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Longhorn football commits in action, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2

One UT commit will play in a matchup of two nationally-ranked teams on Friday night.

2022 Texas Longhorns QB commit Maalik Murphy.

The members of the Texas Longhorns’ #22EFFECT recruiting class went 14-2 last week. Nearly all of their teams have played at least one district or sectional game, and those that haven’t will have their first this week.

This is the mid-way point of the Texas high school football regular season, with the season’s first five weeks now in the books. Playoff qualification and seeding will only take into account the teams’ district records, so these final weeks of the season will be the most important.

A number of commits play for teams that are state-ranked and have had one blowout win after another. More lopsided wins are certainly in store this week. Eoghan Kerry’s Mater Dei team will be part of the country’s premier high school matchup this weekend, as Mater Dei will put its top national ranking to the test on Friday night against a very familiar opponent in the #3 team in the country, St. John Bosco. More on that game below.

Two commits have a bye, three others won’t play for various other reasons, and another is recovering from a recent injury and may or may not suit up on Friday. For all others, I’ve got their schedules for this week below. The start time for each commit’s game is listed according to Central Time.

2022 QB Maalik Murphy — Gardena (California) Junipero Serra

Friday, October 1 at 9:00, at Mission Hills (California) Bishop Alemany

Note: Junipero Serra is coming off of its bye week, and Maalik Murphy is now three weeks removed from a game in which he suffered a shoulder or collarbone injury that caused him to miss 1.5 games. Whether or not he is set to play this week, I haven’t heard. He used his bye week well, as he made the trip to Austin to see the Longhorns’ high-scoring effort against Texas Tech, and was pictured hanging out with a number of high-profile recruiting targets who were also in attendance.

2022 RB Jamarion Miller — Tyler Legacy

Friday, October 1 at 7:30, at Dallas Skyline

Note: Tyler Legacy is coming off a bye week and will play its first district game on Friday against Dallas Skyline, which is usually a strong team but is 0-5 for what I can only guess is the first time in many years, and possibly ever. In its most recent 17 seasons Skyline has had five losses total only twice.

Through the first four games of his senior year, Jamarion Miller has accounted for 626 yards from scrimmage and four rushing touchdowns, and he also has a kickoff return TD. Sharing the backfield load is fellow senior running back and Texas Tech commit Bryson Donnell, who has gained 548 offensive yards and scored 10 TDs.

2022 WR Armani Winfield — Lewisville

Friday, October 1 at 7:00, vs. Plano East

Note: Lewisville kicked off its district slate last week with a lopsided 64-28 win over Plano West. Armani Winfield had only two touches in the game, but they resulted in two receptions for 78 yards and two TDs.

Lewisville is 4-0 and ranked #21 in Class 6A, though it should be noted that its four wins have come against teams with a combined record of 4-13. Lewisville is the only ranked team in District 6-6A, and every other team has lost at least two games so far in 2021. Friday night’s opponent, Plano East, is 1-3. Lewisville beat Plano East 56-42 when the teams played a year ago.

2022 OL Cole Hutson — Frisco

Friday, October 1 at 7:00, vs. Frisco Liberty

Note: Frisco improved to 4-0 with a 48-13 win over Frisco Lebanon Trail last week. Frisco scored TDs on six of its seven possessions in the first half, while its defense forced six punts and a turnover on downs and limited Lebanon Trail to just 69 yards of offense in the first half, resulting in a 41-0 halftime lead.

Frisco is rated as the Dallas area’s #7 Class 5A team by the Dallas Morning News, and on Friday the Raccoons will face unbeaten Frisco Liberty, the #9 5A team in the area. Liberty is the home of five-star 2022 wide receiver recruit Evan Stewart, a former Longhorn commit. Stewart is averaging 21.8 yards per catch this season, but he announced this week that he will forego the rest of his senior season, so Cole Hutson will not get to face his potential future teammate on Friday night.

2022 OL Connor Robertson — Austin Westlake

Friday, October 1 at 7:30, vs. San Marcos

Note: Westlake cruised to a 63-6 district win against Del Valle last week. The Westlake Chaparrals are the state’s top-ranked team in Class 6A and are fourth in this week’s USA Today Super 25 rankings. They will host 1-3 San Marcos on Friday, a team they beat 56-0 a year ago.

2022 DL Aaron Bryant — Southaven (Mississippi)

Friday, October 1 at 7:00, vs. Hernando (Mississippi)

Note: The Southaven Chargers began district play with a win last week, beating Olive Branch Center Hill 41-16. They are 3-2 this season, and this week they will host district foe Hernando, which sports a record of 2-4.

2022 DL Justice Finkley — Trussville (Alabama) Hewitt-Trussville

Friday, October 1 at 7:00, at Birmingham (Alabama) Hoover

Note: After suffering its first loss two weeks ago to Alabama’s top-ranked team and two-time defending state champion, Thompson, Justice Finkley’s Hewitt-Trussville team bounced back with a lopsided 60-19 win over Huffman last week. The Hewitt-Trussville Huskies are ranked sixth in Class 7A this week, and on Friday they will travel to face the second-ranked team in the state, Hoover. Hoover is Alabama’s largest high school and has one of the state’s most prestigious football programs, with 13 state championships to its name, 11 of which were won between 2000 and 2017.

Hoover beat Hewitt-Trussville 29-28 a season ago.

2022 DL Kristopher Ross — Galena Park North Shore

Friday, October 1 at 7:00, vs. Humble

Note: North Shore opened district play with a 44-7 win over Beaumont West Brook last week. The 4-1 North Shore Mustangs are ranked tenth in Class 6A this week, and on Friday will host 2-3 Humble. North Shore beat Humble 55-6 in the 2020 season.

2022 DL Zac Swanson — Phoenix (Arizona) Brophy Prep

No game this week

Note: Brophy Prep has a bye this week. The Broncos evened up their season record at 2-2 after last week’s 20-7 win over Scottsdale (Arizona) Notre Dame Prep. Zac Swanson was credited with four total tackles and 2 sacks in the win.

2022 DE J’Mond Tapp — Donaldsonville (Louisiana) Ascension Catholic

Friday, October 1 at 7:00, vs. Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Thrive Academy

Note: Ascension Catholic suffered its first loss of the season last week, falling to Vermilion Catholic by a 28-20 score. The Bulldogs dropped from fourth to tenth in the rankings for Louisiana’s Class 1A this week.

On Friday night they will host Thrive Academy, a school in just its third season of varsity football. Thrive Academy is 1-15 in its brief football history, with its only win coming by forfeit in 2019. Ascension Catholic will surely want to avoid the ignominy of being the first team to lose to Thrive Academy on the field.

2022 DE/LB Derrick Brown — Texarkana Texas

Friday, October 1 at 7:30, at Hallsville

Note: The Texas Tigers opened their district schedule with a 44-13 win over Mt. Pleasant on their homecoming night last week. Texas High is 3-0 and will next face Hallsville, a team that is currently on a 20-game losing streak dating back to early in the 2019 season. Texas High beat Hallsville 56-17 in last year’s matchup.

2022 LB Eoghan Kerry — Santa Ana (California) Mater Dei

Friday, October 1 at 9:30, at Bellflower (California) St. John Bosco

Note: Mater Dei blasted La Mirada last week by a 58-7 score. Eoghan Kerry was not credited with any stats on that game’s MaxPreps page.

The Mater Dei Monarchs are 3-0 and remain the top-ranked team in the nation, according to USA Today’s Super 25 rankings. That ranking will be put to the test on Friday night when they face USA Today’s third-ranked team, St. John Bosco.

St. John Bosco is 5-0 and has scored wins over teams from four different states, outscoring its opponents by an average of 30 points. The two teams are frequent foes and have played each other on the gridiron 21 times dating back to the beginning of the 2004 season. Mater Dei won the most recent matchup 34-17 last April in the Covid-delayed 2020-21 football season.

St. John Bosco’s stadium seats around 6,000, and general admission tickets to the game sold out in four minutes when they went on sale earlier this week. Mater Dei and St. John Bosco have, between them, 29 players who currently have a rating of three stars or higher from 247Sports.

2022 DB Bryan Allen — Aledo

No game this week

Note: Aledo goes into its bye week with a perfect 5-0 record and the top ranking in Class 5A Division II. The Bearcats have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 40 points, and last week they beat Everman 51-7.

2022 DB Austin Jordan — Denton Ryan

Thursday, September 30 at 7:00, at Frisco Centennial

Note: Denton Ryan improved to 3-0 in district play and 4-1 overall with a 27-3 win last week over Frisco Wakeland. The Ryan Raiders are the state’s top-ranked team in Class 5A Division I and will play on Thursday night for a third straight week, this time against winless Frisco Centennial, a team that Ryan beat 68-28 last season.

2022 DB Ronald Lewis — New Orleans (Louisiana) Warren Easton

Thursday, September 30 at 7:30, vs. New Orleans King Charter

Note: Warren Easton came up well short last week in its game against Louisiana’s top-ranked 5A team, Catholic-B.R. of Baton Rouge, losing 39-14. The loss dropped the Warren Easton Eagles from third to fifth in this week’s LSWA rankings for Class 4A. Tonight they will face 2-0 King Charter.

2022 ATH Anthony Jones — Henderson (Nevada) Liberty

Friday, October 1 at 9:00, vs. Las Vegas Centennial

Note: Liberty improved to 5-1 this season with a 37-7 win last week over Faith Lutheran. Anthony Jones made one catch for 16 yards, scored on a two-point conversion, and was credited with 8 tackles. This week’s opponent is 1-5 Centennial, a team that has a number of common opponents with Liberty. In two of Centennial’s most recent games it lost by a combined 88-7 to Arbor View and Foothill, two teams Liberty previously beat by a combined 76-20. So this will likely be a blowout as well.

2022 K Will Stone — Austin Regents School

Saturday, October 2 at 2:00, at San Antonio St. Anthony

Note: The Regents Knights improved to 4-0 overall after winning their first district game last week against Austin St. Michaels, 49-21.

The Knights are Texas Football’s top-ranked private school team in the state, and on Saturday they will travel to San Antonio to take on winless St. Anthony, a team they beat 44-6 last season. Their Saturday game will be followed by a Thursday game next week, so the team will have a shorter than usual recovery and preparation time.

2022 LS Lance St. Louis — Gilbert (Arizona) Williams Field

Friday, October 1 at 9:00, vs. Queen Creek

Note: Williams Field beat fellow Gilbert, Arizona school Campo Verde 21-0 last week to improve its season record to 3-0. The Black Hawks will play their first section game on Friday when they host 3-0 Queen Creek, a team they lost to by a 37-6 score in 2020.

Other commits not playing this week

2022 RB Jaydon Blue (Klein Cain)

Cain opted out of playing in the 2021 season. Unless there is a change with his status I will not be posting Klein Cain’s weekly schedule.

2022 DL Jaray Bledsoe (Marlin)

After previously attending Bremond High School, Bledsoe transferred in the summer of 2021 to Marlin High School, which is 17 miles away. He was subsequently ruled ineligible for the 2021 football season, and in late August the U.I.L. denied his eligibility appeal. Unless there is a change in Bledsoe’s eligibility status, I will not be posting updates on Marlin’s season.

2022 LB Trevell Johnson (Arlington Martin)

After dealing with a hip issue for several months, Johnson attempted to play in week one, but afterwards elected to have a surgery that will cause him to miss his senior season. I will not be posting weekly updates on Martin’s games unless one of Johnson’s teammates commits to Texas.