5A/4A Review: Desperate measures
The final Friday night of the regular season delivered last week, giving us a dizzying array of prime-time performances and heart-stopping finishes. Here's a recap of the 5A/4A action.
Last Friday night was my favorite night of the year.
It always is — Week 10's Friday night is so spectacular, so far-reaching, so dramatic, that if it doesn't get your blood pumping, then you need a doctor. It's a thrill, everytime.
I would say that this one had a little something special to it, but that would be a disservice to all the other Week 10's I've enjoyed in my time here. I'll let you be the judge — enjoy.
San Angelo Central 28, Midland Lee 21
Once Midland lost to Abilene, 28-21, Friday night, the winner of this one knew it was going to make the playoffs (along with Odessa Permian). The two postseason hopefuls didn’t disappoint, as Central erased a 14-0 halftime deficit with a 21-point third quarter. There was a ton of pivotal plays here, perhaps most importantly a 15-yard TD pass from Central QB Mickey Scott on fourth-and-11 early in the third. But the late stages of the game had fireworks, too, notably Central WR Nick Barron’s 54-yard catch and run for a 28-21 lead and a Lee fumble — at the Central 5-yard line — with just 3:24 to play. Central will now see EP Franklin — a team it’s played once this season already — in the first round.
Irving MacArthur 35, Irving 34 (OT)
Irving came out hot in this one, knowing it needed to win to keep its postseason hopes alive. The 14-7 lead it built in the first quarter was a step in the right direction. But MacArthur fired back with 21 points in the second, all on Jourdan McNeill runs (11, 8 and 3 yards). We went in to halftime at 28-21. Suddenly the defenses stepped up, though, and after a scoreless third, the only points of the second half came on Irving RB Morris Shell’s 1-yard run with 3:33 to play. So we went to overtime, where McNeill struck again, immediately — a 25-yard TD run that, with PAT, put MacArthur up seven. Irving answered with a score of its own, but opted for a two-point conversion and the win. The pass came up empty, and MacArthur went to the playoffs.
Round Rock 30, Stony Point 29
With Round Rock desperately needing a win to make the postseason out of district 16-5A, RB Deandre Story turned in the top performance of his young career, churning out 159 yards and a game-winning 6-yard TD run with 1:22 left to play. Stony Point kept Round Rock at arm’s length early, as Deshawn Littlejohn picked off two passes in the first half. But the Dragons went back to the ground game in the final two quarters to put themselves back on top, and after Story did the dirty work in the last few minutes, Brandon Roberto picked up an INT of his own to ice Stony Point’s last-ditch effort.
Cy-Fair 15, Cy Creek 14
Whereas Irving’s attempt at a game-winning two-point conversion try in overtime came up empty, Cy-Fair’s roll of the dice was more forgiving: after a Ryan Bradshaw touchdown catch, Will Dawson’s conversion catch put Cy-Fair ahead by a point with just 1:14 to go. Even then, things again came down to Bradshaw, who, after catching a walk-off touchdown pass last week, blocked Cy Creek’s 40-yard game-winning field goal attempt to seal the win and put Cy-Fair back into the postseason. Though Bradshaw went home a justified hero, Cy-Fair QB Logan Taylor was excellent, too — 233 passing yards, 2 TDs.
Katy Seven Lakes 31, Katy Morton Ranch 30 (OT)
Speaking of game-winning two-point conversions, why not take a look at another? Seven Lakes built a sturdy 21-7 lead at the beginning of the third quarter when QB Kyle Postma ran for a 7-yard score at the 9:11 mark, but Morton Ranch roared back with 16 of its own (sandwiched around a Seven Lakes safety) to tie the game with two minutes remaining. We went to overtime shortly there afterwards, where Morton Ranch RB Deion Williams (37 carries, 249 yards, 1 TD) opened the scoring with an 8-yard TD to put the pressure on Seven Lakes. Postma struck again from six yards out, but instead of going for the PAT and the tie, Seven Lakes coach Lydell Wilson put the ball back in Postma’s hands, and he delivered with a game-winning run to put the Spartans in the postseason.
La Porte 37, PA Memorial 33
Just like in its win over North Shore last week, La Porte jumped all over Memorial early in this one, building a 16-0 lead in the first quarter on two Johnathan Lewis runs (one from 85 yards) and a safety. But Memorial woke up after that, scoring three times in the second quarter to make things respectable heading into halftime. But La Porte had one last trick up its sleeve — after Memorial scored with 33 seconds left in the half to make it 23-19, Lewis scored again, this time on a 25-yard pass with 11 seconds to go, to bubble the lead back to 30-19. Memorial got two second-half touchdowns out of QB Ricky Fisk, but La Porte returned an INT for a TD and held Memorial scoreless over the final ten minutes to clinch a 21-5A district title and stick Memorial with Manvel in the first round.
FB Bush 33, FB Hightower 30 (2OT)
Needing a win — or a series of losses from other teams — to make the playoffs, Hightower couldn’t have seen things start any worse when Bush built a 23-7 lead at the 9:13 mark of the fourth quarter. But sensing the night closing in, Hightower rallied in spectacular fashion, getting a rushing and passing touchdown out of QB Delvience Chandler (with two Chandler two-point conversion runs, as well) in the final seven minutes to tie the ball game. Somehow, Bush managed to stem the tide — after the two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime period, Bush got a 34-yard field goal and a defensive stop to put things away and, eventually, knock Hightower out of playoff contention.
SA Clark 27, SA Warren 26 (OT)
All these touchdowns are starting to get exhausting, aren’t they? Clark, needing a win and some help to get into the postseason picture, dramatically shifted its fortunes right before halftime — trailing 10-0 with seconds left to go before the break, Clark QB Chase Jones threw a 9-yard TD pass to Trenton Ford to shift the momentum. A missed PAT left things at 10-6. Clark stayed hot in the second half, rattling off 14 unanswered points heading into the fourth, but Warren forced overtime on a 37-yard field goal with 44 seconds to play. Clark took the ball first in extra time, and RB Branden Valle scored from two yards out to put the pressure on Warren. Warren answered with a touchdown run of its own, but decided to gamble on the two-point try. It failed, and Clark advanced to the postseason.
McAllen Rowe 50, Weslaco East 43 (2OT)
Another unlikely playoff run in South Texas, Rowe salvaged its season with a can-you-believe it win over the best team in 31-5A. The Warriors came out red-hot, building a 19-7 lead in the first half before East got its legs underneath it. That’s when the adversity came — three rapid-fire East touchdowns (in a seven-minute period) to flip the script at 28-19. Rowe, like it’s done all season, bounced back with two scores of its own to make things 33-28, but an East touchdown and Rowe field goal late in the fourth eventually sent us to overtime. After trading touchdowns in the first extra period, Rowe WR Eric Perez took his only carry of the night for a touchdown in the second overtime to put East in the hot seat. The Rowe defense, so often ridiculed this season, stood tall, forcing an incompletion on fourth down to win and go to the playoffs.
Little Elm 44, The Colony 29
Little Elm RB Ke’aun Kinner’s jaw-dropping season continues, as his 21 carries accounted for 225 yards and two scores in this must-have win, giving him 340 carries, 2,692 yards and 26 TDs on the year — talk about an area MVP! The Colony kept pace early after Little Elm struck twice in the first four minutes (once on a Kinner TD run, and once on a Devante’ Pullum run), getting two touchdown runs of its own to provide the bulk of a 21-14 first quarter. The scoring slowed down after that, but Little Elm still strung together 16 unanswered points over the second and third quarters to put The Colony behind for good. The win clinched a playoff spot for Little Elm, who now sees Mesquite Poteet in the first round.
Waxahachie 16, Ennis 0
Waxahachie took care of business in this one, clinching a playoff spot with a win over its biggest rival — and doing it in style. The Indian defense and special teams was excellent, recovering a game-opening onside kick and then grinding Ennis to a halt on four separate drives inside the Waxahachie 35-yard line. The game only had one touchdown — a 29-yard run by Treyvon Hughes — but that would be enough. Now Ennis has to hope its offense rounds into form against Whitehouse in the first round.
John Tyler 45, Whitehouse 38
Speaking of Whitehouse, this may have been the game of the weekend, even if the only thing on the line was the 16-4A district title (well, I guess there was Whitehouse’s bid for a 10-0 season, too). And at first, it looked like Whitehouse was rolling to a shockingly easy win — the Wildcats built a 24-0 lead in the second quarter behind the stellar play of QB Pat Mahomes (428 yards, 4 TDs passing, 1 rushing) before John Tyler started its comeback. Late in the game, with the score tied at 38, John Tyler DE Tyus Bowser, who finished with a ridiculous five sacks, made the play of the night with a sack-and-strip of Mahomes inside the Whitehouse redzone. JT recovered, and DeQuante Woods scored from nine yards out to set the final margin with less than five minutes to play. Tyler QB Greg Ward was astounding, finishing the night with 323 yards and 4 TDs passing and 162 yards and a 1 TD rushing.
Summer Creek 45, Dayton 7
Summer Creek left no doubt in this battle of 9-0 teams, roasting Dayton to the tune of 24-0 at halftime and just 111 yards and 8 first downs allowed. Summer Creek QB Aaron Sharp was excellent, throwing for 239 yards and 2 TDs (with one INT) on 61 percent passing. There’s not much to see here — Summer Creek dominated in every aspect and never punted — but just go ahead and take this as a notice that this squad is legit. Like, title-contending legit.
Boerne Champion 49, Seguin 33
Needing a win by ten points or more and a loss by Lockhart to make the playoffs on the final Friday night of the 2012 season, Champion got both to complete one of the biggest shock runs in Texas this year. The important thing wasn’t the win — it was the margin, as dictated by district tiebreakers. So even though Champion looked to have put the game away with a 14-0 run covering the entire third quarter and the first few minutes of the fourth, Seguin put the Chargers backing the danger zone with a 26-yard field goal with under eight minutes to play. Champion stepped up to the plate just a minute later, though, getting a one-yard TD run out of Kyle Poeske at the 6:42 mark and shutting out Seguin the rest of the way to finish the night on a high note.
Travis Stewart is the managing editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.