At times this summer, it seemed like the Texas high school football season might be in jeopardy. However, this weekend across the state, football was a reality as passes were completed, tackles were made, and touchdowns were scored.
After an exciting weekend where teams got their first taste of in-season action, here are some of the top performances and moments from week one.
T-10: Shiner takes down Hallettsville as a trio of Brooks star
In a matchup between two highly ranked teams, Shiner at the 2A Division I level and Hallettsville at the 3A Division I level, it was Shiner’s Brooks brothers who outshone Hallettsville running back Jonathon Brooks, a Texas commit. Dalton, a sophomore, and Douglas Brooks, a junior, led the way for the Comanches on the night, rushing for 73 yards each. For Hallettsville, Jonathon Brooks did rack up 142 rushing yards and four total touchdowns, including a 51-yard scoop-and-score defensively. However, that was not enough on the night as Shiner set the tone early, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and never looked back as it kept Hallettsville at arm’s-length throughout the game on its way to a 44-34 victory. If the Brooks brothers can continue to lead the way for Shiner, it is surely going to be a force to be reckoned with at the 2A level.
T-10. Tyler Chapel Hill offense runs wild against Splendora
Chapel Hill has not had a winning record since 2013, but the Bulldogs started off this year with some offensive fireworks in an impressive 65-33 victory over a Splendora team that went 5-4 a year ago. Quarterback Cameron Ford threw for 316 yards and five touchdowns, receiver Amorrian Ford had three catches for 153 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore Tyson Berry scored one of the touchdowns of the weekend, maneuvering his way through the Splendora defense on a winding touchdown catch-and-run. Keep an eye on these Bulldogs as they try to keep this momentum going as they square off against Kaufman next week.
Tyson Berry’s touchdown (courtesy of Texan Live): https://twitter.com/Texan_Live/status/1299559350529384450
- Tatum holds off Center 63-62 in shootout of the weekend
Tatum came into its showdown against Center looking to bounce back after a 3-7 season in 2019. 125 combined points later, it had its dream start by the narrowest of margins. Quarterback Kendric Malone had a big night, throwing for 293 yards and a touchdown, while adding 109 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. His backfield partners Tylin Hollins, 15 carries for 74 yards and three touchdowns, and Decartiyay Allison, 14 carries for 65 yards and three touchdowns, also both played important roles as the Eagles held off Center in the end. The Eagles will look to keep this momentum going on Friday when they travel to Daingerfield, who defeated Atlanta 16-6 in their week one contest.
- Orange Grove defeats Sinton behind big night from Cutter Stewart
Orange Grove welcomed a talented Sinton team, which was coming off a 7-6 season and a regional semifinal appearance last year, to town on Friday night. Orange Grove, which finished 3-8 themselves a year ago and dropped from 4A to 3A this offseason, fell last season to Sinton 42-36 in district play. Thanks to Cutter Stewart, this year was different. The sophomore quarterback completed 25 of 35 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 142 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as Orange Grove topped Sinton 56-44. “Last year, Cutter started all 11 games as a freshman. We knew that he would be a key part of our offense this year with his running ability,” Orange Grove head coach Mark DelPercio said. “He is a true dual-threat quarterback that we held back on last year so he could get accustomed to the speed of the game. With his ability to throw the football, Cutter worked into our run game very well against Sinton, especially with the play of our offensive line” With his playmaking ability leading the way, Stewart and the Bulldogs will certainly be a headache for opposing defensive coordinators to plan for as Orange Grove looks to build off of this impressive season-opening win.
- Cotton Center picks up first win in three seasons
Before Thursday night, 1A Cotton Center hadn’t won a game since their season opener in 2017. After a nail-biting 49-44 win over Southland, that losing streak is no more. “What impressed me the most [was] their grit and determination. They played a physical game with a physical team, and as a group they grew up as the game went on,” Cotton Center head coach Cody Brewer said. “They wanted it and went out there and took it.” In a closely contested contest, the Elks found themselves down 44-37 with just under nine minutes to go. Despite the struggles of previous seasons, Cotton Center was not fazed. After scoring a touchdown to cut the lead to 44-43, sophomore Bronson Alvarado repeated the feat just minutes later with a 40-yard catch-and-run touchdown to take the lead for good for Cotton Center. Alvarado had five touchdowns on the night, while quarterback Sterling Berry added three more on the ground. With both of these players having big nights, Cotton Center certainly has hope for this season moving forward. “It means so much to those players and the community I think. When you have a 29-game losing streak, many of the younger players haven’t experienced a win and I think it may have addicted them to high school football,” Brewer said. “We, as a team, talk about building something with our program and it is nice to start out the year with a win that can be a foundation for the rest of our season.” Cotton Center will look to keep that momentum going when it faces off against the Lubbock Titans, who fell 60-36 in their season opener, this upcoming Friday night.
- Six-Man Football delivers notable results and thrilling endings
There were a couple of big six-man showdowns this week and they certainly did not disappoint. Mason Cole scored four touchdowns for Borden County as it knocked off a very good Calvert team 62-42, while in a battle between two number one teams, as ranked by sixmanfootball.com, Rankin showed their merit as a state title contender by overcoming a 28-6 first quarter deficit to win 38-36 over Balmorhea. The ending of the weekend, however, took place in Wilson, Texas, where Rule was squaring off against Wilson. Down 41-35 heading into the final play, Rule’s Chris Pannell took a pitch and, after momentarily looking for a receiver, took off down the sideline and weaved his way through the Wilson defense for a 40-yard touchdown run. Bryson Silvas punched in the PAT run, worth one-point in six-man football, to seal the game and pick up a memorable 42-41 victory for Rule. All of this just another fun opening weekend of six-man football.
Pannell’s touchdown run (Courtesy of Rule ISD): https://twitter.com/RuleISD/status/1299545362424889345
- Freshman Jaylen Boardley bursts onto the scene in big Texarkana Pleasant Grove win
Learn Jaylen Boardley’s name now because he is going to be a force for the next four years. Boardley rushed for 192 yards on just 12 carries on his varsity debut as Pleasant Grove began their quest for a fourth-straight state title appearance with a commanding 55-14 win over Nashville, Arkansas. And if that wasn’t enough, he scored one of the wildest touchdowns you will ever see when he stripped the ball from his opponent, while they were celebrating an apparently recovered fumble that wasn’t blown dead, and sprinted thirty-five yards for a touchdown amidst a sea of confusion. With this type of debut, the sky is the limit for Boardley and the Hawks this season.
Boardley’s wild touchdown sequence (Courtesy of Texarkana Gameday): https://twitter.com/TXK_Gameday/status/1299726413436772352
- #1 La Vega beats #5 Port Lavaca Calhoun in impromptu showdown
After both La Vega and Calhoun saw their initial plans for week one thrown out the window due to a combination of COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura, they settled on a showdown in Bastrop, Texas just four days before kickoff. Defense and the run game defined this contest. La Vega’s Jar’Que Walton led the way with 181 rushing yards and a touchdown, outperforming his Calhoun counterpart, fullback Steve Johnson, who racked up 116 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. The defenses held strong in the second half as the teams did not score in the final 32 minutes of the game with the final of 20-7 the same as the halftime scoreline. With so much uncertainty surrounding whether they were going to have a week one game, both teams were likely glad to just take the field on Friday night. However, with their win over skilled opposition, La Vega certainly staked its claim as a team to watch as the Pirates aim for their third straight title game appearance.
- Brock runs their way to victory
Cash Jones was money on Friday night for Brock as the Eagles rolled to a 55-7 victory over Bushland. The senior racked up 241 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground and Myles Semas contributed 65 additional rushing yards on nine carries as the Eagles flexed their state pedigree in a dominating performance. Throw in the fact that Jaxon Gleaton completed seven passes on eight attempts for 233 yards, and the Eagles offense will be a dangerous one when firing on all cylinders as they look to build off of three straight state semifinals appearances.
- #2 Argyle dismantles #10 Decatur
Argyle made one of the statements of the weekend in a 56-9 shellacking of Decatur on Friday night. It was a full team performance as quarterback CJ Rogers threw for 209 yards and five touchdowns, running back Tito Bryce had a 74-yard touchdown rush, Braden Baker and Peyton Shoemake added 76 and 70 rushing yards respectively, and the defense forced five turnovers. The road is not getting any easier though as Argyle will face another test this weekend when they travel to the Texas-Arkansas border to battle with Texarkana Pleasant Grove, who has been to three-straight state title games. Buckle up because, as evidenced by Friday night, that is going to be a thrilling contest between two 4A heavyweights.
- Grandview outlasts Malakoff… again
These two teams have become well acquainted with each other as they squared off for the fourth time in three years. And for the fourth time in three years, Grandview came out on top. Malakoff quarterback Darion Peace made big plays, including an 88-yard touchdown run and a 34-yard passing touchdown to Nathan Jones with just 48 seconds left to knot the game at 24 and send it to overtime, but he couldn’t outshine do-it-all Grandview quarterback Dane Jentsch. Jentsch threw for two scores, caught a touchdown pass off a trick play, and then scored what turned out to be the winning score in overtime on a 16-yard scamper. Highly touted Grandview defensive end Dametrious Crownover, who has 26 Division I offers, also had a big impact on the night, catching a touchdown pass in the first half before stripping Peace in overtime to seal the 31-24 victory for the Zebras in a thrilling encounter. With the pedigree of these two teams, don’t be surprised if there is a late-round playoff rematch in the cards as both teams look poised for very successful seasons.