by: Adam Ogburn / Twitter: @aogburn00
With the 1A-4A seasons inching ever closer to the playoffs and the 5A and 6A seasons getting into the heart of district play, there was plenty of gridiron action across Texas this past weekend.
Here are the top moments from week nine in Texas high school football:
- Little Cypress-Mauriceville comes up with huge two-point conversion stop to remain in playoff race
Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Lumberton saved all the fun for the final 12 minutes on Friday night. After a scoreless first three quarters, the teams came alive in the fourth. Lumberton quarterback Drake Boykin started the scoring with a quarterback keeper, bursting through the Bear defense for a 20-yard score. Little Cypress-Mauriceville answered immediately as quarterback Ashton Landry hit receiver Brendon Pollock near the pylon on the left side of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown. Pollock was the man again on the following drive as Landry scrambled around and threw up a jump ball. Pollock rose above the Lumberton defense and came down with the catch, racing all the way to the Lumberton one yard line for a 43-yard gain. Landry punched in on a quarterback draw to put the Bears up 14-7 with six minutes to go. Lumberton had one last chance. Boykin found Gabe Williams on a jump ball for a huge gain to the Little Cypress-Mauriceville 14-yard line. A few plays later, Boykin converted a quarterback sneak to cut the lead to 14-13 with just seconds remaining. Lumberton decided to go for jugular. However, the Bears rose to the occasion, denying Lumberton on a 2-point conversion attempt to seal a 14-13 victory. The win means Little Cypress Mauriceville is now 1-2 in district and sits in fifth place. With a big game against Splendora, which is also 1-2 in district play, looming in two weeks in the season finale, the Bears will hope the momentum from this win will boost them to claim their seventh playoff berth in eight years.
- Cibolo Steele overcomes New Braunfels with late two-point conversion
With 1:43 remaining, New Braunfels running back Ryker Purdy slipped a tackle at the line of scrimmage and burst free right through the heart of the Steele defense for a 25-yard touchdown run to put New Braunfels up 21-14. After an interception by New Braunfels defensive back Kendrick Thompson on the next drive, it seemed like game over for Steele. However, the Unicorns were about to run out of their magic. Cibolo Steele stopped New Braunfels on 4th-and-2 and got the ball back at its own 40 yard line. The Knights moved down the field, but an incomplete pass as time expired from the Unicorn seven yard line seemed be the end of their hopes. However, a defensive pass interference penalty followed by an offsides penalty gifted Cibolo Steele two untimed downs. The Knights took full advantage. First, quarterback Wyatt Begeal scored on a quarterback sneak from one yard out. After such a wild ending, the Knights decided to go for two. Cibolo Steele turned to smashmouth football again as Begeal followed his blockers and converted a 2-yard quarterback power for the game-winning conversion. With this 22-21 victory, Steele is now at 2-2 on the season and will look to stay undefeated in district play when it takes on Clemens this Friday.
- Colleyville Heritage takes down Richland with wild late comeback
Twice Colleyville Heritage found itself in big holes on Friday and twice it came back. After the Panthers erased a 21-0 deficit and fought back to tie the game at 28 in the third, C.J. Nelson, who had 12 catches for 288 yards and 5 touchdowns on the night, promptly answered for Richland with two touchdowns catches to put Richland up 42-28. Colleyville Heritage responded again as A.J. Smith lofted a perfect 25-yard pass to Mason Murdock in the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard score to cut the deficit to seven. After Heritage came up with a stop defensively, its offensive took full advantage. Running back Braxton Ash scored on a 2-yard run with just over a minute to go to tie the score at 42 and send the game to overtime. After a bad snap thwarted a Richland field goal attempt in overtime, Colleyville Heritage had the chance to win it. Ash stepped up again as he scored on a three-yard run to seal an impressive come-from-behind victory for the Panthers. With the resiliency that was on display against Richland, Colleyville Heritage will be full of confidence and momentum as it squares off with fellow unbeaten Midlothian this weekend.
Ash’s winning touchdown run (Courtesy of Brian Gosset): https://twitter.com/Gosset41/status/1319846412453072896
- Port Neches-Groves edges Nederland in rivalry thriller
The 97th Mid-County Matchup was one to remember. Nederland took a 21-16 lead in the third quarter as running back Josh Mazyck found a hole in the Port Neches-Groves defense and sprinted 75 yards for the score. It would stay that way until the closing seconds. With the ball at the Nederland two, Port Neches-Groves quarterback Blake Bost rolled to his left and found a wide open Daylon Bergeron, who turned upfield for an easy pitch-and-catch score to put Port Neches-Groves up 22-21 with just two seconds to go. It was an ending that will certainly go down in the history books of this storied rivalry as Port Neches-Groves claimed victory over Nederland for the third year in a row.
Daylon Bergeron’s game-winning touchdown catch (Courtesy of Texan Live): https://twitter.com/Texan_Live/status/1319842162645880832
- Geronimo Navarro takes down #7 Wimberley to clinch District 14-4A Division II crown
Wimberley may have been the state runners-up in Conference 4A Division II last season, but Navarro was not intimidated. Navarro beat Wimberley 42-14 last season in the regular season, but Wimberley got its revenge with a 42-12 victory in the regional finals. This year, it was Navarro’s turn yet again. Sam Muniga broke free for touchdown runs of 52 yards, 56 yards, and 35 yards in the first half to put Navarro up 24-9 at the half. However, Wimberley didn’t go down without a fight. Matthew Tippie, who threw for 205 yards and three touchdowns on the night, found Jaxon Watts down the sideline, and, after the two Navarro defenders covering him collided, Watts raced away for a 99-yard score. Then with 1:20 to go in the ball game and the ball at the Navarro four yard line, Tippie rolled right and found tight end Dylan Kincaid for the touchdown. However, the comeback wasn’t meant to be. Navarro came up with a stop on the two-point conversion and held on for the 24-22 victory to claim the District 14-4A Division II title for the second year in a row. With the talent both these teams possess, they will certainly be two to watch when the playoffs to watch in just over two weeks’ time.
- Ernest Davila’s big week helps Poteet clinch playoff berth
Ernest Davila was a busy man for Poteet this past week as the Aggies clinched a playoff berth for the second straight year. First, he rushed for 328 yards and three touchdowns last Thursday against Marion in a narrow 29-22 victory. Just five days later, Davila and Poteet were back at it again. On Tuesday night against Cotulla, Davila had touchdown rushes of 12 yards, 1 yard, 46 yards, and 75 yards, totaling 222 yards and four touchdowns on the night on 25 carries in a 41-19 Poteet victory. Davila has certainly been a workhorse this year for the Aggies. And with Davila and the Poteet run game firing on all cylinders, the Aggies will hope to improve on their playoff run last year where they were knocked out by Wimberley 49-35 in a bi-district shootout.
- #2 Sterling City takes down #1 Westbrook in battle of six-man elites
The top two teams in six-man Division I football squared off in Westbrook last Friday in a highly anticipated district showdown. Westbrook struck first as quarterback Kenan Morris plucked a low snap off the ground and found receiver Elishah Stark, who spun his way in for the score. Sterling City answered though as Hudson Cox found receiver Damian Calderon on a 46-yard bomb to knot the score up at eight. Sterling City running back Cross Knittel struck next, taking a pitch on the right side and cutting upfield, racing away for a 25-yard score to put Sterling City up 16-8. The Eagle defense came up with some huge plays on the night too as Calderon intercepted three passes and Chance Ferguson forced a huge fumble when Westbrook was knocking at the door and threatening to tie the game at the Sterling City two yard line. Sterling City was able to keep Westbrook at arms’ length in the second half and a late 11-yard touchdown run by Cross Knittel that put the Eagles up by 18 was the final nail in the coffin as Sterling City came away with a 38-28 victory. “I was really proud of the effort that the entire team gave last Friday night,” Sterling City head coach Trey Sisco said. “It was a great atmosphere for us to play in and the team handled it well.” With this victory, Sterling City has now knocked off Westbrook, #3 Borden County, #5 May, and #6 Happy this season. “I think we have learned a lot about ourselves this season by playing some of the top teams in the state and I believe that it has helped prepare us for the challenges that we will face in the future,” Sisco said. “Now we have to continue to work hard in practice and keep getting better every week so that we can achieve our goals for the season.” With an impressive résumé in hand, these Eagles are battle tested and will be one of the favorites to take home a state crown when the playoffs roll around in two weeks time.
- Castleberry outguns Dunbar to clinch final playoff spot
Castleberry and Dunbar squared off for the final playoff spot in District 6-4A Division I on Saturday. The game was chaos from the very beginning to the very end. It started with special teams as Trevon Gray-McCoy returned a block punt 48 yards for a Dunbar touchdown. However, Castleberry immediately answered as Diego Rivera returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown of his own. A 2-point conversion put Castleberry up 8-7. Dunbar continued to come up with explosive scores over the next two quarters. Aaryn Conley had a pick-six for Dunbar, Joel Miles added a 40-yard touchdown run, and Dariante Hall raced away for a 70-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put Dunbar up 34-29. This back-and-forth, high scoring nature continued throughout the contest. A quarterback keeper by Castleberry’s Drew Aguillon put the Lions up 50-46 with just three minutes to go. Dunbar yet again responded as Dunbar quarterback Dorian Carr found Conley for a 46-yard touchdown to restore Dunbar’s lead, 53-50. The game deservedly came down to the final seconds. With 26 seconds remaining, Aguillon launched a pass across the middle to his receiver Lonnie Adams. Adams rose above three Dunbar defenders, coming down with the catch, before falling in for the score. It was a 34-yard touchdown that put Castleberry up 57-53 and sealed its spot in the playoffs. Adams had 11 catches for 246 yards on the night, while Aguillon threw for 248 yards, rushed for 141 yards, and totaled six touchdowns. With the way the Castleberry offense looked in this one, it certainly will not be an easy out for any opponent in the playoffs.
Adams’ game-winning touchdown catch (Courtesy of Brian Gosset): https://twitter.com/Gosset41/status/1320076999092830211
- Midlothian Heritage upsets Waco La Vega with big second half
Waco La Vega was the number three team in 4A Division I heading into this contest and had knocked off a number of top teams already this season. Midlothian Heritage was unmoved. La Vega did lead 13-7 at halftime, but Heritage came out firing in the second half as Daelin Rader found Haydon Wiginton on a slant route and, after the La Vega defenders ran into each other, Wiginton raced away for a 54-yard score to put Heritage up 14-13. After a forced fumble, Rader stole the show again. Scrambling to his right at full speed, he improbably delivered a pass on a dime to Carter Wilkerson who sped away for a 64-yard touchdown to put Heritage up 21-13. La Vega wasn’t done. Jordan Rogers raced away from the Heritage defense before slipping a tackle and outrunning another would-be tackler for a 75-yard score to knot the game up at 21. After a field goal to go up 24-21, Heritage put the game to bed with just under seven minutes to go as Rader found Wilkerson for an eight yard score to extend the lead to 31-21, a score that would go on to be the final. Rader threw for 165 yards and three touchdowns on the night, while a late blocked field goal and an interception by Cullen Stone helped extinguish any hopes of a La Vega comeback. With this victory, Midlothian Heritage sits atop District 5-4A Division I play at 3-0, but it will face another big test against Stephenville, which is 3-1 in district play, this Friday in a game that could go a long way towards deciding the district title.
- #4 Port Lavaca Calhoun edges Corpus Christi Miller in absurd shootout
77-76 is normally a score reserved for basketball games but not on Friday night. Even more impressive, Port Lavaca Calhoun didn’t complete a single pass all night. The Sandcrabs relied exclusively on their triple option attack and it paid dividends. Jarius Stewart rushed for 245 yards and six touchdowns, Min Htway added 184 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries, and fullback Steve Johnson completed this impressive trio with 176 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Calhoun led 42-35 at half but could never get more than two scores ahead of Miller throughout the second half. Heading into the fourth, Calhoun led 63-56 and extended its lead soon after to 70-56 as Stewart plunged in for a 1-yard score with 11 minutes to go in the game. Miller quarterback Andrew Body, who had a huge night himself with 292 yards passing and four touchdowns through the air along with 261 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the ground, responded as he found Lonnie Adkism for a 33-yard score to cut the lead to 70-63. Again, Stewart answered. This time a four-yard touchdown run put Calhoun up 77-63 with three-and-a- half minutes to play. Body was not deterred as he drove Miller down the field and found Donovan Terrell for an 18-yard touchdown with just over two minutes to go. On the ensuing kickoff, Miller came up with the all-important onside kick and Body struck again, rushing for a 13-yard score to pull Miller within one. After a wild night of offense, it was the Calhoun defense that came up with the most important play of the game. The Sandcrab defense stopped Body at the one yard line on the ensuing two-point conversion, a stop that led Calhoun to prevail 77-76 in a topsy-turvy roller coaster of a game. After 153 combined points and a quarterback showdown between Stewart and Body, this is a game that will live long in the memory of everyone who played a part in it.
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