10 Takeaways From The Week That Was the Regional Finals

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Photo: Flo Landsteiner/TexasHSFootball


1. Don’t call it a comeback

In the face of adversity, Wimberley rose to the occasion and scored 20 unanswered points in the last 10 minutes of the fourth quarter to shock Cuero, 44-36, and move on to the state semifinals.

Down 36-24, Wimberley quarterback JoJo Weeks led the Texans to a quick touchdown. After a defensive stand, Weeks threw another touchdown to give his team a 37-36 lead. On the ensuing Cuero possession, Wimberley came away with a pick six and sealed the deal on one of the most dramatic games of the state playoffs.

2. Upset at the Dome

Flo Landsteiner/TexasHSFootball

Remember when we said Austin McCallum could make some serious noise in the state playoffs? Well, the Knights just did that as they pulled off a 20-7 upset victory over Coastal Bend powerhouse Corpus Christi Calallen.

It was a dominant performance by the Knights, which outgained the Wildcats, 300-155. Heading into the contest, Calallen was averaging 48 points per game, which makes the Knights’ stellar defensive effort even more impressive.

McCallum, which has a perfect 14-0 record, is the real deal and a true threat to win a state title.

3. More Dome action

Flo Landsteiner/TexasHSFootball

Following McCallum’s upset win, Austin Lake Travis and San Antonio O’Connor took the field in one of the state’s most anticipated regional final matchups. And the game lived up to the hype early on.

O’Connor and Lake Travis exchanged body blows up until late in the second quarter. That’s when Garrett Wilson took over. One of the top 2019 wide receiver recruits in the country, Wilson scored on a 20-yard touchdown right before halftime.

Wilson scored two more times in the second half, and the Lake Travis defense stifled O’Connor as it cruised to a 38-17 victory.

4. You thought we were done…

Flo Landsteiner/TexasHSFootball

The final matchup at the Alamodome Saturday night featured two state powers in Cibolo Steele and Austin Westlake. Simply put, it was an all out war between two behemoths.

Steele, which overcame a 1-4 start to the year, and Westlake both played extremely tough defense — Steele with its athletic secondary led by Texas commit Caden Sterns and Westlake with its tenacious defensive line.

But at the end of the day, it was Westlake’s running back that made the difference. Wisconsin commit Nakia Watson wore down the Steele front seven and helped carry the Chaparrals to a 28-14 victory.

5. Statement win

Vance Valentine/TexasHSFootball

They are who we thought they were. Katy notched a signature victory in the regional finals as it lambasted fellow Houston-area titan Galena Park North Shore, 31-3. The Katy defense led by monster defensive linemen Moro Ojomo and Michael Matus, an Arizona State pledge, helped shut down the well-oiled machine that is the North Shore ground game.

The offense did more than enough thanks in large part to stud junior running back Deondrick Glass. Again, the question remains: Can anyone beat Katy?

6. East Texas thriller

Charlton Gladden/TexasHSFootball

Longview is back in the state semifinals for the first time since 2010 after winning a 33-32 heart stopper against rival Lufkin. After taking a 13-0 lead into halftime, Longview faced a furious rally from Lufkin. The two teams traded their best and that resulted in six lead changes throughout the second half.

But that Lobo magic prevailed in the end. Down by six with 2:07 remaining, Longview put together a short drive after a big kickoff return that culminated in a touchdown reception by Kamden Perry. The extra point was true, and Longview moved on.

7. Dallas showdown

Sara Carpenter/TexasHSFootball

Texas high school football was at its best this weekend as Allen took on Euless Trinity. But what was expected to be a close game turned into a second half cakewalk for Allen. The Eagles dominated after intermission and came away with a 41-20 win.

Unfortunately, Allen’s win was marred by controversy and brought up the topic of instant replay in high school football. Just before the half, Allen quarterback Grant Tisdale did his best Houdini act and threw a touchdown just before going to the ground. However, still images show his knee might have been down. In the second half, Brock Sturges scored on an explosive touchdown run but appeared to fumble before crossing the goal line.

Either way, Allen is moving on and still looks the part of a state title favorite.

8. Manvel is for real

Prentice James/TexasHSFootball

It always seems to be ‘this is the year’ for Manvel, but the Mavericks have never quite reached those lofty expectations. That said, 2017 might actually be the year for head coach Kirk Martin and crew.

Manvel made a statement last week by putting the hurt on Central Texas power Cedar Park. And this week, the Mavericks left no doubts as they avenged last year’s loss to Temple with a 49-34 victory.

With weapons like Kason Martin, Kam Scott and Jalen Preston leading the way on offense, Manvel could hoist the trophy at AT&T Stadium. But a difficult hurdle awaits as the Mavs take on Angleton and the ‘Slaughter Gang’ in what should be an epic showdown.

9. All good at the Station

Steve Bushman/TexasHSFootball

Fort Bend Marshall was a popular pick to win Region III in a wide-open 5A DII bracket. The College Station Cougars had different plans. In an absolute barnburner, College Station did just enough to outscore Fort Bend Marshall in a thrilling 49-47 victory.

Led by Tulsa athlete commit Marquez Perez, this offense is downright unstoppable. In fact, College Station is averaging more than 50 points per game during the postseason. Next up is a date with that aforementioned stingy Austin McCallum defense.

10. Shout out of the week

This doesn’t have anything to do with the playoffs, but this postseason accolade certainly deserves recognition. As crazy as this sounds, the Dallas Sunset football program has not had any Academic All-State selections in its 94 years of existence. That is until this year.

Defensive lineman Moyzes Rivera became the first player in school history to earn the honor. Huge shout out to him for getting it done on the field and in the classroom.

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