Game Ball Honors: The Best Texas High School Players of Week 7

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Photo: Tim Verghese/Texas HS Football

EDITORS NOTE: Every week, Texas HS Football 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 Week Seven 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.

Tanner Lacy (WR, Oak Ridge)

Oak Ridge’s Lacy had a breakout game against College Park finishing with 162 yards and a touchdown on just four receptions. That included a 76-yard score to open the game that helped the Oak Ridge War Eagles dominate College Park 35-7 and extend their undefeated season to 6-0.

As the War Eagles head into a vital matchup against The Woodlands, Lacy will need another breakout performance to pull off a victory against a tough Highlanders squad that’s only loss came against the Houston area powerhouse Katy Tigers.

The Woodlands is coming off of a win against the previously undefeated West Brook. — Timothy Verghese

Jack Roe (QB, Humble Atascocita)

Courtesy of chron.com

Roe, Roe, Roe your boat,

Gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily,

He just keeps beating teams.

I remember when I was 16 years old and I received my first iPhone. It was amazing.

The awesomeness of the device in my hands was the first palpable thing that had left me breathless, speechless. I stared in admiration at the excellence before me.

That same feeling came over me after Jack Roe 336-yard, three-touchdown performance against the always tremendous North Shore Mustangs.

Roe scored on the ground with touchdowns from 37, 49, and 67 yards out. And to do so against the Mustangs? Move over iPhone. Jack Roe is the hottest commodity in town. — Quentin Edmiston

Matthew Wallace, QB (Bowie)

Blake Wood/Texas HS Football

Wallace, who played on defense most of the 2016 season, is progressing well as the Jackrabbits signal-caller. The senior recorded a decent performance on the ground in each of the first five games but turned in perhaps his best performance through the air in last week’s 34-20 win over Boyd.

Wallace helped Bowie to a 1-0 mark in 4-3A DI play with 124 yards passing and three touchdowns on 12 completions. He performed well on the ground again, recording 106 yards on 19 carries. Wallace, a former six-man player, may be key to Bowie’s district success in 2017.

— Blake Wood

Marquez Perez (QB, College Station)

Scott McDonald/Texas HS Football

Perez threw two interceptions in the first half that left his College Station Cougars trailing at halftime (17-6) but rebounded to lead the team to a second-half comeback win over their crosstown rival A&M Consolidated, 28-17.

Perez only had three completions against the stingy Tigers defense, but he made them count. One was an 84-yard bomb to Jaelin Campbell in stride downfield for a touchdown. Perez’s two-point conversion run brought the Cougars to within three points.

Perez then connected with Azarian Foght on a race route down the right sideline for a 52-yard scoring pass for the game-winning score. Thanks to his second-half revival, College Station remains undefeated in District 18-5A. – Scott McDonald

Jarreth Sterns (RB/DB, Waxahachie)

Sherry Milliken/Texas HS Football

Frank Sinatra once said, “The best revenge is massive success.”

Friday night at Lumpkins Stadium, in Waxahachie, Jerreth Sterns embodied this quote in his first game against his former team. The former Midlothian quarterback, now Waxahachie running back, played with a sense of purpose all night, accumulating 147 receiving yards, a touchdown, and a key interception in the end zone during the first half. The second half, though, is when Sterns really got things going.

He added three touchdowns of 3, 50, and 60 yards to his career resume, as well as his second interception, and finished with six rushes for 35 yards and a touchdown, nine receptions for 259 yards and three touchdowns, and two interceptions.

His 294 total yards and four total touchdowns not only helped Waxahachie stay in the hunt for a District 10-5A playoff berth, it helped build momentum toward Friday’s showdown with Jalen Catalon and Associated Press No. 11 ranked Mansfield Legacy High School. – Garrett Ross

Fort Worth Brewer WR Corps

Joseph Nguyen/Texas HS Football

In such a closely contested battle between District 6-5A rivals, several players shined — particularly those in the Brewer receiving corps.

Despite the loss, Brewer’s offense hung around and made plays when they had to, including a very crucial fourth down play late in the game. Jahrad Taylor, in particular, had a number of stellar catches along the sidelines and in the open field that appeared to be out of his reach. It seemed that almost any pass that quarterback Carson Ingram threw if it hit the receivers, was caught.

This is a Brewer team that does not drop a lot of passes. And that was much the case last Friday in the 25-23 loss to Saginaw Boswell. Brewer faces Saginaw Chisholm Trail at 7 p.m. Friday at CHHS Stadium. — Nolan Ruth

Braden Cassity (DE, Westlake), David Neil (DE, Westlake)

Courtesy 247Sports

Westlake’s defense held Lake Travis to its lowest regular season point total since 2012 during Friday’s 21-14 finish at Chaparral Stadium.

A big reason for that was the play of 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior Braden Cassity and 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior David Neil on the defensive line.

Westlake Coach Todd Dodge said he blitzed Lake Travis heavily in the past and it never worked, so this year he decided to drop back and send only three or four-man pass rushes. Cassity (10 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 5 QB hurries) and Neil (5 TFL, 1 sack, 4 QB hurries) made that strategy successful by getting in the backfield all night. — Steven Ryan

Justin White (QB, Eastlake)

Adrian Broaddus/Texas HS Football
Despite early struggles and an interception, White, a senior quarterback, was able to regroup and lead Eastlake’s Falcons to a 47-14 win over El Paso Hanks High School. He tallied four passing touchdowns and threw for 392 yards on 29 attempts. He truly kept the team poised and had his offense ready each series. – Adrian Broaddus
Anthony Baird (QB, Chapin)
Tony Venegas/Texas HS Football
Chapin dominated all facets of this game, and under Baird, the Huskies amassed 388 yards of total offense. He threw the ball for 162 yards and tallied three passing touchdowns. What made Chapin so fierce this game is the offense’s efficiency.
From the first quarter until the mid-third quarter, Baird and the offense found the end zone each drive they touched the ball and didn’t punt until almost the start of the fourth quarter. – Adrian Broaddus
Montwood WR Corps (Tyreese Andrus, Tury Cepeda, Edward Garibay)
Adrian Broaddus/Texas HS Football

The El Paso Montwood Rams have been one of the strongest teams offensively this season in high school football and the trio of targets in Edward Garibay (74 yards, 2 TD), Tury Cepeda (134 yards, TD) and Tyreese Andrus (155 yards, 2 TD) played a big part of that attack for the Fernandez brothers at quarterback.

The three combined for 363 yards receiving and five touchdowns in the Rams win over El Paso Franklin to move to 6-0 on the season. They have become a formidable group for teams to try and slow down for the rest of the season. – Tony Venegas

Jose Luis Herrera (ATH, El Paso Coronado)

Tony Venegas/Texas HS Football

Simply put, Herrera was all over the field for the Thunderbirds on Friday, finishing with 212 total yards and two touchdowns. He had a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown a 55-yard reception for a score and a 30-yard pass that set up another T-Bird score late in the game over El Paso Eastwood.

Herrera has seen time as a quarterback, running back, and wide receiver but no matter where head coach Bob Anderson has him lined up, he has stepped up to make a big play. He was vital in Coronado’s 43-35 win over El Paso Eastwood. – Tony Venegas

Alex Alvarado (DE, Keller Fossil Ridge), Rafael Hernandez (DE, Keller Fossil Ridge) and the Panther defense
Jacob Fernandez and the Keller Fossil Ridge defense sack Haltom quarterback Michael Black in the fourth quarter — the sixth time in in the game (Joseph Nguyen/Texas HS Football)
Losing Arnold Saidov, a 6-foot-3 and 230-pound senior defensive end that had notched 13 sacks in six games and handed opposing quarterbacks more than 90 yards lost, is enough to put a team’s playoff hopes in jeopardy.
Luckily, the tandem of Alvarado and Hernandez were ample replacements. They harassed and harried uber-talented Haltom quarterback Michael Black to the tune of five total sacks — three and two, respectively — and held the Buffalos’ high powered offense to 14 points. Senior defensive back Jacob Fernandez added a sixth and final takedown.
Entering the game, Alvarado had two sacks in six games and Hernandez had one. Keller Fossil Ridge remained undefeated largely because of the uptick in the defensive unit’s production. – Marcus Matthews-Marion
Paxton Alexander (RB/WR, Highland Park)
Scots running back Paxton Alexander (Lauren Landes/Texas HS Football)
When Alexander, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound all-purpose back, gets the ball into his hands, defenders beware — he’s as likely to truck through you as he is to run around you. In the words of his quarterback and fellow senior-at-arms, “Anytime we can get the ball in that’s kid’s hands, we have a pretty good chance of going for six.”
Alexander wasn’t only a pivotal centerpiece to the offense when Highland Park needed it most, he demanded double teams that paved the way for West Mesquite’s secondary to risk one-on-one coverage on Carson Bryant, Scully Jenevin, or Cade Saustad. The Wranglers’ paid dearly for the misstep after Jones’ 22-yard, touchdown-scoring laser beam to Saustad in the third quarter.
More importantly, Alexander’s impact on the ground (6 rush, 20 yards) and through the air (5 rec, 87 yards, 2 TD) and 107 total yards proved — against one of the best defenses in the UIL — that teams may have to pick their poison when dealing with Jones, Head Coach Randy Allen and the Scot offense. – Marcus Matthews-Marion

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