 49-14 win over Klein Forest.
This week: Bye
Notes: Six different players scored touchdowns as Oak Ridge gained 405 total yards and scored three TDs rushing, three TDs passing, and one TD on a kickoff return to run all over Klein Forest for a 49-14 win. Oak Ridge improved to 2-3 with the win, and more importantly got its first district win after dropping the first two games on its district schedule. At 1-2, Oak Ridge is in a three-way tie for fifth place in District 15-6A and every game going forward will be critical if the War Eagles are to finish in the top four out of their nine-team district and qualify for the playoffs.

Oak Ridge has a bye this week, then will play The Woodlands College Park on October 12.

OL Javonne Shepherd (Houston North Forest)

Last week: Team lost to Houston Wheatley 33-28.
This week: Saturday, October 6 at 6:00, vs. Navasota
Notes: North Forest fell to 1-4 overall after last week’s loss to Wheatley, which also got them off to a 0-1 start to district play. The Bulldogs will try to get back in the win column when they take on Navasota Saturday night. Earlier in the present decade Navasota had six straight seasons with double-digit win totals and won a state championship as recently as four years ago, but the Rattlers have gone 9-18 since the start of the 2016 season and are 1-4 midway through their 2018 campaign.

DE Peter Mpagi (Richmond George Ranch)

Last week: Team beat Clute Brazoswood 44-7.
This week: Thursday, October 4 at 7:00, vs. Alief Hastings
Notes: George Ranch gained over 500 offensive yards and five different players scored TDs in last Friday’s 44-7 win over Brazoswood in its district opener. The George Ranch Longhorns will attempt to improve to 2-0 tonight when they play Alief Hastings, which has a 3-1 overall record. Hastings beat George Ranch 31-24 when the teams played a year ago, but George Ranch has won the other three matchups between the two schools. The winner of their four games has scored between 31 and 36 points every time.

DE T’Vondre Sweat (Huntsville)

Last week: Made five sacks in a 27-7 win over A&M Consolidated.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:30, vs. Cleveland
Notes: T’Vondre Sweat was dominant last Friday, as Huntsville won its first district game and upset A&M Consolidated, which went into the contest as the 8th-ranked team in Class 5A. Mike Craven of the Austin American-Statesman was in attendance and issued this update on Sweat’s performance during the 4th quarter:

In case this is the first post in this series that you’ve read this season, here’s a brief summary of Sweat’s senior season so far: he’s a three-star recruit beast!

Sweat and his Huntsville Hornets teammates will host Cleveland on Friday night. Cleveland is 0-4 and has put just 15 points on the board during the current season.

LB De’Gabriel Floyd (Westlake - Westlake Village, California)

Last week: Scored on a rushing TD in a 20-14 loss to Calabasas.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:00, at Ventura (California) St. Bonaventure (at Ventura College)
Notes: After running to a 5-0 start right out of the gate, Westlake has stumbled to two straight losses, most recently a 20-14 defeat to Marmonte League opponent Calabasas last Friday. It was the second time in as many weeks that Calabasas had to come back from a 14-point halftime deficit to get the win.

Westlake led 14-0 at halftime, but was outscored 20-0 the rest the way. De’Gabriel Floyd scored in the 2nd quarter on a 7-yard TD run.

The loss dropped Westlake from #7 to #9 in this week’s CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll. The Warriors will next face a 6-1 St. Bonaventure team that is ranked 6th in Division 4 of the CIF Southern Section. Westlake has played St. Bonaventure every year since 2009 and has won six of the last eight matchups, including the two most recent ones.

For a fun 13 minutes’ worth of ball-tracking and hard-hitting, check out De’Gabriel Floyd’s senior highlights below.

LB David Gbenda (Katy Cinco Ranch)

Last week: Made 6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and one sack, and had 5 carries for 8 yards and 2 TDs in a 44-28 win over Katy Mayde Creek.
This week: Saturday, October 6 at 7:00, at Katy Morton Ranch
Notes: This is David Gbenda’s first appearance in these posts, as he announced his commitment to Texas on Sunday. In five games this season he has been credited with a team-leading 36 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks.

Last Friday he made plays on both sides of the ball to help his Cinco Ranch team earn its first win of the season. The win over fellow Katy ISD school Mayde Creek also got Cinco Ranch off to a 1-0 start to district play.

Cinco Ranch led 24-0 at halftime and scored in the first minute of the second half to go up 30-0, but Mayde Creek made a game of it by scoring the game’s next 28 points in the span of just over eight minutes of game time. Mayde Creek scored for the final time twenty seconds into the 4th quarter, but still trailed 30-28 after a failed two-point conversion. Cinco Ranch iced the game with a pair of TDs in the final 7:04 of the game while its defense stopped Mayde Creek on a pair of 4th down conversion attempts.

Gbenda scored Cinco Ranch’s first two TDs on a pair of 1-yard runs, one with 4:02 left in the 1st quarter and the second with 7:40 left in the 2nd. Cinco Ranch’s senior QB Cameron Harper rushed for 211 yards and four TDs.

Cinco Ranch began this season with a very uncharacteristic 0-4 start, losing to four good teams that currently have a combined record of 16-3, and two of those losses came by two points or less. Its next loss will represent the most L’s Cinco Ranch has had in one season since its 5-6 finish in 2007. Cinco Ranch has reached the playoffs in 12 consecutive years and its program has been easily the second-most successful in Katy ISD behind the Katy Tigers, who have won ten or more games in 23 of the past 26 seasons.

The Cougars have a Saturday evening game this week with Katy Morton Ranch, which is 3-2 but 0-1 in district play. Morton Ranch last finished with a winning record in 2013 and has never won a playoff game in its 12 varsity seasons. Cinco Ranch is 11-1 all-time in its meetings with Morton Ranch.

LB Marcus Tillman (Jones - Orlando, Florida)

Last week: Team defeated Orlando Bishop Moore 50-14.
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:00, at Winter Garden (Florida) West Orange
Notes: Jones forced five turnovers and scored TDs off two of them in its 50-14 win over Bishop Moore last Friday. Jones led 24-7 at halftime, with Bishop Moore’s lone first half score coming on a 61-yard fumble return in the final minute of the 2nd quarter, and Bishop Moore scored its one and only offensive TD half-way through the 3rd quarter.

Jones improved to 4-1 overall, and the win over Bishop Moore gave the Fightin’ Tigers a win in their first district game. Before playing their next district game they will have two more non-district games, and the first of those is Friday night against 8A program West Orange, which finished just outside the top ten of that classification in this week’s AP poll. West Orange is 5-1 and one week removed from a one-point victory over Wekiva, which was Class 8A’s 2nd-ranked team at the time. That Wekiva team beat Jones 17-3 six weeks ago to give them their only loss of the season thus far.

Jones is currently the 6th-ranked team in Class 5A. Jones beat West Orange in each of the past two seasons. West Orange’s offense includes Duke wide receiver commit Darrell Harding.

DB Chris Adimora (Mayfair - Lakewood, California)

Last week: Caught 9 passes for 312 yards (not a typo!) and 3 TDs, and made three tackles in a 51-41 loss to La Canada (California) St. Francis.
This week: Bye
Notes: Chris Adimora has been doing double-duty at safety and wide receiver this season, and though he’s had a few long TD receptions, he had never had a performance even approaching his performance last Friday against St. Francis. Adimora hauled in 9 catches for 312 yards and a trio of TDs. With that one game he doubled his season receptions total, more than doubled his receiving yardage total (which was 213 going into the day) and raised his season TD total to 7 (he has also had at least 3 TDs called back due to penalties this season).

Adimora’s heroics weren’t enough to bring Mayfair a victory, as the Monsoons fell 51-41. The loss to Division 2 team St. Francis left Mayfair with a 5-2 overall record, and it fell from 5th to 7th in this week’s CIF Southern Section Division 6 poll. Mayfair will close its regular season with its three Suburban League games, the first of which will be Friday night against Norwalk, a team that reached the Division 9 playoffs a year ago but which is 0-7 this season.

Mayfair and Norwalk are less than 5 miles apart and have played each other annually for many years. Mayfair has won each of the last three matchups between them.

DB Marques Caldwell (Alvin)

Last week: Bye
This week: Friday, October 5 at 7:00, vs. Houston Clear Lake
Notes: Marques Caldwell and the Alvin Yellowjackets got a much-needed bye last week after losing their previous two games by a combined 143-14. Alvin is 0-4 for the first time since the 2008 season and will open district play on Friday night against 1-4 Houston Clear Lake. Alvin last beat Clear Lake in 2011 and has lost 7 of the last 8 matchups between the two schools, dating back to 2006.

DB Tyler Owens (Plano East)

Last week: Team beat Prosper 26-14.
This week: Bye
Notes: Tyler Owens and the Plano East Panthers had another strong defensive performance to get the team to a 5-0 start. The Panthers held previously unbeaten Prosper to 252 total yards and forced three turnovers. Our own Joe Hamilton was at the game and wrote a piece on Tyler Owens and his recruitment that was posted yesterday.

Plano East led 26-7 at halftime and was slated to receive the second half kickoff, but Prosper attempted and recovered an onside kick and scored three plays later to cut the deficit to 26-14. But after that, Prosper’s remaining possessions ended thus: punt, turnover on downs, punt, punt, interception, turnover on downs (on the game’s final play).

With that 5-0 start infusing its supporters with a confidence akin to that of Ray Jackson talking smack to Chong Li in Bloodsport, Plano East fans reportedly chanted, “We want Allen” after the game. Plano East has a bye this week before traveling to Allen on October 12. That would be the same Allen that is the defending 6A Division I state champion, has lost just three games since the start of the 2012 season(!), has spent this entire season ranked atop Class 6A, and is #4 nationally in this week’s USA Today Super 25 expert rankings.

DB Kenyatta Watson (Grayson - Loganville, Georgia)

Last week: Bye
This week: Thursday, October 4 at 7:30, vs. Snellville (Georgia) Shiloh
Notes: Grayson had a bye last week after losing 26-14 in its previous game to Georgia’s top-ranked 7A team, Colquitt County. The Grayson Rams are 3-2 for the year and ranked 4th in 7A in this week’s Georgia Sports Writers Association poll.

Grayson plays its first regional game tonight when it hosts Shiloh. Shiloh, with a 2-4 record, has already doubled last season’s win total, but it has finished with as many as five wins just once in at least the past 14 seasons. Grayson has won 13 straight games against Shiloh, dating back to 2005, and the Rams have held Shiloh to seven points or less in 10 of those 13 games, including all of the five most recent matchups, which Grayson won by an average score of 55-5.