Inside High School Sports Houston | The Cooldown: Week 2
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09/06/21

The Cooldown: Week 2

Week two of football action brought a big broken record, continued promising starts for some area teams and a lot of great action. As I do every Monday, I’ll recap that action here and look ahead to this weekends’ games.

Atascocita snaps Allen's 11-year home win streak

A total of 3,963 days passed between home losses for the Allen Eagles. Their $60 million stadium opened in 2012, meaning the Eagles had never lost there. Might it be fitting that streak was ended by a school also named the AHS Eagles?

What was a defense slugfest quickly turned into a track meet in the second quarter. After a scoreless first quarter, Allen found itself up with 10-0 midway through the quarter before Atascocita answered with a long, methodical drive. Allen responded with a long drive of its own to make it 17-7 in favor of the home team before a crucial turning point.

Atascocita answered by covering a lot of ground quickly as Session found Sowell in the end zone again. Allen had mounted a good drive toward the end zone just before half, but quarterback Mike Hawkins fumbled trying to run for a first down and Atascocita took over. With five seconds left in the half, Session connected with Sowell for the third time in the half to give Atascocita a 20-17 lead, and it never looked back.

Session finished with 300 yards and and four scores through the air and added 117 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Sowell racked up 182 yards and caught all four of Session’s passing touchdowns with seven catches total.

This win could solidify Atascocita as a serious threat to be a state title contender. The Eagles were already a top-five team in the state and proved they’ve earned that ranking by traveling to beat a top-10 ranked team on the road – in perhaps the toughest road environment and having to overcome a daunting win streak. Atascocita takes on Klein Oak on the road next week before a return trip to DFW to play Denton Guyer to round out the non-district schedule.

Ridge Point out-lasts Dickinson in wild game

Both Ridge Point and Dickinson have gotten off to impressive starts to 2021, making this the perfect non-district matchup – and they didn’t disappoint.

This back-and-forth affair didn’t see a double-digit lead until midway through the fourth quarter. With Ridge Point holding a 35-28 lead, Dickinson drove right down the field and looked to tie the game as it had all night, matching the Panthers score-for-score. But the Gators fumbled the ball and a few plays later, Ridge Point quarterback Bert Emanuel ripped off a 73-yard touchdown run to give the Panthers a two-score lead.

With the way this game was going, however, it was far from over. John Soloman led Dickinson right back down the field and helped to convert on a two-point try to make it 42-36 with under a minute left. Dickinson recovered an onside kick to make things real interesting, but couldn’t capitalize and Ridge Point held on for a 42-36 win.

Emanuel was the star of the night, finishing with 239 yards and three touchdowns on the ground with another 172 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Ezell Jolly added 22 carries for 123 yards and a score to supplement that.

The Panthers are off to a 2-0 start and have the talent to make another run for a repeat appearance at the state quarterfinals; next up for them is C.E. King at home. Dickinson opened eyes with an opening night win against Manvel and a solid fight against Ridge Point suggests the Gators are back to district championship form. But the schedule doesn’t get any easier next week as Dickinson takes on Katy at home.

Jersey Village hangs on for impressive win

A week after Langham Creek came out on the wrong end of the game-of-the-week, the Lobos once again became victims of the wrong end of a close game.

This time, it was Jersey Village hanging on for a 31-28 win. Langham Creek jumped out to a 14-3 first quarter lead on two Seth Johnson-to-Jaquaize Pettaway touchdown passes, from 70 and 51 yards each. But Jersey Village answered the bell with a 23-yard touchdown strike from Arbrie Carter and a short run from Rashon Estes. It was a 14-all stalemate the rest of the way to give Jersey Village the three-point win.

The Falcons won this one despite being out-gained by LC by 103 yards. Carter and Estes stole the show for Jersey Village. Carter finished 15-for-25 passing with 149 yards and two scores; Estes ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns of his own.

Jersey Village will look to continue its perfect start against Cy Springs next week while Langham Creek looks to pick up its first win against Cy Ridge on the road.

News and Notes

In this section each week, I’ll do some bullet points to highlight the other games that caught my eye but didn’t have time to discuss in detail like the games mentioned above.

  • Deer Park starts 2-0 after rolling against Clear Creek, 42-14
  • Klein Cain got back on track with a 56-21 win against Cy Creek
  • Mayde Creek picked up the first win under coach J Jensen with a 35-14 win over Cy Lakes
  • Foster bounced back from a week one loss to beat Travis 28-7
  • Spring shut out Klein Oak 49-0 and looks like a team that could make a deep playoff run
  • Eisenhower followed up a loss to Marshall with a nice 54-21 win over Channelview
  • Tompkins out-lasted Clear Springs 53-43 in what was a great game
  • Stratford beat Oak Ridge in a good one, 31-27
  • Memorial out-lasted Pearland in a defensive slugfest, 17-14
  • Angleton survived Alief Taylor, 49-41
  • Galena Park impressed against Caney Creek, 34-14
  • Westfield beat Hightower, 38-12
  • Manvel beat Crosby 35-21 in a matchup of great teams
  • Terry picked up an impressive 17-14 against Lamar Consolidated
  • Bellville impressed against Cameron Yoe, 41-26

Team and Player of the Week

Because I don’t like picking a player-of-the-week from the same team as my team-of-the-week, Atascocita is not my team-of-the-week, because I’ve known who my POTW is since Friday night. But Atascocita does deserve a massive shout-out here for ending an 11-year (!!) home win streak and dealing Allen its first regular season loss since 2012 as well. But the Eagles are also going to be everyone’s TOTW, so I’m going in a different direction.

That means my team-of-the-week is Ridge Point! The Panthers couldn’t be more impressive in a 2-0 start to this point, and picked up the first win against Dickinson in school history. Bert Emanuel has been fantastic this season, and coach Rick LaFavers said as much after the game. After making it to the state quarterfinals a year ago, Ridge Point absolutely has the talent to make it back to that point.

If Katy winds up in 6A-II again, there could be power vaccum in Houston for 6A-I, which Ridge Point could take full advantage of. Between the offensive trio of Emanuel, Jolly and wide receiver Marvin Session; a perennially dominant defense and LaFavers at the helm, Ridge Point is positioning itself to be one of the best teams in the area this season.

My player-of-the-week is Atascocita wide receiver Chase Sowell! The senior picked up his first two college offers – from UTSA and Northern Iowa – immediately after posting seven catches for 182 yards and four scores last week. Sowell is a great target for quarterback Session and helps give Atascocita – along with fellow Division I recruit Keith Wheeler – one of the top passing games in the state.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sowell, who also plays baseball and could pursue that sport at the next level, pick up more offers throughout the season. He’ll have several chances to showcase his talent against some of the top teams in the state, including North Shore in district play. Sowell is one of the early breakout stars of the season in the Houston area and could be a name people remember for a long time by season’s end.

Also, I could have just as easily picked the guy who racked up more than 400 yards and five touchdowns to break an 11-year win streak, and then signed autographs for opposing fans after the game:

What to look forward to:

Here are the games I’m looking forward to this week:

  • Tomball Memorial looks bounce back against a dominant Spring squad (TH)
  • Hightower looks to bounce back after a big loss against a Terry squad flying high after a nice win (TH)
  • Klein looks to keep it rolling against Memorial (TH)
  • Alief Taylor looks to pick up a win over Bush after a strong showing in a loss to Angleton (F)
  • A high-powered Eisenhower offense looks to win against a struggling, but young, Cy Creek squad (F)
  • Conroe and Summer Creek face off after each has started strong this season (F)
  • Bridgeland and The Woodlands look for a win in a battle of powerhouses (F)
  • Cy Ranch and Klein Cain battle in a strong non-district test for each (F)
  • Langham Creek looks to get on the board against Cy Ridge (F)
  • Katy travels to Dickinson in a battle of top teams in the area (F)
  • North Shore faces a big test against Westfield (F)
  • Foster measures up against a good Paetow team (F)
  • Barbers Hill and Heights each look to bounce back from a loss (F)
  • Crosby gets another test against Port Arthur Memorial (F)
  • El Campo looks to get back on track against Calhoun (F)
  • Sealy travels to Lake Creek (F)
  • Ridge Point faces off with C.E. King (SAT)
  • Klein Collins looks to get in the win column against Tompkins (SAT)
  • George Ranch travels to Dawson (SAT)