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Texas football commits in action, Sept. 20-22

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Several future Longhorns had good games last week, but rain will affect many of this week’s Texas high school games.

Texas 2019 linebacker commits Marcus Tillman (left) and De’Gabriel Floyd.
@MarcusTillmanJr

Last week was a fairly good one for Texas football recruits. The commits who actually played were 9-4 for the week, while one had a bye, one had his game postponed due to heavy rains, and two sat out their games due to injury. Many of the members of the #fUTure19 class made their way to Austin for the Texas-USC game, which went over quite well with them.

The class also received a new commit over the weekend, as Georgia running back Derrian Brown pledged to the Longhorns on Sunday.

If you’re in Texas, this won’t be the best weekend to take in some high school football, as rains are forecast for much of the state on Friday and Saturday. Consequently, many schools have moved up their originally scheduled Friday night games to Thursday, so some of the games listed here may end up either being rescheduled or canceled altogether. This columnist is not responsible for any readers missing a game they’re interested in seeing, so please take it upon yourself to check local sources for game time updates if you’re thinking of watching a game originally scheduled for Friday or Saturday pretty much anywhere east of Van Horn.

If you happen to be out-of-state in an area where a Longhorn commit plays, you might be able to see some good games in California, or one of their two Georgia commits whose teams will both face ranked opponents on Friday. As always, the game times listed are for their local time zones.

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2020 QB Hudson Card (Lake Travis)

Last week: Completed 15 of 20 passes for 337 yards and 4 touchdowns and had 6 carries for 57 yards and one TD in a 42-21 win over Austin Bowie.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:30, vs. Austin Akins
Notes: Hudson Card had his most efficient game of the young season last week, leading Lake Travis to a dominating win in its first district game against Austin Bowie, a school that has reached the playoffs in eleven straight seasons and has arguably been Austin ISD’s most consistently good program over the past decade. Its Bulldogs proved to be no match for this year’s Lake Travis Cavaliers, though.

After Lake Travis took a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game, Bowie tied the score with a TD on its first possession, but that was as close as the game got. Hudson Card passed for four first half TDs and ran for another as the Cavaliers built a 42-7 halftime lead and cruised in the second half. Two of Card’s TD passes went to Ohio State wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson, who became Lake Travis’s all-time leader in TD receptions with 46.

Lake Travis is 2-0 overall, 1-0 in district play, and remains the 2nd-ranked team in Class 6A. Lake Travis has advanced five rounds or further into the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons. This week’s opponent, Austin Akins, won five games in its first varsity season 16 years ago, and has not equaled or bested that win total since. Akins opened the 2018 season with wins against a pair of 5A teams that finished a combined 4-17 a year ago, then got demolished 67-0 by Austin Westlake last week.

QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)

Last week: Did not play in a 31-21 loss to Tomball.
This week: Bye
Notes: Roschon Johnson suffered an ankle sprain in the 4th quarter of Port Neches-Groves’ previous game and sat out last week’s contest against Tomball. In Johnson’s absence, senior QB Grant Rogers completed 17 of 31 passes for 218 yards and threw two TDs, helping PN-G to a 21-7 lead following his second TD pass with 5:06 left in the 3rd quarter, but Tomball scored the game’s final 24 points in the span of just over 11 minutes to take the lead and win by ten points, aided in part by two Rogers interceptions.

PN-G is 1-2 for the season and has a bye this week and then plays lowly Baytown Lee (which has won six games since the start of the 2013 season) the following week, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Johnson sat out that game and didn’t play again until either October 5 vs. Vidor, or the October 12 game at Crosby.

RB Derrian Brown (Buford, Georgia)

Last week: Rushed for 202 yards and two TDs in a 54-27 win over Newton.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:30, at Lawrenceville Archer
Notes: This is Derrian Brown’s first appearance in these posts, as he committed to Texas over the weekend, becoming the first running back commit and the 16th member overall of the #fUTure19 class. Brown was offered by Texas in May and took his official visit (his first trip to Austin) for the weekend of the Texas-USC game.

Brown’s Buford, Georgia team is 3-1 this season and he has rushed for 150 yards or more in each game. Last week he ran for 202 yards and a pair of scores as Buford, ranked 3rd in Class 5A, defeated 7A squad Newton in lopsided fashion. Brown isn’t the only talent in Buford’s backfield, as junior Elijah Turner (who has offers from Maryland, Purdue, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest) contributed 152 rushing yards and three TDs himself.

Brown scored on a 36-yard run with 3:40 left in the 2nd quarter to help give Buford a 24-0 lead at halftime. The teams traded scores for a while in the 3rd quarter and Newton cut the deficit to 17 on a pair of occasions, but Brown’s 48-yard TD run in the first minute of the 4th quarter made the score 45-21 in favor of Buford, and Newton got no closer than that the rest of the way.

Buford moved up one spot to #2 in this week’s 5A rankings by the Georgia Sports Writer’s Association, and the Wolves’ next opponent is Archer, the current #5 team in Class 7A. They will begin region (Georgia’s equivalent of districts) play the following week. Buford has one of the most decorated high school football programs in Georgia history, with 11 state championships to its name (only one high school in the state has won more), ten of which were won between 2002 and 2014. Buford is about an hour’s drive northeast of Atlanta and has an enrollment of over 1,400 students; an equivalent Texas school would be one of the smaller schools in 5A Division II.

Georgia has been one of the most talent-laden states for high school football prospects for a while, and with commitments from Derrian Brown and cornerback Kenyatta Watson, Texas is making some nice inroads in recruiting that region. The high schools Brown and Watson attend are only about 22 miles apart, but they will not be facing each other on the field this fall, as Watson’s team competes in 7A.

WR De’Mariyon Houston (Oklahoma City Millwood)

Last week: Had a 35-yard TD reception in a 38-7 win over Tulsa Cascia Hall.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:00, vs. Oklahoma City Crooked Oak
Notes: Facing Cascia Hall, the #3 team in Oklahoma’s Class 3A last week, top-ranked 2A squad Millwood led by a mere 6-0 score at halftime, but the Falcons scored twice on defense and had three long offensive scores to run away from Cascia Hall in the second half. De’Mariyon Houston had one of those scores on a 35-yard pass from senior quarterback Daniel Howard, who also contributed a 50-yard TD run and an 18-yard interception return for a score while on defense.

Millwood is 3-0 and will begin district play on Friday against a 1-2 Crooked Oak team. Millwood has played and beaten Crooked Oak in each of the past eight seasons by an average score of 56-8, and scored at least 40 points in each matchup.

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

Last week: Had 19 carries for 113 yards and 2 TDs, caught 3 passes for 57 yards and one TD, was credited with 3 tackles and 1 sack, and returned a kickoff 52 yards, and scored on a two-point conversion run in a 34-28 win over Desert Mountain.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:00, at Cave Creek (Arizona) Cactus Shadows
Notes: Jake Smith piled up 231 all-purpose yards and scored three TDs plus a two-point conversion in last week’s close win over Desert Mountain. After a torrid start to his senior season he cooled off a bit over a two-game span in which he got just 13 offensive touches (and still scored 5 TDs), but he got a lot more work in last week, getting 22 offensive touches and being credited with three tackles and a sack while on defense.

Notre Dame Prep improved to 5-0 for the season, and Smith now has 886 yards from scrimmage and 19 total TDs. Notre Dame begins Northwest Valley Section (Arizona’s equivalent to districts) play this week against 2-3 Cactus Shadows. Notre Dame beat Cactus Shadows the last five times the two teams played (most recently in 2015) by an average margin of 20 points.

WR Jordan Whittington (Cuero)

Last week: Did not play in a 34-20 win over El Campo.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:30, vs. Gonzales
Notes: Whittington missed his third straight game to start the 2018 season due to injuries that have effectively kept him off the field since this past summer. In his absence, his Cuero Gobblers beat the El Campo Ricebirds 34-20. Jordan Whittington’s brother Devin Whittington caught three passes for 43 yards and intercepted two passes in the win, and Army running back commit Kieran Grant (who had missed Cuero’s previous game due to injury) rushed for 223 yards and a pair of scores.

Cuero’s senior defensive lineman Trey Moore was playing just two days after the death of his mother, and he had a memorable performance with ten total tackles and an interception that he returned for a TD. This week Cuero (2-1) has another non-district game with Gonzales (1-2), which is coming off a 33-14 loss to Yoakum, which beat a short-handed Cuero team 30-20 two weeks ago. The teams have been annual opponents for several years and Cuero has beaten Gonzales six straight times by an average margin of 30 points.

TE Brayden Liebrock (Chandler, Arizona)

Last week: Bye
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:00, at Mesa Desert Ridge
Notes: Since losing 35-13 its season opener against Corona (California) Centennial (currently the #12 team in the USA Today Super 25 Expert rankings), Chandler has beaten its three successive opponents with relative ease. Coming off a bye week they have a non-section game against Desert Ridge (3-2).

Chandler last played Desert Ridge in 2015, when Chandler won 60-39 in a regular season matchup, but lost by a score of 24-21 two months later when the teams met again in the Division I state semifinals.

TE Jared Wiley (Temple)

Last week: Completed 17 of 26 passes for 187 yards and 3 TDs in a 45-0 win over Killeen Harker Heights
This week: Thursday, September 20 at 7:00, at Killeen Shoemaker
Notes: Temple shot out of the gate in last week’s district opener against Harker Heights, scoring 28 first quarter points. The Wildcats kept Harker Heights off the scoreboard while holding the Knights to 130 offensive yards. Wiley passed for three touchdowns, with two of them going to junior receiver Quentin Johnston, who now has eight TD catches for the year and also received his first offer from Duke last weekend.

Temple is 3-0 for the year and will play its second district game tonight against 0-2 Killeen Shoemaker, which is coming off its bye week and lost its first two games by a combined score of 55-14. Temple has not played Shoemaker since 2013, but the Wildcats have a seven-game winning streak against the Wolves that dates back to 2007.

OL Tyler Johnson (Conroe Oak Ridge)

Last week: Was credited with six pancake blocks in a 52-0 loss to The Woodlands.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:00, vs. Klein Collins
Notes: Oak Ridge had never beaten The Woodlands going into last week’s game, that that did not change by the time the lights went out, as The Woodlands put up 559 yards of total offense and got four receiving TDs from senior T.J. Villarreal.

The War Eagles are 1-2 overall and 0-1 in district play. They will go for their first district win on Friday night when they take on the 3-0 Collins Tigers. Texas Football ranks Collins 9th in Class 6A, while they are just outside the top ten in this week’s AP poll. The last three meetings between Oak Ridge and Collins came in the first round of the playoffs in 2009, 2010, and 2014, with Collins winning each time. Collins’s offense features senior running back Isaiah Spiller, a Texas A&M commit.

OL Javonne Shepherd (Houston North Forest)

Last week: Team beat Houston Washington 50-7.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:30, at Freeport Brazosport
Notes: After opening its season with losses to two 5A teams, the 4A Division I North Forest Bulldogs got in the win column with a dominating win over 4A Division II foe Washington. North Forest has one more non-district game this week versus Brazosport, then will play its first district game the following week.

Brazosport, one of the 20 largest schools in Class 4A Division I, finished 8-4 a year ago (the program’s best season since 1999) but is 0-3 and has been outscored 95-17 this season, with two of its losses coming against 3A Division I teams with well under half the enrollment it boasts.

DE Peter Mpagi (Richmond George Ranch)

Last week: Team lost to League City Clear Springs 42-28.
This week: Bye
Notes: Peter Mpagi’s George Ranch team scored on a long TD pass in the final seconds of the 2nd quarter and trailed Clear Springs 21-14 at halftime in its game last week, but Clear Springs outscored the Longhorns 21-0 in the 3rd quarter to pull away.

George Ranch is 1-2 for the season and has a bye this week before playing its first district game next week.

DE T’Vondre Sweat (Huntsville)

Last week: Team lost to College Station 20-7.
This week: Bye
Notes: Facing defending 5A Division II state champion College Station (ranked 6th in 5A going into the game), the Huntsville Hornets battled to a near stalemate in the first half but were only able to put seven points on the board and never led in the game. Sweat forced a fumble in the first half that a teammate appeared to return for a TD, but according to game reports it was called back due to an “inadvertent whistle”, and Huntsville ended up getting no points on that possession. The Hornets scored their only TD on a 98-yard TD pass one play after Huntsville intercepted a College Station pass.

Huntsville missed two field goal attempts and got no points on three possessions that reached the red zone.

Huntsville has a bye this week before playing its first district game next week.

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

Last week: Intercepted a pass in a 34-0 win over Moorpark.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:00, vs. Simi Valley Grace Brethren
Notes: The night before flying to Austin to watch his future team beat USC (whose campus is only 41 miles from his high school), De’Gabriel Floyd grabbed an interception and watched his senior wide receiver teammate Jason Heller put on a show, as Westlake shut out previously unbeaten Moorpark 34-0. Heller caught nine passes for 280 yards and one TD, and he had four receptions that covered 40 or more yards.

Westlake remains undefeated at 5-0 for the season and is ranked 3rd in Division 2 of the CIF Southern Section. The Warriors will next host Grace Brethren in a non-league game before beginning League play the following week. Grace Brethren is 3-2 for the season and is ranked fifth among the Division 4 schools in the CIF Southern Section. Grace Brethren last played Westlake in 2016, a game Grace Brethren won 34-23.

LB Marcus Tillman (Jones - Orlando, Florida)

Last week: Game vs. Orlando Evans postponed due to inclement weather.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:00, at Ocala Forest
Notes: Marcus Tillman and his Jones Fightin’ Tigers had a Thursday date with local rival Evans last Thursday night at Camping World Stadium, but heavy rains postponed that game, which will now be played in late October.

After the weather-induced bye week, Jones (2-1) will travel to play Ocala Forest (3-1) on Friday night. Forest is in 6A while Jones is the seventh-ranked team in Class 5A. Jones has yet to face a fellow 5A team this season (all of its first three opponents hailed from Class 8A), and won’t until they play their first district game next week.

DB Chris Adimora (Mayfair - Lakewood, California)

Last week: Caught 2 passes for 84 yards and one TD, and made 4 tackles in a 35-34 win over Downey (California) Warren.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:00, at Gahr
Notes: In last week’s non-league game between Mayfair and Warren, Chris Adimora played a big part in his team’s biggest offensive and defensive play of the game. Mayfair was missing three of its receivers and attempted a season-low 14 passes while completing just six of them, but Adimora was on the receiving end of the most important pass play: a 78-yard TD that gave Mayfair a 35-28 lead almost mid-way through the 4th quarter.

On Warren’s final possession it converted on 4th down deep in Mayfair territory for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 35-34 with just 29 seconds left in regulation. Warren elected to go for a two-point conversion rather than a tying PAT. According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s recap, on the two-point conversion play Adimora and teammate Carl Conston combined to tackle Warren receiver Jabari Hughes Jr. short of the goal line to preserve Mayfair’s lead.

Mayfair improved to 4-1 for the season and is ranked 5th among the 22 Division 6 teams in the CIF Southern Section. The Monsoons will face fellow Division 6 team Gahr this week. Gahr won its first game of the season in mid-August but lost its next three by a combined margin of 14 points, and is 1-3 for the year. Gahr’s senior running back Micah Bernard, a Utah commit, had over 2,600 yards from scrimmage and scored 27 TDs in 2017, but team stats indicate that he has not played in four weeks, so I don’t know if Adimora and company will have to deal with him on Friday.

DB Marques Caldwell (Alvin)

Last week: Team lost to Katy Tompkins 70-7.
This week: Saturday, September 22 at 6:00, at Katy Mayde Creek
Notes: Things did not go well for Alvin in its game against Tompkins last week, as the final score clearly reveals. Alvin trailed by as much as 49-0 in the first half, and got its only points of the game on a 63-yard TD run on the final play of the 2nd quarter. That long TD run alone accounted for 55% of Alvin’s offensive yardage for the night, and the Yellowjackets’ running game gained a mere 26 yards on its other 26 carries.

Alvin is now 0-3 for the first time since the start of the 2013 season and will play another Katy ISD opponent this week, Mayde Creek. Mayde Creek has a 2-1 record and a win over Alvin would put the Rams within striking distance of their best season in years. Mayde Creek has not won more than three games in a season since finishing 5-5 in 2008.

DB Kenyatta Watson (Grayson - Loganville, Georgia)

Last week: Made one tackle and forced a fumble in a 21-16 win over Atlanta Westlake.
This week: Friday, September 21 at 7:30, vs. Colquitt County
Notes: Kenyatta Watson’s Grayson team is ranked 21st in this week’s USA Today Super 25 expert rankings. For the second straight game they struggled to put away an opponent on the road last week, but ultimately came away with a 21-16 win over Atlanta Westlake.

Grayson took a 21-13 lead at halftime and not only didn’t score again in the second half but only converted one first down, but its defense put the clamps on Westlake and allowed only a field goal in the game’s final two quarters to preserve the lead.

Grayson is 3-1 (its only loss came three weeks ago to New Jersey’s Bergen Catholic, which was ranked #5 nationally by USA Today before it lost last week) and is Georgia’s third-ranked team in Class 7A. This week’s opponent is 7A’s top-ranked team, Colquitt County. Colquitt County is 5-0 and ranked #13 nationally in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25 Writers’ Poll. The Packers have outscored their first five opponents by an average margin of 34 points.

Grayson and Colquitt County last played each other in the state quarterfinals of the 2016 7A playoffs, a game Grayson won 49-21 en route to an eventual state championship, becoming the first 7A champions after the Georgia High School Association had created that level. Colquitt County had won back-to-back 6A state titles in the previous two years (2014-15). Colquitt County reached the 7A state championship game last year, but fell 19-17 to North Gwinnett.

Colquitt County has nine seniors who are reported to have FBS scholarship offers, but its highest-rated prospect is junior running back Daijun Edwards, who reportedly holds offers from Georgia, Florida State, and Penn State, among others.