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Texas Longhorn commits: Week 8 preview

Several of this week’s games have playoff implications for members of #RevolUTion18. And should we set the over/under for Casey Thompson’s weekly passing yardage at 400 from now on?

Texas Longhorn commits and Houston Lamar teammates Al’Vonte Woodard (left) and D’Shawn Jamison
Eric Nahlin (Inside Texas)

The Texas high school football season is entering Week 8, with three more to follow before the playoffs begin. The playoff picture will start to become a lot more clear after this week, as some teams will be all but eliminated from postseason contention with a loss, and others will essentially clinch a playoff berth or at least know who they have to beat in the final three weeks of the season to get there.

Recruits in other states are much closer to starting their playoff run. Rondale Moore’s Louisville Trinity (Ky.) team will play its final regular season game this week, and the teams of Cameron Rising and Ayodele Adeoye both have three scheduled games left, including this week’s.

Last week saw big performances from (this will not surprise regular readers of this column) Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson, both of whom helped their teams to victory after they found themselves trailing solid opponents early on. Casey Thompson had his second six-touchdown game in as many weeks and has passed for over 1.3 miles worth of yards as a senior. Al’vonte Woodard only had one catch but it scored his first touchdown of the season, and Malcolm Epps had what was probably the first 100-yard receiving game and multiple touchdown performance since his sophomore season.

In not-so-good news, one of the class’s highest-rated commits suffered an injury last week that could cost him the rest of the season — Jalen Green. He’s the second Texas commit who will have missed significant time due to injury in his senior season, as linebacker commit Byron Hobbs has not played in six weeks.

More positively, the 2018 recruiting class gained a member last week, so I’ll take the easy way out and blame D’Shawn Jamison’s addition to the group for this week’s post going over 4,900 words.

Read on for the full recap of the Week 7 games and previews of where and who each commit will play this week.

2018 Texas Longhorn football commits

QB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, California)

Last week: Bye

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00, at Calabasas

Notes: Coming off its bye week, Newbury Park will play its first league game on Friday against a Calabasas team started off this season 6-0 before losing last week to Sierra Canyon, 26-14. Calabasas owns wins against Westlake and Valencia, two of the three teams that have beaten Newbury Park. Calabasas beat Valencia 65-63 three weeks ago (Valencia beat Newbury Park 48-7 on September 15), and beat Westlake 52-14 two weeks ago (Westlake edged Newbury Park 42-40 on September 8).

Newbury Park is 4-3 so far this season, and currently ranked 10th among the CIF Southern Section’s Division 3 schools, of which there are only 18 total. Westlake, who beat them in early September, is ranked No. 7 in the Southern Section’s Division 3, while Oaks Christian and Valencia, the other two teams to beat them, are ranked No. 3 and No. 4 among the Southern Section’s Division 2 schools. This week’s opponent, Calabasas, is the Southern Section’s seventh-ranked Division 2 school. Calabasas beat Newbury Park when they played last season, 40-14.

If this column has any California readers, perhaps one can help make sense of the CIF’s Divisions and how teams from within a single league in a particular section might be placed in different divisions. I’m all about giving you good readers context and background on these recruits and their teams and weekly opponents, but I only have so many hours in the week to research this stuff and trying to decipher California’s system makes my head hurt.

QB Casey Thompson (Newcastle, Oklahoma)

Last week: Completed 25 of 38 passes for 454 yards and 6 TDs in a 49-48 win over Clinton.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00, vs. Oklahoma City Heritage Hall

Notes: I mean, just look at those stats! At this point, if we set the over/under for Casey Thompson’s weekly passing yardage at 400, who’s taking the under?

Thompson surpassed the 2,300 passing yard mark for the season with his big performance in last week’s narrow win over Clinton. He has passed for well over 900 yards and 12 TDs in the past two weeks alone. Newcastle led Clinton 49-42 late in the 4th quarter and had the ball deep in Clinton territory with a chance to put the game away, but Clinton recovered a fumble at their own 4-yard line with 2:03 left on the clock and drove the length of the field to score a potential game-tying TD with just three seconds left. Rather than attempt to tie the score with a PAT, Clinton went for a two-point conversion and was stopped short.

The win moved Newcastle to 2-5 for the season, which doubled their win total from the 2016 season. Improving from one win to two wins may not seem like a dramatic upgrade, but through seven games the Racers have already scored twice as many points (251) as they did in the entire 2016 season (123). As previously noted, this is Thompson’s first season at Newcastle, as he transferred in earlier this year after previously attending Southmoore.

Points will probably be harder to come by this week against a 7-0 Heritage Hall team that has allowed 15 points per game. Last week, Heritage Hall posted a 48-0 shutout win over an Elgin team that had beaten Newcastle 75-56 the previous week. Heritage Hall is ranked No. 2 in this week’s AP poll for Class 4A, one spot behind defending state champion Wagoner, and one spot ahead of last year’s state championship runner-up, Oologah. Heritage Hall beat Newcastle a year ago, 37-7.

There may be a bit of hope for Newcastle, though. That Clinton team they beat 49-48 last week? Heritage Hall merely beat them 28-24 when those teams met four weeks ago.

RB Keaontay Ingram (Carthage)

Last week: Rushed for 269 yards and 5 TDs in a 50-20 win over Kilgore.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:30, at Center

Notes: Ingram had a huge game last Friday as Carthage got a decisive win over the last team to beat them, east Texas rival Kilgore. Kilgore won the teams’ 2016 matchup, 41-34, but Carthage has since won 16 consecutive games.

Carthage went into the game as Class 4A’s top-ranked team, and though Kilgore was not state-ranked they had a solid 5-1 record and the East Texas Sports Network’s poll rated them as the region’s No. 2 team in Class 4A, behind Carthage. Kilgore scored the game’s first TD and held first half leads of 7-0, 14-7, and 20-15, but Carthage scored 35 unanswered points after that to run away with the game.

Ingram’s first TD was an eight-yard run that tied the game at seven in the first quarter, and his next TD came on a three-yard run that gave Carthage its first lead of the game after Kilgore had scored its last points of the game to go ahead 20-15 in the second quarter. Before that quarter was over he also took a 71-yard run to the house and scored on another run after Kilgore had fumbled with less than a minute left in the first half. In the third quarter he scored his fifth TD on an eight-yard run, and with Carthage holding a very comfortable lead, Ingram sat out the final quarter.

This week Carthage travels to face a 2-5 Center team that will be playing for its playoff life. Center is 2-1 in district play and has to play Carthage, Henderson, and Kilgore to finish its season. Carthage beat Center 42-16 last season.

WR Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor)

Last week: Team lost to Alief Elsik 34-27.

This week: Bye

Notes: Eagles may not have played in last week’s loss to district rival Elsik. He wasn’t mentioned in the one box score I’ve seen for the game, and he sent out this tweet the day before the game.

Don’t know if an injury or something else was involved there. Taylor’s defense limited Elsik to just 118 total yards, but its offense committed four turnovers, three of which were returned for scores. Elsik scored on a 25-yard pick-six to take a 14-0 game before the game was three minutes old. They went ahead 27-6 with 4:40 left in the second quarter after returning a Taylor fumble 96 yards the other way. Taylor cut the deficit to 27-12 in the final minute of the first half and had chances to make it a one-possession game in the third quarter, but Elsik instead extended their lead to 34-12 on a 15-yard fumble return for a TD with 4:40 left in the third quarter. Taylor scored late in the third and got as close as 34-27 after scoring a TD with just 1:14 left in regulation, but that ended up being the final score.

Taylor is now 2-3 overall and 1-2 in district play. The Lions have a bye this week, and because their first two games were cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey, they will play just eight regular season games.

WR Rondale Moore (Trinity - Louisville, Kentucky)

Last week: Team defeated Louisville Seneca, 42-0.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00, at Louisville Ballard

Notes: Trinity dominated Seneca last week, which is the only expected result when a nationally-ranked squad plays a winless team that has scored just 29 points in seven games. Moore did not dress out for Trinity’s previous game and may not have played in last week’s game either. If his absence isn’t injury or discipline-related, we can speculate that Trinity’s longtime coach saw limited upside in having his best player take the field against the two weakest opponents on their schedule just weeks before the start of the playoffs.

Friday night’s game against Ballard will be for the championship of District 4-6A, as both teams go into the game with 3-0 district records and this will be Trinity’s last regular season game. Kentucky schools began their season a full two weeks before most Texas schools did, so some (like Trinity, which has not yet had a bye week) will finish their season this weekend. Trinity beat Ballard twice in the 2016 season, by a combined score of 118-20. Info about this year’s Trinity-Ballard matchup posted on a Kentucky message board states that Trinity is currently on a 25-game winning streak in the series, with their last loss to Ballard coming in 1995, way back in an era when there existed just one Jurassic Park movie!

Trinity has outscored its last six opponents 205-13. The Shamrocks moved up from 12th to 10th in this week’s USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings. Rondale Moore tweeted earlier this week that he will be taking his official visit to Texas this weekend.

WR Al’vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar)

Last week: Caught one pass for a 29-yard TD in a 49-0 win over Houston Chavez.

This week: Saturday, October 21 at 1:00, at Houston Heights (at Delmar Stadium)

Notes: Woodard still isn’t lighting up the stat sheet compared with how he did as a junior, but his only catch last week resulted in his first touchdown of the season. The MaxPreps box score indicates that all 49 of Lamar’s points were scored in the first half, and their reserves probably played the entire second half.

Lamar is 3-1 overall and 2-0 in district play, and this Saturday’s game will be against their current co-leaders in District 18-6A, Houston Heights, a team that is 3-0 in district. Lamar vs. Heights was setting up to be a great game between district and city rivals (the northeastern edge of Lamar’s attendance zone borders a large portion of Heights’s zone), as well as a game that might feature two future Longhorns actually going one-on-one, with wide receiver Al’Vonte Woodard on one side and defensive back Jalen Green on the other. Alas, that individual matchup will not take place, as Green was injured last week and won’t be suiting up for Heights when they play Lamar (more on that later). But fans who attend the game can still see two UT commits for the price of one, as one of Woodard’s teammates joined the class last week (more on him later).

TE Malcolm Epps (Spring Dekaney)

Last week: Caught 3 passes for 119 yards and 2 TDs in a 35-0 win over Aldine Eisenhower.

This week: Thursday, October 19 at 7:00, at Aldine Davis

Notes: For the second straight game Epps did not record any defensive stats, so either the pass-rushing DE experiment with him is over or he just isn’t getting to the ball like he was earlier in the season. He had his biggest statistical game of the season from the offensive side in last week’s win over Eisenhower, catching three passes for over 100 yards and scoring two TDs.

Dekaney is 3-2 overall but 1-2 in district play, and this week they face a 2-2 Aldine Davis team that is 2-1 in district. Dekaney is tied for fifth place in District 16-6A, and a loss in more than one of their remaining four games will make advancing to the postseason very difficult.

TE Dominick Wood-Anderson (Arizona Western College - Yuma, Arizona)

Last week: Caught one pass for 8 yards in a 46-13 win over Phoenix College.

This week: Saturday, October 21 at 7:00, vs. Pima Community College

Notes: A week after catching 14 passes (almost certainly a career high) in a win over Snow College, Wood-Anderson snagged just one pass in last week’s lopsided win over Phoenix College (not to be mistaken for the University of Phoenix). Phoenix actually led 13-12 at halftime, but Arizona Western outscored them 34-0 in the second half, which included 27 fourth quarter points.

Arizona Western is 5-0 and moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in this week’s NJCAA football rankings. This week they have a re-match with Pima, a team they beat six weeks ago, 34-17. Wood-Anderson had two catches for 46 yards in the teams’ previous matchup.

OL Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland)

Last week: Team lost to Frisco Centennial in overtime, 69-66.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00, vs. Frisco Lone Star (at Toyota Stadium)

Notes: It was a mostly defense-free game when Frisco schools Wakeland and Centennial played each other last Friday. The teams combined for 1,322 total yards and 135 points, and the game featured four 100-yard rushers (two of whom eclipsed 200 yards) and three 100-yard receivers. Ten different players scored at least one touchdown, and the longest time gap between scores was a 5:29 stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter.

Wakeland led 28-21 at halftime, then the teams combined for 77 points in the second half. The game was tied three different times in the fourth quarter alone, with a one-yard Centennial TD run with 1:13 left in regulation tying the game at 63. Wakeland drove as far as the Centennial 36-yard line on the last possession of the 4th quarter, but QB Dylan Cadwallader was intercepted on the final play to send the game into overtime.

Wakeland made a 38-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime, but Centennial only needed three plays to score the game-winning TD. Wakeland gained 648 total yards in the loss, including 363 on the ground. After starting off the season 4-0, Wakeland has dropped to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in district play, which ties them with three other teams for fourth place in District 13-5A. Three teams lead the district with 3-0 records, and Wakeland has already been victimized by two of them: Reedy and Centennial. On Friday they get to face the third team in that trio, Frisco Lone Star, currently the 10th-ranked team in Class 5A.

Lone Star is 5-1 overall, with their only loss a seven-point defeat at the hands of Class 5A’s No. 3-ranked team, Denton Ryan. Lone Star is arguably the most talented team in the district, with a lineup that includes three-star QB M.J. Rivers (an Illinois commit who formerly attended Plano Prestonwood Christian), three-star RB Kirby Bennett (who suited up for Allen and Dallas Parish Episcopal in previous seasons), and three-star LB Nicholas Bolton (who pledged to Washington in July but de-committed three weeks ago). A loss to Lone Star would probably put Wakeland in the position of needing to win out to reach the playoffs.

OL Reese Moore (Seminole)

Last week: Team defeated Pecos 57-6

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00 vs. Lamensa

Notes: Seminole has shown a very strong running game throughout the season and they ran roughshod over an over-matched Pecos team last week. Seminole’s offense rushed for 477 yards, while its defense forced four turnovers and limited Pecos to just 137 total yards and six first downs.

Seminole improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in district play. This week they play a Lamesa team that sports a 3-3 overall record but is 0-2 in district play. A win over Lamesa on Friday would set up a probable battle for the championship of District 2-4A Division II next week against unbeaten Sweetwater, the ninth-ranked team in Class 4A.

DT Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield)

Last week: Team defeated Aldine MacArthur 62-6.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00, vs. Aldine Nimitz

Notes: Westfield’s defense forced three turnovers and limited MacArthur to 95 total yards in last week’s dominating win. MacArthur’s only score of the game came with 3:39 left in the first quarter and at the time put them behind only 7-6, but Westfield scored 55 unanswered points over the remainder of the game.

Westfield improved to 5-0, and the Mustangs’ 3-0 district record has them tied for the lead in District 16-6A. Having dispatched with MacArthur last week, Westfield will play its last four district games against Aldine ISD’s other four high schools, starting on Friday with current district co-leader Nimitz, then finishing with Aldine High, Eisenhower, and Davis, a trio of schools that currently have a combined record of 3-11.

Two decades ago this would have been a killer district, as the Aldine ISD schools advanced four rounds or more into the playoffs a combined 14 times between 1989 and 2000, runs that resulted in one state title (Aldine High in 1990) and three state runner-up finishes. But they’ve fallen far from their collective elite status since then, and that school district has just four combined playoff wins in the past decade.

LB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy - Bradenton, Florida)

Last week: Bye

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00, at Salt Lake City (Utah) East

Notes: IMG’s football program can be counted on to put together an all-star roster and challenge it with an all-star schedule. The Ascenders are 5-0 and ranked No. 2 on this week’s USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings, and they have wins this season over the teams currently ranked No. 6 (Miami Central), 9th (Centennial - Corona, California) by USA Today, as well as highly-ranked Arizona and Florida opponents.

Coming off a bye week, IMG will travel west to the Mountain Time Zone to face Salt Lake City East, Utah’s two-time defending 4A state champions. East is 8-1 for the season, with one of their wins coming against Arizona’s top-ranked 4A team, Saguaro, and their only loss a 48-17 defeat to the nation’s 16th-ranked team, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham.

LB Byron Hobbs (Fort Worth Eastern Hills)

Last week: Team lost to Fort Worth Dunbar, 54-12.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:30, at Birdville

Notes: Hobbs suffered a separated clavicle in Week 2 and has not played since. Last week, Eastern Hills suffered its third lopsided loss in as many games, falling by 42 points to previously winless Fort Worth Dunbar. Eastern Hills is 0-3 in district play and has been outscored 166-24 in those three losses. Another loss will all but eliminate them from playoff contention.

District 8-5A has been top-heavy so far, to say the least. Its top three teams have an overall record of 16-2, while its other five teams are a collective 6-24. This week, Eastern Hills plays 1-5 Birdville, a team coming off a 42-10 loss to Colleyville Heritage, but whose four earlier losses were decided by a combined margin of 11 points. Birdville beat Eastern Hills 28-3 when the teams played last year.

DB BJ Foster (Angleton)

Last week: Bye

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:30, at Lamar Consolidated

Notes: Angleton is 5-0, ranked No. 7 in Class 5A, and has outscored its opposition 279-14. They are coming off a bye week and on Friday will face a 2-3 Lamar Consolidated team who last week won 37-34 against Victoria East, a team Angleton had beaten 70-0 the week before. Lamar Consolidated is led at QB by senior William Brown, an SMU commit.

DB Jalen Green (Houston Heights)

Last week: Completed 1 of 2 passes for 5 yards and 1 INT, rushed 4 times for 45 yards, and made 2 tackles (1 tackle for loss) in a 60-28 win over Houston Westbury.

This week: Saturday, October 21 at 1:00, vs. Houston Lamar

Notes: Heights improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in district play with last week’s win over Westbury, but it was a costly win, as Jalen Green sustained what Jason Suchomel of Orangebloods has described as a “collarbone injury”.

The most optimistic estimate for Green’s return from that injury would be in the first round of the playoffs four weeks from now. Heights has three games remaining, then a bye in Week 11, the final week of the regular season.

Green’s injury, at the very least, robs him of a chance to play against future teammates Al’vonte Woodard and D’Shawn Jamison when Heights faces Houston Lamar on Saturday afternoon. The teams are both unbeaten in district play and the winner of that game should have the inside track to eventually claiming the championship of District 18-6A.

DB D’Shawn Jamison (Houston Lamar)

Last week: Made 2 tackles, had 2 passes defended, and returned a punt 37 yards in a 49-0 win over Houston Chavez.

This week: Saturday, October 21 at 1:00, at Houston Heights

Notes: Jamison became the newest member of #RevolUTion18 when he committed to Texas last Saturday.

He has so far this season been credited with 11 tackles and 1 interception (returned for a 46-yard TD), and has accounted for an average of 50 yards on 4 kickoff returns, including one returned for an 87-yard TD. He is a composite four-star recruit and one of the state’s top 15 prospects from the 2018 class.

DB DeMarvion Overshown (Arp)

Last week: Caught an 18-yard TD in a 20-10 win over Beckville.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:30, vs. West Rusk

Notes: Overshown’s TD catch last week gave Arp a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. That remained the score going into the fourth quarter, and though Beckville made a field goal to cut the deficit to 14-3, Arp scored on their subsequent drive to put them ahead 20-3 with around three minutes left in the game. Beckville’s only TD of the game was scored in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.

Arp improved to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in district play. The Tigers have a very tough task ahead of them with Class 3A’s eighth-ranked school, West Rusk, on the schedule for Friday night. If Arp were to lose to West Rusk, they would have to win both of their last two regular season games to qualify for the postseason.

DB Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele)

Last week: Caught 2 passes for 92 yards and a TD, made 7 tackles, and intercepted a pass in a 26-3 win over New Braunfels.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:30, vs. New Braunfels Canyon

Notes: The Steele-New Braunfels game was nearly 20 minutes old before the first points were scored. A 12-yard run by Rice commit Brendan Brady gave Steele a 6-0 lead with 4:20 left in the second quarter. New Braunfels scored its only points on a field goal with 5:24 left in the third quarter, which cut their deficit to 12-3. But Sterns finished off Steele’s ensuing drive with a 63-yard TD reception to extend Steele’s lead to 19-3 with 3:50 left in the third quarter.

Last week’s win snapped Steele’s four-game losing streak, a series of defeats unprecedented in that program’s 12-year history. Steele is now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in district play, which ties the Knights with two other teams for fourth place in District 27-6A. Steele’s next three games, starting with Friday night’s contest versus New Braunfels Canyon, will be played against a trio of foes with a current district record of 1-8, and an overall record of 4-14. Three straight wins would get Steele back over the .500 mark and seal a playoff spot going into an intriguing Week 11 matchup with Schertz Clemens, who is currently 6-0.

K Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis)

Last week: Made 2 of 2 PAT attempts in a 21-14 loss to Austin Westlake.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:30, vs. Kyle Lehman

Notes: Last week, Westlake beat rival Lake Travis for the first time in a decade, overcoming a 14-7 halftime deficit by keeping Lake Travis off the scoreboard in the second half while scoring two touchdowns of their own. Westlake’s senior RB Nakia Watson, a Wisconsin commit, rushed for 130 yards and two TDs on 30 carries, while junior QB Taylor Anderson rushed for 134 yards and one TD. Westlake’s defense clamped down on Lake Travis’s passing attack, allowing three long pass plays covering over 50 yards, but otherwise limiting them to short passes. Lake Travis QB Matthew Baldwin, a Colorado State commit, completed 13 of 27 passes for 239 yards and one TD, but he was also picked off twice, and though he had completions that covered 74, 57, and 56 yards, his other ten completed passes gained just over five yards on average. And Lake Travis’s rushing “attack” finished with -6 yards on 15 carries.

In another notable performance, Lake Travis junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson caught five passes for 91 yards, including a 74-yard TD, and also intercepted two passes on defense. And Westlake junior defensive lineman David Neil, the son of former Longhorn All-American offensive lineman Dan Neil, collected his seventh and eighth sacks of the season.

Westlake’s win snapped a 10-game losing streak they had in their series with Lake Travis, and it ended Lake Travis’s 41-game winning streak in district games. The last time Westlake beat Lake Travis was in September 2007, when then Lake Travis QB and future Texas Longhorn/SMU Mustang Garrett Gilbert was a junior, and all Lake Travis did in response was win its next 42 consecutive games and win five straight state championships. If they accomplish even a third of that after last week’s loss, it’ll certainly take off a good bit of that sting.

The loss dropped Lake Travis out of the top-10 rankings for Class 6A (they were No. 7 going into the Westlake game). Lake Travis will aim to start a new winning streak on Friday against Kyle Lehman, a team that currently has a 1-6 overall record and has been outscored by nearly 33 points per game in its first season under former El Paso Parkland head coach Josh Kirkland. Lake Travis won last year’s matchup, 68-0.

2019 Texas Longhorns football commit

QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)

Last week: Completed 12 of 27 passes for 212 yards and 2 TDs, rushed 24 times for 126 yards and 2 TDs, and caught a pass for a 43-yard TD in a 44-36 win over Port Arthur Memorial.

This week: Friday, October 20 at 7:00, at Vidor

Notes: Port Neches-Groves faced a stiff test last week against Memorial, falling behind 17-0 at one point in the first quarter and 30-14 at halftime, but they stormed back and outscored Memorial 30-6 in the second half to get the win.

Johnson’s first TD came on a 62-yard run with 3:48 left in the first quarter that got PN-G on the scoreboard after they’d fallen behind 17-0. PN-G scored two touchdowns in a 1:12 span in the third quarter, getting a TD pass from Johnson and a two-point conversion on their first possession of the second half, then recovering an onside kick and scoring again (with an added two-point conversion) a few plays later to tie the game at 30. Memorial briefly took back a 36-30 lead with 4:09 left in the third quarter, but PN-G took the lead back following a trick play in which Johnson caught a 43-yard pass from receiver Preston Riggs, and they never trailed again. Memorial got the ball late with a chance to tie the game with a TD and two-point conversion, but on their final drive they got as far as PN-G’s three-yard-line before being stopped.

Johnson and Riggs’s heroics helped PN-G remain undefeated for the season with a 5-0 overall record. They currently sit atop the District 22-5A standings at 4-0, just ahead of three teams all sporting 3-1 district records: Port Arthur Memorial, Nederland, and Vidor. PN-G will play Vidor on Friday. Vidor’s only loss of the season was a 28-21 defeat to Nederland two weeks ago, while Nederland’s one loss came at the hands of Memorial three weeks ago by a score of 13-7.

A year ago that district had a three teams finish in a tie with identical 7-1 district records: PN-G, Memorial, and Vidor. Three other teams tied for fourth place in the district with 4-4 records, and a series of tiebreakers had to be used to decide the district’s fourth playoff berth. Suffice it to say, this is a pretty tight district, but a win over Vidor on Friday should more than give Roschon Johnson and his Port Neches-Groves teammates a leg up on the rest of the district for this season’s district crown. PN-G beat Vidor 41-22 when the teams played last year.