The best thing about non-district play is the early season calibration. Some teams get to play measuring stick games against better squads. Some state title hopefuls test themselves against others with state title ambitions. There are surprises and disappointments and everything in between.
Through three weeks, we’ve seen a little bit of everything. Summer Creek demolished a team ranked ahead of it in the statewide rankings – more on that in a bit. Last week, we saw Atascocita survive a thriller against Katy. We’ve seen North Shore take care of business as usual. We’ve seen Lamar shock everyone with its early season dominance. Teams such as Pearland and CE King have looked good; Clear Falls and The Woodlands have disappointed a little relative to expectations. We’ve gotten a taste of everything as we head into district play. Let’s recap week three action and preview what’s ahead.
Klein Cain picks up big win
Klein Cain is typically one of the best programs in Houston. The Hurricanes started off the season with a 28-21 loss at Summer Creek. That doesn’t mean Klein Cain won’t be as good as normal in 2023, but it made me raise an eyebrow at least. Summer Creek hasn’t been quite as good of a program on a consistent basis as Cain, but the Bulldogs were pretty good a year ago.
Their start this season – which I’ll get to in a second –puts to bed the notion that Cain is in any sort of a down year. Summer Creek is elite. Of course, the Hurricanes have done a good job dispelling that notion (that I might have perhaps irrationally made up on my own) that this may be a down year. Hurricane fans, please don’t go Deion Sanders on me – I believe.
I say all this after dominating victories, 48-27 over College Park and 50-27 against Cy Falls, in back-to-back weeks. Cain is favored next week against Tomball Memorial on the road, who has outscored opponents 151-15 in three games this year. Tomball Memorial and Klein Oak are the only undefeated teams left in the district.
Senior running back Darius Rodgers stole the show, running 22 times for 221 yards and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Isaac Mooring also had a good night, finishing 15-of-22 passing for 238 yards and three scores. Zach Johnson and Jaelon Dixon also had a touchdown apiece on the ground.
Cy Falls is a solid win for Cain. The Eagles are now 2-1 this year with blowout wins against Cy Creek and Alief Hastings. Trey Morris ran 18 times for 134 yards and a score against Cain, while quarterback Kye Callicoattee had 172 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Summer Creek dominates state ranked showdown
How about Summer Creek?
The Bulldogs have mowed through the early part of their schedule. They picked up the aforementioned 28-21 win against Klein Cain on opening night before beating Clear Falls 32-14 and demolishing No. 12 Klein Collins, 34-0.
Senior back Lloyd Avant has been a workhorse for Summer Creek for years, and he’s off to a sensational start in 2023. He had 15 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Blake Thomas tossed two touchdowns on 12-of-21 passing for 149 yards.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they play in what might be the best district in Texas 1-4. District 21-6A doesn’t offer much in the way of depth – we know exactly who the four playoff teams will be – but those four could go up against any district in the state. All four are state ranked, and Summer Creek vs. C.E. King o October 28 will likely decide the third and fourth in the district. If the road breaks right, Summer Creek could make a serious run in the playoffs.
Shadow Creek rallies for big win
Bridgeland started off Friday’s game up 17-0, which caused some big time eyebrow raising against a team like Shadow Creek. That just doesn’t happen to a team like that very often. The, the Sharks woke up.
Shadow Creek went on a 41-7 run to win, 41-24. Jacorey Watson continued shoulder the burden on offense, finishing with 167 yards, three touchdowns and an INT on 17-of-27 passing. Watson also had 11 carries for 100 yards and two more scores. Tylik Burton added 78 yards on 11 carries; Chris Stewart, Rahim Hutchins and Christian Seriale caught the Watson touchdown passes.
I wrote about Shadow Creek’s district outlook a week ago, but the Sharks still should be in control of this district. Pearland might offer the biggest challenge; the Oilers are next on the schedule for Shadow Creek.
News and Notes
In this section each week, I’ll hit on some of the scores that caught my eye, but didn’t have the time to discuss in full detail like the games above.
- Lamar, 28 – Clear Falls, 6
- College Park, 38 – Grand Oaks, 28
- Sam Houston, 29 – Aldine, 8
- The Woodlands, 55 – Oak Ridge, 26
- Cy Springs, 61 – Jersey Village, 28
- Hightower, 40 – Travis, 10
- Klein, 24 – Memorial, 21
- Porter, 27 – Kingwood Park, 21
- Yates, 46 – Wharton 23
- Stafford, 44 – Sealy 24
- Cy-Fair, 41 – Cy Woods, 25
- Atascocita, 43 – East St. Louis (IL), 13
- Morton Ranch, 22 – Paetow, 21
- Tomball, 17 – Dawson, 16
Player of the Week
My player-of-the-week is someone I knew was going to win one of these this season because we’ve all been watching him put up video game numbers for years. Heck, maybe that statement alone gives it away. My week three POTW is Willis quarterback DJ Lagway!
Lagway posts jaw dropping numbers on a semi-regular basis. Maybe that should be normal for a five-star quarterback, but he’s been doing this since his sophomore season and it’s been a lot of fun to follow. In Willis’ 54-21 win against reigning district champion New Caney, Lagway went for 339 yards and five touchdowns on an efficient 25-of-32 passing, and added 62 yards on six carries.
What to look forward to
Here are the games I’m most looking forward to next week. Games in Thursday or Saturday are noted. Week four is the most common bye week in the state, so the slate is lighter.
- Hightower at Ridge Point (TH)
- New Caney at The Woodlands (TH)
- Conroe at Willis
- Klein Oak at Dickinson
- Angleton at Foster
- Friendswood at Manvel
- Iowa Colony at Columbia
- George Ranch at Austin (SAT)
- Stafford at Lamar Consolidated (SAT)