Cover Photo via @MHS_Buffs on Twitter.
Regional champions have been decided and teams are now so close to Arlington they can almost taste it. Only the truly elite are left standing, and the Houston area has seven teams still alive. With that being said, let’s recap some of the best action from last week and discuss the road ahead for Houston’s best.
1. North Shore scores all the points
In our game of the week for the second week in a row, North Shore picked up yet another impressive win as a return trip to state is in the sights. The Mustangs took down a talented Atascocita squad 76-49 behind an impressive showing from Dematrius Davis.
One week after winning our MVP Bobblehead, Davis bested his performance against Katy by throwing for 312 yards and two scores on just 10 passes, and adding another 293 and three scores on the ground. Throw in 169 yards rushing and 102 receiving for five total touchdowns for Zach Evans and that’s an unstoppable recipe.
If the Mustangs continue to produce offense at as high of level as we’ve seen the last two weeks, they will likely repeat as state champions. Davis has looked absolutely unstoppable in these playoffs as North Shore has blown out every opponent. All this comes without star wide receiver Shadrach Banks as well.
Zach Evans will get his on any given night. The question will be if Davis can keep producing on the ground and through the air against solid defenses from Lake Travis and presumably Duncanville should the Mustangs win in round five. If Evans gets his 100-150 on the ground and Davis is able to get 150-200 on the ground and through the air like we’ve seen the last two weeks, I can’t see anyone beating North Shore.
2. Katy Taylor -- Regional Champs
First off, just take a look at this tweet.
Katy was ranked in the top 10 nationally by USA Today for nearly entire season before losing to North Shore in round three. Tompkins impressed once again, losing only to Katy and Atascocita. Even Mayde Creek won a playoff game for the first time in 20 years! And somehow, Taylor is the only Katy ISD school still playing football.
Taylor played in a regional final for the first time in school history last week against a Cy Creek team who lost in that same game in 2018. The Mustangs didn’t disappoint – they scored three times in less than a minute at the end of the first quarter to blow things open, and they never looked back.
Taylor will face Austin Westlake in round five, and they’ll need to be just as opportunistic as they were against Cy Creek if they want to win. The Mustangs forced a fumble on a kickoff return for an easy touchdown, and immediately followed that with a pick-six from Trevor Woods. Those quick scores led to a demoralizing 37-7 lead in the second quarter, and the key to beating Westlake will be to try and demoralize them early, as the Mustangs did to Cy Creek.
The crazy thing about Taylor’s run is that the Mustangs have won four playoff games, but still haven’t reached 10 wins for the season. A 5-5 regular season led to the final playoff spot in 19-6A, but they’ve gotten better with each playoff win. It will take a monster performance; however, to beat Westlake, who has eight state title game appearances.
3. Marshall stuns Manvel
Round three saw plenty of regular season rematches that didn’t disappoint. We got another great one in round four.
Manvel won the regular season meeting 38-34 and the Mavs had been rolling through the playoffs. Running back Donovan Eaglin entered the game with over 700 yards and 12 touchdowns in the playoffs alone, but the Buffs defense was able to shut him down.
Marshall rolled to a 40-10 win behind one of the best duos in the area. Malik Hornsby finished with 264 yards and two scores on just eight completions and another 135 yards on the ground, while do-everything back Devon Achane finished with 132 yards and four scores of his own.
With the win, the state semifinals are looking familiar. North Shore, Marshall and Shadow Creek have all made return trips to round five and all will likely be favored to advance to state. North Shore pulled off a miracle to win state in 2018 while Marshall and Shadow Creek were beat handily.
Marshall could be looking at a rematch with Aledo while Shadow Creek will have an extremely tough matchup with either Frisco Lone Star or Denton Ryan, should each team win its semifinal game. North Shore, should they be able to get past Lake Travis, is looking at a potential rematch of it’s instant classic win against Duncanville.