Game Ball Honors: Best Texas High School Players of Bi-District

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Photo: Prentice James/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 very best that the bi-district round had to offer.

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.

Ameer King (RB, Brazosport)

One of the state’s most explosive running backs Ameer King rushed for 263 yards and scored five touchdowns as his Brazosport Exporters beat the Houston Worthing Colts 66-0 in Friday night’s Class 4A Region III bi-district round matchup.

This was Brazosport’s first playoff victory since 1999 and the Exporters will now face No. 1 ranked Carthage in the area round on Friday at Texan Drive Stadium in Porter.

During the season, King amassed 2,426 rushing yards and scored touchdowns under first-year coach Mike Ferrell. — Prentice James

Andrew Fernandez,  (QB, El Paso Montwood)

Melynda Venegas/TexasHSFootball

The senior quarterback continues to shine for El Paso Montwood, finishing with 401 total yards and six total touchdowns in the Rams bi-district over Midland High School.

Fernandez is now among the top 15 in the state for passing yards (3,168) and passing touchdowns (47).

He’ll be a big key if Montwood wants to advance past the area round for the first time in school history. — Tony Venegas

Nathan Gerik (QB, West)

Photo Courtesy Waco Tribune-Herald

Under the bright lights of Waco’s WISD Stadium, West Trojans quarterback Nathan Gerik displayed a brilliant performance while leading his team to a 41-14 victory over the McGregor Bulldogs.

Gerik was able to come up with big plays in all three phases of the game and he even earned the Trojans turnover chain. Offensively he beat the Bulldogs through the air and on the ground, completing 8 of 14 passes for 89 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 198 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively West — via a well-timed Gerik jump — was able to come up with an interception. When McGregor decided to attempt an onside kick, it was Gerik that recovered the ball for West.

Gerik and the West Trojans will face Hitchcock Friday night at Cub Stadium in Brenham, kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm. — Garrett Ross

Trevon West (WR, Arlington Lamar), Dayton Dubs (WR, Arlington Lamar)

Gordon Deloach/TexasHSFootball

If you didn’t know before their dual two-touchdown explosion against Haltom High School on Thursday, they are really good at football.

Trevon West finished with a game-high 117 yards and two touchdowns and torched cornerback and saftey alike with his 62-yard first quarter sprint to the end zone — one of quarterback Jack Dawson’s three first-half touchdowns.

With a name like Dayton Dubs, the owner of the other two scores in the first and second quarters, he almost seems custom fit for two things that define success in the sport of football — speed and catch ability.

Not only did the 6-foot, 190-pound routinely draw a second defender in an attempt to negate his impact, he was a willing blocker in the run game. Dubs finished with 82 yards and the two scores, helping Dawson, West, and the Vikings earn an area round berth against Midland Lee High School on Friday. — Marcus Matthews-Marion


Trevor Greenman (QB, Dripping Springs)

Photo courtesy of Trevor Greenman/Twitter

Greenman had his way with LBJ in a 59-29 bi-district playoff win on Friday.

The multidimensional senior tossed five touchdowns and ran for two more. Had the Tigers not taken their proverbial foot off the pedal in the second half, he easily could’ve hit double-digit scores.

Greenman also totaled 366 yards, with 249 coming on 11-of-16 passing, and 117 coming on 16 rush attempts. — Steven Ryan

Zach Henry (RB, Rockwall)

Vance Valentine/TexasHSFootball

In Rockwall’s shocking upset of The Woodlands, there are a lot of options for Game Ball Honors — the coaching was spectacular, quarterback Jacob Clark played a near-perfect game, and the defense held a team that averaged 46 points per game to just seven points and just 164 total yards.

However, it was running back Zach Henry that brought the upset together. From the very beginning, he pounded the Highlander defense and wore the typically stout defense down with his tough, downhill style, finishing with 127 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries.

Not too shabby for a backup running back. — Tim Verghese

Waxahachie’s Opportunistic D

Jarreth Sterns collects on of his two first-quarter interceptions. Sherry Milliken/TexasHSFootball

The dial seems to point directly at its most preeminent star, rangy safety Jarreth Sterns and his two first-quarter picks. The 80-yard pick-6 on the second take away from Bulldog quarterback Antonio Little may not have done anything but shove the needle closer to the humble, Army commit.

Last Friday, though, Waxahachie High School proved its defense is more than just one boy in a four-quarter, 58-21 stampede of high-powered Everman High School.

It was the three interceptions and more than 700 total yards Little had gained in 10 games before the bi-district round matchup and the three interceptions — the final nabbed by Tyler Cash — and 30 yards Waxahachie limited him to in Everman’s 11th game of the season.

It was the Bulldogs’ fourth interception via freshman backup quarterback Juan Davis’ errant throw on 3rd and 9 and blanket coverage by Josh Sterns, Jarreth’s little brother. Indian defenders also pulled the two quarterbacks down in the backfield for two Caimyn Lane-powered sacks.

Waxahachie also forced and recovered a Davis fumble in the third quarter and recovered an onside kick in the fourth to complete their six-turnover tirade. Not bad from a defense led by Jon Kitna, a former NFL quarterback turned high school head coach and defensive coordinator. — Marcus Matthews-Marion

Emilio Rios (WR, El Paso Eastlake)
Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball 

The soon-to-be UTEP track star showed why he was one of the best deep threats in the city, catching two passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in the bi-district opener over El Paso Jefferson.

Rios has caught 29 passes on the season but has 12 touchdowns on the year, showing his big-play ability for the Falcons. — Tony Venegas

Klein Collins’ Explosive Offense

Chris Brown/TexasHSFootball

Klein Collins handled Dekaney with ease in a rematch of last year’s first-round matchup.

In an effort to one-up last year’s 35-point win margin, Isaiah Spiller, Josh Powell, and quarterback Carter Rhyne totaled 221 total rushing yards and a 40-point win margin.

Spiller, a four-star junior, headed the group and juked his way to another 50-plus yard and one-touchdown performance. Powell, in his last game at Klein Memorial Stadium, brought a change of pace and caught the Wildcats off-guard with his downhill speed.

While Powell is a senior, Rhyne and Spiller are just juniors and will once again be a tough duo to defend come 2018.  — Tim Verghese

Grant Paulette (K, Hebron)

Photo courtesy Grant Paulette/Twitter

Everyone undervalues the kicker until he — or she in the case of Strawn’s Lani Nava or Dawson Homecoming Queen Claire Jeffres — boots a near 50-yarder with about 10 yards to spare.

Paulette was automatic in Hebron’s loss to state-championship favorite Allen on Friday at Eagle Stadium, finishing 2-for-2 on extra points and splitting the uprights with a 46-yard bomb. During his junior season as both the primary kicker and punter, he had 63 kickoffs and 13 touchbacks for a 51.3-yard average and 26 punts for 865 yards with six falling inside of the 20-yard line.

He finished the 2017 season 44-for-53 in point after attempts and 7 of 10 (70 percent) on field goals with longs of 45 and 46 yards. — Marcus Matthews-Marion

Colby Standard (QB, Midland Lee)

Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball

The senior quarterback for the Rebels pretty much did everything and more on Friday night against El Paso El Dorado. In his first playoff game, Standard finished with 290 yards and four touchdowns before exiting the game in the second half with a big lead. — Tony Venegas

Jay Wilkerson (WR, Midlothian Heritage)

Gordon Deloach/TexasHSFootball

With fringe superstars like Landon Ledbetter, Kerrion Fields, Raja Banks, Christian Elliott, Brayden Wright, Nathan Gaskamp, Dre Washington, and Jon Sanders — the list seemingly extends into forever — it’s sometimes surprising how one of its most consistent talents gets lost in the mix.

During Midlothian Heritage High School’s 74-12 dismantling of Lake Worth on Friday, it was Wilkerson who was the powerhouse asset. The 6-foot, 140-pound sophomore wideout made the most of his two receptions, hauled in 134 yards and an 80-yard touchdown.

Wilkerson currently falls third in terms of Jaguars’ receiving leaders (474 yards in 2017) despite being one of the youngest in the rotation — Marcus Matthews-Marion

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