Photo: Joseph Nguyen/TexasHSFootball
FORT WORTH — Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium, Horned Frogs’ fans will see the triumphant return of the Saddle Trophy —annual bragging rights bothTexas Christian and Texas Tech Universities competed for in the West Texas Championship before it went away in the early 1970s.
They also will likely get a glimpse of its future when the Horned Frogs travel to Lubbock in its first of two final 2017 games in a new — currently temporary — sheriff under center.
Starting quarterback Kenny Hill is one of four players not traveling to Lubbock according to a Friday morning report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Saftey Niko Small, kicker Jonathan Song, and running back Darius Anderson, who suffered a season-ending injury against Oklahoma last weekend, are the others.
TCU kicker Jonathan Song. Joseph Nguyen/TexasHSFootball
Hill ranks ninth in the country in completion percentage (65.9) with a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 16-to-5. He has run for 194 yards and three touchdowns and has a touchdown catch. With Hill at the helm, the Horned Frogs had the nation’s best third-down conversion percentage during a red-hot 7-0 start.
In place of Hill will be Shawn Robinson, a 6-foot-2 and 225-pound former DeSoto High School Eagle 4-star standout who is 7-of-10 for 99 yards and two touchdowns in his freshman season in Fort Worth. According to Patterson, Hill and Robinson have been tit-for-tat in practices, sharing snaps at a 50/50 rate.
“We’ve always worked two huddles with ones and twos,” the Horned Frog head coach said during his Tuesday mid-week press conference. “That’s the pro-style where they have just one huddle, limited time, and the twos have to get what they call mental reps. I’m not much into mental reps. They have to do it the way they do it because of their roster. We’re still at 100-something guys.”
Kenny Hill warms up before the Kansas matchup. Joseph Nguyen/TexasHSFootball
He praised Robinsons pedigree — built in the hallways of first Denton Guyer High School, where he earned the District 5-6A Co-Offensive MVP as a junior and the overall MVP as a sophomore, then at DeSoto High School, where he threw for 3,416 yards and 28 touchdowns and ran for 1,439 yards and 19 touchdowns and led DeSoto to its first state championship in 2016.
He will have a talented corps of Horned Frogs’ receivers that have accumulated 2,446 yards in 10 games, namely leading pass catchers John Diarse (27 rec, 460 yards, 2 TD), KaVonte Turpin (31 rec, 323 yards, TD), and fellow freshman and Dallas area talent Jalen Reagor (20 rec, 314 yards, 4 TD).
Robinson could quicken the clock on his ascension to permanent starter status dependent on how he performs during his first career start against an underrated Red Raider team.
“He’s played in a lot of big ball games,” Patterson said. “He’s won a state title in the state of Texas. That means you’ve played in front of 50,000 [people]. It’s not like you’ve played in front of 2,500. The championship game in 6A is probably in front of 45-50,000, so it’s not like he hasn’t played in front of a big audience and done the things you need to do.”

Marcus Matthews-Marion is the managing editor of TexasHSFootball, covering prep football throughout the Lone Star State. Follow him on Twitter, @TheMJMatthews, and read more of his content here.

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