The Cooldown: Week 3 - Inside High School Sports Houston
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09/14/22

The Cooldown: Week 3

With week three behind us, the reala ction is about to seriously pick up. Most teams will start district play next week while some started last week and others will have to wait one more week. Either way, the majority of the area will be playing district games next week. That means games start to become must-win as each school looks to make the playoffs.

For larger districts such as Cypress ISD and Katy ISD, that urgency has already set in. Plenty others kick off the real season this week. Here’s a recap of last weeks’ action, player-of-the-week and a look-ahead to this weeks’ action – the good stuff!

Texas Cy-Fair is back!

A narrow loss to Alabama had many college football fans once again proclaiming that infamous phrase “Texas is back!!!” on social media. We’ll see if that holds true, but me personally – I’m claiming Cy-Fair is back.

The Bobcats dominated district 17-6A for years, most recently powered by former five-star running back LJ Johnson. But Cy-Fair had a somewhat down year for its own lofty standards last season, finishing 7-4 with two district losses. Cy-Fair isn’t used to finishing in the bottom half of the district and with Trey Owens taking a leap at quarterback, I don’t think they’ll have a repeat of last season.

Upcoming games against Stratford and Jersey Village will be tough – those were the Bobcats’ two district losses last season – but they’re off to a solid start. Cy-Fair had no problem beating Cy Woods 34-13 last week behind 172 yards and two scores on 17-of-26 passing from Owens. Wide receiver Owen Carter racked up 134 yards and a score on seven catches, while running back Zaccheus Baynes paced the Bobcats with 92 yards and two TDs on 11 carries.

The Cy-Fair defense was impressive as well, allowing just 136 total yards. It was needed for Cy-Fair to play a game where it hit on all cylinders prior to the toughest portion of its schedule.

Fulshear isn't leaving any points on the board

Fulshear entered week two as (maybe?) the highest-scoring team in 5A-I. Don’t quote me on that, but I’m not sure any other team topped 74 points and 77 points in back-to-back games. Week 3 wasn’t much different.

Unlike Fulshear’s first two games, this one was a nail-biter. Fulshear eeked out a 53-50 win against a pretty good Magnolia squad. Parker Williams was phenomenal at quarterback, throwing for 240 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-21 while adding 61 yards and a score on the ground. Calvion Hunter ran 11 times for 104 yards while Davion Godley carried 22 times for 233 yards and two scores. Godley was also the leading receiver with 93 yards and two TD grabs.

Fulshear plays in one of the tougher districts in 5A-I, but the schedule sets up nicely for a potential 8-0 start. The last two weeks of the season will be something to keep an eye on: Fulshear plays at Manvel and home to Foster to close the regular season. Fulshear and Foster are looking like the best two teams in 5A-I in Houston to this point of the season.

Strake Jesuit picks up a big win

Like Cy-Fair, Strake Jesuit had an uncharacteristic 2021 season. The Crusaders finished 4-6 after also finishing 4-6 in 2020. Those seasons came on the heels of back-to-back 10-win seasons. Jesuit is 1-2 to start this year after a win over Spring.

Bryce Fucik put up big numbers, racking up 249 yards and two scores on 22-of-32 passing. He was also the leading rusher for Jesuit with 74 yards and another touchdown. The Byrce-to-Bryce duo got it done, with receiver Bryce Lanier catching 12 of Fucik’s passes for 118 yards.

It’s a big moment win for the Crusaders, who will face an interesting district slate. Shadow Creek should win the district again, but it less clear after that. Playoff mainstays Pearland and Pearland Dawson are 1-2 and 0-3 respectively. Alvin is improved, but Alief Taylor doesn’t look as good as last years’ playoff team. There should be plenty of opportunity for Strake Jesuit to return to the playoffs behind solid play from Fucik.

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 full detail like the games mentioned above.

  • Aldine Nimitz kept it rolling against Cy Park with a 34-7 win
  • George Ranch eeked out a win against Clements at the buzzer, 24-21
  • Klein Collins survived a rally from Summer Creek, 20-17
  • North Shore demolished a really good Westfield squad, 55-25
  • Clear Falls survived Lamar, 31-28
  • Humble took down Dekaney, 45-35
  • Atascocita flexed Texas muscle over Liberty (NV) 45-8
  • Jordan won its first district game, 42-15 over Mayde Creek
  • Paetow survived a scare from Morton Ranch, 34-29
  • Tomball got back on track with a 34-21 win over Dawson
  • Angleton upset Mabvel, 24-21
  • El Campo got on the board with a 27-14 win over CC Veterans Memorial

Player of the Week

Perhaps the best team in Houston in 5A-I this season has been a resurgent Foster squad. My player-of-the-week, Ashton Ojiaku, is powering that resurgence.

After an uncharacteristic 5-5 season, Foster has started 3-0 and looks to be back on track, beating opponents by a combined 140-14 thus far. Ashton Ojiaku has been a big part of that. The senior running back racked up 292 yards and four scores on 25 carries last week against rival Terry, who had been 2-0.

They’ll have a test next week at Angleton – who just beat Manvel – and close the season at Manvel, home to Magnolia and at Fulshear. That stretch of games could tell us if Foster is state title material or not, but the Falcons look the part so far in due part to Ojiaku’s strong performances.

What to look forward to

Here are some of the games I’m looking forward to this week. District play begins in earnest, with only the seven-team districts still playing in non-district. Here’s what to keep an eye on for another exciting week of games.

  • Heights battles Clear Falls in a non-district showdown (TH)
  • Willis battles Conroe in a game that could temper playoff expectations (F)
  • Bridgeland looks to get back on track against Langham Creek (F)
  • Dobie battles Lamar, who looks to bounce back from a close loss (F)
  • Tompkins and Cinco Ranch battle as top teams in 19-6A (F)
  • The Woodlands battles high-powered New Caney (F)
  • Foster takes on resurgent Angleton (F)
  • Crosby battles Barbers Hill (F)
  • Manvel looks to get back on track against Friendswood (F)
  • Ridge Point faces high-powered Hightower (SAT)