As the Thanksgiving leftovers were put away and the calendar flipped to December, the teams of nine Texas Longhorn football commits were still alive in the Texas high school football playoffs.
Two commits saw their 2019 season come to an end last week, and as many as seven commits could be in action today, pending the health of Hudson Card’s foot.
Another commit whose 2019 exploits have been documented in this column for over three months removed himself from the #cloUT2020 class this week, as defensive end Van Fillinger, whose team had won Utah’s Class 6A state title a week earlier, announced his de-commitment from Texas on Sunday in the wake of Todd Orlando being fired as the team’s defensive coordinator. That marks the second time in three years (the other being 2018 wide receiver Rondale Moore, now a sophomore at Purdue) that an out-of-state Longhorn commit helped lead his team to a state championship then de-committed in a matter of weeks.
One of today’s matchups involves two teams of Longhorn commits, as Ja’Quinden Jackson’s Duncanville squad takes on Andrej Karic’s Southlake Carroll team, so there is guaranteed to be at least one fewer UT pledge in the playoffs a week from now. If we’re only counting the healthy or semi-healthy current commits, there could be a max of five who will take the field during state championship weekend in two weeks. You’d have to go back to the mid-90s to find the last season in which no state championship-winning team had a future Longhorn on its roster, and there’s a very good chance that streak will continue on this year.
Below I’ll start off with recaps and previews for the commits whose teams are still in the playoffs, then after that I’ll have the list of commits whose season is over, with brief summaries on the two commits (2021 QB Jalen Milroe and 2020 LB Prince Dorbah) whose teams lost last week, as well as updates on some all-district honors commits have received.
There will be an outstanding lineup of games going on this afternoon and evening, as each playoff bracket is now down to their final eight teams. Three games that I’ll preview in this post are re-matches of teams that met in the 2018 playoffs, and another game is a re-match between teams that played in the regular season this year. If you’ve been wanting to catch some future Longhorns in action but haven’t made it to a high school game this season, there are opportunities today that will provide great bang for your buck, as two sites - the Ford Center in Frisco and the Alamodome in San Antonio - will host multiple games involving teams of UT commits.
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 Weslaco 52-17 in the regional round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, December 7 at 4:00, vs. Converse Judson (at San Antonio’s Alamodome) in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Last week Lake Travis won its third straight playoff game and sixth straight game overall with junior QB Nate Yarnell starting in place of the injured Hudson Card.
Yarnell completed 18 of 25 passes for 177 yards and 3 TDs against Weslaco. After Weslaco opened the game’s scoring on a 21-yard field goal in the 1st quarter, Lake Travis scored the game’s next 45 points and led 45-3 going into the 4th quarter.
In Card’s absence the Cavaliers have gotten solid play from Yarnell and senior wide receivers Kyle Eaves and Grayson Sandlin, as well as a big contribution from junior running back Weston Stephens, who rushed for 491 yards in the regular season but has run for 495 yards and 5 TDs in the team’s three playoff wins.
In the 2018 season, Lake Travis went into the playoffs with one loss and proceeded to beat Smithson Valley, San Antonio Madison, and Weslaco in the first three rounds before running into Converse Judson, who they beat 38-21 in a game that was closer than the score might indicate. This year, the Cavaliers have beaten those same three opponents in the first three rounds and once again have a date with Judson to decide the Region IV champion of the 6A Division I playoffs.
The Judson Rockets have a strong case for being the state’s most consistently solid team over the past four decades. They won five state championships between 1983 and 2002 (and were awarded another by forfeit in 1988), have reached the state championship game five other times, and have not finished a season with a losing record since Gerald Ford was President. Their 43 consecutive winning seasons are a state record (Class 2A’s Refugio is right behind them with an active streak of 42 seasons).
This year, Judson went 9-1 in the regular season and finished as the runner-up in District 26-6A, one of the state’s tougher districts. The Rockets’ only loss was a 34-30 defeat in their regular season finale to Schertz Clemens, which was ranked #17 in the final regular season rankings, while Judson was #20 (and had previously been as high as #7) and 3rd place team Cibolo Steele was #23.
Judson advanced to the fourth round of the playoffs for the ninth time in 18 seasons with wins over Buda Hays, San Antonio Reagan, and Laredo United, all of which it beat by margins of 29 points or more.
Leading Judson’s offense is senior QB Mike Chandler II, who has compiled nearly 3,700 total yards and 47 combined touchdowns (25 passing, 22 rushing) while throwing just 4 interceptions on 245 pass attempts. Chandler’s top receiving targets are senior receivers Amarea Bailey and Antony Shelton, along with junior Davion Wilson. That trio has combined to make 85 catches for 1,830 yards (21.5 yards/catch between them) and 20 TDs. Junior running back De’Anthony Lewis has rushed for 1,731 yards and 27 TDs, and in Judson’s three playoff games he has gained 523 yards from scrimmage and scored 9 total TDs.
Judson had a senior-laden defensive unit in 2018, but after graduating 11 of their top 12 tacklers from that season they appear to have simply reloaded on that side of the ball. Sophomore linebacker Treylin Payne leads the team with 138 tackles, and he has also been credited with 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries, and 2 blocked kicks. Junior LB Donnie Moody (who visited Texas in October for the Kansas game) is right behind him with 133 total tackles.
This is the third straight year Lake Travis and Judson have met in the playoffs, and their fifth overall matchup in the span of four seasons. In 2016 Judson beat Lake Travis 35-28 in the first week of the season, but Lake Travis didn’t lose again and finished the season with a Class 6A Division I state title. In 2017 Judson opened the season with an even more convincing 65-45 win over the defending state champs, but Lake Travis again responded with a long winning streak and later won a playoff rematch with Judson 47-39 before eventually falling to Allen 35-33 in the state championship.
Hudson Card passed for 311 yards and 4 TDs in Lake Travis’s 38-21 win over Judson in the 2018 playoffs. In case you have not read this column in recent weeks or kept up with UT recruiting news in general, Card suffered a foot injury during Lake Travis’s October 11 win over Austin Westlake and has not played since. In the days leading up to the Cavaliers’ first three playoff games Card was reported as being not expected to play. This week, however, the Austin American-Statesman notes that he practiced in pads last week and that he “may return” to action for Saturday’s game against Judson, pending his foot’s reaction to increased practice snaps this week.
Lake Travis does not win a state championship every year but it has never lost in 10 previous games in the state quarterfinal round. The winner between Lake Travis and Judson will play in the 6A Division I state semifinals next week against either defending state champion Galena Park North Shore or Humble Atascocita.
2020 QB Ja’Quinden Jackson (Duncanville)
Last week: Completed 10 of 15 passes for 135 yards, and had 16 carries for 164 yards and 3 TDs in a 45-17 win over Arlington Martin in the regional round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, December 7 at 2:30, vs. Southlake Carroll (at McKinney’s McKinney ISD Stadium) in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: After barely breaking a sweat since early September, the Duncanville Panthers faced a very solid Arlington Martin team in the third round of the playoffs last week. In the opening week of the season Martin dealt Hudson Card’s Lake Travis team its only loss of the 2019 campaign thus far, and Martin hoped to knock off the team of another Longhorn QB commit. Martin has long been a very physical team, and early on it looked like Duncanville was in for a fight the likes of which it hadn’t experienced in over two months. After receiving the opening kickoff Duncanville marched down the field on a 13-play drive and got into the red zone, but that possession ended with a turnover on downs at the Martin 18-yard line.
The teams traded punts over the next three possessions and the game was scoreless at the end of the 1st quarter. But afterwards Duncanville scored points on its last six drives of the game. The Panthers went on an 88-yard drive that was finished off with a 1-yard TD run by senior running back and Central Arkansas commit Trysten Smith with 9:01 left in the 2nd quarter.
Two plays later, Martin had a first down at Duncanville’s 13-yard line and designs on evening up the score, but a fumble by junior QB Zach Mundell a few plays later was recovered by Duncanville and returned 80 yards for a TD. Mundell suffered a dislocated thumb on that play and was replaced under center for the rest of the game by sophomore Cydd Ford. A Ford-led drive ended with a 36-yard TD pass with 2:38 left in the half to cut the deficit to 14-7, but that was as close as the Warriors got. Duncanville made a field goal as time expired in the 2nd quarter and led 17-7 at halftime.
Ja’Quinden Jackson scored rushing TDs on Duncanville’s first three possessions of the second half as the Panthers steadily pulled away. Martin added a touchdown and field goal in the 3rd quarter but those drives were sandwiched between two others that ended with turnovers on downs, and the Warriors were simply unable to keep pace with the state’s top-ranked team.
Duncanville led 38-17 following Jackson’s third TD, a 57-yard run on the first play of the 4th quarter, and Smith would add his second TD of the game nine minutes later to close out the game’s scoring. Duncanville outgained Martin 527-299, and the Panther defense limited Martin to 121 rushing yards after the Warriors came into the game averaging 235.
Duncanville is now two wins away from playing for a state championship. This afternoon Ja’Quinden Jackson will face a future teammate when the Panthers take on Southlake Carroll, whose roster includes 2020 Texas offensive line commit Andrej Karic.
The two teams met at this same point in the 2018 playoffs, and then, as now, both squads were undefeated. Duncanville scored a resounding 51-7 win in that game and dealt a prestigious Carroll program its most lopsided playoff defeat in school history.
Along with being a playoff battle between undefeated teams, this weekend’s Duncanville-Carroll playoff rematch is also a game between the #3 and #13 teams in the country, according to the USA Today Super 25 Expert rankings. I’ll have more on Southlake Carroll in Andrej Karic’s section below. The winner between Duncanville and SLC will move on to the state semifinals and face either Rockwall or Prosper.
2021 OL Hayden Conner (Katy Taylor)
Last week: Team beat Humble 35-14 in the regional round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs.
This week: Saturday, December 7 at 2:00, vs. Cypress Creek (at Houston’s NRG Stadium) in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs
Notes: Katy Taylor won convincingly over Humble last week and advanced to the state quarterfinal round of the playoffs for the first time in team history. Today the Mustangs will take on a Cypress Creek team that is in the quarterfinal round for a second straight season. Cypress Creek fell 31-21 in that round a year ago to eventual 6A Division II state runner-up Beaumont West Brook.
Going into the playoffs if I had ranked the teams of UT commits in order of which ones I thought most likely to still be alive in the 4th round, Katy Taylor would not have been among the top ten. The Mustangs had gone 5-5 in the regular season, had just one win against a team with a record above .500, and only one of their five losses had been by less than 26 points. But here they are, having won their first three playoff games by margins of 10, 7, and 21 points.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Region III in the 6A Division II playoffs was likely the weakest region in either of the two 6A brackets, as it had no teams that won their district or that were ranked among the top 25 in Class 6A.
Cypress Creek reached the fourth round of the playoffs for the first time in its history last year, but began its 2019 campaign with three straight losses. The Cougars rebounded to win their next six games before losing 41-7 in their regular season finale to unbeaten and state-ranked Cy-Fair.
Once in the playoffs, Cypress Creek beat Houston Westside 41-21 in the first round, defeated Katy Mayde Creek 35-14 in the second round, and topped Houston Strake Jesuit 45-33 last week to set up a playoff re-match with Katy Taylor, who they beat 24-14 in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
Six different Cypress Creek players have recorded 18 or more receptions, and they have 44 passing TDs as a team. Senior Eddie Jimerson is one of the more underrated RBs in his class, and though he doesn’t get a high volume of carries he has always been an asset in the passing game (142 career receptions) and now has over 3,300 career yards from scrimmage and 41 total TDs.
Among the Cy Creek defenders Hayden Conner and the Taylor offensive line will be tasked with blocking are senior linebacker Josh White, an LSU commit who leads the team with 117 tackles, and senior defensive end Byron Blassingame, an undersized but disruptive player who leads the team with 10 sacks and 28 tackles for loss.
Whoever wins between Taylor and Cypress Creek will advance to the state semifinals for their first time ever and will play either Austin Westlake or San Antonio Brandeis, two teams that finished the regular season ranked #12 and #16 in Class 6A, respectively.
2020 OL Andrej Karic (Southlake Carroll)
Last week: Team beat Midland Lee 49-27 in the regional round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, December 7 at 2:30, vs. Duncanville (at McKinney’s McKinney ISD Stadium) in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Facing a Midland Lee team last week that was making its first appearance in the third round of the playoffs in a generation, Southlake Carroll built an early 35-point lead and cruised to a comfortable 49-27 win.
Carroll scored TDs on five of its first six possessions, while Midland Lee’s first five drives resulted in three punts, a turnover on downs, and a lost fumble. Trailing 35-0 with five minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Lee began a drive from its own 25-yard line and faced a 4th-and-1 three plays later. The Rebels lined up to punt but instead ran a fake, and 66 yards later the score was 35-6. They then forced a quick three-and-out by Carroll for the second and last time in the game and got the ball back at their own 47-yard line. They converted twice on 4th down on a 13-play drive that ended with a 1-yard TD run that cut the deficit to 35-13 with 15 seconds remaining in the half.
Lee received the second half kickoff and needed just three plays to advance to Carroll’s 43-yard line, but a pair of sacks pushed the Rebels back and they eventually punted on a 4th-and-17 from midfield. Carroll responded with a 14-play scoring drive that ended with a 2-yard run by super sophomore QB Quinn Ewers. The Dragon defense intercepted Lee on its ensuing possession and set their offense up at Lee’s 7-yard line, and three plays later a 5-yard TD pass from Ewers to Texas A&M commit Blake Smith made the score 49-13 in Carroll’s favor with 1:30 left in the 3rd quarter.
Ewers, who was offered by Texas in September and now has nearly a dozen reported offers, would finish the game with 357 yards and 4 TDs passing, and he also ran 9 times for 62 yards and a pair of TDs. He has accounted for over 4,100 total yards and 51 TDs in his first year as the Dragon’s starting signal-caller.
Carroll’s defense limited Lee’s four-star senior wide receiver and recent Texas Tech commit Loic Fouonji to 5 catches for 46 yards. Fouonji lost a fumble at the end of his first reception, and his other 4 grabs all came after Carroll had taken a 35-0 lead.
Carroll has a much stiffer challenge on its hands today when it gets a re-match with Duncanville, which beat them badly 51-7 in the fourth round of the 2018 playoffs. That Dragon team was quarterbacked by second-year starter Will Bowers, now a freshman at Liberty. This season’s Quinn Ewers-led squad has been more explosive and high-scoring on offense and stingier on defense than last year’s team. The 2019 Dragons average eight more points per game and have allowed 47 fewer points than they had through 13 games a year ago.
Carroll and Duncanville have this season’s top scoring defenses among 6A teams in the Dallas area. A week ago, Carroll all but shut down a Midland Lee passing game whose top receiver is better than any on Duncanville’s roster, but the real question for the day will be whether Carroll’s defense — which allowed 125 yards on the ground per game — will be able to slow down a Duncanville ground game that has rushed for an average of 285 yards. Carroll has won most of its games by decidedly lopsided margins and hasn’t faced many opponents that were still intent on running the ball in the 3rd and 4th quarters, while Duncanville has been able to rest its starters in the second half of a majority of its games and hasn’t needed to move the ball downfield quickly in the 4th quarter of any game this year.
The winner of this game will be the champion of Region I in the 6A Division I playoffs and will move on to the state semifinals and play either Rockwall or Prosper.
2020 OL Jake Majors (Prosper)
Last week: Team beat The Woodlands 38-14 in the regional round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, December 7 at 6:00, vs. Rockwall (at Frisco’s Ford Center) in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: “Prosper is in the fourth round of the 6A Division I playoffs” is not a sentence I expected to type this season, for multiple reasons.
First, because Prosper shares a district with the four largest high schools in the state, the odds were against it being one of the two largest out of the four schools to earn playoff bids from District 9-6A. Allen, with the highest enrollment of any high school in Texas (reportedly approaching 7,000), was the district’s 800-lb. gorilla, as expected. But the three Plano ISD schools, each with over 5,100 students, finished with a combined district record of 5-16 and all three missed the playoffs. It was the first time since the 1989 season that no Plano school reached the postseason.
I didn’t necessarily expect Prosper to be blown away by the opponents that stood in their path in the latter rounds of the playoffs, but the Eagles had had games in the regular season, even blowout wins, in which they committed multiple turnovers and punted a handful of times, and I thought that tendency would come back to bite them once their games took on higher stakes.
But Prosper has won its first three playoff games by an average margin of 25 points. Against The Woodlands last week the Eagles had some early miscues that could have doomed them against a better team. In the first half they punted twice, had a turnover on downs, and late in the 2nd quarter Prosper fumbled the ball on a punt return to give The Woodlands a 1st-and-goal at the 9-yard line. The Eagles led 14-7 at the time and this put The Woodlands in prime position to tie the game going into halftime with the Highlanders set to receive the second half kickoff.
But the Prosper defense ended that threat with a momentum-shifting interception two plays later, and their offense then drove from their own 15-yard line all the way to The Woodlands’s 3-yard line, before settling for a field goal with 1 second left on the clock, and the Eagles took a 17-7 lead into halftime.
The Woodlands scored on their first possession of the 3rd quarter to pull within 17-14, but the Highlanders only crossed midfield once after that and their final two drives both ended with interceptions. Meanwhile, Prosper pulled away by scoring TDs on its first three drives of the second half, and the Eagles led 38-14 with 10:37 left in regulation.
The win got Prosper into the fourth round for just the second time in school history, the first being its 2008 state championship run when it was in the Class 3A Division I playoffs. The Eagles will have a huge challenge on their hands tonight when they face Rockwall in the Region II final.
Rockwall has scored 47.6 points per game this fall and its offense averages 488 total yards. Starring for that Rockwall Yellowjacket offense is the newly-minted Gatorade Texas high school football Player of the Year: senior wide receiver and Ohio State commit Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who has just shy of 1,900 receiving yards and 31 TDs this fall, and is now up to 5,147 yards (3rd all-time in the state and climbing) and 61 TDs receiving for his career.
Prosper’s challenge may be less stopping Rockwall than simply keeping up with them. While Rockwall has put a lot of points on the board, its defense has not been as stellar. The Yellowjackets lost their season-opener 66-59 to defending 5A Division I state champion Highland Park, and were also blown out 49-3 by defending 6A Division II champion Longview. But the Yellowjackets also beat a strong Arlington Martin team 45-38 during non-district play, and two weeks ago they scored a 60-59 upset win over third-ranked Allen in the second round.
If Prosper’s offense has some early punts and/or turnovers on downs, and if its defense isn’t at the top of its game, this one could get out of hand quickly. But it could just as likely be a shootout where the teams combine for 90 or more points. Expect to see a lot of offense in Frisco on Saturday night.
The winner between Prosper and Rockwall will face Duncanville or Southlake Carroll in the state semifinals, so if Jake Majors can help get his team beyond this round he’ll be guaranteed to face a future teammate next week.
2020 DB Xavion Alford (Alvin Shadow Creek) - injured, out for season
Last week: Team beat Richmond Foster 36-31.
This week: Saturday, December 7 at 12:00, vs. Manor (at San Antonio’s Alamodome) in the quarterfinal round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Shadow Creek remained undefeated in 2019 with a hard-fought win over Richmond Foster, its fourth win over the Foster Falcons in the span of two seasons. In the fourth round of the 2018 playoffs, Shadow Creek trailed Foster 13-7 at halftime and 21-14 going into the 4th quarter, but the Sharks outscored Foster 11-0 in the 4th quarter to escape with a come-from-behind win.
Shadow Creek needed an even bigger comeback to escape the third round last week. Foster scored the game’s first 17 points and led at halftime 24-7. The Sharks made a furious comeback in the second half and scored 23 unanswered points in the final five minutes of the 3rd quarter and took a 30-24 lead going into the 4th. Three and a half minutes into the final quarter, Foster re-took the lead at 31-30 following a 4-yard rushing TD from Issac Johnson. But with 2:30 left in regulation Shadow Creek reclaimed the lead for good on a 14-yard TD pass that put them ahead 36-31, and they would hang on for yet another close win over Foster.
In the fourth round Shadow Creek will face a Manor team that very few would have predicted to advance this far. This column chronicled Manor’s games this season until the October de-commitment of senior defensive lineman Princely Umanmielen. The Mustangs went 5-5 in the regular season and entered the playoffs as the fourth place team from District 11-5A Division I, but they advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2012 by beating three teams that had a combined regular season record of 26-4.
A 28-27 first round win over District 10-5A Division I champion Dripping Springs was followed by a lopsided 45-6 win over a 9-2 Porter team that was coming off its first-ever playoff win. Then last week, Manor trailed a state-ranked Cedar Park team 14-7 going into the 4th quarter, but came back to tie the game and later won it on a field goal in the final minute of regulation. Manor had lost to Cedar Park 49-24 in its regular season finale just three weeks earlier.
Shadow Creek will work to avoid being the fourth straight team to lose in upset fashion to Manor in these playoffs. The winner of that game will face San Antonio Wagner next week.
2021 ATH Billy Bowman (Denton Ryan)
2021 ATH Ja’Tavion Sanders (Denton Ryan)
Last week: Bowman caught 8 passes for 110 yards and 3 TDs, and Sanders caught 2 passes for 14 yards in a 58-20 win over Abilene Cooper in the regional round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, December 7 at 2:30, vs. Colleyville Heritage (at Frisco’s Ford Center) in the quarterfinal round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Denton Ryan trailed 7-0 a mere four minutes into last week’s regional game against Abilene Cooper, and Ryan’s junior QB Seth Henigan was picked off on two of his first four pass attempts.
But the Raiders settled down afterward and outscored Cooper 44-0 from that point until the end of the 3rd quarter. Billy Bowman grabbed 3 TD catches during that onslaught, while Ja’Tavion Sanders helped the cause with a 6-yard TD catch with 45 seconds left in the 2nd quarter that gave Ryan a 30-7 lead at the time.
A key stretch of the game came in a 3-minute span of the 2nd quarter, when a 8-yard TD catch by Bowman gave Ryan a 14-7 lead with 9:49 left, Ryan’s defense scored on a 50-yard pick-six less than a minute later to make the score 21-7, and then Ryan’s defense came through again with a safety on a QB sack in the end zone with 7:04 left in the half.
After receiving the ensuing free kick and holding a 23-7 lead, the Raiders went on a 13-play drive that ate up most of the 2nd quarter’s remaining clock time and finished with a short TD pass to Ja’Tavion Sanders.
Ryan outgained Cooper 474-255 in the game, though, troublingly, they committed 3 turnovers and were penalized 10 times. On Saturday afternoon the Raiders will face district opponent Colleyville Heritage in the Region I final of the 5A Division I playoffs. Ryan beat Heritage 35-9 on October 11, and the teams have met in the playoffs on two previous occasions in 2013 and 2016, both of which resulted in wins for Ryan.
The Heritage Panthers have gone 6-1 since that loss to Ryan, and they avenged their only loss in that stretch last week by beating district foe Birdville 24-17 to reach the state quarterfinals for just the third time in school history. They have never advanced further than that, and won’t this season if Ryan’s dominating defense has anything to say about it.
The winner between Denton Ryan and Colleyville Heritage will face the top-ranked team in Class 5A Division I, Frisco Lone Star, which knocked off three-time defending state champion Highland Park a week ago (see: Prince Dorbah’s entry below).
Commits whose season has ended
2021 QB Jalen Milroe (Katy Tompkins)
Last week: Completed 14 of 34 passes for 285 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT, had 10 carries for 43 yards, and caught 2 passes for 2 yards and 1 TD in a 42-24 loss to Humble Atascocita in the regional round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Facing a very talented Atascocita team last week, Tompkins fell behind early and was unable to mount a serious comeback. Tompkins made a field goal in the final minute of the 1st quarter and trailed 7-3 going into the 2nd, but the Falcons were outscored 28-0 in that quarter.
Less than a full minute into the 4th quarter, Atascocita led 42-10. Milroe connected with junior running back Marquis Shoulders for a 77-yard TD early in the 4th quarter, then caught a pass from senior wide receiver Gabe Atkin just 13 seconds later to cut the deficit to 42-24, but Tompkins got no closer than that.
The Falcons reached the third round of the playoffs for a second consecutive season after having won just five games in their first four seasons of varsity play.
2020 RB Ty Jordan (West Mesquite)
Team did not qualify for the Class 5A Division I playoffs. Ty Jordan was voted the co-Offensive MVP of District 7-5A Division I.
2020 RB Bijan Robinson (Salpointe Catholic - Tucson, Arizona)
Team lost 24-16 to Chandler in the semifinal round of the AIA Open Division playoffs.
2020 WR Dajon Harrison (Hutto)
Team lost 63-14 to Alvin Shadow Creek in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
2020 WR Quentin Johnston (Temple)
Team lost to Longview 41-10 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs. Johnston was one of five receivers named to the first team of District 12-6A.
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 48-14 to Fort Bend Marshall in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs.
2020 OL Logan Parr (San Antonio O’Connor)
Team lost 23-20 to San Antonio Reagan in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
2020 DT Vernon Broughton (Cypress Ridge)
Team did not qualify for the Class 6A playoffs.
2020 LB Prince Dorbah (Highland Park)
Last week: Team lost to Frisco Lone Star 33-27 (in overtime) in the regional round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Highland Park was seeking to become just the fifth school in Texas history to win four consecutive state championships, but that quest ended last week with an overtime loss to 5A Division I’s top-ranked team, Frisco Lone Star. Lone Star had earlier dealt Highland Park its only regular season loss by a 30-19 score back in September.
In last week’s rematch, the teams kept pace with each other throughout, and the score was tied four different times. Highland Park tied the score at 27 on a made field goal with 54 seconds left in regulation. Afterward, Lone Star got the ball as close as Highland Park’s 31-yard line, but a pass on the final play of the 4th quarter fell incomplete, and the game went into overtime.
Highland Park had the ball first in overtime and had a three-and-out possession that ended with a missed 37-yard field goal attempt. On Lone Star’s possession, Jaden Nixon ran for a TD from 18 yards out to end the game. Highland Park finished the 2019 season with a record of 11-2. The Scots may not have won another state crown but they maintained one of the state’s most remarkable current streaks, as they have not had a season with more than two losses since finishing 11-3 in 1998, three years before most of their current seniors were born!
2021 LB Derrick Harris (New Caney)
Team lost 31-21 to Richmond Foster in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs. Derrick Harris was voted the Defensive MVP of District 9-5A Division I.
2020 DB Kitan Crawford (Tyler John Tyler)
Team lost 40-21 to College Station in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs. Crawford was voted to the all-district first team at both running back and cornerback in District 7-5A Division I.
2020 DB Jerrin Thompson (Lufkin)
Team lost 41-35 in double overtime to Texarkana Texas in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs. Thompson was voted the District MVP of District 8-5A Division I.
2021 ATH Juan Davis (Everman)
Team lost 55-24 to Red Oak in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs.
2020 ATH Jaden Hullaby (Mansfield Timberview)
Team lost 43-28 to Frisco Independence in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.