The Cooldown: Week 9

Cypress ISD must have gotten a taste of the water they drink over in 15-6A – a district we’ve come to know for crazy outcomes and upsets – because the entire playoff picture was shaken up in 16-6A last week. There were plenty of other interesting games as well, as playoff races start to finalize. Check out the full week nine recap here!

Klein Cain bounces back, picks up blowout win

Klein Cain bounced back in a big way after a surprising loss to Klein Collins last week. The Hurricanes didn’t match their typical scoring output in the 40’s and 50’s, but did hold Klein Oak to single digits in Cain’s 31-3 win. It’s the first time this season that Cain has held an opponent to under 10 points.

The Cain defense was spectacular, holding Klein Oak quarterback Preston Hatter to just 10 yards on 2-of-10 passing and racked up three interceptions. Hatter also had 22 carries for 119 yards to lead Oak’s rushing attack.

For as good as the Hurricane defense was, the offense was equally as good. Quarterback Carson Roper completed 10-of-15 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown; Matthew Golden was the leading receiver with 86 yards on six catches and Jaelen Smith caught the lone touchdown pass. The rushing attack was superb as well, with Roper going for 90 yards and two scores, Ramir McCray racked up 54 yards and it was Drew Stokes leading the way with 117 yards and a score on just eight carries.

Cain looks slotted into a second-place finish in 15-6A. Klein Collins will likely win the district as they face the bottom two teams in the district to finish, they would have to lose both of those games to not become district champs. Cain is currently second at 4-1 in district play, leaving Klein Oak in a three-way battle with Klein and Tomball for the final two playoff spots, all currently 2-2 in district play. Tomball still has to play Klein Cain, so Oak and Klein might have the advantage for those final two spots.

My guess? (1) Klein Collins, (2) Klein Cain, (3) Klein, (4) Klein Oak.

Cy Woods upends district favorite Cy Park

The picture is oddly pretty clear for 15-6A as discussed above; usually that district throws us for a loop late in the season with a few upsets. I guess 15-6A passed that property over to its 16-6A neighbors.

Bridgeland originally looked like the district favorite, blowing out every team it played. But then star quarterback Conner Weigman suffered an injury and the Bears lost two games in a row. Then the mantle fell to Cy Park and Cy Ranch, the two teams to beat Bridgeland. Then those two decided they didn’t really want to be the district favorites… OK, that’s an exaggeration, but both were upset last week. Cy Ranch fell to Langham Creek 35-34 while Cy Park lost to a resurgent Cy Woods. Here’s how the Wildcats pulled off the 42-37 upset.

Trey Craft was efficient all night at quarterback, save for one interception. He finished with 180 yards and two scores on 11-of-17 passing while adding 84 yards and three more scores on the ground to lead the Wildcats in rushing. Philip White caught both of Craft’s touchdown passes, catching three total passes for 67 yards while JaVarian Stewart led the receivers with six catches for 90 yards.

The Wildcat defense limited five-star recruit Harold Perkins to 82 yards on 11 total touches, and no touchdowns. Nate Livingston led Cy Park in rushing with seven carries for 76 yards and a score, while quarterback Edward Dixon tossed a touchdown and an INT on 9-of-22 for 130 yards.

The good news for Cy Park is that Cy Ranch also lost, meaning next weeks’ showdown between those two could be for the 16-6A title given that they are the only two schools with one district loss so far. Behind that, Bridgeland, Cy Woods and Langham Creek all hold district records of 3-2, with Bridgeland holding wins over both of its competitors. That means the final playoff spot will likely come down to Cy Woods and Langham Creek, but Cy Woods holds the head-to-head advantage there. Langham Creek upset Cy Ranch last week, and it will need to pull off another upset to get into the playoffs – that’s very possible with the way this district has shaken out so far this season.

Right now, here’s what I’m thinking: (1) Cy Park, (2) Cy Ranch, (3) Bridgeland, (4) Cy Woods.

Dawson beats Alvin to secure a playoff spot

Dawson kept it rolling with a 35-21 win against an Alvin squad that may not make the playoffs, but is still in the hunt and absolutely deserves some shine. The Jackets have one win in the last three seasons, but are 4-4 this year and will secure a playoff spot if it can beat Strake Jesuit and Alief Taylor to close the season.

As great as that is, Dawson still won the game. Junior quarterback Colin Johnson was outstanding, passing for 231 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-16. Sophomore Bryce Burgess ran 11 times for 84 yards and two scores while senior wide out Ashton Stroman went absolutely nuclear: five catches for 179 yards and two scores.

That moves the Eagles to 6-2 (4-1) and third in district 23-6A, the lone loss coming to Shadow Creek. Dawson still has a chance to finish second in the district with the season finale against rival Pearland still on the schedule. A win against the 6-2 Oilers – currently with a perfect district record but with games against Shadow Creek and Dawson to close out the season – would give Dawson the second spot. Elsewhere, Alief Taylor can clinch the final playoff spot with a win against Alvin in the season finale.

Here’s my prediction: (1) Shadow Creek, (2) Pearland Dawson, (3) Pearland, (4) Alief Taylor.

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. There were an abnormal amount of blowouts and shutouts this week, so this list is a little shorter but don’t worry – next weeks’ slate of games might be the best all season and you can check that out below.

  • Alief Taylor beat Strake Jesuit by a whisker, 21-20, a result that could decide the final playoff spot in 23-6A
  • Aldine Nimitz beat Aldine Davis 35-13, which could force Westfield to the Division I playoff bracket
  • Jersey Village stayed perfect with a 55-3 win over Spring Woods
  • Klein Forest out-lasted Tomball Memorial 54-43 for its first district win in a decade
  • Paetow roped Hightower 55-7, more on that below…
  • Huntsville got back on track with a 40-28 win against Lake Creek
  • College Park impressed in a 48-14 win over a usually high-flying Conroe squad
  • Willis gained a valuable 33-9 district win against Oak Ridge
  • Cy-Fair blanked Memorial 20-0
  • North Shore shutout an impressive CE King squad 17-0
  • Kingwood upset rival Humble 27-20
  • Angleton survived against Foster 26-25 to gain an inside track on the playoff race
  • New Caney “fetty-wapped” Waller, 38-17… or 17-38, depending on how you look at it
  • Barbers Hill smoked Nederland 66-28
  • Montgomery stayed perfect with a 41-24 win over Lamar Consolidated
  • Huffman-Hargrave had no trouble with Splendora, 41-7

Player of the Week

Paetow dominated No. 10 Hightower in such a way that the Panthers forced to pick two players-of-the-week. I had no choice! I also want to shoutout Cy Woods quarterback Trey Craft and Dawson wide receiver Ashton Stroman who were also under consideration here, however…

The player(s)-of-the-week are Paetow quarterback CJ Dumas and running back Damyrion Phillips! Paetow took down a great Hightower squad 55-7 in what many thought would be a close game. Paetow firmly established itself as a serious threat to make a run at a state title with the win.

Dumas completed 13-of-17 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns against one INT. That’s a completion rate higher than 76 percent and 17.5 yards-per-completion! For as good as that was, Phillips stole the show. He carried 17 times for 153 yards and three scores, while catching three balls for 50 yards and a touchdown. Phillips put Hightower to bed before they hardly had a chance to know what happened. Paetow has a de-facto district championship game against Manvel this week before wrapping up the regular season at Angleton. Manvel will certainly be a tough test and could be the game of the week.

What to look forward to

Here are the best week 10 games on the schedule. It is probably the most loaded slate of games the Houston area has seen this season with multiple de-facto district championship games and playoff hopes on the line. Can’t wait to see how it all shakes out!

  • Willis faces off with Grand Oaks in an important game for playoff seeding (TH)
  • Cy Ranch and Cy Park battle for the 16-6A crown (TH)
  • Alief Taylor has a must-win game against rival Hastings to determine the Alief city championship (F)
  • Alvin also has a must-win game against Strake Jesuit to keep its playoff hopes alive (F)
  • CE King looks to get back on track against West Brook (F)
  • Clear Springs looks to challenge Dickinson for the 24-6A title (F)
  • Conroe looks to rebound against a hot The Woodlands squad (F)
  • Atascocita looks to pry away the 21-6A title from North Shore in a battle of top-8 teams in the state (F)
  • Lamar looks for revenge for last years’ loss to Heights (F)
  • Klein Oak and Klein battle for playoff positioning (F)
  • Paetow battles Manvel for the 10-5A-I title (F)
  • Magnolia West faces New Caney in a big district game (F)
  • Stafford takes on Brazosport in what should be a good game (F)
  • Ridge Point takes on Bush in the de-facto 20-6A championship (SAT)
  • Memorial battles Cy Creek for playoff positioning (SAT)
  • George Ranch and Clements battle for 20-6A playoff positioning (SAT)
  • Tomball looks to get back into the playoff picture against Klein Cain (SAT)
  • Jersey Village battles Stratford for the 17-6A crown with each team currently 8-0 (SAT)