Round three participants became the first ever to participate in Christmas weekend football as a historic year enters its final week. Now, just seven Houston area teams remain across four playoff brackets as we enter the Regional finals this weekend. Check out what’s coming up for New Years’ weekend in our playoff look-ahead after a quick recap of last weeks’ action.
North Shore continues its dominance against Tompkins
If not Tompkins, then who?
Tompkins finished the regular season ranked sixth in the state and it felt as if the Falcons never truly had a chance against North Shore. The Mustangs are now three wins away from being one of the few teams in Texas high school football history to three-peat as state champions after a dominant 47-22 win on Christmas Eve.
North Shore racked up 602 yards of offense – three times what Tompkins totaled – including an explosive 251 receiving yards and two scores from star wide out Shadrach Banks. Dematrius Davis did Dematrius Davis things once again, finishing with 302 yards and three touchdowns through the air while adding 84 yards and four scores on the ground.
Perhaps the most impressive North Shore stat is what it limited Tompkins star Jalen Milroe to. The Alabama commit was stifled, completing 10 of his 22 passes for just 50 yards against a legitimate college-grade secondary.
North Shore will face Ridge Point in the area finals while Tompkins’ fantastic season is over.
DeSoto rallies for a win over Spring
DeSoto’s defense stepped up in the second half for a big win in a balanced matchup of similar teams.
Spring will look back on a few moments in this game that it wishes it could have back. The first came on the opening drive of the game, where the Lions drove down the field on a lengthy six-minute drive that ultimately resulted in zero points due to a missed field goal.
Then, the Lions got out-scored 21-0 in the third quarter after taking a 14-0 lead at halftime. The Lions surrendered 27 unanswered points before Bishop Davenport found Vincent Bass for a 21-yard touchdown with two minutes left. That cut the DeSoto lead to six, but Spring couldn’t recover the onside kick or stop the DeSoto offense and the Eagles were able to bleed out the clock for the win.
Davenport was outstanding all night despite constant pressure from the DeSoto defensive line – which is one of the best in the state by the way. He finished with 332 yards and two scores, with Bass catching both touchdown passes.
Spring finishes with a district championship, a record of 9-1, two playoff wins and a big win against rival Westfield that produced an unforgettable Hail Mary from Davenport. Oh, and here's Vincent Bass sending DeSoto back to the weight room.
Katy downs Shadow Creek
Shadow Creek breezed to state championship appearances in each of its first two seasons of varsity football playing in class 5A – but 6A presents a whole new challenge.
Katy is one of the top programs in the entire state, everyone knows this. Shadow Creek had literally never not played for a state championship in its short history. The winner of this one would be favored to play for a state title, and Katy rose to the challenge.
The Tigers ran away with a 49-24 win behind a dominant defensive performance and great games from the great Davis duo. Sophomore Seth ran for 122 yards on 19 carries while Senior Jalen Davis ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. The Tigers X-factor came from an unexpected source – sophomore quarterback Caleb Koger ripped the Sharks secondary for 194 yards and five touchdown passes on just eight completions.
Play of the Week
I normally don't do a play of the week, but I had to throw this in here because I got to witness it in person... Chase Lovick, outstanding circus catch and concentration!
Other Notable Games
Here are all the Houston area playoff results from last weekend. Houston went 0-3 in Waco against DFW area teams, leaving just seven Houston teams left in the playoffs. Here’s all the week 18 scores.
- Clear Falls beat Katy Taylor 10-9 in a low-scoring affair
- Duncanville had no problems in a 56-0 win over Westfield
- Manvel handled Hightower 31-7
- Cedar Hill beat Tomball Memorial 38-21
- Bridgeland was upset by Rockwall-Heath 48-24
- Ridge Point won a shootout with Atascocita 55-45
- Crosby pulled off its second-straight upset in a 32-29 win over Huntsville
- Marshall raced past Nederland 49-0
What to Watch for: Week 19
The state quarterfinals are upon us and we’re down to just seven remaining Houston-area teams left in the 2020 playoffs; three will be eliminated before the state semifinals. Houston will have either three or four teams playing in the state semifinals depending on Manvel’s outcome against Cedar Park. Here’s what to watch for in every Houston area game this weekend.
- North Shore vs Ridge Point – 6A Division I
2 pm Friday at Galena Park ISD Stadium
What’s there to say? North Shore has been rolling all season long and they haven’t showed any signs of stopping soon. The Mustangs beat Shadow Creek by 17 and Klein Collins by 7 to open the season; since then they’ve won 11-straight games by at least 25 points. I don’t want to say Ridge Point doesn’t have a shot, but I mean… does anyone? Maybe Duncanville?
Ridge Point can score plenty of points as evidenced by its output last week. Atascocita is a common opponent between the two – North Shore beat the Eagles 63-14 while Ridge Point won 55-45. The Panthers have playmakers on offense, but it will still take a massive upset for a Ridge Point win. I have North Shore by 31.
- Katy vs Clear Falls – 6A Division II
1 pm Saturday at Katy Legacy
The other 6A area final will also take a massive upset for the underdog to win. Katy lost its’ district for the first time in 12 years, but still has just one loss – to top-10 Tompkins. Clear Falls finished third in 24-6A with losses to Dickinson and Clear Springs. Dickinson is a common opponent between the two; Clear Falls lost to the Gators 37-20 while Katy rolled to a 49-7 win.
Katy has rolled into the state quarterfinals despite a young offense. The Tigers have an elite defense and – as always – a stable of solid running backs. I have Katy by 30+ in this one.
- Manvel vs Cedar Park – 5A Division I
2:30 pm Friday at Green Stadium in Bryan
The lone quarterfinal matchup featuring a Houston vs non-Houston squad is a fairly even matchup. Cedar Park is 12-0 on the year and got to this point by beating New Braunfels Canyon 27-16 last week. Manvel is 9-1 with the one loss coming to 6A-I North Shore, so we’ll throw that out in terms of relevance.
The common opponent is Foster, but that doesn’t tell us much. Manvel beat Foster 66-28 in the regular season while Cedar Park beat them 55-15 in round two of the playoffs. I don’t really know who to go with in this one, so a little Houston bias is going to bleed in. I have Manvel by 7.
- Fort Bend Marshall vs Crosby – 5A Division II
1 pm Friday at Turner Stadium in Humble
Here’s another matchup where I don’t know quite what to think. Crosby is coming off upsets of Texas High and Huntsville, both of whom were ranked in the top five of 5A-II heading into the playoffs. Marshall joined DFW’s Ennis (who is already out) and Aledo (still going) to round out the top five.
Marshall is probably the favorite but I still don’t know what to think of the 2020 Buffs. They’re 12-0 this year and have blown out a ton of bad teams. The Buffs offense struggled in a 7-0 opening night win against 6A Elkins and in 21-14 round one win against Port Neches-Groves. Meanwhile, Crosby had an impressive season despite three regular season losses. Two of those losses came by playing up in non-district – 31-24 to 6A George Ranch and 53-20 to 5A-I Manvel.
There is a common opponent here, and it would suggest that Marshall should win. The Buffs beat Nederland 49-0 last week while Crosby fell to Nederland in the last week of the regular season, 29-24. Still, the Cougars are on an absolute roll and I think they make it close. I think this is a one score game that could go either way, but give me Coach James Williams and the Buffs by 7.