They are who we thought they were.
The Katy Tigers were absolutely dominant in its 44-0 victory over Atascocita over the weekend, thanks to one of the best defenses in the state and a phenomenal ground game led by junior running back Deondrick Glass.
Next up is a matchup with Galena Park North Shore, who upset Katy in the playoffs last season. You can bet the Tigers will be playing with a chip on its shoulder in that one. Right now, there doesn’t appear to be a more dangerous team in 6A DI.
2. So about North Shore…
The aforementioned Galena Park North Shore Mustangs play with a similar similar style to Katy. They can ground and pound with the best of them and have one of the state’s fastest rising stars in the backfield in sophomore Zachary Evans.
Behind Evans, North Shore raced out to a 44-29 win over Houston Lamar this weekend in a battle of area titans. Evans rushed for more than 170 yards and four touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how the super sophomore fares against Katy’s vaunted defense next week.
3. South Texas showdown
In a battle of undefeated teams, San Antonio O’Connor came out victorious over San Benito, 52-43. San Benito was the Rio Grande Valley’s best hope to make a deep run in the playoffs, but the Greyhounds fell just short.
On the other side of the coin, the question now becomes: does O’Connor have what it takes to win a state title? The win over San Benito was impressive, but this week will be telling as it faces traditional powerhouse Lake Travis.
4. Sleeping giant
We mentioned Mansfield as a surprise team that could make a deep run in the playoffs. But Waco Midway has made a strong case for themselves. The Panthers have been extremely impressive so far and made a statement with a dominant 48-17 victory over those same Mansfield Tigers.
Midway has one of the state’s true stars under center in Oklahoma quarterback commit Tanner Mordecai as well as a big, bad offensive line. The Panthers have made themselves out as a team to be feared in 6A DII.
5. Upset city
Spring Westfield was a popular pick to win a state title in 6A DII. But that’s no longer possible thanks to Lufkin, which pulled off a 14-11 upset win over the Mustangs on Saturday.
The Panthers are peaking at the right time and feature a ton of talented underclassmen: including monster defensive tackle Carl Williams and speedy wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk. Lufkin has tradition on its side as well. Like Midway, Lufkin is a dangerous team in 6A DII and will face Longview in a great East Texas regional final.
6. Thriller in Waco
Coppell and Round Rock Cedar Ridge met in the nightcap at McLane Stadium on Saturday. And boy was it a dandy. After exchanging blow after blow during regulation, Cedar Ridge scored first in overtime. Coppell responded with a touchdown of its own.
However, Texas A&M kicker commit Caden Davis pushed the extra point wide, and the Raiders dashed onto the field in celebration. Cedar Ridge has an explosive offense led by Baylor wide receiver commit Jaylen Ellis, and a defense that does just enough.
7. Close Call
Is Aledo really beatable? Deemed the overwhelming state title favorite in 5A DII, Aledo ran into some trouble this weekend as Abilene Cooper gave the Bearcats all they could handle and more. They escaped with a 34-31 win, but it must step its game up moving forward if it wants to repeat.
Aledo has a machine in the backfield in Oklahoma running back commit Jase McClellan, but it’s time for his supporting cast to rise to the occasion as the Bearcats will face an upstart Richland Rebels squad this weekend.
8. Purple storm
This weekend, I had an opportunity to watch College Station in person for the first time all season, and boy, were the Cougars impressive. Tulsa athlete commit Marquez Perez lines up at quarterback and is an absolute playmaker with the ball in his hands.
Perez and College Station racked up around 600 yards of total offense and beat down a tough Port Neches-Groves team by more than 30 points. College Station advances to play Fort Bend Marshall in what should be an extremely fun contest.
9. Key 4A games
In two of the state’s most anticipated games, Stephenville knocked off Argyle, 31-28, while Kennedale edged Midlothian Heritage, 45-43. The winners of these two contests could very well go on to win a state title.
Stephenville has an offense capable of scoring in bunches, while run heavy Kennedale will smash you in the mouth. These wins were huge for both teams as they build momentum moving forward.
10. Did you miss us?
Boling entered the postseason as a bit of an afterthought after reaching the state finals last season. After all, Boling finished the year 5-3 and didn’t look like the team we saw a year ago.
However, the Bulldogs are getting hot at the right time and notched a key 28-6 win over East Bernard, a team that handed Boling a loss in the regular season finale.
Boling has one of the best small-school players in the state in Alabama commit Vernon Jackson, who is truly putting his team on his back.
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