The Cooldown: Week 8

Week eight was a good one! We recap a big win for Cy Park, Ridge Point keeps rolling and Bellville passes a big test, in addition to the weekly score recap, player-of-the-week and a look-ahead to next week.

Cy Park rolls past Bridgeland

Bridgeland star quarterback Conner Weigman missed most of his second-straight game with an injury, but he has a message co-signed by opponent and soon-to-be-teammate Harold Perkins.

Weigman clearly wanted to be out there but wasn’t healthy enough to go after playing two series in the first half before heading back to the bench. Bridgeland clearly needed him to be out there as the offense sputtered in a 35-13 loss to Cy Park, gaining just 151 total yards. Needless to say, Cy Park’s offense did not sputter.

Quarterback Edward Dixon had a fantastic night, throwing for 238 yards and three scores on 10-of-21. He completed less than half of his passes, but they went for nearly 24 yards on average when completed. His longest completion came on this touchdown strike to Harold Perkins, who might have been more wide open than any receiver in the state this year.

Perkins finished with three catches for 81 yards and that 57-yard score, and added 25 yards on six carries. Cameron King paced the Tigers ground attack with 61 yards and a score on 10 carries while Nathan Livingston was a Swiss Army Knife, running for 42 yards on 13 carries and hauling in three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Cy Park is now 7-0 on the year and the last remaining unbeaten in 16-6A. Cy Ranch has one loss on the ledger but does have a perfect district record, and it looks like the showdown between those two in two weeks will be for the district title. First, Cy Park will have to take care of business at Cy Woods next week.

Bridgeland dropped to 5-2 (2-2) as the offense struggled with Weigman for the second-straight week. They’ll look to get back on track against what are currently the two worst teams in the district in Cy Springs and Cy Lakes in the next two weeks. Then, the Bears close out the regular season against Cy Falls in what could be an important game for district seeding.

Ridge Point downs top competition in George Ranch

Not many teams can hold a candle to what Ridge Point has in 20-6A. If anyone George Ranch could have been it… but after last week, maybe not.

The Panthers used a dominant fourth quarter to turn in a close game into a boat race. The Longhorns trailed 23-14 heading into the final frame before getting shut out 21-0 in the quarter for a final of a 44-14 Ridge Point drubbing.

Bert Emanuel continued to show why he’s one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state. Emanuel threw for 162 yards and two scores on 10-of-23 while adding 103 yards and three more touchdowns on 15 carries. That’s 16.2 yards-per-completion and 6.9 yards-per-rush which is quite impressive.

Emanuel led the rushing attack but just barely. Ezell Jolly also finished with 15 carries, going for 100 yards. Marvin Session paced the receiver room with four catches for 85 yards and a score. Wilson Batiste hauled in the other Emanuel touchdown pass, finishing with two catches for 26 yards.

George Ranch tailback Hymond Drinkard has been a known commodity in 20-6A for quite awhile and he put up another stellar performance in the loss. Drinkard carried 23 times for 140 yards and a score in the loss. Joseph Wilson led the Horns with 71 yards on seven catches while Andrew Psyk caught the lone touchdown pass; his only catch going for 10 yards. Quarterback Cole Murphy threw for 66 yards and the TD to Psyk on 11-of-19 passing.

George Ranch (4-3, 2-2) is currently on the outside looking in with regards to the playoff picture. The Longhorns sit at fifth in the district behind Bush, Ridge Point, Travis and Clements. The Longhorns can easily secure a spot with a win against Clements and last place Dulles, but will face a big test at Bush this week.

Ridge Point (6-1, 4-0) continues its march through 20-6A but has two more games left against likely playoff opponents in Bush (4-3, 4-0) and Travis (4-3, 3-1). Next up is Elkins at home.

Bellville blows out impressive Sealy squad

Not many teams can hang with No. 6 Bellville. On paper, Sealy figured to be one of those teams. That’s why football is played on a field and not on paper.

Of course, it didn’t help that Sealy was without fantastic junior quarterback D’vonne Hmielewski in this one. Unfortunately for Sealy, they might’ve lost big even with Hmielewski because a guy named Richard Reese stands on the Brahma sidelines. Bellville is outscoring its opponents 375-72 this season and averages 53.6 yards-per-game, in large part due to Reese and Robert Briggs.

Bellville racked up 42 points on just six pass attempts from quarterback Reid McCann, who finished 3-of-6 for 47 yards and a score. One of those passes was a 40-yard touchdown strike to Reese, who led the team in receiving on his only catch of the night. Reese racked up 255 yards and four scores on 21 carries while Briggs rushed for 76 on 13 attempts. McCann accounted for the other rushing touchdown.

Expect more of the same from Bellville as they close out the season at Brookshire Royal, at La Marque and home to Sweeny before the playoffs. Then, No. 4 China Spring and No. 5 West Orange-Stark figure to be the biggest obstacles for Bellville’s state title game hopes. Also ahead of the Brahmas in the rankings are Carthage, Gilmer and Celina who rank 1-2-3.

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.

  • Conroe survived a high-scoring shootout for the second week in a row with a 41-35 win against a solid Grand Oaks squad
  • Deer Park took down Dobie 49-28 in what could be the de-facto district title game
  • North Shore smoked Summer Creek 45-16 a week after Summer Creek took Atascocita to overtime
  • Klein picked up a big district win, 28-7, over Klein Forest
  • Hightower blanked Kempner in a tune-up for a big showdown with Paetow this week
  • Furr came from behind to beat Yates 27-19
  • Pearland survived a close one against Alief Taylor, 36-30
  • Jersey Village stayed perfect by doubling up Cy Ridge, 35-17
  • Stratford hung on for a close 24-17 win over Memorial
  • Dawson survived a scare from Strake Jesuit, 24-21
  • Katy Taylor picked up a big district win against Mayde Creek, 39-22
  • Klein Collins shocked Klein Cain, 36-21
  • Klein Oak took down Tomball 31-14
  • Friendswood stayed hot with a 28-3 win over La Porte
  • Magnolia West hung on for a 21-14 win in the Magnolia Bowl
  • Montgomery picked up a big 35-28 win over A&M Consolidated
  • Crosby raced past Texas City 57-28
  • El Campo out-raced Brazosport, 69-47
  • Stafford took down Needville, 35-14

Player of the Week

Rivalry games are the best, and maybe even more so in two-school towns. That’s part of what makes the Magnolia Bowl so special. The Magnolia Bowl also happened to be one of the only close games last week. So naturally, my player-of-the-week goes to the star of the Magnolia Bowl – Magnolia West running back Kai Aroca!

The junior back carried just 10 times but racked up 130 yards and a touchdown on those 10 carries. He also caught two passes for 16 yards. That score and 146 total yards in a game where points were at a premium is player-of-the-week material.

Aroca is having an outstanding junior season and he’s up to 641 yards and eight scores and averages more than 10 yards-per-carry according to Maxpreps. A rivalry win advances the Mustangs to 7-0 with Porter, New Caney and district-favorite College Station left on the schedule. It’s the best season for Mag West since 2018 and will likely finish no worse than third in the district, though New Caney and College Station will be tough tests. Congratulations to Kai Aroca on an outstanding performance in what is typically the most important game of the year for the Mustangs!

What to look forward to

Here are the best games on the week nine slate. With just three games left, playoff races are starting to take shape and games are getting more important than ever. Here’s what to look forward to.

  • Strake Jesuit and Alief Taylor battle, each looking to lock up the last 23-6A playoff spot (TH)
  • Mayde Creek looks for its first district win against playoff-hopeful Morton Ranch (TH)
  • Hightower takes on Paetow to decide who the 10-5A-I champion will be (TH)
  • Sterling and Willowridge battle to determine playoff positioning (TH)
  • Lake Creek looks to get back in the playoff hunt against struggling Huntsville (TH)
  • College Park and Conroe fight for 13-6A playoff seeding (F)
  • Cy-Fair and Memorial face off for playoff positioning (F)
  • Katy Taylor looks to wrestle the final playoff spot away from Cinco Ranch in 19-6A (F)
  • Seven Lakes and Tompkins battle for the 2/3 spots in 19-6A (F)
  • Klein Cain looks to rebound against Klein Oak (F)
  • Foster and Angleton battle to determine the final playoff spot in 10-5A-I (F)
  • Barbers Hill faces Nederland (F)
  • Montgomery looks to stay perfect against Lamar Consolidated (F)
  • Needville battles Brazosport (F)
  • Stafford faces off against Columbia (F)
  • Yates looks to bounce back against Washington (F)
  • Sealy looks to bounce back against Sweeny (F)
  • Summer Creek looks to lock up the last 21-6A playoff spot against West Brook (SAT)
  • Bridgeland looks to bounce back against Cy Springs (SAT)
  • Cy Ranch looks to stay atop 16-6A against Langham Creek (SAT)
  • George Ranch battles district leader Bush (SAT)
  • Lamar takes on a good Westside squad (SAT)
  • Klein battles resurgent Klein Collins (SAT)

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