It’s a Thanksgiving Day weekend edition of “Texas football commits in action”, where regardless of how frustrating it is to watch the Texas Longhorns from week to week, the future of the roster still looks bright the recruits committed to the program have shown themselves to be a very solid group.
The Longhorns’ two out-of-state football commits both had their senior seasons come to a close last week. Utah defensive lineman Van Fillinger walked off the field a state champion in his final high school game, while five-star running back Bijan Robinson’s team fell in a close matchup against a defending state champion in Arizona’s Open Division semifinals.
Injured wide receiver commit Dajon Harrison (Hutto) saw his team’s season end in the second round of the Texas playoffs last week, but all eight healthy in-state commits who took the field survived to play another week, and some could be on a postseason collision course if they win their games this week.
College coaches annually extol the benefits of their team getting to play in a postseason bowl, because preparing for even the least prestigious of bowl games allows their team to get extra practices at the end of their season and allows the underclassmen to get more work in on the practice field a few months before spring practices begin. Likewise, each round of the playoffs that a high school team advances past leading up to the championship brings another week of practices for not only the team veterans but for younger players promoted from the JV or freshman team for the playoff roster.
This week’s playoff slate of games involving the teams of UT commits is replete with rematches. Lake Travis faces a Weslaco team that it knocked out of the playoffs in 2018, Highland Park faces a top-ranked Frisco Lone Star team that dealt it its only loss earlier this season, Duncanville has a third round matchup with a ranked Arlington Martin team it met in a preseason scrimmage in August, and Alvin Shadow Creek takes on a Richmond Foster team it eliminated from last year’s playoffs and who it will play against for a fourth time in two seasons.
Duncanville, Denton Ryan, and Highland Park are all top contenders for their classification’s state final, but all face tough challengers this week, and it would be at least a mild surprise if all eight healthy commits who take the field this weekend are still playing football next week.
The Dallas and Houston areas will both host several great postseason matchups on Friday and Saturday, so once you’re over your Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie coma and your Longhorns have finished their game against Texas Tech on Friday afternoon, there will be more great football worth taking in if you’re near one of those games.
I hope everyone reading this has a great Thanksgiving weekend, and hopefully there will still be a need for these posts all the way up to the state championship week.
This column will start off with a rundown of the future Longhorns who are finished for the 2019 season, then move on to those whose teams are still alive in the postseason and have games this week.
Commits whose season has ended
2020 RB Ty Jordan (West Mesquite)
Team finished 2-8 and did not qualify for the Class 5A Division I playoffs
2020 RB Bijan Robinson (Salpointe Catholic - Tucson, Arizona)
Last week: Had 18 carries for 119 yards and 1 TD, and caught 4 passes for 63 yards in a 24-16 loss to Chandler in the semifinals of the AIA Open Division playoffs.
Notes: Facing a nationally-ranked Chandler team that had won Arizona’s last three Conference 6A state titles, Bijan Robinson produced 182 yards from scrimmage on 22 touches and had a few highlight reel plays, but his team came up short in the end.
Salpointe Catholic led at two different points in the game, but Chandler always had an answer. Ohio State safety commit Lathan Ransom caught a receiving TD in the 2nd quarter that put the Salpointe Catholic Lancers ahead 6-3, but Chandler responded with a passing TD of its own with 6:44 left in the 2nd quarter, and the Wolves led 10-6 at halftime.
Bijan Robinson ran for a 50-yard TD on the first offensive play of the second half to put the Lancers back on top at 13-10j, but Chandler scored on its ensuing drive to take a 17-13 lead. Salpointe Catholic got as close as Chandler’s 6-yard line on its next drive, but ended up kicking a field goal with 1:06 left in the 3rd quarter and remained behind 17-16.
Salpointe Catholic’s next drive ended up deciding the game, as a bad snap on a punt attempt was recovered in the end zone for a Chandler TD to extend the Wolves’ lead to 24-16 with 7:46 left in regulation, and they held on to win by that score.
Aside from the disastrous punting miscue that resulted in a Chandler TD, Salpointe Catholic also had an interception and lost fumble in the game, and on their first possession of the game the Lancers were unable to punch the ball into the end zone on a 4th-and-goal play from the 1-yard line.
Salpointe Catholic finished its 2019 season 10-1, and longtime coach Dennis Bene — who announced in August that he would retire at the end of this season — finished with a record of 184-44 and one state title in 19 seasons leading the football program at his alma mater. The loss to Chandler denied the Lancers the opportunity at a state final rematch with six-time defending 4A state champion Saguaro, who beat Salpointe Catholic in last year’s 4A championship and will play Chandler in the Open Division Championship on December 7.
Bijan Robinson passed the 7,000 yard career rushing mark during the loss to Chandler and concluded his decorated high school career with 7,036 yards and 103 touchdowns on the ground. He came up 500 yards short of breaking Casey Jahn’s state career rushing record but has by far the most rushing yards of any player who spent his career above the 2A level, and his 114 total touchdowns are a new state record.
2020 WR Dajon Harrison (Hutto) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team lost to Alvin Shadow Creek 63-14 in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Facing their classification’s 2nd-ranked team and without Dajon Harrison in their lineup, the Hutto Hippos were dismissed from the playoffs in blowout fashion last week by the Shadow Creek Sharks. Hutto was outgained on offense 370-177, had a net rushing total of -7 yards, and committed 6 turnovers. The 49 point loss was by far the largest the Hippos have ever had in the playoffs, their previous worst being a 32-point loss to College Station in the first round of the 2015 playoffs.
Hutto finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 9-2 and reached the playoffs for a sixth straight season; before their current streak the Hippos had never had a playoff streak of longer than two seasons. Dajon Harrison, who was injured in the team’s regular season finale, completed his senior year with 21 carries for 235 yards and 2 TDs, a team-leading 34 receptions for 734 yards and 8 TDs, and 14 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble on defense.
2020 WR Quentin Johnston (Temple)
Team lost to Longview 41-20 on Nov. 15 in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs.
2020 WR Troy Omeire (Fort Bend Austin)
Team did not qualify for the Class 6A playoffs. Omeire was voted the Offensive MVP of District 20-6A.
2020 OL Jaylen Garth (Port Neches-Groves) - injured, missed 2019 season
Team lost to Fort Bend Marshall 48-14 on Nov. 15 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs.
2020 OL Logan Parr (San Antonio O’Connor)
Team lost to San Antonio Reagan 23-20 on Nov. 16 in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
2020 DT Vernon Broughton (Cypress Ridge)
Team finished 5-5 and did not qualify for the Class 6A playoffs
2020 DE Van Fillinger (Corner Canyon - Draper, Utah)
Last week: Made 9 total tackles (8 solo), 1 sack, and 1 tackle for loss in a 49-14 win over American Fork in the UHSAA Class 6A state championship.
Notes: Van Fillinger’s Corner Canyon team dominated American Fork last Friday for the second time in 37 days to take home its second consecutive state championship trophy. Corner Canyon, which completed just its seventh varsity football season, moved up to Class 6A (Utah’s highest classification) after winning last year’s 5A state title, and frequently routed a slate of opponents that included six of Maxpreps’s final top ten teams in Utah, two of whom the Chargers beat twice. Corner Canyon has won 26 straight games since losing 34-33 to Skyridge in the 2017 Class 5A state final, and is now 37-1 in three seasons under head coach Eric Kjar.
Corner Canyon beat American Fork 59-28 in its final regular season game and went into the Class 6A playoffs as the #1 seed. American Fork, which had lost in the 6A state championship in 2018, was 6-4 going into the playoffs and had the #7 seed, and it defeated two higher-seeded opponents on its way to reaching a second straight state final and getting a rematch with Corner Canyon.
The American Fork Cavemen made Corner Canyon work for their points early on, as the Chargers converted on three 4th down plays on their opening 16-play drive, which was capped off with a 14-yard TD pass on a 4th-and-7 play. American Fork also got an interception later in the 1st quarter, but turned the ball back over shortly afterward. Corner Canyon took a 14-0 lead in the 2nd quarter, but American Fork answered with a TD to cut the deficit to 14-7.
Late in the quarter Corner Canyon scored to expand its lead to 21-7, then intercepted an American Fork pass and scored 6 plays and 65 yards later to take a 28-7 lead that it carried into halftime. The 3rd quarter began as the 2nd quarter had ended, with a Corner Canyon TD, followed by an interception on defense that set up another TD, and the Chargers led 42-7 less than half-way through the 3rd quarter. Corner Canyon’s defense picked off American Fork four times in the game.
Van Fillinger finished his senior season with 88 tackles (third-most on the team) and a team-leading 24 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. He was also credited with a forced fumble and 14 QB hurries this season.
Fillinger is the fourth out-of-state Texas commit (and hopefully the third eventual signee) of the Tom Herman era to win a state championship. 2019 signees Brayden Liebrock and Marcus Washington were members of state championship teams a year ago in Arizona and Missouri, respectively. 2018 recruit Rondale Moore was a Texas commit when he led his school to a 2017 state championship in Kentucky, but he decommitted from the Longhorns two weeks later and eventually signed with Purdue. Going a bit further back, 2015 signee Garrett Thomas was a member of Louisiana’s 2014 Class 2A state championship team, and 2012 QB signee Connor Brewer led his school to a pair of Arizona state titles.
2021 LB Derrick Harris (New Caney)
Team lost to Richmond Foster 31-21 on Nov. 15 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
2020 DB Kitan Crawford (Tyler John Tyler)
Team lost to College Station 40-21 on Nov. 15 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
2020 DB Jerrin Thompson (Lufkin)
Team lost to Texarkana Texas 41-35 on Nov. 15 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
2021 ATH Juan Davis (Everman)
Team lost to Red Oak 55-24 on Nov. 15 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs.
2020 ATH Jaden Hullaby (Mansfield Timberview)
Team lost to Frisco Independence 43-28 on Nov. 14 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
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 San Antonio Madison 49-21 in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 29 at 1:00, vs. Weslaco (at San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Last week Lake Travis won its fifth straight game with junior QB Nate Yarnell starting in place of the injured Hudson Card. Yarnell completed 19 of 25 passes and tossed a pair of TDs in the first half. Madison scored its first TD in the 2nd quarter to make the score 14-7 in Lake Travis’s favor, but the Cavaliers scored the game’s next 28 points to firmly take control.
Lake Travis got 165 rushing yards and 226 total yards from scrimmage from junior running back Weston Stephens, both of which were career highs. Stephens scored three rushing TDs, including one on a 56-yard run in the 2nd quarter that was the second-longest run of his career behind a 60-yard run he had in the playoffs a year ago, also against Madison.
This is the fourth straight year Lake Travis has eliminated Madison from the playoffs. That win came a week after the Cavaliers beat Smithson Valley in the first round for a second straight year, and they will face another familiar playoff foe this afternoon: the Weslaco Panthers. Weslaco was the runner-up in District 31-6A this season and has an overall record of 10-2, with its two losses both coming by just three points.
Lake Travis and Weslaco met at this same point in the 2018 playoffs, and the Cavaliers dispatched the Panthers easily by a score of 56-14 in a game in which Hudson Card passed for 7 TDs and accounted for 396 total yards. Card has not taken the field since suffering a foot injury during Lake Travis’s win over Austin Westlake on October 11 and is reportedly not expected to play this week.
The winner between Lake Travis and Weslaco will advance to the Region IV final of the 6A Division I playoffs and play against either Laredo United or state-ranked Converse Judson.
2020 QB Ja’Quinden Jackson (Duncanville)
Last week: Completed 3 of 11 passes for 55 yards, and had 7 carries for 90 yards and 2 TDs in a 59-13 win over Flower Mound in the area round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 29 at 12:00, vs. Arlington Martin (at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Ja’Quinden Jackson wasn’t particularly effective as a passer last week in Duncanville’s playoff matchup with a Flower Mound team that was coming off its first-ever postseason win, but the Panthers’ defense and running game were more than enough to control the proceedings. Duncanville forced four turnovers on defense, while its offense produced 531 rushing yards.
Taking a page out of Denton Ryan’s typical 2019 strategy, Duncanville scored 45 points in the first half to put the game out of reach early. The Panthers led 52-0 following a TD run on the first play of the 4th quarter. Flower Mound got across midfield on all of its first three possessions and had chances early on to establish some offensive momentum, but those drives ended with 2 interceptions and a turnover on downs, and the Jaguars’ two touchdowns in the game both came in the final nine minutes of regulation.
Ja’Quinden Jackson’s two TDs came on a 6-yard run that opened the game’s scoring with 4:54 left in the 1st quarter, and on a 33-yard run that made the score 21-0 with 9:20 left in the 2nd quarter.
Today at noon Duncanville will take on Arlington Martin, which is 11-1 on the season and whose only loss was a 45-38 defeat in September against Rockwall, the team that knocked Class 6A #3 Allen out of the playoffs last week. Martin struggled in 2018 to a 5-6 record and finished below .500 for the first time in a decade, but the Warriors opened the 2019 season with a 21-point upset win on the road at Lake Travis, and outside of the loss to Rockwall they’ve been dominant this fall and were ranked 10th in Class 6A at the conclusion of the regular season.
Martin went 7-0 against a set of District 4-6A opponents that included two teams that were ranked at some point this season, and it outscored those seven foes 337-44. Martin advanced to the playoffs for a 14th straight year, setting a new Arlington ISD record, and once there the Warriors manhandled San Angelo Central 69-0 in the first round, then beat Odessa Permian 71-28 last week, dealing both west Texas programs their worst-ever playoff losses in the process.
Martin’s junior QB Zach Mundell has accounted for over 2,000 offensive yards and 36 total TDs, and he has had four games this season in which he has rushed for 130+ yards and produced 4 or more total TDs. Martin’s stingy defensive unit includes 2022 defensive end Ernest Cooper, who was offered by Texas in September and who has 57 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles this season. Junior linebacker Morice Blackwell has also been a disruptive force against opposing offenses, compiling a team-leading 120 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 blocked field goal, and 1 blocked punt. Blackwell was offered by Baylor last week.
The two programs have met in the playoffs on one previous occasion, a 28-20 win by Duncanville in the second round of the 1997 playoffs. They also played in a preseason scrimmage this past August, so they’ve already seen a glimpse of what each other is capable of, albeit in a very low-stakes environment. The winner of this game will advance to the Region I final in the 6A Division I playoffs against either Midland Lee or Southlake Carroll.
2021 QB Jalen Milroe (Katy Tompkins)
Last week: Completed 12 of 20 passes for 176 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs, and had 7 carries for 32 yards and 2 TDs in a 30-27 double overtime win over Cypress Falls in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 30 at 2:00, vs. Humble Atascocita (at Houston’s NRG Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: After holding on for a 35-28 win in the first round against Fort Bend Travis after leading 35-14 with eight minutes left, Tompkins had another closely-fought playoff matchup last week against Cypress Falls, in which it needed two overtime periods before prevailing 30-27.
Tompkins led 14-10 going into the 4th quarter, and a field goal with 8:17 left extended their lead to 17-10. Cypress Falls tied the score immediately afterward with a 99-yard kickoff return. Tompkins regained the lead less than a minute later on a 70-yard TD pass from Jalen Milroe to Taurean Muhammad. But Cypress Falls again tied the score at 24 apiece with 29 seconds left in regulation on a 2-yard TD run by junior running back J.P. Martin.
After a scoreless first period of overtime Cypress Falls made a 38-yard field goal on the first possession of the second OT to take a 27-24 lead. Jalen Milroe then won the game for Tompkins on a 2-yard TD run. Milroe has been instrumental in his team’s offensive success this season, though after throwing just two interceptions in the regular season he has been picked off five times in two playoff games.
Tompkins advanced to the third round for a second straight season, where the Falcons will face a ranked Humble Atascocita squad that is 11-1 for the season and has won ten straight games. Atascocita’s only loss was a 56-14 defeat against #2 Katy back on September 6. The Eagles outscored their other eleven opponents by an average margin of 51 points. Atascocita finished the regular season as 6A’s 9th ranked team, while Tompkins was 19th.
Atascocita beat Deer Park 69-29 in the first round, then knocked off #13 Dickinson 46-27 last week in a second round matchup of ranked teams. Its roster includes at least nine players who have reportedly received FBS offers, with the highest-rated being sophomore offensive lineman Kam Dewberry, who 247Sports currently ranks as the state’s #7 overall recruit in his class.
The winner between Tompkins and Atascocita will play against either Katy or Galena Park North Shore in the Region III final of the 6A Division I bracket.
2021 OL Hayden Conner (Katy Taylor)
Last week: Team beat Houston Memorial 21-14 in the area round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 30 at 6:00, vs. Humble (at Houston’s NRG Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Katy Taylor knocked off Houston Memorial last week to advance to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The Mustangs took a 21-7 halftime lead and held on for a 21-14 win. They have never previously advanced beyond the third round, and to do so they’ll have to beat Humble on Saturday evening.
Humble is 9-2 overall and finished 3rd in District 22-6A to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Wildcats have not advanced further than the third round of the playoffs since 1995, so both programs are in rarefied postseason air by their standards.
Humble beat C.E. King 24-14 in the first round and knocked off Richmond George Ranch 28-21 last week. The winner between Humble and Taylor will advance to the Region III final of the 6A Division II bracket and play against either Cypress Creek or Houston Strake Jesuit.
2020 OL Andrej Karic (Southlake Carroll)
Last week: Team beat DeSoto 37-15 in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 30 at 5:00, vs. Midland Lee (at Abilene’s Shotwell Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Carroll scored a convincing win over DeSoto in the second round of the playoffs to knock the Eagles out of the playoffs for a third consecutive year. The Dragons scored the first 17 points of the game and forced three punts and a turnover on downs on DeSoto’s first four drives. DeSoto got on the scoreboard with a 10-yard TD pass with 1:33 left in the first half. Carroll missed a field goal on their final play of the half and went into halftime with a 17-7 lead.
Carroll scored TDs on its first three possessions of the second half, while its defense intercepted DeSoto twice and also forced a punt, and the Dragons led 37-7 with 3:25 left in regulation. Carroll’s sophomore QB Quinn Ewers, who was offered by Texas two months ago, passed for 363 yards and 5 TDs and added 42 yards on the ground.
The Dragons will face Midland Lee on Saturday in Abilene. Midland Lee was ranked for a time until suffering a 42-39 loss to archrival Odessa Permian in the final week of the regular season. The Rebels are 11-1 this season and have already posted their most wins in any season since their 13-2 state championship run in 2000, Cedric Benson’s senior year.
Midland Lee’s offense features explosive senior wide receiver Loic Fouonji, who has over 1,400 receiving yards this fall and has reached the end zone on 22 of his 68 receptions. He committed to Texas Tech earlier this week. Throwing the ball to Fouonji is junior QB Michael Serrano, who has completed 66% of his passes this season and thrown for just shy of 3,600 yards, 48 TDs and just 5 INTs, and he has also rushed for 900 yards and 12 TDs.
The winner between Carroll and Lee will face Duncanville or Arlington Martin next week in the Region I final of the 6A Division I playoffs.
2020 OL Jake Majors (Prosper)
Last week: Team beat Mesquite 45-18 in the area round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, November 30 at 7:00, vs. The Woodlands (at Waco’s McLane Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Prosper scored a TD on its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead over Mesquite just over four minutes into their area round playoff game last week. Prosper never trailed in the game, and aside from two plays run in the final minute of regulation the Eagles scored points on every possession except for one. After leading 21-6 at halftime the Eagles added a field goal and TD pass to go into the 4th quarter with a 31-12 lead, and they went on to win 45-18.
Prosper committed no turnovers and punted only once. With the win the Eagles advanced to the third round and will face The Woodlands. The Woodlands Highlanders went 6-4 in the regular season and got the final playoff spot out of District 15-6A, sending them to the postseason for a 25th straight year.
The Highlanders advanced to the third round by beating Spring 17-0 in the bi-district round, then topped Cypress Woods 34-28 in three overtimes in last week’s area round. Prosper and The Woodlands have never previously met in the playoffs, and while Prosper has advanced this far on five previous occasions, it has not gone beyond the third round since winning the 3A Division I state title in 2008.
Jake Majors and the Prosper offensive line will be blocking a defensive front that includes senior DT Caleb Fox, who has been offered by Nevada, New Mexico State, UTEP, and a handful of FCS programs. Also, sophomore LB Martrell Harris holds a Baylor offer. The team’s highest-rated current player is junior receiver Theodore Knox, who was offered by Texas in July and who the 247Sports Composite currently ranks as the #25 recruit in the state for the 2021 class.
The winner between Prosper and The Woodlands will advance to the Region II final in the 6A Division I bracket and will face either Rockwall or Klein Oak.
2020 LB Prince Dorbah (Highland Park)
Last week: Team beat Magnolia 63-28 in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 29 at 3:30, vs. Frisco Lone Star (at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Highland Park scored a lopsided win over Magnolia in the second round last week. The Scots scored on a 78-yard TD pass on the game’s second offensive play, but Magnolia answered with a 9-play, 67-yard TD drive to tie the score. After a 13-play Highland Park drive that ended with a missed field goal, Magnolia marched 80 yards in 10 plays and finished with a 7-yard TD pass to take a 14-7 lead with 8:46 left in the 2nd quarter. But Highland Park scored three unanswered touchdowns to end the half and went into halftime with a 28-14 lead.
After receiving the opening kickoff in the 3rd quarter Magnolia scored three plays later to cut the deficit to 28-21. But Highland Park proceeded to put the game out of reach by the end of the quarter, scoring TDs on its next four possessions while forcing two punts and two interceptions on Magnolia’s next four drives. Highland Park led 63-28 at the end of the 3rd quarter, and neither team scored in the 4th.
With the win Highland Park moved on to the third round, where it will get a rematch with the team responsible for its only loss of the season, Frisco Lone Star. At the conclusion of the regular season Lone Star was the top-ranked team in Class 5A Division I, while Highland Park was #4.
When the two teams played on September 13, Lone Star jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead added a pair of second half field goals to win 30-19. Highland Park committed four turnovers in that game, while Lone Star had none. Aside from Highland Park, only one other team played Lone Star to within 41 points in the regular season, and the Rangers went on to beat Mansfield Legacy 35-0 in the first round of the playoffs, then allowed over 500 offensive yards to College Station last week but still won 45-30. Including the playoffs, Lone Star has outscored its 2019 opponents by an average of 42 points.
The biggest star on a talented Lone Star roster is senior wide receiver Marvin Mims, a four-star recruit committed to Oklahoma. Mims has caught 82 passes this season for 2,151 yards (not a misprint!) and 27 TDs. Only three players in Texas high school football history have ever had a season with more receiving yards, and Mims is now 276 yards away from tying the single-season record, set by Cody Cardwell (Stephenville/SMU) in 1998. He had 11 catches for 236 yards and a pair of TDs in Lone Star’s win over Highland Park in September.
Throwing to Mims and the rest of the Lone Star receiving corps is sophomore QB Garret Rangel, who has passed for nearly 3,800 yards, 43 TDs and just 5 INTs. Five different Lone Star players have compiled 200 or more yards receiving, and senior wide receiver-turned-running back Jake Bogdon has gained nearly 1,500 yards from scrimmage and scored 21 total TDs.
Prince Dorbah won’t be the only future D1 linebacker on the field, as Lone Star’s defense includes a pair of three-star senior LBs in Toren Pittman and Jaylan Ford, who are committed to Colorado and Utah, respectively.
The winner between Highland Park and Lone Star will advance to the Region II final of the 5A Division I bracket and play either Lancaster or Frisco Independence.
2020 DB Xavion Alford (Alvin Shadow Creek) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team beat Hutto 63-14 in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 29 at 3:30, vs. Highland Park (at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Shadow Creek destroyed a Dajon Harrison-less Hutto team last week in the second round of the playoffs by a 63-14 score. It was Shadow Creek’s fifth win this season by 49 or more points.
The win set up a third round matchup with an opponent the Sharks have become very familiar with in their short history, Richmond Foster. In 2018, Shadow Creek beat Foster 35-34 in district play, then won a re-match in the fourth round of the playoffs by a 25-21 score. On October 24 of this year, Shadow Creek again won a close game over Foster, this time by a score of 24-17. No other team this season has held Shadow Creek under 34 points, and the Sharks beat every other opponent by a margin of at least 28 points.
Foster was 6-4 in the regular season, but considering the scores of their past games against Shadow Creek and the fact that this is their fifth straight year to advance to the third round of the playoffs, the Falcons shouldn’t be taken lightly. They set up their fourth game against Shadow Creek in two seasons by beating unbeaten New Caney (and 2021 Texas commit Derrick Harris) 31-21 in the first round, then knocked off Georgetown 52-14 last week.
Had Xavion Alford not been injured this game would feature a great matchup with Alford and the Shadow Creek secondary attempting to contain Foster’s junior receiver Cody Jackson, an Oklahoma commit who is ranked as the #15 wide receiver in the 2021 class by the 247Sports Composite.
The winner between Shadow Creek and Foster will advance to the Region III final of the Class 5A Division I playoffs and play against Cedar Park or Manor.
2021 ATH Billy Bowman (Denton Ryan)
2021 ATH Ja’Tavion Sanders (Denton Ryan)
Last week: Bowman caught 4 passes for 48 yards and threw for a 3-yard TD pass, and Sanders caught 5 passes for 72 yards in a 56-14 win over Lubbock Coronado in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, November 29 at 3:00, vs. Abilene Cooper (at Denton’s Collins Athletic Complex) in the regional semifinal round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: In last week’s playoff win over Lubbock Coronado, Denton Ryan’s defense largely shut down what had been a very productive passing attack. Coronado’s junior QB Sawyer Robertson averaged 335 passing yards over the Mustangs’ first 11 games, but against Ryan’s talented defense he was limited to 191 and he completed just 21 of 40 attempts.
Ryan scored touchdowns on its first five possessions and led 35-7 at halftime. Junior QB Seth Henigan was picked off on Ryan’s first two drives of the 3rd quarter, and after the second one Coronado drove 80 yards for a TD to cut the deficit to 35-14 with 1:40 left in the 3rd quarter. But Ryan scored twice in the next 45 seconds to expand its lead back to 49-14 going into the 4th quarter.
Ryan outgained Coronado 557-263, but was also penalized 16 times for 144 yards. This afternoon the Raiders will face an Abilene Cooper team that is 11-1 and has its most wins since going 11-2 in 2010.
After finishing as the runner-up from District 2-5A Division I, the Cooper Cougars beat El Paso Del Valle 42-21 in the first round, then defeated Azle 35-28 last week to reach the third round for a ninth time in twelve seasons.
Billy Bowman, Ja’Tavion Sanders and the rest of Denton Ryan’s athletic and talented receiving corps will be opposed by an opportunistic Cooper defense that has recorded 28 interceptions and recovered 17 fumbles this season. Senior safety Dylon Davis has made an incredible 15 interceptions himself in 12 games and has returned four for TDs.
When Cooper has the ball its most dangerous offensive weapon is junior running back Noah Garcia, who averages 11.5 yards per carry and has gained nearly 2,500 yards from scrimmage and scored 34 total TDs.
The winner between Denton Ryan and Abilene Cooper will play for the Region I final of the 5A Division I bracket next week against either Birdville or Colleyville Heritage.