5A/4A Review: All games recapped
We recap every minute of the action from the third round of the playoffs in Class 5A and 4A.
It took me three weeks, but I finally lost one of my Class 4A state title picks. I just never expected it would have come on 4th-and-20 with five seconds left to play.
Of course, high drama was the norm in 4A action this week, as several top teams went down in stunning, hard-to-predict finishes. We've also added in our 5A review as well. Here's a recap of the action:
DeSoto 24, Arlington Bowie 6
What actually happened: DeSoto's defense stepped up its game yet again this week, and now it's allowed just 35 points total over the last three games: 15 to Harker Heights in a massive blowout, 14 points to Coppell is a significant blowout, and now 6 to Bowie in a fairly close game. Bowie's only touchdown came early in the second quarter, when Eric Rivers darted into the endzone from four yards out, but other than that the game belonged to DeSoto — the Eagles forced three punts, three turnovers on downs, one INT and a missed field goal. On the offensive side, RB Dontre Wilson was, as usual, spectacular — he ran for 123 yards and two scores and caught another one, bringing his season total to 44 total TDs now. That's a ridiculous number.
Southlake Carroll 16, Euless Trinity 7
Pick: Southlake Carroll
What actually happened: Southlake Carroll, so often viewed as an offense-first team, is rapidly becoming known as one of the toughest defenses in the entire state, and this result proved it yet again. LB Steven Bergmark had the game of a lifetime: he ran for a touchdown, blocked a field goal, recovered a fumble and then picked off a pass to almost single-handedly destroy Trinity's offensive chances. Bergmark's run was actually Carroll's only touchdown of the day, and it couldn't have come at a better time — with 13 seconds left in the first half to set a 10-7 halftime lead. In the second half, it was all Carroll's defense, with a pair of Drew Brown field goals sprinkled in for good measure. Trinity's defense was pretty darn good, too, but in those final two quarters, here's what Trinity's offensive drives looked like: fumble, punt, three-and-out, interception in the redzone, end of game. Up against one of the most physical offenses in the area, that's a pretty strong statement for the Carroll defense.
Dallas Skyline 38, Spring Westfield 33
Pick: Dallas Skyline
What actually happened: Westfield pushed Skyline to the limit in this one, and even had a chance to steal it right at the end — Westfield had a first down from the Skyline 12 yard line with less than 15 seconds left before Skyline picked off a pass to end any threat. Talk about drama! But give a lot of credit to Skyline for rebounding in a big way in this one, as Westfield built a 16-7 halftime lead on the shoulders of two Emmit Raleigh touchdowns and a safety. Skyline started the comeback in the third quarter, rattling off 17 unanswered points, the last of which came on a big 28-yard fumble return for a score by Derrick Dixon. Westfield, down but not out, bounced back with a touchdown of its own before Skyline landed a haymaker in the fourth quarter: a 71-yard touchdown run from Ellis Onic that put Skyline up 38-27. The hidden play to all of this? Westfield scored a touchdown with 1:02 left to make it 38-33, and then went for two to set up a three-point game. The conversion failed; had it not, Westfield could have kicked a field goal at the end of its final drive to tie it instead of having to go for the touchdown.
Allen 56, RR Westwood 24
What actually happened: I mentioned on our radio show, the DCTF Radio Hour, last week that I thought Westwood was good enough to really push Allen for a half. Turns out I overshot it a bit — after the two teams traded scores in the first quarter to make it 14-10, Allen scored 28 unanswered in the second and 14 unanswered in the third to put this game far, far out of reach. The two keys in the run were QB Kyler Murray, who ran for two touchdowns (one from 47 yards out) and threw for a third, and a suffocating defense that returned two interceptions for touchdowns (one from Christian Sam, one from Chad Adams). The Allen front seven, as usual, was excellent — Westwood managed just 44 rushing yards on 21 carries.
GP North Shore 17, Alief Elsik 10
Pick: North Shore
What actually happened: This was one of the most physical, hard-hitting games in the state this weekend, and it left both teams gassed and battered. But it was North Shore, which fell behind early, 7-0, after a series of offensive hiccups, that ended up grinding out a win. QB Micah Thomas, who was hurting with an ankle and hand injury, still hit RB Jared Pendleton early in the second quarter for a game-tying 7-yard TD pass (halftime was 7-7), then Pendleton found the endzone again on a 21-yard run late in the third to give the Mustangs their first lead. Both teams kicked short field goals in the fourth quarter, but Elsik never could find the endzone after that.
Houston Lamar 24, FB Travis 7
Pick: Houston Lamar
What actually happened: Neither offense really lit the world on fire here — Lamar finished with just 185 total yards, Travis only 220 — but you have to give credit to a Lamar defense that is specializing in dropping a wet blanket over every game it's a part of these days: it held Travis to just two yards per carry and kept QB Teagan Nehls to under 50 percent passing (with an interception). Lamar QB Darrell Colbert completed just seven passes, but two went for touchdowns, and he also ran for a score that set a 10-0 halftime lead before Colbert threw both of those scoring tosses in the third quarter to put Travis at arm's length.
SA O'Connor 44, Laredo Alexander 24
Pick: SA O'Connor
What actually happened: This week didn't go so well for the Rio Grande Valley, as you'll see throughout our 5A/4A review, but it was all smiles for San Antonio and Austin. This game wasn't even as close as the score indicates, really — O'Connor built a 41-0 lead midway through the third quarter before Alexander scored 16 points in the last seven minutes of the game. The O'Connor offense was efficient — nearly 500 yards of offense, one punt, no turnovers, and 6.3 yards per carry. Alexander piled up some yardage late in the game, but the defense was better than the statistics indicated, too.
SA Madison 40, Mission Sharyland 13
Pick: SA Madison
What actually happened: This game was starting to look pretty clear-cut early in the second quarter, when Madison RB Marquis Warford ripped off a 79-yard touchdown to build a 19-3 lead. When WR Byron Daniels hauled in a 56-yard touchdown catch from Tyler Mangold a few minutes later to make it 26-3, the writing was on the wall. Warford opened up the second half with a 75-yard touchdown run to put everything away, and that was actually more or less the story of the game — Madison averaged 8.1 YPC, and Sharyland could only muster 1.8. The Sharyland defense just wasn't quite good enough to slow down Madison's bevy of skill players, but give credit to Madison's defense, too — they've improved a lot as the year has gone along.
Cedar Hill 49, Arlington 14
Pick: Cedar Hill
What actually happened: Cedar Hill opened with a quick score when QB Damion Hobbs found the endzone from 13 yards out to make it 7-0, and Arlington answered just as quickly when RB Brandon Washington scored a little more than two minutes later from 14 yards away to tie it up. The Colts forced a punt right after that, too. But Cedar Hill's defense stood tall in response, as Jonathan Buffin returned an interception 64 yards for a score, and from that point on, though, Cedar Hill went on a 34-0 run to put this game far out of reach. After the INT return, Arlington's next nine drives looked like this: three and out, three and out, botched punt attempt, fumble, halftime, turnover on downs, turnover on downs, three and out, fumble. The Cedar Hill defense, much maligned at key points this year, had arguably its best performance of the season this weekend.
Hewitt Midway 34, Abilene 31
Pick: Hewitt Midway
What actually happened: Hold on to your hats, folks — we're about to start a wild ride through some of the craziest finishes in Texas this weekend. This back-and-forth affair was a thriller out of the chute, as two big Marcell Porter TDs (71 yard run, 13 yard reception) gave Abilene a 14-7 advantage at the end of the first. Midway owned the second quarter, booting a monster field goal as the clock ran out for a 24-21 advantage. But Abilene righted the ship in the third, getting another Marcell Porter run and a field goal to take it to the fourth at 31-24. The final twelve minutes, however, would belong to Midway — the Panthers got a field goal to draw within 31-27, then saw light at the end of the tunnel when Abilene missed a 28-yarder with 1:35 left to play. Midway took over and soon found itself forcing a 4th-and-20, which QB Kramer Robertson converted when he hit WR Hunter Jarmon for 31-yard gain. Three plays later, he found Jarmon again, this time in the endzone on a perfect 10-yard toss with just 13 seconds to go.
Plano West 55, Lufkin 52
What actually happened: This was yet another wild finish in 5A-DII, and it came to a close right about the same time Midway stunned Abilene and Cy Ranch toppled Manvel. Safe to say that was one of the most exciting 15-minute stretches in state history. Anyways, Plano West looked to have this one in the bag early, building a 17-3 first quarter lead and 41-24 halftime lead; RBs Sotonye Jamabo and Auston Anderson both ran for two touchdowns in the first half. But Lufkin woke up in the second half, taking off on a 28-0 run from early in the third to late in the fourth, capped by a Kendrick Mapp 4-yard TD run at the 3:28 mark to take a 52-48 lead. Plano West, now with its back against the wall, started at its own 36, and with a degree of patience rarely seen these days, ran the ball on eight of nine plays to score a game-winning touchdown (Jamabo, 1-yard out), with 1:12 left on the clock. Lufkin, down to its last drive, started near midfield and drove deep into Plano West territory on the arm of QB Tyler Stubblefield, only to have a game-tying FG attempt miss from 29 yards out.
Westlake 38, Longview 10
What actually happened: This score isn't exactly indicative of how close this game was for long stretches, but one stat that would paint an accurate picture would be yardage — Westlake finished with 150 yards and seven first downs, and Longview just 270 and 13. Neither offense could generate much momentum at all, and the difference came down to turnovers; Westlake finished with two, which isn't great, but Longview suffered through six, including four costly fumbles. Two of those were returned for touchdowns, and one of QB Dezmond Chumley's interceptions was returned for a third score. That's 21 points off of defensive returns. Westlake's offense didn't look very good at all, but when the defense plays like that, it doesn't have to.
Katy 55, La Porte 10
What actually happened: Katy dominated the game from start to finish, snowballing an outgunned La Porte offense (which was missing its top two RBs) to the tune of 41 yards allowed and one first down. Turnovers and special teams hurt La Porte in the first half — a fumble and punt return touchdown put La Porte in a 10-0 hole quickly — and only a 30-yard interception return for a score by La Porte's Ellis Hutchinson late in the first quarter kept the Bulldogs in it through the opening minutes. But after that point, Katy scored 21 unanswered behind hard-charging RB Adam Taylor (23 carries, 216 yards, 3 TDs) to blow the game open and storm into the regional finals.
Cy Ranch 43, Manvel 42
Pick: Cy Ranch
What actually happened: This is one people will be talking about for a long, long time down in Houston, as Cy Ranch pulled out a true miracle win against one of the best teams in Class 5A. Manvel got a 4-yard TD pass out of QB Shane McCarley at the 2:44 mark to go up 42-28, almost assuredly ending the night. But Cy Ranch erupted on the next possession, getting a 10-yard TD pass from Cole Martin just a little more than a minute later to inch closer. Then came a key call from Ranch coach Gene Johnson — Ranch elected to go for two, more or less deciding right then and there that they were going to go for the win at some point. Keith Ford converted to make it a 42-36 game, which meant another touchdown would probably win it, as opposed to tying it had Ranch opted to simply kick the PAT. Ranch doubled the drama by recovering the resulting onside kick, then sent the Berry Center into hysterics with Keith Ford's 5-yard TD run with just 11 seconds left. The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense, no turnovers and just one punt — that's essentially offense at its finest. Ford topped the charts with 133 yards rushing and 3 TDs, plus another 145 yards and a score receiving.
SA Brandeis 63, Del Rio 7
Pick: SA Brandeis
What actually happened: Brandeis started strong and never looked back — a 28-0 run in the second quarter buried Del Rio for good, though Ram RB Gudelio Garza did finish with 172 rushing yards and Del Rio's only score of the night. Brandeis opened up all the drawers in the kitchen looking for running backs, in the end giving 10 different guys at least one carry. Trinton Ynclan led them all with 167 yards and three scores on just eight touches, and his 58-yarder drove home the dagger midway through the second. Brandeis was, plain and simple, the better team.
Cibolo Steele 38, Edinburg North 0
Pick: Cibolo Steele
What actually happened: More or less what we expected, and more or less what Steele has been doing to everyone all season long. Steele led 14-0 at the end of the first (partially courtesy of yet another Jordan Sterns punt TD) and 24-0 at halftime, then ballooned the lead to 31 when Sterns scored again, this time on a 42-yard INT return. North finished with just 116 total yards and six first downs and averaged less than two yards per carry. The Knights are one of the best teams in Texas, and they put it on full display again Saturday night.
Denton Guyer 38, Amarillo 30
Pick: Denton Guyer
What actually happened: This was every bit the excellent game we were hoping for, as Amarillo scored to pull within eight with under two minutes to play before Guyer put it away for good. But the story of the game was the dichotomy between the two offenses; Guyer's offense struck quickly when it was on the field, whereas Amarillo grinded out long, hard-hitting drives that left the Guyer defense gassed. The only downside of Amarillo's style was that it ended in field goals too often — three times in fact, once in each of the first three quarters. Guyer answered all of them with touchdowns, and that was more or less the difference when the clock finall hit zeroes.
Birdville 42, Lubbock Monterey 21
What actually happened: A Monterey defense that played so well at the end of the season finall ran out of steam, as Birdville RB Xavier Turner, one of the area's best, scored four times in the first two quarters to give Birdville an almost insurmountable 28-10 halftime lead. Monterey's hard-charing ground game got a touchdown midway through the third quarter, but then Turner handed the torch to Birdville QB Justin Martin, who threw two touchdown passes in the final 14 minutes to put things out of reach. Monterey finished with 400-plus yards and never punted, but Birdville scored on its first six drives ... and it only had seven possessions all night. The last came with around two minutes left with the game already far out of reach.
Frisco Centennial 40, Red Oak 14
Pick: Frisco Centennial
What actually happened: Red Oak simply couldn't get anything going in this one, facing a 20-0 deficit at halftime before QB Austin VanHove scored from 12 yards out early in the third quarter to add a little life to the sidelines. But Centennial QB Lamar Jordan, who was excellent all night, answered back with a 4-yard touchdown run and a 21-yard touchdown pass to more or less put things out of reach. The Centennial defense was brilliant all night; Red Oak managed just 189 yards, punted 7 times, and 1,600-yard rusher Cameron Bausley finished with just 24 yards on 12 carries.
John Tyler 45, Frisco 28
Pick: John Tyler
What actually happened: Well, truth told, Frisco buried this Tyler team early, building a 21-10 lead late in the second quarter on two Ben Cole touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) and a versatile ground game. But then John Tyler swung the momentum with a 6-yard TD catch by Darion Flowers (from Greg Ward) with just 50 seconds left in the first half, and after that it was all Cujo. Tyler scored twice right out of the gate, sandwiched around a Frisco punt, to build a 31-21 lead. Frisco answered back with an eight-minute drive and a score to pull within one possession, and then both teams started fumbling like crazy. In the end, after multiple missed opportunities late on both sides, Tyler added insurance touchdowns at the 1:58 and :36 marks of the fourth to put it away.
Georgetown 49, Angleton 39
What actually happened: For the first time all season, the Georgetown defense finally gave way to a prolific offense — and it still wasn't enough to saddle the Eagles with their first loss of the year. The first half was actually fairly tame, as Georgetown went to the locker room with a modest 14-7 lead. But the final two frames were ridiculous, as Angleton's Kydron Butler opened the third quarter with a 72-yard interception return for a TD to tie it before Georgetown QB Jake Hubanek hit a groove — the senior ran for two TDs and threw for a third as a part of a 28-7 run that built a comfortable 42-21 lead heading into the fourth. Then it was Angleton's turn to go nuts, scoring twice (but missing both conversion attempts) before Hubenak put the game away with a four-yard toss to Noah Douglas. This game featured just one punt all day.
Nederland 22, Pearland Dawson 19 (OT)
Pick: Pearland Dawson
What actually happened: This was a sensational finish, but truth told, large stretches of this game were a little vanilla. And you know what? That's probably precisely why Nederland won; their balance and poise offers more substance than style, and that meat-and-potatoes approach was the difference until Pearland Dawson rallied for 16 unanswered points from the final play of the third quarter through the final play of the fourth (a 32-yard field goal to send it to overtime). Dawson appeared to have all the momentum then, but the Nederland defense forced a short field goal to set up a game-winning opportunity on the next drive of extra time. Once there, QB Carson Raines eluded pressure in the pocket, rolled to his left, and hit Seth Barrow for a walkoff 25-yard touchdown pass to send the Golden Triangle into mass hysteria. That last throw was a thing of beauty; across his body, under pressure, into coverage ... it doesn't get much better than that. To beat the best — Dawson was 4A's top-ranked team — you have to be the best, and Nederland was this weekend.
CC Flour Bluff 29, Leander 27
What actually happened: This might have been the biggest upset of the weekend, and not just because several people — including me — had picked Leander to win the 4A-DI state title. But give credit where credit is due, and Flour Bluff — still unbeaten on the season — was the one that executed on an all-or-nothing fourth-and-21 with just seconds remaining, as QB Kolton Mims hit Will Mendiola on a Hail Mary heave to win it with five seconds left. Talk about excitement! Mims was excellent, finishing with 377 total yards and four TD passes, while Leander played one of its most error-ridden games of the season. This Flour Bluff team is quite a story, and Mims is one heck of a player.
Rouse 44, Gregory-Portland 7
What actually happened: The Rouse defense gave a little bit to G-P running back Devin Bisby (151 yards and a score on 27 carries), and absolutely shut down everyone else. Outside of Bisby, the rest of the team managed just 67 yards, and QB Brandon Gonzales completed just five of 20 pass attempts (with two INTs). Gregory-Portland trailed 21-0 at halftime and didn't score until late in the fourth quarter. Rouse, in short, was dominant, getting a whopping 383 yards on the ground, 24 first downs and 6.6 yards per carry. RB Billy McCrary scored three times.
WF Rider 64, EP Burges 35
Pick: WF Rider
What actually happened: Rider scored from 52 yards out on a double-reverse pass on the first play of the game, and that more or less summed things up for the evening — Rider scored a school playoff record 64 points, and Burges got 334 rushing yards out of preseason DCTF 4A Coverboy Aaron Jones against one of the better defenses in the area. Neither defense did very much in this one, but Rider's furious start to the game — a 21-0 lead by the 7:48 mark of the first quarter — put Burges in a hole that it couldn't recover from. Even Aaron Jones, who was spectacular, couldn't overcome that. Rider is now in the regional finals without injured QB J.T. Barrett, an impressive achievement.
Wolfforth Frenship 45, Waco 28
Pick: Wolfforth Frenship
What actually happened: This game was a little closer than the score indicates, as Waco refused to go away despite Frenship RB D'Maujeric Tucker's mammoth night — 386 rushing yards, most of which came in the second half after he missed most of the second quarter with a foot injury. This shouldn't come as a surprise; the kid now has 2,634 yards and 32 TDs on the year! He was at his best in the fourth quarter, when Waco kept trying to keep the game within a score or two and give itself a chance. Tucker just wouldn't let it happen, hitting home run TD scores of 59 and 49 yards to put the finishing touches on the Tigers' impressive third-round win. Frenship's defense was sharp, too, holding Waco RB Christian Sims to just 62 yards.
Lancaster 36, Prosper 29
What actually happened: This back-and-forth affair wasn't decided until late in the second half, when Lancaster took a one-point lead late in the third quarter on a 9-yard TD pass from Demarcus Ayers (his second of the night) and salted things away with Joseph Paden's 4-yard run at the 5:20 mark of the fourth. So where was Prosper in all this? Well, despite a huge game from RB Marquez Houston (204 rushing yards), the Eagles just couldn't finish a drive in those late stages — after Lancaster took that one-point lead in the third, Prosper's next drive ended in the fourth quarter with a red-zone interception, and their final two efforts both finished with fourth-down turnovers, one of them at the Lancaster 4-yard line. In short, the Lancaster defense came up aces when the pressure was on.
Mesquite Poteet 52, Wylie East 49
Pick: Mesquite Poteet
What actually happened: In a game we expected to be somewhat of a shootout, Poteet jumped out to a 21-7 and 35-14 leads, and even a furious Wylie East finish wasn't quite enough to dig out of that hole as a Poteet 31-yard field goal with 48 seconds left sunk them for good. Poteet QB Tanner Ramsey was red hot early on, throwing for three scores and rushing for a fourth before the second quarter was over, but East TE Jesse Brubaker had a 21-yard TD catch late in the half to keep East in it. East surprisingly went to the run in the second half — RB Jabari Anderson had 314 yards and 4 TDs — and scored twice in a three-minute span in the fourth quarter to tie it. But Poteet, aided by East penalties, started with great field position on their game-winning drive, and East, again beset by penalties, couldn't muster an answer with under a minute to play.
Manor 31, Rosenberg Terry 21
What actually happened: Manor got ridiculously hot in the second and third quarters, going on a 24-0 run that more or less knocked Terry out by the start of the fourth quarter. The Manor offensive duo of QB Chris Johnson and RB Tyronne Owens combined for all three touchdowns during that stretch, and all three came on the ground. Terry scored early in the fourth to set the final magin, but then fumbled the ball on their next drive; all the credit goes to the Manor defense there, as they did an excellent job gobbling up the Rangers' option runs.
FB Marshall 31, Elgin 28
Pick: FB Marshall
What actually happened: Elgin made this one tense, and nearly came out with yet another upset win in the playoffs. After the two teams more or less traded scores up until the early stages of the fourth quarter, Elgin turned up the heat with two straight Da'trean Simmons TD runs — 5 yards and 1 yards — to take a 28-24 lead with 3:25 left to play. But Marshall took the field and executed their final drive brilliantly, milking the clock all the way down to 16 seconds before QB J.W. Ketchum crossed the plane from 11-yards out for the game winner. Ketchum, who threw a touchdown and ran for three more, was excellent, and he had to be — Elgin had fewer turnovers (1 to 3) fewer penalties and a better yard per carry average.
Cedar Park 36, Alice 7
Pick: Cedar Park
What actually happened: Alice had OK success running the football, but Cedar Park took away the passing game on defense, and playing the Timberwolves' with a one-dimensional attack isn't going to work. Cedar Park built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and a 21-0 lead at the break; Nate Grim threw two touchdown passes for the first scores, and Nate Harwell added the third on a 28-yard run. He had a second one in the third quarter from even further out — 59 yards, a touchdown that, when combined with a field goal a little later, iced Alice for good.
SA Brennan 42, Edcouch-Elsa 0
Pick: SA Brennan
What actually happened: We talked in Friday's 5A/4A preview about how Brennan had to force turnovers for the second week in a row, and the Bears listened — they returned two fumbles in the first half for touchdowns, then Josh Luna added a third score on a 12-yard run midway through the second quarter for a 21-0 lead at halftime. E-E was behind the 8-ball at that point, and miscues (four lost fumbles) and tight Bear defense kept the offense out of sync. Brennan scored three times in the final nine minutes of the game, but Edcouch-Elsa only finished with 70 total yards and six first downs anyway.
Travis Stewart is the managing editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.