Cover Photo courtesy of The Houston Chronicle.
State Championships took place for the small schools over the weekend about 250 miles north of Houston. While Houston had no representation in the games, being able to play them in the first place has been a massive undertaking by the UIL, coaches, students, and every community across the state.
We still have four weeks to go before we crown state champions for the four big school divisions and getting to that point will require each remaining playoff team to be ultra cautious. Nonetheless, I want to give the UIL big congratulations for crowning eight state champions this weekend. That’s no easy feat this year, and it’s going to take all of us to make sure the other four get crowned and that the spring sports can have a shot at state this season.
With that being said, let’s recap last weeks’ best games and take a look at what round three has to offer.
Bridgeland survives in 4OT
Bridgeland was a trendy pick for state champion in 6A-II and Dekaney almost put an end to that in just the second round.
Daelyn Williams was excellent for Dekaney, but it wasn’t quite enough. His counterpart – Conner Weigman – tossed five touchdowns and 375 yards on 27-for-44 passing. The two went back-and-forth in overtime, scoring touchdowns, field goals, and even one period where neither team managed to score.
The tie was broken for good in the fourth overtime. Dekaney connected on a field goal and needed to hold Bridgeland to the same or less, but Weigman found Dylan Goffney on a slant route before Goffney sprinted across the field for six and a 47-44 win.
Goffney was the player of the game – perhaps the player of the week for the whole area – keeping Bridgeland’s state title hopes alive by catching 14 passes for 204 yards and three scores, including the game winner.
Bridgeland gets Rockwall-Heath this Saturday at 1 pm in Waco at Baylor’s McLane Stadium.
Shadow Creek passes test before showdown with Katy
What can’t Kyron Drones do?
CE King had an impressive season in one of Texas’ toughest districts and proved to be a worthy challenge for Shadow Creek, but Drones proved to be unstoppable. The Baylor commit finished with 13 carries for 171 yards (including a 93-yard touchdown run) on the ground and added another 216 yards and three scores through the air. Drones’ top target was Greg Hancock, who caught all three touchdown passes as part of his 10 catches for 139 yards. All that was good enough to get Shadow Creek over the hump in what was a tight game down to the final seconds in a 42-28 win.
For King, Kameron Kincheon closed out his terrific high school career with 153 yards and a touchdown on 14-for-22 passing; adding a rushing touchdown as well. Jerrell Wimbley could be the focal point of the King offense next season; he finished with 116 yards and two scores on 23 carries.
Shadow Creek advances to take on Katy and the winner of that game will be favored to make it to state – where the most likely opponent will be either Cedar Hill or Bridgeland. Imagine an all-Houston title game!
Tompkins races past Cy-Fair
Tompkins put up uncharacteristically pedestrian offensive stats and still beat Cy-Fair 51-28.
Not needing much offense to score 51 points is what happens when you score 21 points directly off turnovers in just one quarter. Bryce Shaink ripped the ball out and Colby Huerter ran it back for a touchdown midway through the second quarter to give the Falcons a 17-7 lead. Then, the Shaink-Huerter duo did it again on the next drive to make it 24-7. Throw in a Caleb Komolafe pick-6 and the lead became insurmountable.
At that point, it was just about playing keep away and burning clock for the Tompkins offense. Do-everything quarterback Jalen Milroe would have been the Falcons leading rusher with five carries for 48 yards and a score if not for a singular 52-yard rush from Caleb Karonka. The Falcons only needed 121 yards through the air from Milroe to run away with the victory.
Tompkins could absolutely have a shot to take down North Shore – something that feels impossible – if it plays defense like that. The showdown of top-6 teams should be the best game in the state, and it will be one of the first ever Texas high school football games to ever take place on Christmas Eve. Kickoff is 1 pm Thursday at Katy Legacy.
Other Notable Games
Here’s a quick scoreboard for the rest of the area round games.
- North Shore handled previously undefeated Dawson 38-7
- Foster saw its season end in a 51-15 loss to Cedar Park
- Katy Paetow was eliminated after COVID problems prevented it from being able to play
- Clear Falls outdueled West Brook 53-36
- Tomball Memorial pulled away from oak Ridge in the fourth quarter for a 49-13 win
- Katy Taylor held Heights in check for a 28-13 win
- Katy had no problems with Lamar in a 60-7 victory
- Atascocita beat Pearland 21-6 in a typical low-scoring affair against the Oilers defense
- Spring Westfield out-lasted Klein Cain 42-24
- Spring advanced with a dominant 31-14 win against Klein Oak
- Manvel came back from a slow start to beat Dripping Springs 38-21
- Hightower sprinted past Pflugerville Hendrickson 44-14
- Magnolia saw its season end in a 40-28 loss to Frisco Lone Star
- Huntsville crushed Barbers Hill 49-19
- Crosby pulled off a big upset, 62-42, over Texas High
- Fort Bend Marshall beat Montgomery 48-28
- Ridge Point took down Jersey Village 34-21 in Houston’s lone Saturday game
What to Watch for: Week 18
Here is the round three playoff schedule for Houston area teams. Remember, every game will be played either on Thursday (Christmas Eve) or Saturday because of Christmas on Friday. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a fun Holiday season hopefully spent (safely) with family and friends. There are several great playoff games going on this weekend, so get out and see one!
Just 16 Houston-area teams remain. I’ll be at a tripleheader in Waco on Saturday providing live video updates from our Twitter account. For those also in Waco, that’ll be a 1 pm game at McLane (Baylor) Stadium, followed by a 4 pm game at Waco ISD Stadium, and the nightcap is 7 pm back at McLane.
- DeSoto vs Spring – Saturday, 7 pm at Waco’s McLane Stadium
- Tompkins vs North Shore – Thursday, 1 pm at Katy Legacy
- Ridge Point vs Atascocita – Saturday, 1 pm at TDECU Stadium
- Cedar Hill vs Tomball Memorial – Saturday, 4 pm at Waco ISD Stadium
- Rockwall-Heath vs Bridgeland – Saturday, 1 pm at Waco’s McLane Stadium
- Katy vs Shadow Creek – Saturday, 1 pm at Freedom Field
- Katy Taylor vs Clear Falls – Thursday, 12 pm at Challenger-Columbia
- Hightower vs Manvel – Thursday, 3 pm at Freedom Field
- Crosby vs Huntsville – Saturday, 1 pm at Woodforest Bank Stadium
- FB Marshall vs Nederland – Saturday, 1 pm at Turner Stadium