Game Ball Honors: Best Texas High School Players in the Area Round

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Photo: Steve Bushman/TexasHSFootball

EDITORS NOTE: Every week, TexasHSFootball will present their official game ball honors to those that were the most impactful under the Friday Night Lights. Our experts watched numerous games and decided on the some of very best Texas high school players in the area round of the UIL playoffs.

Please post your game ball honorees below and tag @texashsfootball and use the hashtag #GameBallHonors through our various social media channels. Readers can also submit suggestions via email at [email protected] (no later than 4 p.m. each Sunday). 

We’ll be sure to keep an eye on all suggestions — and possibly name them a Texas HS Football Game Ball Honoree or an Honorable Mention.

Curtis Raymond (WR, Dripping Springs)

Raymond’s finest moment was also the last of his high school career.

Two-hundred-plus yards receiving at any level — professional, collegiate, or otherwise — is impressive, but to do it when the defense is expecting the pass is another case entirely. He was nearly unstoppable on crossing routes and deep throws, finishing with eight receptions for 211 yards and a touchdown.

That total was almost half of what the 6-foot-3, 180-pound wideout gained in  10 games this season — and helped him finish with a career-high 698 yards. — Marcus Matthews-Marion

Damontrareis Lacy (RB, Lubbock Monterey)
Lubbock Monterey sophomore running back Damontrareis Lacy rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns against El Paso Andress. Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball

The sophomore running back spearheaded a strong rushing attack for the Lubbock Monterey Plainsmen on Friday night, rushing for 208 yards and three touchdowns in the win over El Paso Andress. — Tony Venegas

Jake Cockerham (RB/LB, Mason)

Ozzy Jaime/TexasHSFootball

The junior transfer from Wimberley had himself another big night in Mason’s 7-0 area round playoff victory against Shiner. Cockerham led the Punchers in rushing with 64 yards on 16 carries and registered eight tackles with a team-high two for a loss. He’ll continue to be a key player as Mason chases its second state championship. — Steven Ryan

John Stephen Jones (QB, Highland Park)

Sherry Milliken/TexasHSFootball

Highland Park’s John Steven Jones only needed three quarters of action to lead his team to a 73-20 victory over McKinney North in his grandpa’s stadium.

Jones completed 17 of his 23 pass attempts for 263 yards and three touchdowns and added 54 yards on the ground, as well as three more touchdowns. Jones was efficient in his passing efforts completing almost 74 of his throws.

This week Jones will lead the Scots into the regional finals against Mansfield Summit at SMU’s Ford Stadium Friday 7:30 pm. — Garrett Ross

Tyler Hudson (WR, Klein Oak)

Vance Valentine/TexasHSFootball

Tyler Hudson seems to have notched himself a spot in the #GameBallHonors every week. Making his third appearance this season, Hudson has outdone himself in a losing effort against Cedar Ridge. Hudson had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Just a junior, Hudson is the tenth ranked receiver in the state of Texas for the class of 2019, but his ranking should rise given his performance this year.

His season is over, but he’ll have one more to show off his athleticism.

Four weeks ago, he made a full extension catch down the middle for a big gain, wowing the crowd. This week, he “Mossed” Cedar Ridge’s secondary along the sideline, going over the top and snatching the ball out of the corner’s hand as they fell to the ground, managed to stay in bounds to set up the Panthers at the two-yard line. Multiple times throughout the game, Hudson used his 6-foot-2 frame to make catches most only dream of.

As he enters the offseason and prepares for his senior campaign, keep the name Tyler Hudson etched in your mind, because you’ll be seeing him a lot more. — Tim Verghese

Marquez Perez (QB, College Station)

Photo courtesy The Eagle

The College Station Cougars’ Marquez Perez carried his team to victory over Georgetown 34-31 Saturday afternoon at Waco ISD Stadium.

The three-year varsity quarterback was remarkable in the rushing and passing attack totaling 452 yards. The senior was 15 of 19 with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran the ball for 239 yards and touchdowns. He now has 4,173 yards and 43 touchdowns after completing 311 of his 468 pass attempts (67 percent) in 38 games on the Friday night football stage.

He’s thrown only 13 interceptions during that span.

He will attempt to improve College Station’s chances of claiming a state title, as well as his 2,445 career rushing yards and 41 career rushing touchdowns, when his Cougars will take on Port Neches Grove High School at 1 p.m. Saturday at Turner Stadium in Humble. —  Garrett Ross

Jaqulis Coleman (RB, Mansfield), Tiger Offensive Line

Marcus Henry/TexasHSFootball

The Mansfield Tigers advance to the third round of the playoffs with a 55-37 victory over San Angelo Central Friday night.

The Tigers rushed for 344 yards behind a bruising offensive line that dominated the second half. Senior running back Jaqulis Coleman ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns in the final two quarters.

Coleman had touchdown runs of 58 and 47 yards, with the 58 yards gallop coming on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. — Marcus Henry

Nicholas Bolton (LB, Frisco Lone Star)

Charlton Gladden/TexasHSFootball

While Frisco Lone Star’s offense — powered by MJ Rivers and Kirby Bennett — is decidedly potent, it was its defense that set the tone.

Bolton added a handful of tackles to a pair of pick-6’s and nearly a third. While cornerbacks and safeties locked down the edges against Lucas Lovejoy and the rush ends flushed quarterback Carson Collins out of his comfort zone, Bolton and the linebackers shut down the middle of the field.

His takeaway touchdowns not only swung the power in the Rangers favor, it helped turn the tide and ultimately send Frisco Lone Star to the third round of the UIL 5A playoffs. — Marcus Matthews-Marion

The El Paso Parkland Offense

Parkland quarterback A.J. Briggs threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Lubbock Cooper. Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball

The El Paso Parkland Matadors made a statement on offense last week against Lubbock Cooper, racking up 508 yards of total offense and 45 points.

Running back Deion Hankins was efficient as usual, running for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, quarterback A.J. Briggs stepped up throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target on Friday was senior receiver De’Quan Henderson, who caught 8 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

The Matadors will need to be at their best on Saturday when they play Richland in Lubbock. — Tony Venegas

Luke Latimer (QB, Childress)
Blake Wood/TexasHSFootball 

Latimer is “0ne of the best quarterbacks in the state no one’s talking about,” according to Head Coach Jason Sims and it was easy to see why in last week’s 42-20 win over Cisco High School.

The junior used his 6-foot and 185-pound frame, rocket arm and above-average dual-threat ability to spread the ball all over the field. He tallied 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 completions through the air, as well as 55 yards and three scores on the ground — for a whopping five total touchdowns.

As has been the case through most of the season, when Childress is on a roll, Latimer is usually a big part of that. It will be fun to see how far the Bobcats make it in 2017, considering Latimer will be back for one more year next season.  — Blake Wood

Ben Redding (WR, Friendswood)

Vance Valentine/TexasHSFootball

Friendswood’s escape over Summer Creek would not have been possible without a little luck and Ben Redding.

In a single bound, he played Superman for the Mustangs, proving himself one the best Texas high school players in the area round — and perhaps the upcoming recruiting cycle. During a game that included a game-clinching botched snap, a fumble that turned into a 42-yard touchdown to bring Friendswood within five points of Summer Creek, and five total interceptions, Redding was the consistent factor.

He finished with 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. He provided a big target for his freshman quarterback Luke Grden, making plays using his height, and his speed. Standing at 6-foot-4, Redding outjumped a cornerback for his first touchdown — a 68-yard bomb.

Though he’s expected to play tight end at the next level, he showed he had wide receiver-type speed as his second touchdown was a simple screen that Redding took 49 yards along the sideline, outrunning Summer Creek’s secondary to give Friendswood the lead 27-26 with just 3:25 remaining.  — Tim Verghese

D’Montae Davis (QB, Arlington High)

Photo courtesy Alex Nicolas

The senior quarterback for Arlington was the catalyst for the offense, accumulating 330 yards and five touchdowns in the area round win over El Paso Montwood. — Tony Venegas

Stephon West (CB, Richmond Foster), Richmond Foster Defense

Steve Bushman/TexasHSFootball

As potent as Tigers were in the second half of their near comeback, West and the Richmond Foster defense were doubly so in all four quarters.

They shut down Jake Cox and Dripping Springs’ vaunted run game, limiting the Tigers to a meager 21 yards from every rusher not named Trevor Greenman — the team’s dual-threat quarterback.

https://twitter.com/west_stephon/status/935304928972636160

West nabbed two of the Falcons’ four interceptions and returned one of those takeaways 70 yards for a touchdown. The defense — as well as Head Coach  Shaun McDowell’s game plan — was so demonstratively efficient they needed a classic and trademark nickname — a lá the Chicago Bear “Monsters of the Midway,” the Dallas Cowboy “Doomsday Defense,” the New York Jet “New York Sack Exchange,” or the Pittsburg Steeler “Steele Curtain.” — Marcus Matthews-Marion

Brought To You By

Tyler Hudson seems to have notched himself a spot in the #GameBallHonors every week. Making his third appearance this season, Hudson has outdone himself in a losing effort against Cedar Ridge. Hudson had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Just a junior, Hudson is the tenth ranked receiver in the state of Texas for the class of 2019, but his ranking should rise given his performance this year.

His season is over, but he’ll have one more to show off his athleticism.

Four weeks ago, he made a full extension catch down the middle for a big gain, wowing the crowd. This week, he “Mossed” Cedar Ridge’s secondary along the sideline, going over the top and snatching the ball out of the corner’s hand as they fell to the ground, managed to stay in bounds to set up the Panthers at the two-yard line. Multiple times throughout the game, Hudson used his 6-foot-2 frame to make catches most only dream of.

As he enters the offseason and prepares for his senior campaign, keep the name Tyler Hudson etched in your mind, because you’ll be seeing him a lot more. — Tim Verghese

Marquez Perez (QB, College Station)

The College Station Cougars’ Marquez Perez carried his team to victory over Georgetown 34-31 Saturday afternoon at Waco ISD Stadium.

The three-year varsity quarterback was remarkable in the rushing and passing attack totaling 452 yards. The senior was 15 of 19 with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran the ball for 239 yards and touchdowns. He now has 4,173 yards and 43 touchdowns after completing 311 of his 468 pass attempts (67 percent) in 38 games on the Friday night football stage.

He’s thrown only 13 interceptions during that span.

He will attempt to improve College Station’s chances of claiming a state title, as well as his 2,445 career rushing yards and 41 career rushing touchdowns, when his Cougars will take on Port Neches Grove High School at 1 p.m. Saturday at Turner Stadium in Humble. —  Garrett Ross

Jaqulis Coleman (RB, Mansfield), Tiger Offensive Line

Marcus Henry/TexasHSFootball

The Mansfield Tigers advance to the third round of the playoffs with a 55-37 victory over San Angelo Central Friday night.

The Tigers rushed for 344 yards behind a bruising offensive line that dominated the second half. Senior running back Jaqulis Coleman ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns in the final two quarters.

Coleman had touchdown runs of 58 and 47 yards, with the 58 yards gallop coming on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. — Marcus Henry

Nicholas Bolton (LB, Frisco Lone Star)

Charlton Gladden/TexasHSFootball

While Frisco Lone Star’s offense — powered by MJ Rivers and Kirby Bennett — is decidedly potent, it was its defense that set the tone.

Bolton added a handful of tackles to a pair of pick-6’s and nearly a third. While cornerbacks and safeties locked down the edges against Lucas Lovejoy and the rush ends flushed quarterback Carson Collins out of his comfort zone, Bolton and the linebackers shut down the middle of the field.

His takeaway touchdowns not only swung the power in the Rangers favor, it helped turn the tide and ultimately send Frisco Lone Star to the third round of the UIL 5A playoffs. — Marcus Matthews-Marion

The El Paso Parkland Offense

Parkland quarterback A.J. Briggs threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Lubbock Cooper. (Photo: Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball.com)

The El Paso Parkland Matadors made a statement on offense last week against Lubbock Cooper, racking up 508 yards of total offense and 45 points.

Running back Deion Hankins was efficient as usual, running for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, quarterback A.J. Briggs stepped up throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target on Friday was senior receiver De’Quan Henderson, who caught 8 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

The Matadors will need to be at their best on Saturday when they play Richland in Lubbock. — Tony Venegas

Luke Latimer (QB, Childress)
Blake Wood/TexasHSFootball 

Latimer is “0ne of the best quarterbacks in the state no one’s talking about,” according to Head Coach Jason Sims and it was easy to see why in last week’s 42-20 win over Cisco High School.

The junior used his 6-foot and 185-pound frame, rocket arm and above-average dual-threat ability to spread the ball all over the field. He tallied 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 completions through the air, as well as 55 yards and three scores on the ground — for a whopping five total touchdowns.

As has been the case through most of the season, when Childress is on a roll, Latimer is usually a big part of that. It will be fun to see how far the Bobcats make it in 2017, considering Latimer will be back for one more year next season.  — Blake Wood

Ben Redding (WR, Friendswood)

Vance Valentine/TexasHSFootball

Friendswood’s escape over Summer Creek would not have been possible without a little luck and Ben Redding.

In a single bound, he played Superman for the Mustangs, proving himself one the best Texas high school players in the area round — and perhaps the upcoming recruiting cycle. During a game that included a game-clinching botched snap, a fumble that turned into a 42-yard touchdown to bring Friendswood within five points of Summer Creek, and five total interceptions, Redding was the consistent factor.

He finished with 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. He provided a big target for his freshman quarterback Luke Grden, making plays using his height, and his speed. Standing at 6-foot-4, Redding outjumped a cornerback for his first touchdown — a 68-yard bomb.

Though he’s expected to play tight end at the next level, he showed he had wide receiver-type speed as his second touchdown was a simple screen that Redding took 49 yards along the sideline, outrunning Summer Creek’s secondary to give Friendswood the lead 27-26 with just 3:25 remaining.  — Tim Verghese

D’Montae Davis (QB, Arlington High)

The senior quarterback for Arlington was the catalyst for the offense, accumulating 330 yards and five touchdowns in the area round win over El Paso Montwood. — Tony Venegas

Stephon West (CB, Richmond Foster), Richmond Foster Defense

Steve Bushman/TexasHSFootball

As potent as Tigers were in the second half of their near comeback, West and the Richmond Foster defense were doubly so in all four quarters.

They shut down Jake Cox and Dripping Springs’ vaunted run game, limiting the Tigers to a meager 21 yards from every rusher not named Trevor Greenman — the team’s dual-threat quarterback.

https://twitter.com/west_stephon/status/935304928972636160

West nabbed two of the Falcons’ four interceptions and returned one of those takeaways 70 yards for a touchdown. The defense — as well as Head Coach  Shaun McDowell’s game plan — was so demonstratively efficient they needed a classic and trademark nickname — a lá the Chicago Bear “Monsters of the Midway,” the Dallas Cowboy “Doomsday Defense,” the New York Jet “New York Sack Exchange,” or the Pittsburg Steeler “Steele Curtain.” — Marcus Matthews-Marion

Brought To You By

Tyler Hudson seems to have notched himself a spot in the #GameBallHonors every week. Making his third appearance this season, Hudson has outdone himself in a losing effort against Cedar Ridge. Hudson had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Just a junior, Hudson is the tenth ranked receiver in the state of Texas for the class of 2019, but his ranking should rise given his performance this year.

His season is over, but he’ll have one more to show off his athleticism.

Four weeks ago, he made a full extension catch down the middle for a big gain, wowing the crowd. This week, he “Mossed” Cedar Ridge’s secondary along the sideline, going over the top and snatching the ball out of the corner’s hand as they fell to the ground, managed to stay in bounds to set up the Panthers at the two-yard line. Multiple times throughout the game, Hudson used his 6-foot-2 frame to make catches most only dream of.

As he enters the offseason and prepares for his senior campaign, keep the name Tyler Hudson etched in your mind, because you’ll be seeing him a lot more. — Tim Verghese

Marquez Perez (QB, College Station)

The College Station Cougars’ Marquez Perez carried his team to victory over Georgetown 34-31 Saturday afternoon at Waco ISD Stadium.

The three-year varsity quarterback was remarkable in the rushing and passing attack totaling 452 yards. The senior was 15 of 19 with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran the ball for 239 yards and touchdowns. He now has 4,173 yards and 43 touchdowns after completing 311 of his 468 pass attempts (67 percent) in 38 games on the Friday night football stage.

He’s thrown only 13 interceptions during that span.

He will attempt to improve College Station’s chances of claiming a state title, as well as his 2,445 career rushing yards and 41 career rushing touchdowns, when his Cougars will take on Port Neches Grove High School at 1 p.m. Saturday at Turner Stadium in Humble. —  Garrett Ross

Jaqulis Coleman (RB, Mansfield), Tiger Offensive Line

Marcus Henry/TexasHSFootball

The Mansfield Tigers advance to the third round of the playoffs with a 55-37 victory over San Angelo Central Friday night.

The Tigers rushed for 344 yards behind a bruising offensive line that dominated the second half. Senior running back Jaqulis Coleman ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns in the final two quarters.

Coleman had touchdown runs of 58 and 47 yards, with the 58 yards gallop coming on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. — Marcus Henry

Nicholas Bolton (LB, Frisco Lone Star)

Charlton Gladden/TexasHSFootball

While Frisco Lone Star’s offense — powered by MJ Rivers and Kirby Bennett — is decidedly potent, it was its defense that set the tone.

Bolton added a handful of tackles to a pair of pick-6’s and nearly a third. While cornerbacks and safeties locked down the edges against Lucas Lovejoy and the rush ends flushed quarterback Carson Collins out of his comfort zone, Bolton and the linebackers shut down the middle of the field.

His takeaway touchdowns not only swung the power in the Rangers favor, it helped turn the tide and ultimately send Frisco Lone Star to the third round of the UIL 5A playoffs. — Marcus Matthews-Marion

The El Paso Parkland Offense

Parkland quarterback A.J. Briggs threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Lubbock Cooper. (Photo: Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball.com)

The El Paso Parkland Matadors made a statement on offense last week against Lubbock Cooper, racking up 508 yards of total offense and 45 points.

Running back Deion Hankins was efficient as usual, running for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, quarterback A.J. Briggs stepped up throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target on Friday was senior receiver De’Quan Henderson, who caught 8 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

The Matadors will need to be at their best on Saturday when they play Richland in Lubbock. — Tony Venegas

Luke Latimer (QB, Childress)
Blake Wood/TexasHSFootball 

Latimer is “0ne of the best quarterbacks in the state no one’s talking about,” according to Head Coach Jason Sims and it was easy to see why in last week’s 42-20 win over Cisco High School.

The junior used his 6-foot and 185-pound frame, rocket arm and above-average dual-threat ability to spread the ball all over the field. He tallied 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 completions through the air, as well as 55 yards and three scores on the ground — for a whopping five total touchdowns.

As has been the case through most of the season, when Childress is on a roll, Latimer is usually a big part of that. It will be fun to see how far the Bobcats make it in 2017, considering Latimer will be back for one more year next season.  — Blake Wood

Ben Redding (WR, Friendswood)

Vance Valentine/TexasHSFootball

Friendswood’s escape over Summer Creek would not have been possible without a little luck and Ben Redding.

In a single bound, he played Superman for the Mustangs, proving himself one the best Texas high school players in the area round — and perhaps the upcoming recruiting cycle. During a game that included a game-clinching botched snap, a fumble that turned into a 42-yard touchdown to bring Friendswood within five points of Summer Creek, and five total interceptions, Redding was the consistent factor.

He finished with 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. He provided a big target for his freshman quarterback Luke Grden, making plays using his height, and his speed. Standing at 6-foot-4, Redding outjumped a cornerback for his first touchdown — a 68-yard bomb.

Though he’s expected to play tight end at the next level, he showed he had wide receiver-type speed as his second touchdown was a simple screen that Redding took 49 yards along the sideline, outrunning Summer Creek’s secondary to give Friendswood the lead 27-26 with just 3:25 remaining.  — Tim Verghese

D’Montae Davis (QB, Arlington High)

 

Stephon West (CB, Richmond Foster), Richmond Foster Defense

Steve Bushman/TexasHSFootball

As potent as Tigers were in the second half of their near comeback, West and the Richmond Foster defense were doubly so in all four quarters.

They shut down Jake Cox and Dripping Springs’ vaunted run game, limiting the Tigers to a meager 21 yards from every rusher not named Trevor Greenman — the team’s dual-threat quarterback.

https://twitter.com/west_stephon/status/935304928972636160

West nabbed two of the Falcons’ four interceptions and returned one of those takeaways 70 yards for a touchdown. The defense — as well as Head Coach  Shaun McDowell’s game plan — was so demonstratively efficient they needed a classic and trademark nickname — a lá the Chicago Bear “Monsters of the Midway,” the Dallas Cowboy “Doomsday Defense,” the New York Jet “New York Sack Exchange,” or the Pittsburg Steeler “Steele Curtain.” — Marcus Matthews-Marion

Brought To You By

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