Going into the first round of the Texas high school football playoffs last week the Texas Longhorns had 17 commits (not counting 5 injured players) whose seasons were still alive. That number was reduced by 7 by the end of last week’s playoff action.
Two commits who play for ranked 5A teams saw their seasons end in first round upsets, but the other five losses were more or less expected. Dramatic games were few and far between for the 12 teams of Longhorn commits that won their games last week. Jalen Milroe’s Katy Tompkins team won by 7 points, while Andrej Karic’s Southlake Carroll team won by 78. But the games will only get more difficult as the playoffs move along, and a few commits play in regions that are stacked with talented teams where there are no easy outs among the playoff teams remaining.
4 of this week’s games are matchups between teams that also played each other in last season’s playoffs, and another will pit two teams that met just a few weeks ago in the regular season.
10 Longhorn commits will take the field this week, while 5 others who are injured will watch their teams continue their playoff campaign from the sidelines. This week is the second (area) round of the playoffs for Texas athletes, but Utah defensive end Van Fillinger will play for a state championship on Friday, and 690 miles south of that site Bijan Robinson will lead his team against Arizona’s three-time defending 6A state champions in a semifinal playoff matchup.
You can watch Fillinger and his Corner Canyon teammates go for their second straight state title on Friday afternoon at 3:30 Central time via KSL’s live stream.
If you’re near Arlington, Abilene, Katy, or Mesquite, you won’t have to travel far to catch at least one future Longhorn in action this weekend. Three UT commits will have games at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium between tonight and Saturday, and Katy’s Legacy Stadium will have future Longhorns on its field both Friday and Saturday. So if you don’t have a prior commitment to take kids to watch Frozen 2 or to stream Friday’s new episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+, I recommend looking for a good game to watch.
All game times listed are for their particular location’s time zone.
Longhorn commits whose season is over
2020 RB Ty Jordan (West Mesquite)
Team did not qualify for the 5A Division I playoffs
2020 WR Quentin Johnston (Temple)
Last week: Caught 3 passes for 128 yards and one TD in a 41-10 loss to Longview in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Temple saw its season end in the first round of the playoffs against Longview in a battle between two of the seven all-time winningest high school football programs in Texas history. Quentin Johnston’s TD catch came in the 1st quarter and gave Temple a brief 7-6 lead over Longview, the defending 6A Division II state champion. But it was Temple’s only TD of the game and Longview took back the lead later in the quarter, then scored three 2nd quarter TDs to take a 34-10 lead at halftime.
According to the Temple Daily Telegram’s recap, Longview’s defense limited Temple to 67 total yards in the second half, and pretty much dominated the game from start to finish. Longview outgained Temple 534-218. Temple finished with an 8-3 record, and this was the Wildcats’ sixth straight season with 8 or more wins
2020 WR Troy Omeire (Fort Bend Austin)
Team did not qualify for the 6A playoffs
2020 OL Jaylen Garth (Port Neches-Groves) - injured, missed 2019 season
Last week: Team lost to Fort Bend Marshall 48-14 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Jaylen Garth missed all of the 2019 season and the second half of the 2018 season with different injuries. For the second straight season he could only watch from the sidelines as his team saw its season end in lopsided fashion against a highly-ranked Fort Bend Marshall team. Marshall beat Port Neches-Groves 53-14 in the third round of last year’s postseason.
PN-G reached the playoffs for a program-record seventh consecutive season and finished with an overall record of 7-4.
2020 OL Logan Parr (San Antonio O’Connor)
Last week: Team lost to San Antonio Reagan 23-20 (in overtime) in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Logan Parr saw his senior season end just as his junior year had: with a first round playoff loss to San Antonio Reagan. In 2018 O’Connor went into the playoffs undefeated but were quickly eliminated by Reagan 30-7. This season’s playoff re-match was a much closer affair, as the teams were tied three different times and neither one gained more than 300 offensive yards.
The teams were tied 17-17 at the end of the 3rd quarter, and following a scoreless 4th quarter the game went into overtime. O’Connor hit on a 38-yard field goal on the first possession of the overtime period, but Reagan walked it off with a 25-yard TD pass. O’Connor finished with a 8-3 record but more impressively reached the playoffs for a 17th straight season, which may be a San Antonio area record. Longtime area powerhouse Converse Judson’s longest playoff streak is also 17 seasons (1982-1998), and no other schools in the city of San Antonio have come close that that figure.
2020 DT Vernon Broughton (Cypress Ridge)
Team did not qualify for the 6A playoffs
2021 LB Derrick Harris (New Caney)
Last week: Team lost to Richmond Foster 31-21 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Derrick Harris helped his New Caney team to a district championship and its first-ever 10-0 regular season, which set them up with a first round playoff matchup against a 6-4 Richmond Foster team that I said in last week’s post “could be the most dangerous 6-4 team” in Class 5A Division I, as most of its losses were by small margins and it had played Shadow Creek, the #2 team in Class 5A Division I, far closer than any other team had this season. Also, Foster had advanced to at least the third round of the playoffs in each of the past four seasons.
Unfortunately, Foster proved me right by knocking off 10th-ranked New Caney 31-21 last Friday. New Caney’s senior QB Zion Childress, a UTSA wide receiver commit, rushed for 239 yards and had 397 total yards on the night, but he also lost two fumbles.
Foster led 17-14 at halftime, and a 95-yard TD run by Childress just over two minutes into the 3rd quarter gave New Caney its only lead of the game. Foster re-claimed the lead four minutes later after a 75-yard TD reception by junior receiver Cody Jackson, an Oklahoma commit. The score remained 24-21 in Foster’s favor for most of the game afterward, until a 2-yard run by running back Mario Simmons gave Foster a 10-point cushion with just 27 seconds left in regulation.
New Caney ended its season 10-1, posting its second consecutive 10-win season. The Eagles are 44-13 since the start of the 2015 season and have had five consecutive years with 7 or more wins. This after never once having consecutive 7-win seasons in the program’s first 60 years.
2020 DB Kitan Crawford (Tyler John Tyler)
Last week: Had 12 carries for 65 yards, caught 2 passes for 32 yards, fumbled twice and lost one in a 40-21 loss to College Station in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: John Tyler Lions were run off the field and out of the playoffs last week, as the College Station Cougars rushed for 351 yards on 52 carries as a team and led John Tyler 27-0 at halftime. College Station’s only turnover in the game resulted in a pick-six for John Tyler’s first points early in the 3rd quarter, but the Cougars responded and led 34-7 going into the 4th quarter.
After the second of two John Tyler TD runs in the 4th quarter the score was 34-21 in favor of College Station with 5:33 left in regulation, but College Station running back Kolbe Cashion ran in his fourth TD of the night from 29 yards out with 2:17 left to essentially put the game out of reach. Cashion finished the game with 233 rushing yards.
John Tyler finished the season 3-8, posting its worst record since going 1-9 in 2007.
2020 DB Jerrin Thompson (Lufkin)
Last week: Team lost to Texarkana Texas 41-35 (in double overtime) in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Lufkin began the 2019 season with a 24-21 loss to defending 6A Division II state champion Longview in a game in which Jerrin Thompson sat out most of the second half. The Panthers followed that loss up by winning their remaining 9 games of the regular season by an average margin of 34 points, and going into the playoffs as the #5 team in Class 5A Division I they seemed primed to make a long playoff run. But their season ended in the first round last week, as they fell in double overtime to a Texarkana Texas team that basically snuck into the postseason and had not won a playoff game since 2009.
Lufkin was 9-2 overall for the season.
2021 ATH Juan Davis (Everman)
Last week: Completed 1 of 3 passes for 25 yards, had 7 carries for 41 yards and one TD, caught 2 passes for 19 yards, and punted four times for an average of 31.3 yards in a 55-24 loss to Red Oak in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Everman went into the playoffs with its worst regular season record since 1998, and its postseason run ended very quickly with a 31-point loss to a Red Oak team that was 9-1 this season but seven years removed from its last playoff win. Red Oak led 34-7 at halftime.
Everman finished its 2019 campaign 4-7.
2020 ATH Jaden Hullaby (Mansfield Timberview)
Last week: Completed 2 of 3 passes for 37 yards, had 5 carries for -22 yards, and caught 1 pass for 19 yards in a 43-28 loss to Frisco Independence in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: As a junior Jaden Hullaby helped lead Dallas Bishop Dunne to a TAPPS Division I state championship. But after transferring to Mansfield Timberview (the school where he had begun his high school career) and playing for most of this fall as the Wolves’ QB, his senior season ended with a first round playoff loss to Frisco Independence.
Timberview’s possessions in the first half resulted in: a safety, 4 punts, a TD run, and a lost fumble deep in their own end of the field. The Wolves were outgained 322-6 in the first half, but remarkably they only trailed 22-14 at halftime. Their first TD was set up by a long kickoff return that gave Timberview a 1st down at the Independence 9-yard line following a penalty. Their second was scored on a 85-yard kickoff return in the 2nd quarter.
On the opening possession of the 3rd quarter, Timberview had its first sustained drive of the game, going 59 yards on 9 plays (including a 24-yard pass from Hullaby to Stacy Sneed that converted on a 3rd-and-23 play and got the Wolves across midfield) and scoring on a 11-yard run by Montaye Dawson that cut the deficit to 22-21 with 8:03 left in the 3rd quarter.
But Independence answered with a score of its own, and Timberview had subsequent drives torpedoed by an interception, lost fumble, and a turnover on downs and never got any closer than 8 points for the rest of the game. The Wolves averaged 300 rushing yards per game for much of the season, but Independence limited them to just 48 yards on 39 carries.
Independence’s junior QB Braylon Braxton (who has been offered by Memphis and UConn this month) finished the game with 168 yards passing and 197 yards rushing, and junior tight end Elijah Arroyo had 4 catches for a game-high 79 receiving yards. In previewing this matchup in last week’s post I said that offers should eventually come for Arroyo, and he reported receiving his first offer from UConn some 7 hours after that post was published.
Hullaby was either injured early in the 3rd quarter or was simply replaced at QB. The Dallas Morning News’ play-by-play rundown for the game shows Hullaby running for a 8-yard loss during Timberview’s first possession of the 3rd quarter, and following a timeout it was senior running back and Colorado commit Stacy Sneed who led the rest of that drive and attempted all of Timberview’s passes for the remainder of the game. Hullaby also had no more carries after that but he did catch a 18-yard pass from Sneed on the final play of the 3rd quarter.
Timberview finished its season with an overall record of 6-5.
Commits in the playoffs this week
2020 QB Hudson Card (Lake Travis) - injured
2021 TE Lake McRee (Lake Travis) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team beat Smithson Valley 21-3 in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 22 at 7:30, vs. San Antonio Madison (at San Marcos’s Rattler Stadium) in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Lake Travis trailed 3-0 at the end of the 1st quarter in its first round playoff game against a solid Smithson Valley team last week, but scored 21 unanswered points over the game’s remaining three quarters to win and advance to the area round for a seventh straight season, and for the 13th time out of 15 seasons. (Maybe the most impressive streak in that vein is that of the Katy Tigers, who have not only reached the postseason every year since 1991, but have not lost a first round game since 1994!)
Lake Travis’s junior QB Nate Yarnell completed 14 of 25 passes for 163 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception, and also had a 1-yard TD run in the 2nd quarter that put Lake Travis ahead 14-3 at the time.
Hudson Card has not played since Lake Travis’s 26-25 win over archrival Austin Westlake on October 11. He suffered a foot injury during the game that was initially believed to be season-ending, but upon further examination it was reported that he would be out 4-6 weeks. This Friday’s area round matchup with San Antonio Madison will kick off a full six weeks after Card’s injury, but a published report on Tuesday stated that Card was not expected to play.
This will be the fourth straight postseason in which Lake Travis has played Madison; the Cavaliers beat the Madison Mavericks in the first round in both 2016 and 2017, and also won a meeting in last year’s area round. Lake Travis’s average margin of victory in those three games was 35 points.
Madison has never played for a state championship but it has experienced successes that few San Antonio programs have had in the past two decades. Between 1998 and 2013, the Mavericks advanced at least four rounds into the playoffs eight times, and got as far as the state semifinals three times, but they’ve won just one playoff game since falling to Pearland in the semifinals of the 5A Division I playoffs in 2013.
This season, Madison went 8-2 in the regular season and ran the table against its District 27-6A foes to win its second straight district title. A 28-21 win over San Antonio Stevens last week sent Madison to the second round, where its chances of beating Lake Travis are probably not marginally better than they’ve been in the previous three years. One of Madison’s two losses on the season was a 44-0 drubbing on September 12 at the hands of Smithson Valley, who Lake Travis beat 21-3 last week.
The winner of Friday’s Lake Travis-Madison game will play either McAllen Memorial or Weslaco.
2020 QB Ja’Quinden Jackson (Duncanville)
Last week: Completed 5 of 7 passes for 115 yards and 2 TDs, and had 5 carries for 116 yards and 1 TD in a 45-14 win over South Grand Prairie in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 23 at 3:00, vs. Flower Mound (at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium) in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: South Grand Prairie scored more points last week than Duncanville had allowed to its previous seven opponents combined, but the Panthers had built a 45-0 lead before SGP got on the scoreboard, and the game was not a dramatic one.
Ja’Quinden Jackson ran for a 75-yard TD on the game’s first offensive play, then after forcing a SGP punt Duncanville scored against two plays later to take a 14-0 lead. On SGP’s ensuing possession a botched punt was recovered by Duncanville at the 1-yard line, and Central Arkansas commit Trysten Smith scored his second TD of the game to make the score 21-0 with 5:47 left in the 1st quarter, and the rout was on.
Jackson tossed a pair of TD passes in the 2nd quarter. With the Panthers leading 38-0 late in the quarter South Grand Prairie drove into Duncanville territory and had a 4th-and-11 at the 38-yard line. SGP had punted on 4th-and-12 from that same spot two drives earlier when they had trailed 28-0, and Duncanville had scored one play later to make the score 35-0. With the first half coming to a close and with nothing to lose, SGP went for it but was intercepted, and the pass was returned 62 yards for a TD to give Duncanville a 45-0 lead with ten seconds left in the half.
Jackson did not play in the second half, and SGP was kept off the scoreboard until 4:13 remained in the 3rd quarter. After missing the playoffs in four straight seasons from 2012 to 2015, Duncanville has now advanced to the second round in four consecutive years. Before their current run the Panthers had never had such a streak of longer than two years. In order to advance to the third round (regional semifinals) for a third time in four seasons they’ll have to beat Flower Mound, who they will play on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Flower Mound is 8-3 this season and is coming off a 31-30 win over Keller in the bi-district round last week, the first-ever playoff win for a Flower Mound Jaguars program now in its 20th varsity football season. Flower Mound led 24-10 going into the 4th quarter of that game but Keller scored three TDs to take a 30-24 lead with 1:25 left in regulation. Flower Mound drove 75 yards on 9 plays and got a game-winning TD pass with ten seconds remaining. Flower Mound’s eight wins this season ties a program record. That will likely remain the program record for at least another year.
Flower Mound’s three losses all came against eventual playoff teams that now have a combined record of 27-6, but the Jaguars haven’t played any team even close to Duncanville’s caliber, and I doubt this game will be much closer than most of the Panthers’ other games of the past 2 months. The winner between Duncanville and Flower Mound will face either Odessa Permian or Arlington Martin next week.
2021 QB Jalen Milroe (Katy Tompkins)
Last week: Completed 11 of 16 passes for 237 yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs, and had 8 carries for 36 yards and 1 TD in a 35-28 win over Fort Bend Travis in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 15 at 7:00, vs. Cypress Falls (at Katy’s Legacy Stadium) in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Katy Tompkins won a first round playoff battle of state-ranked teams last week, eliminating previously unbeaten Fort Bend Travis to advance to this week’s area round. #24 Travis led 14-7 just over a minute into the 2nd quarter, but a pass from Jalen Milroe to senior receiver Garrett Mack tied the score with 7:21 left in the first half. Another TD pass from Milroe to senior tight end Conner Kinslow less than three minutes later gave the #19 Tompkins Falcons a 21-14 lead, and they never trailed again.
Tompkins led 35-14 after Milroe ran for a 1-yard TD with 8:17 left in the 4th quarter. But Travis answered a minute later with a 12-yard TD run by senior QB Eric Rodriguez, who finished the game with 300 total yards and 3 TDs. Travis cut the deficit to 35-28 when Rodriguez connected with senior receiver Jarrell Farr on a 50-yard TD with 4:47 left in regulation, but Tompkins held on for the win.
Milroe accounted for four total TDs in the game, but was also victimized for three intereceptions in the first half after throwing just two during the entire regular season.
Tompkins will face 10-1 Cypress Falls on Friday. The Cypress Falls Eagles were the runner-up in District 17-6A, and their only loss of the season was a 37-20 defeat to Cy-Fair, the #7 team in Class 6A. Tompkins and Cypress Falls met in the area round a year ago, with Tompkins winning 31-21. Milroe will be throwing against a Cy Falls secondary that includes senior UTEP commits Jayden Goodwin and Ricky Johnson, who along with combining for 5 interceptions and 87 tackles are also the team’s two leading receivers, with 76 receptions for 1,159 yards and 5 TDs between them.
The winner between Tompkins and Cypress Falls will take on the winner of a Saturday afternoon matchup between #9 Humble Atascocita and #13 Dickinson. Of the eight teams remaining in Region III of the 6A Division I bracket, six of them are ranked, with #19 Tompkins being the lowest-rated of that bunch.
2020 RB Bijan Robinson (Salpointe Catholic - Tucson, Arizona)
Last week: Had 19 carries for 142 yards and 1 TD, and caught 1 pass for an 86-yard TD in a 48-10 win over Phoenix Pinnacle in the first round of the AIA Open Division playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 23 at 6:00, vs. Chandler (at Hamilton High School) in the Open Division semifinals.
Notes: Bijan Robinson had 19 carries and 20 total offensive touches in last week’s Open Division playoff game against Pinnacle. That was easily the most touches he’d had in a game since the 30 touches he compiled in the 2018 Conference 4A championship, which Salpointe Catholic lost 42-16 to Saguaro, who the Lancers could potentially have a re-match with if they reach the Open Division final.
Salpointe Catholic led Pinnacle 17-10 at halftime, but scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to blow the game open. Robinson scored Salpointe’s first two TDs in the game on a 86-yard reception and a 46-yard run.
The Lancers, who earned the #4 seed in the Open Division playoffs, will face top seed and three-time defending Conference 6A state champion Chandler on Saturday. Chandler has won 24 consecutive games, the most recent being a 56-14 win last week in the first round of the Open Division playoffs over #8 seed Scottsdale Chaparral. Chandler has outscored its 2019 opponents by an average of 40 points per game, and is ranked #12 nationally in this week’s USA Today Super 25.
This column followed the Chandler Wolves’ 2018 state championship season due to Longhorn tight end commit Brayden Liebrock being on their roster. That 2018 team had 7 seniors who signed with FBS programs, but despite graduating all that talent the 2019 team has apparently not skipped a beat. Senior running back Daveon Hunter, who has reported offers from Wyoming and UNLV, is averaging over 11 yards per carry and has rushed for 1,465 yards and 31 TDs this fall. Sophomore receiver Kyion Grayes leads the team with 39 receptions for 753 yards, and he has reportedly been offered by Arizona, Arizona State, and Kansas.
Bijan Robinson and the Lancer offense will be facing a talented Chandler defense that includes Wisconsin linebacker commit Malik Reed, Northwestern safety commit Gunner Maldonado, and BYU defensive tackle commit Sitalingi Havea. Among their junior prospects is defensive end Brandon Buckner, who leads the team with 11 sacks and 16 tackles for loss and has four Pac-12 offers.
The winner between Salpointe Catholic and Chandler will play for the Open Division Championship on December 7 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe against either #3 seed Saguaro or #7 seed Chandler Hamilton.
2020 WR Dajon Harrison (Hutto) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team beat Seguin 35-27 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 22 at 7:30, vs. Alvin Shadow Creek (at Waller ISD Stadium) in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: With Dajon Harrison sidelined for the playoffs due to an injury suffered in Hutto’s regular season finale, the Hippos won a closer-than-expected first round playoff game over Seguin. Hutto led 25-5 at halftime and 35-13 going into the 4th quarter, but Seguin scored two 4th quarter TDs to make it a 8-point game.
Hutto, which ended the regular season as the #8 team in Class 5A Division I, reached the third round of the playoffs in both 2017 and 2018, but to do so this season it will have to get past #2 Shadow Creek. Harrison won’t be playing in the game but he should get a chance to greet and have a photo-op with fellow commit Xavion Alford, Shadow Creek’s star defensive back who will also miss the playoffs due to injury.
The winner will play either Richmond Foster or Georgetown next week.
2021 OL Hayden Conner (Katy Taylor)
Last week: Credited with 5 pancake blocks in a 51-41 win over Fort Bend Elkins in the Class 6A Division II playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 23 at 1:00, vs. Houston Memorial (at Katy’s Legacy Stadium) in the area round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Katy Taylor led Fort Bend Elkins 35-7 at one point in the 2nd quarter of their first round playoff game last week, then Taylor withstood a second half rally in which Elkins got within three points at 44-41 with 3:18 left in regulation. But Taylor running back C.J. Tolbert scored on a 14-yard run to give the Mustangs a 51-41 lead with 2:03 left, and neither team scored in the game’s final two minutes.
It was Taylor’s sixth straight win in a first round playoff game, and sent the Mustangs to the area round for fourth consecutive year. The last time Taylor advanced to the third round was in 2008, and to do so this season it will have to beat Houston Memorial, the fourth place team out of District 17-6A. Memorial, which is 7-4, beat Houston Heights 20-9 last week to give the school (whose mascot is also the Mustangs) its first playoff win since 2014.
In Jalen Milroe’s section I noted how tough Region III in the 6A Division I bracket was. By contrast, that same region in the 6A Division II bracket (which Taylor is in) is far more wide open, with no ranked teams, no teams with fewer than two losses, and only one team among the eight remaining in that region that finished better than 3rd place in its district. The winner between Taylor and Memorial will face either Humble or Richmond George Ranch.
2020 OL Andrej Karic (Southlake Carroll)
Last week: Team beat Lewisville 84-6 in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 22 at 4:30, vs. DeSoto (at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium) in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Carroll, the #6 team in Class 6A, scored at will against a defenseless Lewisville team in its first round playoff game last week. The Dragons quickly led 7-0 after a 66-yard TD pass from sophomore QB Quinn Ewers to junior WR Brady Boyd on the first offensive play of the game. Carroll’s 18th offensive play was a 8-yard TD run by Owen Allen in the first minute of the 2nd quarter that made the score 49-0. Owen had four rushing TDs by the end of that quarter, and Carroll led 63-0 at halftime.
Carroll finished up its scoring with a TD run with 4:34 left in the 3rd quarter that made the score 84-0. The 84 points reportedly tied the program’s record for most points scored in a single game, and it set a new playoff high, topping a 73-23 win over El Paso El Dorado in the 2012 postseason. Had the game been called at halftime the 63 points Carroll had at the time would have been tied for the third-most points the Dragons had ever scored in a playoff game.
Carroll won’t be scoring 84 points this week, but its area round game against DeSoto on Friday certainly could feature as many combined points. DeSoto, which is in the playoffs for a 24th straight season, beat Dallas Skyline 44-6 last week to advance to the second round for a 14th consecutive year. This will be the fourth straight year DeSoto and Carroll have met in the second round, and their fifth all-time playoff meeting.
Carroll beat DeSoto 41-20 last season, and also won by a score of 33-17 in 2017. In 2016 DeSoto slew the Dragons 48-30 on their way to an eventual 6A Division II state championship. DeSoto also beat Carroll 49-45 in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 playoffs before losing 51-36 in the semifinals to eventual state champion Allen.
DeSoto is 9-2 for the season, with both of its losses coming by just one point. DeSoto and Carroll had two mutual opponents this season in South Grand Prairie and Odessa Permian. Carroll beat South Grand Prairie 35-20 in the season’s first week, then beat Permian on the road 48-7 two weeks later. DeSoto beat SGP 41-26 on November 1 in its penultimate regular season game, and beat Permian 35-14 at home in its season-opener.
Andrej Karic and the Carroll offensive line will be facing a DeSoto front that includes four-star junior defensive end Shemar Turner and three-star junior defensive tackle Byron Murphy, a duo that has been credited with 135 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries. Turner has been offered by Texas and 20 other FBS programs, while Murphy has four P5 offers.
The winner between Carroll and DeSoto will move on to the regional semifinals and play either Midland Lee or #25 Arlington Lamar.
2020 OL Jake Majors (Prosper)
Last week: Team beat Wylie 24-0 in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 22 at 7:00, vs. Mesquite (at Allen’s Eagle Stadium) in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Prosper didn’t put a ton of points on the board but its defense kept Wylie from being able to finish its drives, and the Eagles got a 24-0 win to advance to the second round. Prosper scored one touchdown in each of the first three quarters and added a 4th quarter field goal to lead 24-0 with 11:11 left in regulation. The Eagles’ defense forced three punts, an interception, and a turnover on downs in the first half. Wylie got as close as Prosper’s 24-yard line at the end of the 2nd quarter but missed a field goal attempt just before halftime. Wylie never made it beyond Prosper’s 34-yard line in the second half.
With the win Prosper moved on to the area round and will face a 8-3 Mesquite team that advanced by beating Killeen Shoemaker 52-6 last week. Mesquite’s three losses all came by 21 or more points and it ended the regular season with losses to #22 Rockwall and #4 Longview. The Prosper-Mesquite winner will play the winner between The Woodlands and Cypress Woods.
An item I forgot to include in last week’s post is that Jake Majors caught a TD pass in Prosper’s regular season finale against Plano on November 8. Lining up at his usual left tackle spot, he caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage on a 1st-and-goal play from the 5-yard line and barreled into the end zone for the game’s first points with 5:09 left in the 1st quarter. Prosper would go on to win 58-27. Majors’s touchdown was reminiscent of the lateral catch-and-run for a TD by left tackle Sam Cosmi in the 4th quarter of the Longhorns’ win over West Virginia on October 3. You can see Majors’s score in the first clip of the video below.
2020 DE Van Fillinger (Corner Canyon - Draper, Utah)
Last week: Made 6 tackles in a 34-7 win over Lone Peak in the semifinals of the UHSAA Class 6A playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 22 at 2:30, vs. American Fork (at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium) in the UHSAA Class 6A state championship game.
Notes: In late September Corner Canyon scored two last-minute touchdowns to win a closely-contested matchup with defending 6A state champion Lone Peak. The teams had a re-match in last week’s state semifinals and the game was close for most of the first half, but Corner Canyon asserted its dominance in the second half to win comfortably.
The Chargers scored an 80-yard TD pass on the game’s first offensive play to take a quick 6-0 lead. They had multiple opportunities to expand that lead later in the 1st quarter but missed on one field goal attempt and had another one blocked. Lone Peak had its opportunities to take the lead but fumbled deep in Corner Canyon territory in the 1st quarter, and in the 2nd quarter after intercepting a pass and starting off a drive in the red zone they turned the ball over on downs after a run off a fake field goal came up just short of a 1st down conversion.
After that change of possession, Corner Canyon drove from its own 8-yard line and scored on a 9-yard TD pass with under 30 seconds left in the half to take a 13-0 lead. Lone Peak scored its only points at the end of a 17-play drive late in the 3rd quarter that cut the deficit to 20-7, but the Chargers grew their lead back to 20 points on a 57-yard TD run by senior QB Cole Hagen with 10:19 left in regulation, which made the score 27-7. A pick-six later in the quarter by Corner Canyon finished off the game’s scoring.
The 34-7 win was Corner Canyon’s 25th consecutive victory since the start of the 2018 season, good for the seventh-longest win streak in state history, according to the UHSAA’s records book. The longest win streak in Utah’s history is Duchesne’s 48 straight wins between 2010 and 2014, a period during which it won four straight 1A state titles. The best streak by a big school is the 36 straight games won by Provo Timpview between 2006 and 2009, when it won four straight 4A state crowns.
Corner Canyon moved up to Class 6A for the 2019-2020 school year after winning the 5A state title in 2018, and the Chargers should be heavily favored to take home championship hardware once again when they take on American Fork in the 6A state championship on Friday afternoon.
American Fork is 10-4 and will be the third playoff opponent that Corner Canyon previously faced in the regular season. In the final week of the regular season, Corner Canyon beat American Fork 59-28. If American Fork were to pull the upset on Friday it would be the second consecutive year in which the 6A state title was won by a team against an opponent it had lost to during the regular season.
American Fork, whose mascot is the Cavemen, lost to Lone Peak in the 2018 6A state championship and was the Class 5A runner-up in 2014 (5A was Utah’s highest classification from 1993 until 2017, when 6A was created). In its only other state final appearances it won back-to-back Class B state championships in 1961 and 1962. Not winning a state title in 57 years proves that doing so it not so easy that a Caveman can do it.
The UHSAA employed an “all comers” playoff bracket for Class 6A and its 27 teams this season, and Corner Canyon entered the playoffs as the #1 seed while American Fork was #7. American Fork beat #26 seed Clearfield 49-3 in the first round, outscored #10 seed Roy 66-45 in the second round, upset #2 seed Herriman 28-14 in the quarterfinals, and defeated #6 seed Salt Lake City East 37-27 in last week’s semifinals.
Along with being the top-ranked team in Utah for several weeks Corner Canyon has begun to recently receive some national love. The Chargers are ranked #23 in this week’s USA Today Super 25 rankings, and MaxPrep’s Xcellent 25 Writers’ Poll has Corner Canyon at #22.
2020 LB Prince Dorbah (Highland Park)
Last week: Team beat Frisco Wakeland 33-10 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Thursday, November 21 at 7:00, vs. Magnolia (at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium) in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Highland Park began its quest for a fourth straight 5A Division I state title with last week’s first round game against Wakeland. Wakeland led 3-0 following a made field goal in the final minute of the 1st quarter. But Highland Park scored the game’s next 33 points to take control of the contest.
The Scots led 33-3 following a 25-yard TD pass from senior QB Chandler Morris with 8:03 left in regulation, and Wakeland scored its only TD of the game on a 3-yard pass with 2:59 left.
They will attempt to continue their playoff run for another week when they face Magnolia tonight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Magnolia made the 210+ mile drive to Mesquite and beat Poteet 34-14 in their first round game last week. The Magnolia Bulldogs finished tied for 2nd place in District 8-5A Division I and are 8-3 this season.
Regardless of the outcome this will be the fifth straight season in which the Bulldogs finish with a record of .500 or better; the last time the program had a streak of .500 seasons that long was its 1964-70 run in which it won five district titles in seven seasons. In contrast, Highland Park has never finished below .500 in more than two consecutive seasons, and the last time that happened was 1973-74.
The winner between Highland Park and Magnolia will advance to the regional semifinals and play either College Station or 5A Division I’s top-ranked team, Frisco Lone Star, which dealt Highland Park its only loss of this season.
2020 DB Xavion Alford (Alvin Shadow Creek) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team beat Port Arthur Memorial 49-7.
This week: Friday, November 22 at 7:30, vs. Hutto (at Waller ISD Stadium) in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Shadow Creek outscored its regular season opponents by an average of 41.9 points, and its first playoff game had an identical result, with the Sharks winning by 42 over Port Arthur Memorial.
Shadow Creek is ranked #2 in Class 5A Division I and will next play #8 Hutto in the area round. Hutto’s only loss was a 20-16 defeat to #6 Cedar Park on October 18. Since then Hutto has lost star receiver/defensive back and Longhorn commit Dajon Harrison. Shadow Creek has put together a dominating season’s worth of work without Xavion Alford’s services, but whether Hutto can maintain its regular season excellence without Harrison in the lineup is yet to be determined. It should be noted that Harrison is not Hutto’s only D1 prospect, as its defense includes four-star 2021 defensive end and LSU commit Landyn Watson, as well as 2020 defensive tackle and Houston Baptist commit Lordswill Uwa.
The winner between Shadow Creek and Hutto will play the winner between Richmond Foster and Georgetown.
2021 ATH Billy Bowman (Denton Ryan)
2021 ATH Ja’Tavion Sanders (Denton Ryan)
Last week: Bowman caught 3 passes for 82 yards and 1 TD and scored on a punt return, and Sanders caught 1 pass for 29 yards in a 56-19 win over Granbury in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 23 at 3:00, vs. Lubbock Coronado (at Abilene’s Anthony Field) in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: As it has consistently done this season, Denton Ryan put the game out of reach early and then rested its starters in the second half in last week’s playoff contest against Granbury. The Raiders rolled up 517 offensive yards in the first two quarters and led 56-7 at halftime.
It was the eighth time in eleven games this season that Ryan has scored at least 42 points in the first half. Billy Bowman had two 54-yard scoring plays, the first a punt return TD with 4:43 left in the 1st quarter, and the latter a TD reception with 3:25 left in the 2nd quarter.
On Saturday the Raiders will travel to Abilene to play Lubbock Coronado, the third place team from District 2-5A Division I. Coronado is a pass-first team after Mike Leach’s own heart that has put up huge numbers through the air this season. Junior four-star QB Sawyer Robertson (who has been offered by Mike Leach’s Washington State team, along with 3 other FBS programs) is currently rated as the #29 overall Texas recruit in the 2021 class and has thrown for 3,689 yards and 42 TDs this season. He threw for 385 yards and 5 TDs in a 54-41 first round win last week over El Paso Eastwood.
Robertson has spread the ball around this fall, and five different players have recorded at least 24 receptions. Coronado’s defense has surrendered its share of points at times but it has some talent on that side of the ball, highlighted by 2021 safety Izaiah Kelley, who committed to SMU last week and has been credited with 102 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles this season.
This is the third straight season Ryan and Coronado have met in the playoffs. Ryan eliminated the Mustangs in the third round last season by a 30-0 score, and beat them 69-49 in the state quarterfinals in 2017.
The winner between Ryan and Coronado will face either Azle or Lubbock Cooper in the regional semifinals next week.