A one-point win and a one-point loss decided the playoff fate of the Hightower Hurricanes in 2016.
Hightower had two stinging losses in non-district to Houston Lamar and Spring, but they went 4-3 in District 20-6A to finish in a three-way tie for third. However, it lost out on a playoff bid because of a point differential with Bush and Kempner.
See, the Hurricanes beat Bush, 26-25, and then lost in overtime to Kempner in a shootout, 50-44. The one-point win wasn’t enough to have the Hurricanes crashing the playoffs.
Although, a one-point loss to Dulles, 52-51, between those two games could have been the difference. Had Hightower beaten the Vikings, then it would have finished 5-2 in district and secured the third seed — or the top spot in Division II.
Hightower had a boatload of seniors in 2016, but it also had a bevy of talented underclassmen, which should make the 2017 season even more exciting.
WR Andre Lewis, RB Devin McAdoo, OG John Horn
McAdoo averaged more than 11 yards per carry while running onto the all-district team. Lewis led the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns and Horn helped pave the way on the high-scoring offense.
S Hasaan Hypolite, LB Quinten Sharkey, OT Anthony Williams
All three listed returners were named first-team all-District 20-6A last season as underclassmen. Sharkey, who’s listed as an outside linebacker, will only be a junior this year.
Hightower will have even more focus in 2017 after narrowly missing out on the playoffs last year.
Look for the Hurricanes to come out on fire against the stretch that includes Fort Bend Austin, Bush, Dulles and Kempner — the same four games that helped determine playoff circumstances in 2016.
Hightower once again starts the season against Eisenhower, Lamar and Spring, and then Fort Bend Austin awaits in the district opener.