As the calendar moves from October to November, one Texas Longhorn commit has already completed his regular season, and two more will this week.
Texas high schools are still two weeks away from the start of the postseason, but 16 of the Longhorns’ in-state commits are already assured (or are extremely likely to get) a playoff spot, while only one commit’s team has been officially eliminated from playoff contention, and three others need a win this week to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Last week featured another game with Longhorn commits playing for opposing teams, and 2021 QB Jalen Milroe led his Katy Tompkins team to a win over Katy Taylor and 2021 OL commit Hayden Conner.
For the third time this fall, a Longhorn commit rushed for over 300 yards in a game last week, but it wasn’t ultra-prolific Arizona running back Bijan Robinson this time around but a defensive back commit.
In all, eight different Longhorn commits scored a touchdown last week, either passing, rushing, receiving or on defense.
For those whose reaction to these posts tends to be “tl;dr”, here are a few thumbnail highlights of this week’s games involving UT commits:
- Utah defensive end Van Fillinger’s team is the #1 seed in that state’s Class 6A bracket and will begin its playoff run on Friday afternoon.
- 2020 offensive lineman Jake Majors’ Prosper team will play DFW powerhouse and nationally-ranked Allen on Friday.
- 2020 linebacker Prince Dorbah will lead his Highland Park team in a battle of ranked Dallas-area 5A teams, and a win would lock up a fifth straight district title for Highland Park and give their head coach his 400th career win.
Now for the lowlights.
- 2020 defensive back commit Xavion Alford was reported earlier this week to have missed most of the season due to a knee injury, and it’s possible he’s played his last game in a high school uniform.
- One day after last week’s post was published, DB Joshua Eaton (Aldine MacArthur) announced he was de-committing from the Longhorns just over two months after he’d pledged to their 2020 class.
- Earlier today, fellow 2020 defensive back commit Ethan Pouncey (Winter Park, Florida), who had also been committed to Texas since August and whose older brother Jordan Pouncey is a redshirt sophomore receiver for the Longhorns, announced he was also de-committing and opening up his recruitment.
Those two defections, plus the recent de-commitment of 2020 defensive end Princely Umanmielen (Manor) brings the Longhorns’ total number of commits down to 25, with 17 in the 2020 class (aka, #cloUT2020) and 8 in the 2021 class (#trUTh21). At this point in the 2018 season Texas had 22 total commitments, two of whom later de-committed and signed elsewhere, and one of whom (offensive lineman Javonne Shepherd) signed with Texas but has since reportedly entered the transfer portal.
Once we get a round or two into the playoffs these reports should get quite a bit shorter. As always, all game times listed are for their particular location’s time zone.
2020 QB Hudson Card (Lake Travis) - injured, out this week
2021 TE Lake McRee (Lake Travis) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team beat Del Valle 54-21.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, vs. Buda Hays
Notes: Lake Travis had no trouble downing Del Valle last week in its first game without Hudson Card at QB. Card suffered a foot injury during Lake Travis’s October 11 win over Austin Westlake that is expected to keep him out of the lineup for what remains of the regular season and possibly one or two playoff games.
Lake Travis jumped to a 35-0 lead over Del Valle in the 1st quarter, with backup QB junior Nate Yarnell running and passing for a TD, and the Cavalier defense chipping in TDs on a pick-six and a fumble recovery. On Friday Lake Travis will face playoff-bound Buda Hays, which outscored its first seven opponents by an average of 25 points en route to a 7-0 start, but was trounced 65-7 last week by Westlake. Lake Travis beat Hays 44-28 in the teams’ 2018 meeting.
2020 QB Ja’Quinden Jackson (Duncanville)
Last week: Completed 3 of 4 passes for 34 yards and 1 interception, and had 2 carries for 36 yards and 1 TD in a 48-0 win over Dallas W.T. White.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, vs. Richardson
Notes: Duncanville had another in a long line of dominating defensive performances last week, as W.T. White finished with -9 offensive yards. On offense, Duncanville spread the ball around, as 12 players combined to make 32 rushing attempts which went for 354 yards. The Panthers led 39-0 at halftime, with 4 of those points coming on a pair of safeties, and 7 points when the free kick following one of those safeties was returned for a TD.
Duncanville is 8-0 and alone in 1st place in District 8-6A. The Panthers will clinch the district’s championship with a win on Friday night against Richardson, which is 3-2 in district play and is one of three teams tied for 3rd place in the district and fighting for one of its final two playoff spots. Its two district losses came against Dallas Skyline and Richardson Pearce, two teams that Duncanville beat by a combined margin of 93 points. Duncanville beat Richardson 65-7 last season.
Duncanville remains the #1 team in Class 6A and moved up one spot to #3 in this week’s USA Today Super 25 Expert Rankings.
2021 QB Jalen Milroe (Katy Tompkins)
Last week: Completed 7 of 12 passes for 186 yards and 3 TDs, and had 7 carries for 46 yards in a 38-12 win over Katy Taylor.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 6:30, vs. Katy Cinco Ranch
Notes: Jalen Milroe got to play against fellow Longhorn commit and his former pee wee football teammate Hayden Conner last week when Tompkins faced Taylor in a key district matchup, and Milroe’s team recorded a convincing win.
Taylor led 3-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, but Tompkins dominated in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, outscoring Taylor 31-9. A 49-yard TD pass from Milroe to Taurean Muhammed with 35 seconds left in the 2nd quarter gave Tompkins a 17-9 lead going into halftime. Milroe conncted with Muhammed again late in the 3rd quarter for a 60-yard TD pass, then closed out the game’s scoring midway through the 4th quarter with a 4-yard scoring pass to senior running back R.J. Smith.
Tompkins is now 8-1 overall and 4-1 in district play. The Falcons are ranked #21 in Class 6A and will finish as the runner-up in District 19-6A with either a win on Friday or a loss by Katy Mayde Creek, which plays district leader Katy. Katy and Tompkins will be the district’s two representatives in the 6A Division I playoff bracket, and unless Katy (ranked #2 in the state) shockingly loses its final two games, Tompkins will have the runner-up seed.
Tompkins closes out its regular season schedule on Friday night against Cinco Ranch, then will have a bye next week as the rest of the district finishes the season. Cinco Ranch had a 12-season playoff streak snapped when it finished 3-7 a year ago, and this season the Cougars have fallen even further below their decade-long position as “second-best Katy ISD team”, going 0-8 so far and being outscored by an average of 38 points. Tompkins has never beaten Cinco Ranch in five prior meetings. Cinco Ranch beat Tompkins 39-14 in the latter’s regular season finale in 2018.
2020 RB Ty Jordan (West Mesquite)
Last week: Had 16 carries for 25 yards, and caught 1 pass for 0 yards in a 31-17 win over Mesquite Poteet.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:00, vs. Sherman
Notes: Mesquite Poteet’s defense effectively bottled up Ty Jordan last week, as he gained just 25 yards on 17 offensive touches, with his longest carry going for 8 yards and seven touches resulting in no gain or a loss of yardage. But West Mesquite took advantage of some turnovers and special teams miscues by rival Poteet to take a 16-0 2nd quarter lead, and two 3rd quarter TDs gave the Wranglers enough of a cushion to ensure a comfortable win.
Poteet came into the game with a 3-0 district record but was playing without senior RB and Oklahoma commit Seth McGowan, and the Pirates’ first five possessions of the game ended with a missed field goal, an interception returned for a TD, a safety when the ball was snapped out the back of the end zone on an attempted punt, an interception, and a punt. West Mesquite led 16-0 at that point and had the ball at midfield with a chance to pad its lead, but the Wranglers fumbled, and three plays later Poteet scored to cut the deficit to 16-7 with 4:01 left in the 2nd quarter.
After a West Mesquite punt, Poteet had a great chance to close the gap further before halftime, advancing to the West Mesquite 7-yard line. But in the closing seconds of the first half the Pirates attempted a pass instead of a field goal, and they were stopped at the 2-yard line as time expired. West Mesquite would score on its first drive of the 3rd quarter to extend its lead to 24-7, and Poteet never cut the deficit to less than 10 points afterwards.
Despite now being 2-6 for the year, West Mesquite controls its own destiny with regard to reaching the playoffs. The Wranglers are in 4th place in District 7-5A Division I with a 2-2 mark and will make the postseason with wins to close out the regular season over Sherman and Texarkana Texas, which are both 1-3 in district.
Sherman is 4-4 overall but got its first district win last week by a 42-14 score over last place team Wylie East. West Mesquite beat Sherman 33-27 in 2018.
2020 RB Bijan Robinson (Salpointe Catholic - Tucson, Arizona)
Last week: Had 8 carries for 151 yards and 4 TDs in a 49-0 win over Tucson Catalina Foothills.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:00, vs. Vista Grande
Notes: After being held to a season-low 35 points the week before, Salpointe Catholic raced out to a 42-0 halftime lead last week against Catalina Foothills, ultimately winning 49-0 to improve its season record to 8-0. The Lancers will play their last regular season game on Friday night against 0-9 Vista Grande, which is ranked #45 out of the 47 teams in Arizona’s Conference 4A. Salpointe Catholic beat Vista Grande 63-7 a year ago.
Bijan Robinson had a phenomenal, cosmic yards-per-carry average of 25.4 yards after Salpointe’s first four games. After rushing for 151 yards on 8 carries against Catalina Foothills last week his yards/carry average for the season is down to merely a semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic 22.5. To break the state’s all-time career rushing yardage record he’ll need to average 215 yards per game and make sure his team reaches the state championship round, which would give him a maximum of four games left in his high school career.
Salpointe Catholic remains the #1 team in Conference 4A and the #2 team in the Open Division ratings. The final state rankings and brackets for each playoff tournament will be announced on Saturday morning following the conclusion of the regular season, and the teams from 6A to 4A that finish in the top 8 of the Open Division ratings will play for an overall state championship, with the quarterfinal round starting on Friday November 15.
Robinson has gotten a lot of press for recently breaking conference and state “big school” records for rushing yardage and touchdowns, and I’ve noted on a near-weekly basis how many yards per game he would have to average over the rest of the season to break Arizona’s all-time career rushing record. Lost a bit in all that is the fact that, for this week at least, he is not even the state’s active leader in career yardage; that mark belongs to Chris Weaver of Buckeye Odyssey Institute, who broke the Conference 3A career rushing yardage record last week and now reportedly sits at 6,785 for his career, about 100 yards ahead of Robinson’s career total.
It should be noted, though, that Weaver amassed that total while getting nearly 400 more carries than Robinson has in his career. Weaver’s team is ranked #12 in 3A, so while his team will likely make its conference playoffs it would be an upset if they made it beyond the first round.
2021 WR Quaydarius Davis (Dallas Skyline)
Last week: Team beat Dallas Molina 56-0.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, at Richardson Berkner
Notes: Skyline won its third straight game with a lopsided 56-0 win over Molina last week. Skyline outgained Molina 433-66 and led 43-0 at halftime. Quaydarius Davis did not record a catch according to the Dallas Morning News box score.
Skyline is alone in 2nd place in District 8-6A, and barring any shocking results over the season’s final two weeks the Raiders will finish in that spot and be the district’s runner-up seed in the 6A Division I playoff bracket. Their first round playoff opponent will likely be the winner of Friday night’s DeSoto-South Grand Prairie game.
2020 WR Quentin Johnston (Temple)
Last week: Team beat Waco 57-13.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, at Waco Midway
Notes: Temple clinched a playoff berth last week with a blowout win over winless Waco. Playing without starting QB Vance Willis, Temple gained 496 total yards, with 411 of those coming on the ground. Sophomore running back Samari Howard took over QB duties in Willis’s absence and rushed for 173 yards and 3 TDs while completing 4 of 7 pass attempts. Quentin Johnston was not on the receiving end of any of those four completions. Temple led 26-6 at halftime, then put the game well out of reach with 24 points in the 3rd quarter.
Temple is now 7-1 overall and 6-0 in district play, putting the Wildcats alone in 1st place in District 12-6A with two games left in the regular season. On Friday night they will face Waco Midway, which is 5-1 in district. Temple will be the district champion with a win, but with a loss it will not only finish as the district’s runner-up but will be saddled with a first round playoff matchup against defending 6A Division II state champion Longview, which is currently ranked #4 in the state.
2020 WR Troy Omeire (Fort Bend Austin)
Last week: Caught 7 passes for 50 yards and 1 TD, had 2 carries for -2 yards, and was intercepted on one pass attempt in a 21-14 loss to Fort Bend Kempner.
This week: Thursday, October 31 at 6:30, vs. Fort Bend Bush
Notes: Fort Bend Austin’s playoff hopes were dealt a serious blow with last week’s loss to Kempner, and the Bulldogs now 2-6 overall and 2-3 in district and are tied for 5th with Kempner in District 20-6A, which puts them in a position of needing to sweep their final two games (against the two teams tied for 3rd place) to even have a chance at a postseason bid. The first step will be beating Fort Bend Bush tonight.
Bush is 5-3 overall and 3-2 in district play. Last week Bush got a 26-7 win over Dulles, a team Austin beat 27-22 five weeks ago. Bush beat Austin 28-27 when the teams played in 2018.
2021 OL Hayden Conner (Katy Taylor)
Last week: Team lost to Katy Tompkins 38-12.
This week: Bye
Notes: Taylor fell to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in district with their loss to Tompkins last week. The Mustangs have a bye this week and finish with Class 6A’s #2 team Katy next week. They are in 4th place in District 19-6A, a half-game behind 3-1 Mayde Creek, who they’ve lost to, and two games ahead of 1-3 Morton Ranch, who they’ve beaten.
As such, the Mustangs are not yet assured of a playoff spot but will earn one with either: A. an upset win over Katy next week, B. a Morton Ranch loss to Seven Lakes this week, C. a Mayde Creek win over Morton Ranch next week, or D. Morton Ranch beating Mayde Creek next week by 6 points or more (this scenario assumes Mayde Creek loses to Katy this week).
There is a scenario in which Taylor, Mayde Creek, and Morton Ranch could all finish 3-3 and in a three-way tie for 3rd place in the district, with each team having one win and one loss against the other two, and the two teams out of that trio to get the district’s final two playoff spots would have to be decided by a point-differential tiebreaker, which could leave Taylor as the odd team out if Morton Ranch beat Mayde Creek next week by a margin of 5 points or less.
2020 OL Jaylen Garth (Port Neches-Groves) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team beat Santa Fe 20-7.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, vs. Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill
Notes: Port Neches-Groves is 6-2 overall and 4-1 against its District 12-5A Division II opponents going into its Friday night showdown with district leader Barbers Hill (5-0). Jaylen Garth won’t be playing but he’ll be recognized for Senior Night, as this is PN-G’s final home game of the season.
2020 OL Andrej Karic (Southlake Carroll)
Last week: Team beat Keller Central 35-7.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:00, vs. Northwest Eaton
Notes: Southlake Carroll went three-and-out on its first possession against Keller Central last week, and Central responded with a 9-play, 50-yard TD drive. Carroll outscored Central 35-0 the rest of the way, and its defense allowed Central to convert only 3 first downs after that scoring drive.
Carroll outgained Central 425-146, and the Dragons are now 8-0 and 5-0 in district play, and they stand alone in 1st place in District 5-6A. It would be a shock if Carroll didn’t finish the regular season unbeaten, then it will face the gauntlet that Region I in Class 6A Division I, unless both Keller and Keller Timber Creek nab the district’s final two playoff spots, which would send Carroll (#6 in Class 6A) and Denton Guyer (#16 in Class 6A) to the Class 6A Division II bracket.
This week Carroll faces Eaton, which is 4-4 and I believe can only make the playoffs with an upset win on Friday. Last week Eaton lost 55-20 to Denton Guyer. Carroll beat Eaton 45-0 last season.
2020 OL Jake Majors (Prosper)
Last week: Team beat Plano West 42-16.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:00, vs. Allen
Notes: Prosper clinched a playoff spot with its convincing win over Plano West last week. The Eagles led Plano West 35-7 at halftime, as QB Jackson Berry tossed three of his four TDs in the first two quarters. Two Prosper turnovers on their first two possessions of the second half allowed Plano West to cut the deficit to 35-16 midway through the 3rd quarter, but Plano West’s offense never crossed midfield again.
The Eagles committed three turnovers (all in the second half) but were assessed just one penalty, and its offense decisively won the time of possession battle and had 26 first downs to West’s 7. Prosper is now 7-1 overall and 4-1 in district, and with two games to go the Eagles are tied with Dallas Jesuit for 2nd place in District 9-6A.
On Friday night they will play another Eagles team when they host Allen, the #3 team in Class 6A and the #12 team in the USA Today Super 25. Jake Majors and the Prosper O-line will attempt to block an Allen defensive front that includes senior defensive end Cole Latos, a Rice commit.
Allen is 8-0 this season, but the Eagles haven’t had the weekly lopsided scores that were a hallmark of the Kyler Murray era. Allen is outscoring its 2019 opponents by an average of 22 points per game, while at this point in the 2018 season the Eagles were beating opponents by 38 points per contest. Last week Allen won 24-0 over McKinney Boyd, a team Prosper had beaten 29-3 the week before. Allen beat Prosper 54-21 a year ago.
2020 OL Logan Parr (San Antonio O’Connor)
Last week: Team beat San Antonio Clark 49-0.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, vs. San Antonio Brennan
Notes: O’Connor crushed Clark 49-0 last week to score its most lopsided win in two years. The Panthers outgained Clark 459-50 and their defense forced 11 Clark punts. They are now 6-2 overall and 6-1 in district play. With two games left O’Connor is tied with Brennan for 2nd place in District-28-6A, and they are two games ahead of the two teams tied for fourth place, so Friday night’s O’Connor-Brennan matchup is essentially a battle for 2nd place in the district.
O’Connor is the largest school in the district and will be its top seed in the Class 6A Division I playoff bracket, regardless of the outcome. O’Connor beat Brennan 30-23 last year.
2020 DT Vernon Broughton (Cypress Ridge)
Last week: Team lost to Houston Memorial 28-18.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:00, vs. Cy-Fair
Notes: Cypress Ridge managed just 135 offensive yards in its 28-18 loss to Memorial last week. After trailing 21-7 at halftime the Rams cut the deficit to 21-18 with 3:52 left in the 3rd quarter, but were unable to add to their total, and a Memorial TD with 4:06 left in regulation made it a 10-point game.
The loss dropped Cy Ridge to 5-3 overall and 3-3 in district, putting them in 5th place in District 17-6A and all but eliminating them from playoff consideration. There is still a mathematical chance the Rams could get the district’s fourth and final playoff spot, but for that to happen they would have to win their final two games against a pair of teams with a combined record of 15-1 — the first being Friday night’s game against #8 Cy-Fair, a team that is 8-0 and has beaten its 2019 opponents by an average score of 42-5 — and also have Memorial lose its final two games, the latter of which will be against a winless Northbrook team that has been outscored by 46 points per game this year. In other words, Ryan Bujcevski has better odds of winning the Heisman than Cy Ridge does of making this year’s playoffs.
But on the bright side, Friday will be Cy Ridge’s Senior Night.
2020 DE Van Fillinger (Corner Canyon - Draper, Utah)
Last week: Bye
This week: Friday, November 1 at 4:00, vs. Saratoga Springs Westlake in the Second Round of the UHSAA Class 6A playoffs.
Notes: Van Fillinger and his Corner Canyon Cougar teammates finished the regular season 10-0 and were Utah’s top-rated 6A team according to the RPI formula used for playoff seeding purposes. This earned them and the other top five teams out of the 27 schools in Class 6A a bye in last week’s first round. Corner Canyon had played its ten regular season games in as many weeks, and last week’s first round was their first bye of the season.
For the first three rounds of the playoffs the higher-seeded team in each game gets to host, so the Cougars will begin their quest for a second straight state championship in their home stadium on Friday afternoon against #17 seed Westlake, which advanced with a 35-14 win over #16 seed Kaysville Davis in the first round.
Westlake is officially 3-8 for the season, though one of those wins came by forfeit against a Lone Peak team that beat them soundly on the field. Corner Canyon beat Westlake 48-7 four weeks ago, and this is the first of a potential four playoff games the Cougars could play against teams they beat in the regular season.
2020 LB Prince Dorbah (Highland Park)
Last week: Team beat Dallas Sunset 79-0.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, at Lancaster
Notes: Highland Park scored 10 touchdowns in the first half against Sunset last week, all of which came on drives that lasted three plays or less. The Scots led 72-0 at halftime, and the second half was likely played under a running clock, as the teams combined for less than 30 offensive plays in the 3rd and 4th quarters, according to the Dallas Morning News’ play-by-play of the game. Highland Park has scored 476 points in eight games this season, which is 59 more points than Sunset has scored since the start of the 2012 season!
The win improved Highland Park’s record to 7-1 for the season and was the 399th career win for head coach Randy Allen. He passed Gordon Wood earlier this season to become the third-winningest coach in Texas high school football history, and he is one of four active coaches in the state with 300 or more wins (as of this writing he is 65 wins behind Corpus Christi Calallen head coach Phil Danaher, the state’s all-time leader in coaching wins). Win number 400 won’t come easily, as the Scots — ranked #4 in Class 5A Division I — will travel to play #7 Lancaster in a battle for the championship of District 6-5A Division I. Both teams have run roughshod over the weak Dallas ISD teams in the district, with Highland Park outscoring its five district foes 339-12, and Lancaster winning its first five district games 303-10.
Highland Park suffered its only loss of the season seven weeks ago to #1 Frisco Lone Star, and since then the Scots have broken nary a sweat. Highland Park beat Lancaster 39-14 in its undefeated 2018 state championship season. In addition to making Randy Allen wait one more week for his 400th win, a win by Lancaster would also make this the first season since 2014 in which Highland Park didn’t win its district.
2021 LB Derrick Harris (New Caney)
Last week: Credited with 9 tackles, a fumble returned for a TD, and 2 QB hurries in a 58-13 win over Houston Austin.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:00, at Baytown Goose Creek Memorial
Notes: New Caney gained 502 total yards and scored two defensive TDs in a dominating 58-13 win over Austin last week. Derrick Harris had one of those two defensive TDs on a 16-yard return of a recovered fumble.
New Caney is 8-0 for the season and 5-0 in district play. With two games left in the regular season the Eagles have clinched a playoff berth and are tied for 1st in District 9-5A Division I with cross-town rival Porter, who they will play next week.
On Friday night they will travel to face Goose Creek Memorial, which is 2-3 in district play and tied with two other teams for 4th place in the district. Goose Creek Memorial has had 8-point losses to both Port Arthur Memorial and Galena Park, two teams New Caney beat by a combined margin of 87 points. New Caney beat Goose Creek Memorial 84-8 (not a typo!) a year ago.
2020 DB Xavion Alford (Alvin Shadow Creek) - injured
Last week: Did not play in a 24-17 win over Richmond Foster.
This week: Thursday, October 31 at 7:00, at Fort Bend Hightower
Notes: Shadow Creek got a hard-fought 24-17 win last week over a Richmond Foster team that it played twice a season ago and needed 4th quarter comebacks in both games to win. A late comeback wasn’t needed last week, but Shadow Creek did trail a couple of times in the first half. Foster scored the game’s first points less than four minutes into the game, and a field goal nearly midway through the 2nd quarter put Foster ahead 10-7, but Shadow Creek scored a TD to take a 14-10 lead with 1:11 left in the 2nd quarter, and the Sharks never trailed again.
They led 24-10 after a made field goal with 7:58 left in the 4th quarter. A Foster TD with 1:52 left in the game cut the deficit to 24-17, but they did not score again. Shadow Creek improved to 8-0 for the season and remains the #2 team in Class 5A Division I, and the Sharks are alone in 1st place in District 10-5A Division I. Tonight they will face one of two teams tied for 2nd in the district, Hightower. Hightower is coming off a 21-2 loss last week against Friendswood, a team Shadow Creek beat 51-6 a week earlier. Shadow Creek beat Hightower 28-12 in 2018.
I noted a few weeks ago that Shadow Creek’s MaxPreps page has not credited Xavion Alford with any stats since their first game of the season, but that I had seen no report anywhere indicating that he was injured. A Horns247 article this week from Mike Roach stated in its first sentence that Alford “has to be a spectator this season” after having had knee surgery a few weeks ago. Whether he is out for the remainder of the season is unclear, but the story strongly hinted that Alford is not expected to play any more in 2019.
2020 DB Kitan Crawford (Tyler John Tyler)
Last week: Had 29 carries for 306 yards and 4 TDs, caught 1 pass for 27 yards, and made 2 tackles in a 36-28 loss to McKinney North.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:00, vs. Mesquite Poteet
Notes: Kitan Crawford rushed for over 300 yards against McKinney North last week, and the John Tyler defense forced three turnovers and held one of DFW’s most potent offenses to a season-low 36 points. But neither effort was quite enough to give the Lions a win.
John Tyler led 21-9 after Crawford ran 68 yards for a TD with 4:09 left in the 2nd quarter, but McKinney North answered with a TD less than 30 seconds later and would take a 22-21 lead three minutes after that. John Tyler missed a 40-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds of the first half and trailed 22-21 at halftime.
The Lions punted on their first five possessions of the second half and only reached midfield on one of them, while McKinney North added touchdowns in the 3rd and 4th quarters to lead 36-21 with 4:28 left in regulation. The Lions finally put together a scoring drive that Crawford finished off with his fourth TD of the game with 2:52 left in the 4th quarter that made the score 36-28. After recovering a fumble on North’s ensuing possession, the Lions had the ball last with a chance to tie the game, but they only got as close as the North 34-yard line and the final two plays of the game were incomplete passes.
The loss dropped John Tyler to 3-5 overall, but the Lions are still 3-1 in district play and can sew up a playoff berth on Friday with either a win over Mesquite Poteet or a West Mesquite win over Sherman. John Tyler beat Poteet 48-44 last season. Poteet is also 3-1 in district and is coming off a 31-17 loss to West Mesquite in a game in which it was without senior running back and Oklahoma commit Seth McGowan. I have not read anything about McGowan’s status for Friday night’s game.
2020 DB Jerrin Thompson (Lufkin)
Last week: Team beat Magnolia West 52-7.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, at Caney Creek
Notes: Lufkin left no doubt who the best team in District 8-5A Division I was with their 52-7 dismantling of Magnolia West last week in a matchup of two teams that came into the game with 4-0 district records. Lufkin led 35-0 at halftime and didn’t allow Magnolia West to score until late in the 4th quarter.
The Panthers are 7-1 overall and 5-0 in district, and they remain the #5 team in Class 5A Division I. They can clinch an outright district championship with wins in either of their last two games, which will come against a pair of teams at the bottom of the district’s standings: 2-6 Caney Creek and 0-7 Waller. On Friday they play a Caney Creek team that narrowly got its first district win last week 41-40 over Waller in a game where the loser got sole possession of last place in the district. Caney Creek has not finished a season above .500 since 2002. Lufkin beat Caney Creek 63-0 a year ago.
2021 ATH Billy Bowman (Denton Ryan)
2021 ATH Ja’Tavion Sanders (Denton Ryan)
Last week: Team beat Carrollton R.L. Turner 42-0.
This week: Thursday, October 31 at 7:00, vs. Grapevine
Notes: Denton Ryan scored 42 points in less than two full quarters against a bad R.L. Turner team last week before severe weather delayed the game with 3:08 left in the 2nd quarter, and the teams ultimately elected to call the game at that point. According to the Dallas Morning News’ recap of the game, Ryan did not play a single regular starter (presumably including Billy Bowman and Ja’Tavion Sanders) but still scored 42 points and its defense pushed Turner’s offense back for -18 total yards.
The Ryan Raiders are 8-0 and the #3 team in 5A Division I. They have clinched a playoff spot and are tied with Birdville for the top spot in District 4-5A Division I with a 5-0 district record. Tonight they will play a Grapevine team that is 5-3 overall and 3-2 in district and in the driver’s seat for the district’s fourth and final playoff spot. Grapevine is coming off a 28-7 loss to Colleyville Heritage, a team Ryan beat 35-9 three weeks ago. Ryan beat Grapevine 52-14 a season ago.
2021 ATH Juan Davis (Everman)
Last week: Completed 3 of 6 passes for 19 yards and 1 TD, had 14 carries for 81 yards, and punted once for 56 yards in a 28-21 loss to Cleburne.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, vs. Waco University
Notes: Everman led Cleburne 21-7 at halftime, but was outscored 21-0 in the second half and fell to 2-6 for the season with a 2-4 record in district play. Everman will finish the regular season with games against two of the weaker teams in the district, 4-4 University and 1-7 Joshua. The Bulldogs should win both of those games but they do not control their own playoff destiny, as they are one game behind Cleburne for 4th place and don’t have the head-to-head tiebreaker against them. To qualify for the playoffs Everman must win its final two games and Cleburne must lose this week to Midlothian and next week to Burleson. That scenario would result in Everman and Burleson being in a tie for 4th place, and Everman has a head-to-head win over Burleson and would get District 5-5A Division II’s final playoff spot.
Friday’s opponent, Waco University, is 4-4 this season but was one of central Texas’s worst teams for most of this decade. University’s four wins this season match the number the program posted in the prior six seasons combined. University won’t be making the postseason this year but it would no doubt love to play spoiler to Everman’s playoff hopes, and a win over the Bulldogs would give them 5 wins for just the third time in the span of 15 seasons, and it would guarantee that Everman finishes below .500 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976-78.
Everman beat University 42-7 in 2018.
2020 ATH Jaden Hullaby (Mansfield Timberview)
Last week: Completed 5 of 9 passes for 63 yards and 1 interception, and had 18 carries for 58 yards and 1 TD in a 33-10 loss to Lancaster.
This week: Friday, November 1 at 7:30, vs. Dallas Bryan Adams
Notes: Against Class 5A Division I’s #7 team, Lancaster, Jaden Hullaby and his Timberview teammates were held to season lows in points (10) and total yards (182) last week. Timberview briefly held a lead after Hullaby opened the game’s scoring with a 6-yard TD run with 2:43 left in the 1st quarter, but Lancaster tied the game less than a minute later and led 14-7 at halftime.
Timberview received the second half kickoff and had a 10-play drive that ended with a 26-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 14-10, but their remaining possessions in the game resulted in four punts and a turnover on downs, and the Wolves crossed midfield only once after halftime. Meanwhile, Lancaster scored points on its first three drives of the second half to take a 33-10 lead with 10:50 left in the 4th quarter, and by then the game was well in hand.
Timberview dropped to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in district play. The Wolves are in 3rd place in District 6-5A Division I and have already clinched a playoff spot. On Friday night they should get a fairly easy win over Bryan Adams, which was named after a Dallas ISD Board of Education secretary and not the Canadian singer of “Summer of ‘69” fame, who was born two years after the school opened in 1957. The Bryan Adams Cougars are 2-6 this season and setting aside their 76-0 win over the doormattiest of doormats, Sunset, they have been outscored by nearly 34 points per game. Timberview beat Bryan Adams 49-0 in 2018.
The Wolves will close out the 2019 regular season next week against Highland Park. Outside of Lancaster and Highland Park, Timberview’s district opponents are uniformly weak this year, but their region is not. Out of the teams currently ranked in the top 7 of Class 5A Division I, four of them are in Region II, and Timberview could potentially face #5 Lufkin in the second round and #7 Lancaster again in the 3rd round, should its season last that long.