By: Adam Ogburn / Twitter: @Adam Ogburn
With the 1A-4A regular seasons winding down, there were plenty of playoff spots and district titles on the line this past week across Texas. Add in some mouthwatering 5A and 6A matchups and it was another exciting week of Texas high school football.
Here are the best moments from Week 10 of Texas high school football from last weekend:
#10 Huntsville notches impressive victory over #3 A&M Consolidated in 5A Division II heavyweight battle
It was a mouthwatering clash between two undefeated teams at Sam Houston State on Friday night. After both teams missed field goals in the first quarter, Huntsville began to take control of the ball game. The Hornets struck first in the second quarter as quarterback A.J. Wilson hit Jordan Woodberry across the middle for an 11-yard score. Quaterian Riles, who had a huge night defensively with 5.5 sacks, added a one-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession to put the Hornets up 14-0 with just under eight minutes to go in the second quarter. The nail in the coffin came early in the third quarter as Wilson launched a beautiful throw up the sideline right into the breadbasket of Woodberry again to put the Hornets up 21-0 just 41 seconds into the second half. That was all Huntsville needed as it went on to secure a 27-7 victory behind 123 yards passing from Wilson and 123 yards rushing on 41 carries by running back Jaylon McClain. The Hornets, which are now ranked #4 in 5A Division II, will look to build off this impressive victory and stay undefeated when they travel to Lamar Consolidated this Friday.
#9 Northeast defeats Travis in wild overtime affair
Austin Northeast and Austin Travis battled in a roller coaster of a game with key playoff implications last Thursday night. Northeast struck first as running back Markell Joiner took a handoff to the left, found a hole, cut up, and raced off for a 49-yard touchdown run to put Northeast up 6-0 late in the first quarter. Travis answered with a 44-yard Obed Noyola field goal and a 10-yard run by Nick Zake that put the Rebels up 10-6 midway through the third quarter. That’s when things got wild. First, Northeast executed a double reverse pass as receiver Al Davis floated a pass right to Nick Hernandez for a 31-yard score to put Northeast up 12-10. Northeast looked to go for two in order to go up by four points, but in a stunning twist of events, Travis defensive back Nelson Morales intercepted the attempt and returned it all the way for two points to knot the score up at 12 with six and a half minutes to go. With no more scoring the game went to overtime. After Northeast got stopped on its first possession, the game seemed to be heading towards a Travis victory. Not so fast. After the Travis ballcarrier was stripped as he sought to beat the Northeast defense to the outside on a handoff, Raider linebacker DeCorey Eason scooped the ball up and raced off for a 70-yard score to clinch a wild and unbelievable 18-12 victory with a rare walk-off defensive overtime touchdown. With a stout defense leading the way and Northeast on the verge of its first playoff berth since 2016, the Raiders will look to keep the momentum going when they square off against McCallum next Friday.
#8 Hooks takes down #4 Daingerfield on last-second field goal
Daingerfield and Hooks squared off in a crucial 10-3A Division II district affair last Friday with Daingerfield looking to maintain its undefeated record in district play. Daingerfield quarterback Zaylon Jeter, 303 yards and four touchdowns passing, and receiver Braxton Jimmerson, eight catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns, gave the Hooks defense headaches all night. After Jeter flung a pass up to Jimmerson, who escaped two tackles for a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown, Daingerfield looked to be in good shape up 28-20 with two minutes to go in the third quarter. Unfortunately for Daingerfield, momentum turned on its head just five plays later. Davarious Clark took a hand-off, found a hole, and quickly turned on the jets, outrunning the Daingerfield defense for a 72-yard touchdown. A failed two-point conversion meant Daingerfield still led 28-26. Daingerfield’s next drive stalled out at the Hooks 47 yard line and it punted the ball back to the Hornets with ten minutes to go. It was the last time Daingerfield would possess the ball all night. An 88-yard drive ensued as Hooks methodically drove down the field, and got help with a defensive holding penalty on a fourth down, to set up a field goal attempt from the Daingerfield one yard line with just seconds remaining. The Hornets kept their calm, converting the field goal and pulling off an impressive 29-28 upset victory over the number four team in the 3A Division II. Sitting now at 4-4, Hooks will look to finish its regular season off above .500 when it travels to Prairiland to finish district play on Friday.
#7 Snook clinches first-ever district title in win over Granger
Friday night was a night that was decades in the making for the Snook Bluejays football team. The Bluejays discontinued football from 1950 until 2010 and had played the majority of their home games at Allen Academy in Bryan since the program returned a decade ago. However this year, Snook opened Bluejay Stadium, its first home stadium since its return, a development that Snook head coach Boone Patterson said had the Snook community “extremely excited.” Last Friday, Snook looked to add another piece of history to this momentous season as it took on Granger, looking for its first district title in football in school history in a de facto District 13-2A Division II championship game. Snook was not about to let its chance at history slip away. Quarterback Garrett Lero hit receiver Deshun Hamilton on a pass over the top for a 23-yard score to put Snook up 8-0 just four minutes into the game. Behind a big night from Lero, who finished with 200 yards passing, 153 yards rushing, and five total touchdowns, and three interceptions by the Bluejay defense, Snook never looked back from there. The Bluejays jumped out to a 24-6 halftime lead and went on to secure a 50-13 victory over a talented Granger side. “We have leaned heavily on an aggressive defense. Lately, our offense has really come to life and the combination has proven very successful,” Patterson said. “I was blessed to take over a program with a very solid foundation built by the previous staff under coach Chad Lechler. We have worked hard to build off of that foundation and the kids have done amazing embracing “The Snook Standard.” The kids know it is a process and we are just trying to take that next step every day. This just happened to be a huge step for our program and community.” With a defense that only gives up 15.9 points per game anchoring this Snook team and Garrett Lero’s ability to lead a two-dimensional office, this Snook team will look to make some more memories with a deep playoff run this season.
#6 Hendrickson takes down Weiss with late 2-point conversion stop in rivalry thriller
The first ever meeting between Pflugerville Hendrickson and Pflugerville Weiss was certainly one to remember last Thursday. After a 54-yard Breean Arrant touchdown run with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter, Hendrickson looked to be cruising up 35-14. But after a touchdown catch by Weiss sophomore receiver Micah Gifford and a touchdown run by Devin Cross, the Weiss deficit was suddenly only seven. Hendrickson responded by advancing the ball to the Weiss four yard line. With their backs against their own goal line, the Wolves defense rose to the occasion. Pressure of the edge put Hendrickson quarterback Jordan Oldoerp under instant duress and he threw an off-balance pass right into the arms of Weiss defensive back CJ Meeks, who raced the other way for a 99-yard pick-six to improbably tie the game at 35 with nine minutes to play. The wild scores kept coming. Just minutes later, Hendrickson receiver Jaden Williams caught a receiver screen on 3rd-and-25 before cutting across the entire defense and turning up the sideline, dodging Weiss defenders en route to a 47-yard score. Weiss answered yet again with another Cross touchdown with five minutes to go, signaling that this one would go down to the wire. Jasiya Demps scored from eight yards out to put Hendrickson up 49-42 with just 50 seconds left to seemingly seal the game. However, there was one more twist in the tale. Weiss moved down the field before quarterback Dior Bradfield found receiver Jeremiah Robinson on a hitch route with just seven seconds left for a touchdown. After such a wild night, Weiss decided to go for two to try and finish the game off in regulation. Bradfield took the snap and rolled to his left, looking to run. He never got to the end zone though as the Hendrickson defense stripped him of the ball before reaching the pylon, sealing a 49-48 thriller in Pflugerville. Hendrickson desperately needed this win as they moved to 1-2 in district play and avoided an 0-3 start in 11-5A Division I play. This game was certainly quite a way to start a rivalry series and set a high bar for when these two teams face off against each other in the years to come.
Weiss 2-point conversion attempt (Courtesy of Travis Recek): https://twitter.com/TravisRecek/status/1322016383572520961
#5 Gatesville victory secures playoff berth one year after 0-10 season
A year after finishing 0-10, Gatesville squared off against Jarrell in a crucial, winner-take-all battle for the final playoff spot in District 9-4A Division II. The game went down to the wire. With eight and a half minutes to go and the score tied at 21, Jarrell running back Derrick Warren broke free from 46 yards out to put Jarrell up 28-21. Gatesville kept its cool, embarking on a five minute, 64-yard drive that saw quarterback Luke Mullins plunge into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Jarrell one yard line to tie the score up at 28. The Hornets then got a huge break as they recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Jarrell 33 yard line. The Hornets were not going to let this chance slip away. Yet again they drove to the Jarrell one yard line, and this time it was Hayden Mooney who finished the drive off to put the Hornets up 35-28. After an interception on the ensuing drive by Parker Allman, the victory and a playoff spot were sealed for Gatesville. “Our kids have bought into our “process” wholeheartedly. They show up focused on daily improvement and playing for each other,” Gatesville head coach Luke Howard said. “The win Friday means a great deal to us. Making the playoffs this year is something we have been taking about since January. To accomplish that goal is rewarding for us all. I cannot say enough about our kids, coaching staff, and community.” It is a huge accomplishment for the Hornets, and they will square off against Carthage in the first round of playoffs next week as they return to the postseason for the first time since 2017.
#4 Denton Guyer beats #15 Prosper on final play
Guyer and Prosper certainly lived up to its billing as a top-15 matchup to watch last Friday. Prosper quarterback Jackson Berry got off to an impressive start, throwing two touchdown passes, one to Houston Hawkins from 53 yards out and another one to Cameron Harpole for a 25-yard score, which helped put Prosper up 17-7 midway through the third quarter. Denton Guyer’s star quarterback Eli Stowers, a Texas A&M commit, responded with a quarterback keeper touchdown from one yard out. This was followed by a field goal by Michael Mayfield on the ensuing Guyer possession, knotting the score up at 17 with just over seven minutes to play. The back-and-forth nature continued as Prosper running back Jacob Devenny finished off a methodical Eagle drive with a 5-yard touchdown run right up the gut of the Guyer defense. However a missed extra point set the stage for Eli Stowers. A huge 44-yard catch-and-run reception by D’Marcus Howard off a pinpoint pass from Stowers had Guyer knocking on the door at the Prosper 20. After a defensive pass interference penalty kept the Guyer drive alive, it all came down to one play from the Prosper one yard line with just two seconds left. Yet again, Guyer called Stowers’ number. Stowers faked a handoff to his running back before racing around the left edge of the Prosper defense in for the game-tying score. The ensuing extra point by Mayfield turned out to be the difference as Guyer sealed a thrilling 24-23 victory. Both these teams made deep playoff runs last year, and, with two talented quarterbacks leading the way again this season, they will certainly be a pair to watch when the postseason rolls around again in a month’s time.
Stowers’ game-winning touchdown run (Courtesy of Reece Waddell): https://twitter.com/ReeceWaddell15/status/1322364321368838144
#3 Timpson obliterates #5 Joaquin in statement victory
Timpson and Joaquin was supposed to be a thrilling showdown between two undefeated, top ten teams battling for the 10-2A Division I title. Apparently Timpson didn’t get the memo. Timpson running back Braden Courtney, who had 222 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the night, set the tone with two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter to put Timpson up 13-0. An 80-yard touchdown run in the second quarter by Courtney coupled with two touchdown passes by Timpson quarterback L.T. Washington, who finished the night with 204 yards and four touchdowns, had Timpson rolling 34-0 by the time the halftime whistle blew. Timpson kept its foot to the pedal in the second half as it ran away for a jaw-dropping 63-0 victory. The Bear defense forced six turnovers and held Joaquin to just 17 yards passing and 135 yards rushing. It was a stunning performance and one that puts the other teams in 2A Division I on notice that Timpson will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs this year.
#2 Connally upsets #7 China Spring in overtime shootout
With Salado topping District 9-4A Division II, Connally and China Spring squared off on Friday night for the right to claim second in the district. China Spring raced out to a 24-7 lead, but Connally didn’t panic. The Cadets answered with 21 straight points, including two touchdowns by Kavian Gaither and a 36-yard touchdown run by running back Tre Wisner to give Waco Connally its first lead of the night at 28-24. The teams continued to trade scores with China Spring going back up 38-35 with just under two minutes to go as two touchdown runs by China Spring quarterback Major Bowden was countered by another long touchdown run by Wisner, this one from 62 yards out. Connally again responded to being down as it drove into field goal range. Kicker Ralph Morales kept his cool and sent the game to overtime with a 32-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. It was Bowden again for the Cougars in overtime as he broke off a 19-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper, splitting two groups of would-be Connally tacklers, to put China Spring up 45-38. The Connally offense did its job yet again with Gaither finding paydirt on the ensuing possession to cut the Cadet deficit to one. On the road against a top ten team, Connally decided to go for the jugular and lined up to go for two. After fumbling the snap, Gaither miraculously avoided an onslaught of China Spring defenders before rolling to his right and finding a wide open Bronsha Miles for the winning two-point score. With Gaither’s playmaking ability, this Connally team will certainly not be an easy out in the playoffs as it looks to build off of last year’s 12-1 season and regional semifinal appearance.
Connally’s winning two-point conversion (Courtesy of Centex Sports Network)
#1 Irving MacArthur takes down Nimitz on Hail Mary miracle
With its slim chance of success, it’s a play that no coach wants to ever have to rely on to win a game in football. However, with only seconds to go and down 24-21, the Hail Mary was the only chance for the Irving MacArthur Cardinals on Friday night. Nimitz was led by a huge game from running back Eric Williams, who rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns on the night. Despite Williams’ big night, MacArthur got the ball at its own 34 yard line with just over a minute to go only down by three points. The Cardinals advanced it to the Nimitz 38 with just seconds remaining to set up the final, fateful play. Kylale Flye took the snap before pump-faking and escaping a couple of Nimitz defenders as he rolled to his right. Flye then launched a ball down the field towards his receiver Devion Daily. Daily managed to get behind the Nimitz defenders and jumped over his man to secure the catch for a game-winning 38-yard score, sparking wild celebrations for the Cardinals. This victory is the first one in the Billy Skinner era at MacArthur and is one that the Cardinals will hope bodes well for them moving forward, starting this Thursday when they host Dallas Jesuit in a district showdown.
Daily’s game-winning Hail Mary catch (Courtesy of Hudl): http://www.hudl.com/v/2EXgQU