The Taylor Lions played with their hair on fire the first nine and a half games of 2016. They blistered opponents with a high-powered offense and stymied opposition with a stingy defense.
The Lions cruised to a 9-0 start before falling to George Ranch, 35-34, in overtime during the regular-season finale.
Taylor then lost to a fairly salty Dickinson squad by a couple of touchdowns in the first round of the playoffs, and the Lions ended the season with a 9-2 record.
QB Dontay Warren, DL Kobie Whiteside, OT Eleasah Anderson
Warren did everything on offense last season except tape ankles and drive the bus to the games — though he probably would’ve done those, too.
He was named the District 23-6A Most Valuable Player after passing for 2,116 yards and 28 touchdowns and running for 307 more yards and six rushing scores.
Whiteside was a huge run stopper on the defensive line and Anderson was a mammoth of a lineman who protected Warren in the pocket.
DB De’Ivion Brown, WR Brennan Eagles, LB Bailey Boss
Brown was the District 23-6A Defensive Newcomer of the Year last season as a junior. Eagles was named first-team all-district after leading the team in receptions (38), receiving yards (737) and touchdown catches as a junior.
Boss was a first-team all-district pick and will be the leader of the Lions defense this fall.
Kenneth Spurlock will be relied upon as the featured running back in 2017.
The Lions lose a lot of talented seniors from last year’s district champion, but they’ll fill some key holes in 2017.
The Lions offense will need to rely on Spurlock, Eagles and rebuilding depth on the offensive line while breaking in a new quarterback to replace Warren.
Taylor has Fort Bend Bush, Cy Falls, Spring Dekaney and Katy Seven Lakes to get ready for district, and that should be enough with some weaker teams in 23-6A.
The season could come down to a September showdown with Pearland, who look to be better this year. George Ranch and Dawson are two other teams that could be standing in the way.
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