Inside High School Sports Houston | The Cooldown: Week 12
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11/15/21

The Cooldown: Week 12

The Texas HS football playoffs are truly the best time of year and round one games had no shortage of disappointments. Several teams across the state suffered upsets while others survived in thrillers (looking at you, Bridgeland). Here’s a round one recap and what to watch for in round two this weekend.

Spring sprints past The Woodlands

If Spring is a second half team, that could bode well for this Lion playoff run. Spring was certainly a second half team against The Woodlands last week.

The Lions were uncharacteristically shut out in the first quarter and trailed 24-17 at the half. The second half was a different story. Spring scored 35 points in the second half to easily put away The Woodlands 52-35.

Bishop Davenport threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns against one INT on 15-of-27, and added 17 carries for 106 additional yards. Joey Fussell Jr. ran for three touchdowns and 71 yards on 13 carries. Cadyn Bradley put his name in the player-of-the-week race by catching six passes for an astounding 216 yards and three scores.

Spring advances to take on Klein Cain at 7 p.m. this Friday at Galena Park ISD Stadium. The winner will likely play Duncanville in Waco in the regional semifinals.

Tompkins defense shuts down Travis

Anthony Njoku is one of the better quarterbacks in the Houston area and he played a mostly clean game on Friday night. That’s usually bad news for the other team, but Tompkins isn’t just any other team.

Take away Njoku’s four worst passes and the senior Travis signal caller threw for 202 yards and two scores on 14-of-25. Unfortunately, Njoku threw four interceptions that made it difficult for Travis to keep it close. Of course, not all of those INT’s were his fault and one acted as a long punt; Travis wouldn’t be where it was without Njoku either.

Throw in a great night for Wyatt Young and Tompkins was simply too much. The Falcons outscored Travis 28-7 in the second half to pick up a 49-21 victory. Young did most of the scoring damage for Tompkins, running in four touchdowns on nine carries for 97 yards. Cole Francis had an efficient night at his quarterback spot, throwing for 179 yards and a score on 13-of-21. Josh McMillian was the leading receiver with 87 yards on seven catches while Chidubem Lebechi caught the lone Francis touchdown pass.

Tompkins advances to take on 10-0 Jersey Village on Friday at 7 p.m. at Cypress’ Pridgeon Stadium.

Ridge Point races past Seven Lakes

A team to watch that could be sneaky good in 6A-I Region III is Ridge Point. This division seems a little down this year and the Panthers would have to beat the winner of Atascocita and Dickinson before a showdown with North Shore to win Region III. It won’t be easy but it can be done and that journey started with a dominating 35-7 win against Seven Lakes last week.

Bert Emanuel Jr. tossed four touchdown passes and 255 yards on 12-of-16 while adding 75 yards and another score on the ground to account for all of Ridge Point’s touchdowns. Emanuel was the Panthers’ leading rusher as well. He did a good job of spreading the ball around with each of his touchdown passes going to different receivers: Kerian Charlo (four catches for 71 yards), Marvin Session (three for 51 yards), Wilson Batiste (one for 76 yards) and Mason Dossett (one for 45 yards).

All those players are seniors other than Dossett. He’ll return next year along with running back Ezell Jolly, but the Panthers will totally half to retool the quarterback spot and the receiver room, in addition to having to replace some key offensive linemen. For Ridge Point, the time is now.

The same can be said for Seven Lakes. Quarterback Grayson Medford threw for 159 yards and a touchdown on 13-of-23 passing in his swan song for the Spartans. Leading rusher Michael Amico – 14 carries for 65 yards – is also a senior and five of the eight players who caught a pass – Kyler Foster, Devin Wright, Aven Holland, Brayden Phillips and TaShawn Matthews – are also seniors.

Ridge Point will play Cy-Fair in round two before the aforementioned tough showdowns with state-ranked squads waits in round three and four. The Panthers take on Cy-Fair at 7 p.m. Friday at Rhodes Stadium in Katy.

Player of the Week

My player-of-the-week for the first round of the playoffs is going to a duo that makes each other better, a duo that nearly outscored their opponents last week. My players-of-the-week go to Clear Springs quarterback and receiver Cody Kuhlmann and Noah Thomas!

The Kuhlmann-Thomas connection accounted for 28 points. That didn’t quite top Pearland’s 35 points, but Clear Springs 42 to take a seven-point win. Kuhlmann accounted for all 42 points for the Chargers, with four touchdowns going to Thomas, one touchdown pass going to Hayden Davis, and Kuhlmann ran in a touchdown to top it off.

Kuhlmann passed for 293 yards and five touchdowns against one INT on 19-of-32 and ran five times for eight yards and a score. Thomas caught 12 of Kuhlmann’s 19 completions for a total of 211 yards and his four scores.

Clear Springs will have the formidable task of taking on North Shore in round two. That game will be 7 p.m. Friday at Challenger-Columbia Stadium. The Chargers will need to keep Kuhl under pressure if they want to win.

What to look forward to

It’s playoffs and that means every game is important at this time of year. So, here is the full Houston-area schedule for round two action. All games are on Friday night at 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise.

Schedule for 6A-I:

  • Spring vs. Klein Cain at Klein Memorial Stadium (Region II)
  • Spring Westfield vs. Klein Oak at Tomball ISD Stadium (Region II)
  • Jersey Village vs. Tompkins at Pridgeon Stadium in Cypress
  • North Shore vs. Clear Springs at Challenger-Columbia Stadium
  • Cy-Fair vs. Ridge Point at Katy’s Rhoades Stadium
  • Atascocita vs. Dickinson at Galena Park ISD Stadium

Schedule for 6A-II

  • College Park vs. Bridgeland at Shenandoah’s Woodforest Bank Stadium (Region II)
  • Willis vs. Tomball at Spring’s Planet Ford Stadium (Region II)
  • Stratford vs. Katy at Houston’s Tully Stadium
  • CE King vs. Shadow Creek at Iowa Colony’s Freedom Field
  • Memorial vs. Cinco Ranch at Houston’s Tully Stadium
  • *Saturday at 1 p.m.
  • Summer Creek vs. Pearland Dawson at Humble’s Turner Stadium

Schedule for 5A-I

  • Denton Ryan vs. Magnolia West at Waco ISD Stadium (Region II)
  • *Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
  • Angleton vs. Cedar Park at Waller ISD Stadium
  • Katy Paetow vs. Manor at College Station’s Cougar Field
  • Pflugerville Weiss vs. Manvel at Bryan’s Green Stadium
  • Georgetown vs. Hightower at Katy’s Legacy Stadium

*Friday at 6 p.m.

Schedule for 5A-II

  • Texas High vs. Texas City at Lufkin’s Martin Stadium
  • *Friday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Montgomery vs. Port Neches-Groves at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium
  • *Friday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Barbers Hill vs. A&M Consolidated at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium
  • *Friday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Crosby vs. Marshall at Lufkin’s Martin Stadium

*Saturday at 2 p.m.

Schedule for 4A-I

  • Kilgore vs. Stafford at Sheldon ISD Panther Stadium
  • Tyler Chapel Hill vs. Brazosport at Porter’s Randall Reed Stadium
  • West Columbia vs. Little Cypress-Mauriceville at Channelview’s Maddry Memorial Stadium
  • *Friday at 7:30 p.m.
  • El Campo vs. Lindale at Waco’s McLane Stadium

*Thursday at 7 p.m.

Schedule for 4A-II

  • China Spring vs. Sealy at Waco ISD Stadium
  • Bellville vs. Rusk at Waco’s McLane Stadium

*Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Schedule for 3A-I

  • East Chambers vs. Little River-Academy at Tomball ISD Stadium
  • *Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Columbus vs. Anahuac at Houston’s Delmar Stadium

*Friday at 7:30 p.m.