Cover Photo via @1835cards on Twitter.
There’s nothing like a little post-Thanksgiving football, right folks? That Thanksgiving morning practice is almost a reward of sorts for making it to the third round of the playoffs. But this season, every 5A and 6A squad got to participate – which is awesome!
Week 14 brought plenty of intriguing action, and not great news for the small schools. We’ll recap the top action and provide a look ahead to the 1A-4A state quarterfinals and the last week of the 5A/6A regular season.
Bridgeland flexes against Cy-Fair; finishes 10-0
Cypress ISD is so massive that it’s split into two districts, meaning this Cypress ISD game wasn’t actually a district game. Bridgeland competes in 16-6A while Cy-Fair is in 17-6A; both are district champs. So, technically, the Friday night tilt between these two squads was solely for bragging rights.
It was perhaps the game of the week in the state as Cy-Fair came in ranked No. 6 in all of class 6A while Bridgeland entered ranked No. 8. Cy-Fair looked to have the advantage as they jumped out to an early lead. Rainy conditions suited Cy-Fair well as a power running team while Bridgeland gets it done through the air on offense – not ideal for wet conditions.
However, the Bears did what they did all season: beat teams through the air. Dylan Goffney hauled in 181 yards and two scores on nine catches as Bridgeland rallied from an early 16-0 deficit. The Bears out-scored Cy-Fair 41-13 the rest of the way to take a double digit win.
Playoff brackets aren’t entirely set yet but Bridgeland does know it will play Klein Collins in round one. The rest of the road is yet to be determined but I’ll be interested to see how far this Bridgeland squad can go. They’ve already beaten two ranked teams in Cy-Fair and Shadow creek, and the Bears also own impressive wins against Klein Cain and Cy Ranch.
College Park wins first-ever District Championship
We probably couldn’t have asked for a game better than this one. College Park vs. The Woodlands for the 13-6A title and it came down to the wire. The score was tied at the end of every quarter except for the fourth!
Hank Hudson threw for 323 yards and three scores for College Park, but it was the defense that perhaps won the game. The Cavaliers defense came up with three turnovers from three different players. The Woodlands defense forced two turnovers of its own and Highlanders quarterback Conner Dechiro had a similar game to his counterpart: 397 yards and two touchdowns to go with two interceptions.
This game was won in the final minutes. The Woodlands pulled ahead with a field goal with four minutes left… far too much time for Hudson and the Cavaliers to respond. First, Hudson found Cody Mladenka for a 49-yard completion. Then, Dylon DeAngelo won the game on a 14-yard run.
It’s the first-ever district championship for College Park and the first win against The Woodlands since 2006.
Uh... Small Schools?
And then there was one.
Huffman-Hargrave fell to Kilgore and Sealy fell to China Spring in round three. That leaves Columbus as the “last man standing” for the small schools. The Cardinals are in 3A Division I and will face a Hallettsville squad that features one of the most dominant running backs in the state in Jonathan Brooks. Hallettsville will be favored in this game.
However, Columbus did pick up an impressive 38-22 win against a solid Yoakum team last week. The Cardinals have a punchers chance to get past Hallettsville, and they’ll face the winner of Lago Vista and Llano for the right to go to state if they can win in the state quarterfinals.
Here’s a little idea of what’s left and how many upsets there have been in 3A Division I. There is more than a chance for Columbus to be playing for a state title.
Other Notable Games
Here are the other Thanksgiving week games that caught my eye.
- CE King wins shootout with West Brook 66-41
- Dickinson takes second place in 24-6A with 37-20 win against Clear Falls
- Stratford uses a late rally to beat Clear Brook 17-14
- Katy Taylor survives Clear Springs 28-27 on special teams excellence from Trevor Woods
- Grand Oaks inches closer to a playoff spot with 32-28 win against Oak Ridge
- Foster beats Travis 7-3 in rain shortened game
- Tompkins wins Katy ISD with 52-0 win against Seven Lakes
- Tomball Memorial ends Klein Collins 5-year reign as district champs with 48-20 win over Klein Oak
- Paetow secures third place in 10-5A DI with 10-7 win over Hightower
- New Caney upsets Magnolia West 55-48 for absolute madness in 8-5A DI playoff scenarios
What to Watch for: Week 15
Here are the best games coming up in week 15. Some of these may get cancelled as a COVID-19 precaution because many of the games this week are non-district matchups. If playoff seedings are set in a district, expect games to be cancelled.
- Columbus is Houston’s last small school remaining, facing off against Hallettsville in round four action on Friday night
- CE King takes on Humble, looking to lock up third in 21-6A
- Mayde Creek takes on Katy in 19-6A action; Katy has locked up second and Mayde Creek will miss the playoffs
- Atascocita and West Brook battle for playoff positioning in 21-6A
- Dobie and Channelview battle as Channelview tries to move up in 22-6A
- Strake Jesuit and Ridge Point face off in an intriguing non-district matchup
- Heights looks to lock up a district title against Bellaire
- Cinco Ranch and Seven Lakes battle to decide who gets the final playoff spot in 19-6A, a game that also has massive implications on Division I/II seeding
- Waller and Lufkin battle in a game with massive playoff implications… if Waller wins, we could have a five-way tie for the final two playoff spots in 8-5A DI
- Crosby battles Nederland for a district title
- Montgomery and Lake Creek face off to decide the third and fourth playoff spots in 10-5A DII