5A/4A Review: Week 5
Without many marquee matchups on the table, we thought Week 5 was going to be pretty tame. Boy, were we wrong - there weren't many upsets, but there were dozens of wild finishes in the 5A/4A ranks.
You don't need to have hype to have drama, I suppose.
That's more or less the Week 5 motto, after a slate of ho-hum or overlooked games ended up delivering a basket full of wild, wacky and wonderous finishes. Punt return for a score with under a minute to go? Done. A 21-0 rally in the final frame to win it? Done. A fake field PAT for a game-winning two-point conversion with seconds left? Yes, we have that, too.
Take your blood pressure medication and dump out the coffee — it's time to enjoy this week's hair-raising 5A/4A Review.
EP Montwood 35, EP El Dorado 34
Montwood looked more or less dead in the water in this one, trailing El Dorado 35-14 in the fourth quarter and struggling defensively. But the Rams woke up in the eleventh hour, getting a 26-yard TD run out of Alexis Ortiz (176 yards on the night), a 6-yard TD pass from Angel Garcia, and finally a game-winning strike from Garcia with little time remaining. Montwood’s Jacob Chavez dove for an interception on El Dorado’s desperation drive to put things on ice.
Abilene 31, Abilene Cooper 27
The Shotwell Showdown, as it so often is, was a little piece of heaven for high school football fans Friday night, reaching a climactic finish when Abilene QB Evin Abbe hit Marcell Porter (through the hands of the Cooper defense) for a game-winning 7-yard touchdown with just three seconds remaining. The last few minutes were dazzling — Cooper’s Xavier McCann put Abilene behind, 24-21, on a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:15 to play, only to see Abbe drive the Eagle offense 72 yards for the clincher shortly afterwards.
San Angelo Central 43, Midland 42
Step aside, Montwood — Central has its own incredible comeback story to share. Trailing 35-21 at halftime, Central was having trouble slowing down Midland’s balanced attack — the Bulldogs had just dropped 21 points in the second quarter alone. But the defense stiffened up in the second half, allowing just a touchdown, while the offense, behind QB Mickey Scott, exploded for 22 fourth-quarter points, including the game-winning touchdown after Midland had retaken the lead with just 1:32 to play. Scott’s 4-yard scoring pass to Nick Barron pulled Central within one, and then Jordan Charles executed a fake extra point-pitch for the winning two points with 11 seconds to play. Going for the win – on a fake – in a critical district game? That’s brash!
Lakeview Centennial 49, Sachse 41
If you’re not exhausted yet, you’re going to be — after building a 41-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter, Sachse’s night of hard work came tumbling down when Centennial rallied for 21 unanswered points in the final frame, including the game-winning score — a Demarcus Hall 22-yard run — with just 1:11 left to play. Sachse was gashed by the run game, as Centennial rang up five rushing touchdowns on the evening. Give a lot of credit to the Centennial defense for posting the shutout over the last 12 minutes – quite a feat against previously unbeaten Sachse.
Atascocita 49, Spring 48
For every yin there’s a yang, and unlike Montwood, Central and Centennial, Spring’s incredible rally came up just a bit short. Atascocita had just put the finishing touches on a 49-28 lead with six minutes to play in the third when Spring started clawing its way back on – get this – the ground game. Spring’s Darius Campbell-Lee scored from 10 yards out a few minutes later, and then Doroland Dorceus hit paydirt from two yards out early in the fourth. Trailing by seven, the Spring defense kept it a one-score game until Campbell-Lee caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds to play. Sensing the momentum shift, Spring went for two and the win. The run came up short.
Spring Dekaney 41, Kingwood 35
This one gives us another nail-biting finish, as Kingwood got a 1-yard TD run out of Michael Swayne with 3:38 left to bring the Mustangs within six. The defense came up aces, too, forcing a 4th-and-5 shortly afterwards for a Dekaney offense that would surely decide to punt and play defense the rest of the way. But Dekaney QB/P D’Juan Hines faked the kick, reversing his field twice in the process, and converted to essentially end the game. RB Demarcus Felton was key for Dekaney, rushing for 289 yards and five scores.
A&M Consolidated 21, The Woodlands 14
It seems like we’re covering The Woodlands every week this year, but part of that is because they’ve been involved in three-straight classic finishes, and part of that is because they’re playing top-flight teams. Still smarting from last week’s four-overtime loss to Lufkin, the Consol defense came out firing, limiting The Woodlands to 300 yards total but also getting the benefit of facing backup QB Jayme Taylor instead of injured starter Blaine Gillespie. Still, this one went down to the wire — Consol QB Jaylan Cheshire hit Derrick Dick for a 32-yard TD pass with 5:49 left to win it. That final drive saw the Tigers convert two fourth-down plays.
Hendrickson 15, Stony Point 13
Stony Point, once again, came out on the wrong side of a close one this week — the Tigers have now lost three games by a combined four points. The final points of the game came early in the fourth quarter, when Hendrickson QB Xavier Conley hit Latrell Martin for a 72-yard touchdown pass. Stony Point had two chances to win it after that, but couldn’t convert a field goal attempt on one and turned it over on downs on the other.
Langham Creek 37, Cy Falls 35
Like a few of these other games, this one was played on Thursday, but just because the Friday night lights were missing didn’t mean the action was. Langham Creek QB Connor Feist had yet another huge night for the Lobos, throwing for 397 yards and three touchdowns, 232 and two of which went to WR Dominique Harris. Langham Creek finally broke the give-and-take with a 41-yard TD run from Jeremiah Williams for a 37-28 lead. Cy Falls answered with a Temi Alaka 13-yard TD catch to draw within two, but Langham Creek ran out the clock to knock off the last undefeated team in 17-5A.
Katy Morton Ranch 38, Katy Cinco Ranch 35 (OT)
Morton Ranch pulled yet another werewolf act in this wild Week 5, refusing to die in a thrilling overtime affair against favored Cinco Ranch. Down by seven with just seconds left to play and facing a 4th-and-20 from its own four-yard line, Morton Ranch got a 96-yard touchdown reception out of FB Deion Williams to improbably tie the game and force overtime. Once there, Morton Ranch K Aaron Shiffler barely connected on a 38-yard field goal for a three-point advantage, and Cinco Ranch’s game-tying attempt in the next period never even got off the ground. Talk about a turn of events.
FB Austin 35, FB Hightower 33
Austin, the oft-overlooked member of 23-5A, scored a rare win over Hightower Thursday night when it stuffed a game-tying two-point conversion attempt with a minute to go. Austin’s Vic Enwere rushed for 155 yards — including the 52-yarder that would prove to be the differenceat the 3:27 mark — and the Bulldog offense rang up 21 points in the fourth quarter alone to outpace last year’s 5A-DI state finalists. Austin is now 2-0 in district — watch out, Fort Bend ISD.
Weslaco 42, McAllen Rowe 34 (OT)
Another game, another wild finish — what else is new this week? Weslaco would force overtime on the craziest of plays: trailing 34-28 and facing a 4th-and-11, Weslaco backup QB Robert Lopez heaved a prayer under heavy pressure to Brandon Lopez, who not only caught the ball in traffic, but somehow wriggled free for a 66-yard score with 12 seconds left to play. That’s game over, right? No — the resulting PAT was wide right, and the teams were forced into OT. Once there, Weslaco’s Bobby Estevanes picked off a pass, and RB Andrew Cavazos sealed it with an 18-yard score just seconds later. District 31-5A might be the wackiest in Texas these days.
EP Burges 20, El Paso 17
I keep thinking we’re finally going to stop one-upping ourselves with these crazy finishes, but now this one might take the cake. While the return of Burges RB Aaron Jones, who has missed time with a knee injury, started the night as the primary storyline, his brother Alvin finished there when he returned a punt 68 yards for a game-winning touchdown with about 20 seconds to play. Just in case that didn’t sink in — a game-winning punt return touchdown with about 20 seconds to play. That capped an impressive rally, too; Burges trailed, 17-7, with about six minutes left before both Jones brothers took the game over.
Prosper 38, Frisco Centennial 36
Arguably the top game in the entire DFW area Friday night, this 4A showdown didn’t disappoint. Prosper capped a seven-play, 73-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run from QB Davis Webb (who also threw for four TDs) with 4:33 left to play to set the final margin. But Centennial wasn’t done fighting — after its next drive died at the Prosper 33-yard line, the Eagles couldn’t fully run out the clock and had to punt it back with 12 seconds remaining. Centennial, starting at its 5-yard line, almost made this one a miraculous finish when WR Cody Bagwell sliced through the defense and took off for the endzone. Only Prosper DB Torii Hunter Jr. could stop him, and he did — at the Prosper 38-yard line.
Creekview 37, Newman Smith 34 (3OT)
Yet another Thursday night game, this one was actually fairly defensive-minded through regulation, as both teams finished tied at 21 after Creekview’s Omar Pereira recovered a Newman Smith fumble in the endzone with less than three minutes to play. The two teams would trade field goals in the first overtime and touchdowns in the second, until Creekview’s Adrian Williams followed up a Newman Smith field goal with a 9-yard touchdown run to wrap things up. It’s crazy to think that in a three-overtime game, only one player — Newman Smith’s Cole Brewer — would finish with more than 100 yards rushing or passing (103).
Sherman 42, Denison 21
This is where Fox Football Friday bunkered down this week, and we were treated to an entertaining back-and-forth affair until Sherman finally pulled away late. The Denison defense played very well for most of the game — even though Sherman had two long TDs called back, including a 99-yard run from QB Dru Smith — and a blisteringly cold northern wind made for a playoff-like atmosphere. Sherman RB Tre Mask was pretty sharp, scoring several times and continually keeping Denison off-kilter. This Sherman team is pretty good, folks.
Wylie East 46, Wylie 38
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before … but here’s a wild finish for you! Wylie East scored the final nine points of the game to win this one, six coming off of a Jabari Anderson 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (two-point conversion failed), and three coming off of a 33-yard field goal from Dylan Cook with 3:26 left to play. The marquee effort in this one came from Wylie East WR Marcell Ateman, who caught seven passes for 114 yards and four touchdowns. He caught two in the first quarter, then scored 22 seconds before halftime and 43 seconds before the end of the third quarter.
Pine Tree 28, Nacogdoches 21
Nacogdoches did everything it needed to do to win its first football game of the year in this one — except finish. Leading 21-13 with five minutes left and driving with the football, Nac fumbled, and Pine Tree QB Jake Oden responded with a short run for a TD, followed by a two-point conversion, to tie the game at 21. Even then, Nacogdoches was still in good position to come back and win it. Tragically, they threw an INT on their first play of the resulting drive, and Pine Tree’s Trevor Thomas returned it to the Nacogdoches 12-yard line. Even then, on the first play after that, Pine Tree fumbled into the end zone … where it was recovered by, fittingly, Pine Tree. Nacogdoches’ desperation drive died on the Pine Tree 28-yard line.
Vidor 28, Beaumont Ozen 21
Vidor finally put this one on ice with 26 seconds left to go when QB Montana Quirante scored from a yard out to cap an 11-point second-half rally. But even though the offense got the headlines for the final key play, it’s the defense that deserves most of the credit after it held the potent Ozen offense to just 18 total second-half yards and only 5:26 worth of possession. The Vidor offense, which held the ball for long stretches with its run game, gets some kudos for that, too. This game was largely feast or famine — all of Ozen’s 21 points came in the second quarter, and Vidor only scored in the second and fourth. Vidor coach Jeff Mathews — our 4A Coach of the Year last year — turned heads yet again, dialing up a recovered onside kick in the fourth quarter and following it with a wonderfully executed fake punt that would eventually lead to the game-tying touchdown.
Rosenberg Terry 34, George Ranch 29
Is anyone else beginning to wonder about the Terry defense? I am, after it gave up 29 points and 435 yards — without forcing a turnover — to George Ranch this week. Ranch didn’t even need to throw the ball this week, attempting just three passes (completing one) and rushing for 412 yards and four scores on 55 carries. Terry won here, largely because of the stellar play from QB Kishawn McClain, but the Rangers have now given up 29 or more points in five of six games and more than 40 twice. That won’t cut it in the playoffs.
Pearland Dawson 32, Texas City 29
Texas City is one of the seemingly few teams that wasn’t able to complete a crazy comeback in Week 5, though it’s the only one that was trying to do it against the top-ranked team in Class 4A. The Stingarees trailed 26-9 at the start of the fourth quarter,but slowly started clawing their way back behind DeShaun Rawls and Armanti Foreman, who returned a kickoff 77 yards for a score to make it 32-22 with just under eight minutes to play. After the TC defense forced a three-and-out, the other Foreman, D’Onta, made it a three-point game with a two-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to play. Dawson finally righted the ship by recovering the onside kick and, after a gutsy run from James White, earning a first down and running out the clock.
Leander 21, Leander Rouse 13
Scores like this one should prove beyond a doubt that 25-4A really is the SEC of Texas football right now. Leander’s Daryl Jacobs picked off Rouse twice in the fourth quarter to keep the Raiders at arm’s length, though the Rouse defense did some salty work of its own by holding the Lions to 171 total yards. Turnovers and penalties have hurt an anemic Leander offense this year, though Clint Harper’s squad got some help from a defense that opened the scoring with a 40-yard INT return for a touchdown by Taylor Sugar.
Alamo Heights 39, Seguin 32
Seguin nearly had this one in the bag, which would have secured one of the biggest upsets of the week in any class. But the Mules fought back from nine points down in the fourth quarter to take the lead, then stuck a stake in things by forcing a stop at its own 6-yard line as time ran out. Seguin QB Walker Franz was red-hot, throwing for 419 yards, but Heights QB Kalen Brockwell countered with 302 of his own, as well as a well-run option TD with Byron Proctor and the resulting two-point conversion throw with 3:27 left.
CC Moody 49, CC Miller 47
This nutty back-and-forth affair finally came down to Moody RB Chris Jones’ second TD of the night, a 13-yarder deep in the fourth quarter that put Miller, which had scored the last 12 points of the game, out of commission for good. Miller RB Fernando Vela was exceptional, rushing for 233 yards and a score, but Moody’s balanced effort — 251 passing yards, 2 TDs from QB Michael Cantu; 105 yards, 2 TDs from RB Chris Jones; and 135 yards, 1 TD from WR Matthew Gutierrez — and turnover-free performance were the difference.
Travis Stewart is the managing editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.