The Cooldown: Week 10

Week 10 was football heaven in Houston. The area had several rivalry games, de-facto district championship games and other interesting showdowns. Here’s a recap of three of the best games from last weekend and a preview of what’s to come in the regular season finale this weekend.

Cy Park captures 16-6A title, wins shootout vs. Cy Ranch

Cypress Park High School opened in 2016. With a win last week, Cy Park clinched its first ever district championship. With a win next week, Cy Park can improve by three wins for the third-straight season: 0-10 in 2018, 3-7 in 2019, 6-4 in 2020 and looking for a 9-1 regular season finish in 2021.

The Tigers were coming off back-to-back games scoring under 40 points (35 and 37 against Bridgeland and Cy Woods respectively) after scoring 50 or more in every game prior. That streak got back on track with a thrilling 50-43 win against Cy Ranch to capture the district title.

Cy Park has a trio of outstanding players that get the job done on a consistent basis and Thursday night was no different. Cameron King was the star of the night, ripping off 212 yards and three scores on just 18 carries, good for nearly 12 yards-per-carry. Five-star recruit Harold Perkins bested that average, running for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. To cap it off, Edward Dixon had another fantastic night under center.

All that was just enough for a Cy Park victory, but Cy Ranch played an impressive game as well. Mustangs quarterback Blake Baker had a great night, throwing for 341 yards and four scores. Kameron Burton racked up 141 yards on the ground to pace Cy Ranch, who will lock up the second spot in the district in all likelihood via tiebreaking wins over Cy Woods and Bridgeland.

I’m not sure what the playoff road will look like for either team, but I’m excited to find out what it is next week.

Manvel shocks Paetow to create 3-way tie

The top three teams in 10-5A-I all have one loss, each to each other. Manvel lost to Hightower, Hightower lost to Paetow, and last week Paetow lost to Manvel in a thriller, 33-28. Those three are the clear cut best teams in the district and all should close out the season with a win to finish at 7-1 in district play.

It was the trio of Kaeden Smith, De’Monte Seymore and Isaiah King who led Manvel to the win. Smith tossed 201 yards and two touchdowns against one INT on 8-of-16 passing and King caught five of those balls for 191 yards and both TD’s. Seymore was fantastic on the ground once again, running for 106 yards and three scores on 18 carries in what was a true grind-it-out game.

Paetow struggled to move the ball all night, but was also without its top two running backs in Jacob Brown and Damyrion Phillips. The leading rusher was Ibrahim Toure, who ran for 77 yards on 26 attempts. Quarterback CJ Dumas finished with 160 yards on 9-of-20 passing.

Reportedly – if everything holds serve next week – Paetow will be the No. 1 seed, followed by Manvel and Hightower with Angleton locked into the fourth spot. Anything can happen, but whoever wins Region III out of the top three teams in this district have to like their chances of making it to Arlington. Paetow closes out the season against Angleton while Manvel gets Milby.

Shadow Creek claims third district title in four years with win over Pearland

Shadow Creek started off 32-1 with two district titles and a state championship in its’ first two seasons of varsity football. The Sharks’ first year in class 6A wasn’t as kind, resulting in a 6-4 record and a third round playoff loss to Katy following a pandemic-shortened regular season. Year two in class 6A went much better for the Sharks as they captured their first 6A district title in 23-6A with a 34-27 win against Pearland last week.

Sophomore running back Tylik Burton has been a breakout star for the Sharks this year. He led the offensive attack, running for 230 yards and three scores on 21 carries, good for 11 yards-per-carry. Quarterback Duke Butler had a solid night, tossing a touchdown and a pick on 15-of-24 for a total of 135 yards passing. Lawrence Armstrong caught the lone touchdown, finishing with four catches for 43 yards while freshman Jacorey Watson had five catches for 42 yards.

Pearland spread the ball around well, with four running backs going for 40+ yards and two receivers going for 69 yards each. Izeal Jones led the team in rushing yards two carries for 83 yards, and Jones added three catches for 69 yards. Dominic Serna carried 14 times for 62 yards and three scores, Kennedy Lewis caught the other Jake Sock touchdown pass, one of his nine catches for 48 yards. Christian Pitts ran once for 11 yards and tacked on five catches for 69 yards. Sock threw for 138 yards and an INT on 9-of-22.

Shadow Creek locks up the district title and will finish with a perfect 23-6A record with a win against Hastings next week. The winner of Pearland against rival Dawson will determine who finishes in the 2/3 spot while Alief Taylor and Alvin battle in a “win-and-you’re-in” game for the final playoff spot.

Other News and Notes

In this section each week, I’ll do some bullet points to highlight the other games that caught my eye but didn’t have time to discuss in detail like the games mentioned above.

  • Grand Oaks pulled away from Willis in the fourth quarter to win 35-21
  • Cy Woods rallied to beat Cy Springs 34-13
  • Kingwood Park raced past Nederland 35-22
  • Alief Taylor captured the Alief title and kept playoff hopes alive with a 21-0 win over rival Hastings
  • Dickinson rallied from behind to take down Clear Springs 35-24
  • Clear Falls won a defensive battle against Clear Creek 13-7
  • College Park also won a defensive battle, with the Cavs beating Oak Ridge 14-10
  • Jersey Village claimed a district title with a thrilling 28-21 win over Stratford
  • Cy Falls kept playoff hopes alive with a 21-14 win over Langham Creek
  • North Shore won another district title with a 31-21 win over Atascocita
  • Lamar got its revenge on Heights and recaptured the district title with a 19-6 win
  • Klein Oak picked up a big 41-35 win over Klein
  • Magnolia West hung on for a 31-24 win over New Caney
  • Montgomery survived an upset bid from Huntsville in overtime, 35-28
  • Texas City won a shootout over Port Neches-Groves, 49-42 in OT

Player of the Week

Ridge Point is one team that I think has really flown under the radar in terms of the credit they’ve gotten the last two seasons. The Panthers weren’t hyped up similar to some other area teams despite making it to the Region III Finals last year, just two wins away from state. The Panthers are 8-1 (6-0) this season and capped off a district championship with a 49-21 thrashing of Bush. Because of that, it’s about time my player-of-the-week goes to a player who has been showing out all season in Panther quarterback Bert Emanuel, Jr.

Emanuel might be the best dual-threat quarterback in the area and he shows it each week. Against Bush, Emanuel threw for 249 yards and four touchdowns on an efficient 8-of-13 and added 12 carries for 98 yards and another score to lead the team in both categories.

Ridge Point is poised for another deep run. The Panthers ran into the North Shore buzz saw in round four last year, but no team in the 6A-I bracket for Region III is near as dominant this year as that North Shore squad was last year. It should be interesting to see if Ridge Point can build on last years’ state quarterfinals loss and Emanuel – joined by fellow offensive standouts Ezell Jolly, Mason Dossett and Marvin Session – could be the perfect group to capitalize.

What to look forward to

Here are the best games for the final week of the regular season. There are some good rivalry games to look forward to, as well as plenty of “win-and-you’re-in” situations and games that will be important for playoff seeding. The brackets will be finalized by Sunday!

  • Atascocita faces off against West Brook, who needs a win AND a Summer Creek loss to secure a playoff spot (TH)
  • Bridgeland faces Cy Falls in an important game for seeding (TH)
  • The Woodlands and College Park face off in a big rivalry game (TH)
  • Paetow looks to wrap up a share of a district title with a win against Angleton (TH)
  • Yates and Kashmere face off for playoff seeding (TH)
  • Alief Taylor and Alvin face off in a “win-and-you’re-in” game (F)
  • Willis fights for a playoff spot against Conroe (F)
  • Grand Oaks looks to break into the playoffs with a win against Oak Ridge (F)
  • CE King faces off against Humble (F)
  • Summer Creek looks to wrap up a playoff spot with a win against Kingwood (F)
  • Klein and Tomball face off in a “win-and-you’re-in” game (F)
  • Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch fight for playoff positioning (F)
  • Pearland and Pearland Dawson face off in a rivalry game to determine the 2/3 spots in 23-6A (F)
  • Magnolia West looks for a district title against high-flying College Station (F)
  • New Caney and Magnolia face off (F)
  • Barbers Hill battles Texas City for for 2/3 spots in 12-5A-II (F)
  • Crosby battles Nederland (F)
  • Lake Creek takes on rival Montgomery (F)
  • Bay City looks for its first district win against Stafford (F)
  • Bush battles Clements for playoff seeding (SAT)
  • Galena Park takes on Willowridge (SAT)

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