High School Recap: Area Round
DCTF's Greg Tepper goes recaps the storylines in each Texas high school football playoff bracket.
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It’s Monday, and we just finished up the area round of the 2013 Texas high school football playoffs. Why not relive it? DCTF’s Greg Tepper recaps the biggest games and biggest storylines from each bracket.
5A Division I
Overall… A perfect example of what makes the Texas high school football playoffs so great: thrillers everywhere. DeSoto and Coppell played an instant classic, with the Eagles getting a TD pass from Desmon White to Kevin Thomas to score an unforgettable win. Mission Sharyland knocked out Harlingen for a second consecutive season, this time thanks to a Sean Landez TD catch with 4:51 left. And The Woodlands leaned on a revitalized defense and a game-winning fourth-quarter touchdown run from Christifer Andritsos to oust Round Rock. There weren’t any real upsets, per se, but it sure was fun to watch.
Team to Watch…Have we given Cy-Fair its due yet? That’s an outstanding win over Cinco Ranch, beating them at their own game: defense. The offense of RB Dillon Birden will need to come alive if they hope to oust buzzsaw Galena Park North Shore, but so far, so good for the Bobcats.
Regional Semifinal Game We’re Already Excited About…Southlake Carroll vs. Euless Trinity, 4 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium. Two perennial DFW-area powers lock horns, and it’ll be an exceptional clash in styles – Trinity’s bruising run game against Carroll’s pinpoint passing. Expect another great one.
5A Division II
Overall…We’ve got ourselves a Cinderella! San Antonio Johnson took down its second San Antonio mainstay in as many weeks, upending Brandeis in a defensive slugfest. Aside from that, Denton Ryan edged Waco Midway in a wild fourth quarter; Longview rallied from a slow start to take down McKinney Boyd; Manvel got a game-winning, come-from-behind TD pass from Deriq King to Jamond Manuel with six seconds left to topple Fort Bend Bush; and Cibolo Steele ended San Antonio Reagan’s perfect season thanks to five rushing scores from Justin Stockton.
Team to Watch…Fort Bend Elkins. The Knights officially have our attention after their impressive win over Port Arthur Memorial this week, holding PAM to just 179 total yards and getting four rushing touchdowns from Timothy Jackson. There’s a tall task ahead – perhaps the tallest task, actually – in Katy, but if they get a defensive effort like the one they had this week, they’ve got as good a shot as anyone of knocking off the defending champs.
Regional Semifinal Game We’re Already Excited About…Longview vs. A&M Consolidated. Consol proved its mettle again with a big win over Austin Westlake; next task is trying to bottle up the exceptional Loboes offense.
4A Division I
Overall…Tons and tons of storylines have emerged from our Sweet 16. Amarillo managed to squeak out a spot in the final 16 with a win over El Paso Chapin; Wylie soared to a victory over Mansfield Summit thanks to an offensive explosion from Kameron Kelly (3 receiving TDs, rush TD); Mangolia West continued its Cinderella story with another upset win, this one over Humble Summer Creek; and San Antonio Harlandale used 14 points in the first 15 seconds to spark its win over Rio Grande City.
Team to Watch…South Oak Cliff. I had an opportunity to watch the Golden Bears’ win over Frisco Centennial on Thursday night, and let me tell you: SOC is for real. The offense of RB Jordan Stevenson and QB Kenneth Arthur II is humming, and the defense is playing with fire. Next up: a date with a tricky Wylie squad.
Regional Semifinal Game We’re Already Excited About…Wolfforth Frenship vs. Birdville, 5 p.m. Saturday at Sweetwater. Birdville’s offense – especially the sensational RB Xavier Turner – is in high-gear; will it be enough to hand Frenship its first loss of the season?
4A Division II
Overall…It’s hard to say that there were any big shocking upsets, but it was still a fun round in this bracket. Alamo Heights’ win over Vandegrift probably qualifies as an upset, though we knew the Mules had this in them. Port Lavaca Calhoun scored an impressive win over Flour Bluff, while Elgin was just too much for Crosby (and holding that attack to 28 points is a sight to behold). Meanqhile, Frisco came back and grinded out a win over Dallas Lincoln, Wichita Falls kept its dream season alive with a tight win over Everman, and Aledo, well, Aledo did what they do, blowing out Boswell.
Team to Watch…Do not sleep on Brenham. The Cubs have been – with all due respect – perennial underachievers come playoff time recently, but they’ve been exceptional this year, now in the regional semifinals thanks to a big win over Dayton. If they take down Texas City next week, there will be no denying that the Cubs are back.
Regional Semifinal Matchup We’re Already Excited About…Canyon vs. Aledo, 3 p.m. Saturday at Snyder. Unbeaten squads face off in a battle of big offenses – Aledo with RB Jess Anders, Canyon with QB Blake Weaver. It’ll come down to defense.
3A Division I
Overall…Well, the mega-matchup of Carthage and Navasota ended up being no-contest, as Carthage took the fight to the Rattlers from the beginning, pulling away in the second half thanks to a big night from QB Blake Bogenschutz. Outside of that, it’s hard to say there were many upsets. Title favorites Stephenville, West Orange-Stark and La Grange rolled to big wins, while Kilgore needed some big plays down the stretch to get past Kaufman.
Team To Watch…Noticed what Big Spring is doing? The Steers keep on rolling after a 56-7 win over Andrews, and it’s not just QB Tobyn Tannehill (though he’s been great). RB Hunter Hill added four touchdown runs, and that offensive diversity (plus its defense) makes it a threat to Stephenville next week.
Regional Semifinal Matchup We’re Already Excited About…Jasper vs. West Orange-Stark, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Humble’s Turner Stadium. Jasper has re-established itself as a Piney Woods powerhouse this year; can they find a way past the always-bruising West Orange-Stark defense?
3A Division II
Overall…In our opinion – and again, it’s just our opinion – it went completely to chalk; no upsets this round. Graham looked fantastic in a weather-delayed win over Glen Rose; Shallowater scored an impressive win over Mnahans; Fairfield made beating Waco Connally look easy (and it’s not; just ask the rest of 17-3A); Coldspring-Oakhurst used defensive excellent to soar past La Marque; and Port Isabel got a huge game on both sides from star DE Jacques Guillot to get past Orange Grove.
Team to Watch…Gladewater, who got into the regional semifinals by the hair on their chinny-chin-chin with a comeback win over Atlanta. The key? Turning star DT Daylon Mack into a bulldozing RB, as he ran for 179 yards and three scores. With a weapon like that, the bracket had better be on notice.
Regional Semifinal Matchup We’re Already Excited About…Argyle vs. Gilmer, 6 p.m. Friday at Dallas’ Kincaide Stadium. No. 1 Argyle vs. No. 5 Gilmer. We rest our case.
2A Division I
Overall…Well, for one thing, we’re not entirely settled here! We’re still waiting on Denver City and Bangs to play, a game that was schedule to be played Friday night but delayed due to the big weather. As for the action that did happen, the games that most caught our eye was Troy’s impressive win over Marion; New Boston edging Whitesboro in a sloppy defensive slugfest; Daingerfield holding off a furious rally from Farmersville; and Godley upending title favorite Tatum in shockingly dominating fashion.
Team to Watch…Bushland, as the Falcons soar into the third round thanks to a 29-point explosion in the first quarter of their win over Clyde. Don’t be fooled by the final score: this game was 36-0 heading into the fourth quarter, before Clyde put some cosmetic scores on. This was a dominating performance from the running game of Ian Cannon and Tate Smalligan, and now they can shock the world with a win over Wall next week.
Regional Semifinal Matchup We’re Already Excited About…McGregor vs. Hallettsville, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Manor. McGregor was exceptional defensively in its win over Goliad last week; it’ll need every bit of that again if they’re going to take down Hallettsville.
2A Division II
Overall…Any upsets? Nah, not really. The closest we could get to it would be Centerville taking down Garrison (though the Tigers have been pretty darn salty this year) or Crawford’s win over Arp (though maybe it’s time we just start considering Crawford a legit state title contender). The game that most caught our eye, though: Abernathy 7, Crane 0. A low-scoring, frankly ugly affair that was very heavily affected by weather, the Antelopes’ defense stood the tallest of any unit.
Team to Watch…Scurry-Rosser. If you haven’t paid attention to what the Wildcats are doing, now’s the time to find out. They’ve got outstanding speed all over the field with WR Jalen Blanton, RB Rodney Sample and QB Paten Snell, and their defense is flying around the field. Beware Scurry-Rosser.
Regional Semifinal Matchup We’re Already Excited About…Refugio vs. Rogers, 7 p.m. Friday at Cypress’ Pridgeon Stadium. Perennial 2A powers clash, and last week , they combined to beat their respective area-round foes by a combined 111-13. So, yeah, expect a great one.
1A Division I
Overall…Similar to 2A Division I, we’re still waiting on one result that’s been pushed back due to weather – Seymour and New Deal play today in Region I. Other than that, there were definitely a couple of surprises. DeLeon taking down Lindsay in a defensive struggle most certainly qualifies as a stunner, as does Flatonia’s takedown of District 16-1A DI champion La Villa. But the result that most caught our attention: Shiner 14, Mason 13. We knew it would be a low-scoring, defense-first slugfest, and that’s what we got, with the Comanches pulling out a tremendous victory. Also of note: Stratford’s dominating win over Anson, a team that had been ranked as high as 3rd in TexasFootball.com’s rankings. They’re the team to beat in Division I – or, at least, one of them.
Team to Watch…Well hello, Thorndale! Granted, Kenedy came into the game at just 5-4, but you don’t often see 60-7 games in the second round of the playoffs. The star was, by far, Dillon Bankston: an INT return for a TD and two TD receptions. Next up: a date with an equally dominant Ganado squad.
Regional Semifinal Matchup We’re Already Excited About…West Sabine vs. Mart, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rusk. No. 3 West Sabine (and my pick to win the DI title) against No. 6 Mart (and the defending runner-up). You’ve gotta love it.
1A Division II
Overall…Still waiting on one result – Gruver and Seagraves play today at 4 p.m. – but overall, there was no shortage of fireworks. The defending champs are done, as Iraan took out Munday in a double-overtime thriller. Also out: Hubbard, the No. 7 team in TexasFootball.com’s rankings, who were taken down by Chilton. Elsewhere, La Pryor took down Burton, Falls City proved that its first win over D’Hanis was no fluke, and Wellington handled Sudan.
Team to Watch…Muenster, who had to wait an extra day to take down a solid Wink squad. What’s most encouraging about the Hornets: the defense, where DE Cole Walterscheid is taking over come playoff time. They’ll need that to continue if they want to make it to Arlington, especially with unbeaten San Angelo TLC on deck.
Regional Semifinal Matchup We’re Already Excited About…Chilton vs. Tenaha, 2 p.m. Friday at Athens. The runner-up from last year’s title game (Tenaha) taking on one of the hottest teams in DII (Chilton). Prepare for fireworks.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.