Regional HS Roundup: October 2
The DCTF Regional Roundup looks at HS football across Texas.
Welcome to the DCTF High School Regional Roundup, a collection of news and insights from correspondents from across Texas. The Regional Roundup will run on Tuesdays during football season on TexasFootball.com.
Corpus Christi Calallen’s defense began the season with two shutouts and yielded a total of 195 yards rushing in wins over Mercedes, Weslaco East, and Flour Bluff.
The real test for the Wildcats would come against Calhoun’s option offense in the District 30-4A opener at Calallen’s Wildcat Stadium.
The Sandcrabs had defeated Calallen 17-0 in last year’s district opener. Calhoun came into the game averaging over 400 yards rushing per game in wins over Corpus Christi Carroll, La Vernia, Somerset, and Austin Reagan.
Calallen was more than up to the task. The Wildcats held Calhoun to 162 yards and seven first downs and ran off with a 48-0 win. The Sandcrabs had only 69 yards and two first downs at halftime and trailed 41-0.
Calhoun was shut out for the first time since 2005, when it played in Region III.
Calallen linebacker Kade Young played a big role, tying a school record with 23 tackles.
Calallen’s offense also had a productive night, rolling up 402 yards.
Calallen quarterback Derek Scheible rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns, and passed for 255 yards and five touchdowns.
Elsewhere, Bellville was the preseason favorite in District 25-3A. But the Brahmas were upset 32-27 by Columbus.
Columbus is coached by Tony Valastro, who led La Grange to the 2000 Class 3A, Division II state championship.
Bellville hosts El Campo this week. The Ricebirds haven’t played the last two weeks.
Hallettsville won its school-record 18th consecutive regular season game with a 49-0 blanking of Weimar.
Hallettsville quarterback Nate Kowalik completed 14 of 20 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
-Mike Forman, Victoria Advocate
Rio Grande Valley
When I first went back down to the Valley as an editorial intern for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, I stopped by Brownsville Rivera to do a feature on the team and their preparations for the upcoming season.
It was there where I was introduced to a tall, lanky to-be sophomore by the name of Jacquil Evans. He coaching staff couldn’t stop raving about the kid and his teammates proclaimed he would be one of the top backs in the area in a few years.
They were right.
At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Evans is one of the most dangerous ball carriers in the Valley. He has the size to run over defenders and his speed – clocked at 4.4- to blaze right past them. Brownsville Pace learned that quickly on Friday night.
Evans rushed for a personal-best 296 yards and five touchdowns en route to leading Brownsville Rivera to a 54-17 win over Brownsville Pace, its first of the season.
“We needed that type of performance from him,” head coach Tom Chavez said. “He can be a big advantage for us. He did a lot of change of direction and things like that (running against Pace). It’s something we’ve needed. He has great speed, and he has to learn to use that speed to his advantage. (Having that big game) restored his confidence.”
The Brownsville Herald named Evans their Metro Athlete of the Week.
-E.J. Holland, TexasFootball.com contributor
Justin Northwest advances to 4-0 after their victory over an undefeated Keller team, 31-17. The win was all due to the defensive effort from the Texans defensive tackle, Joe Gonzalez. Gonzalez recorded nine tackles, 3 for a loss, and 1 sack giving the offense their best chance of victory.
Northwest do not have a tough district this year as it usually does, but their biggest test of placing them as a top-tier team will be their matchup against Southlake Carroll in mid-October. Gonzalez is up for the defensive player of the week in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, and is surrounded by Northwest’s best possible defense in years.
Head coach Bill Patterson is pleased with his defense this year, even more so after Northwest’s 8-3 (6-1) record last year. The team ranks second this year in many polls within their district behind Southlake Carroll. I’m sure coach Patterson will be studying film on how to beat the Dragons to protect their home field.
-Jimmy Isbell, TexasFootball.com contributor
Safeties are accounting for some of the best individual defense being played in East Texas so far this season.
Tatum's Klifton Willis has started his senior year about as well as any football player could hope. In only four games, he's intercepted an East Texas-leading eight passes, including three of Tatum's five in last week's 17-0 road shutout of Center. He picked off two and returned one for a touchdown during Tatum's 45-0 home rout of Winnsboro on Sept. 6.
Longview senior Travin Howard has terrorized opponents in a variety of ways. The 6-foot, 180-pounder ranks among Lobo leaders with 36 tackles and also has five tackles for loss, one sack, a team-best four interceptions, one forced fumble, three pass breakups, one punt block, and two defensive touchdowns, the second of which came in Longview's 69-17 District 12-5A-opening blowout of Mesquite this past Friday at Lobo Stadium.
Howard is 1 of 3 senior safeties delivering for head coach John King. Stephan Maxey and Laurent Johnson join Howard as the backbone of Longview's 4-2-5 defense. Maxey and Johnson, the Lobos' top two tacklers, have combined for 76 tackles, three picks, and two fumble recoveries, while Maxey has one defensive touchdown.
Willis and Tatum, who have allowed 13 points in their first four games, aim for a 5-0 start Friday night at home against Diboll. Longview's senior safety trio has the week off before standout quarterback Destri White and Mesquite Horn travel to Lobo Stadium on Oct. 11 for what could be the de facto 12-5A championship game.
- Gabe Brooks, www.ETSN.fm
The Silsbee didn’t let impeding distractions shake their focus Friday against Orangefield – the recent arrests of three Tigers on drug-related charges was clearly not an issue as Silsbee sailed into an easy Homecoming win. Patrick Reed continued to shine with six stellar touchdowns, but it might have been the Tigers’ rushing attack that was so deadly. Reed recorded 178 passing yards and an additional 235 rushing yards, which opened up the opportunity for Sedrick and Floyd Spearman to share handoffs. The Tigers topped Orangefield 52-14 in both teams’ season opener – Silsbee travels this weekend to Buna, but by now it’s fairly evident that the Tigers are the team to beat in in 21-3A.
As for the Houston area, one team deserves attention for reasons other than an undefeated record. George Ranch is a force to be reckoned with, and after its win against previously undefeated Foster (the original Richmond school, pre-George Ranch) 23-4A should give the Longhorn program some credit. George Ranch is playing for just its second year, and with the way things are going, it’s obvious that the Longhorns are bound and determined to be taken seriously. George Ranch is coming off a 5-5 inaugural season, which is arguably commendable in itself.
The young team is making strides behind junior quarterback Timon Nolan who replaced an injured Kole Girard last season, and the team chemistry seems to click. In fact, this young team’s chemistry is so interesting that Longhorn games are becoming more of an experience – Thursday night’s battle against Foster attracted Rockets’ stars Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons. The Longhorn performance was deserving of the NBA players’ attention; Foster couldn’t seem to narrow George Ranch’s 21-7 lead at halftime, and the Falcons fell to their formidable successor 45-21. George Ranch now stands at 5-0 and has a solid chance to notch another win against Rosenberg Terry this Friday.
-Samantha Emerson, TexasFootball.com contributor
There were a handful of teams that may have kick-started their season after a sluggish start, including Killeen's 47-38 win against Copperas Cove, their first against Cove since 1995. Killeen running back Daniel McCants finished with 42-carries for 276-yards and 6-TD's, as the 'Roos opened District 8-5A with a big win after an 0-3 start in non-district.
Belton also started 0-3 in non-district but rallied to beat Harker Heights, 42-38, after once trailing 38-21. Belton running back Brandon Rhoads returned a kickoff 90-yards for a touchdown and added 183-yards rushing and 2-TD's in the Tigers victory.
In Class 4A, what a shootout between Sulphur Springs and Corsicana, with Sulphur Springs winning 77-65, this despite a school-record and near state-record breaking performance by Corsicana running back Tray Owens. Owens finished the game with 43-carries for 467-yards, 6-TD's, in a loss.
Sulphur Springs quarterback Larry Pryor threw for 421-yards and 4-TD's, ran for 151-tards and 2-scores and also scored on a two-point conversion. When I asked Wildcats head coach Greg Owens if Pryor also sold popcorn at halftime, he said, "No, but he also finished with 12-assists," alluding to the basketball-type score.
Nobody, I mean, NOBODY threatened Navasota a year ago on their way to the Class 3-A, Division II State Championship as the Rattlers outscored their opponents 714-110 on their way to a 16-0 record. Included in that staggering number was a 41-7 win against John Bachtel's Fairfield Eagles.
Well, what a difference a year makes as Fairfield controlled the tempo, withstood a Navasota charge midway through the game and then turned on the jets to cruise, 44-24. Larry Rose led the Eagles on offense with 219-yards on 28-carries and 2-TD's, and Alex Ward led the way on defense, intercepting three passes, returning a fumble for a touchdown, 1-Tackle for a loss, and seven tackles overall.
Fairfield is averaging 55.8-points a game through 5-games.
Don't want to forget Lampasas and their 35-14 win against previously-unbeaten China Spring, the Badgers were in need of something positive after a 1-3 start. Lampasas running back Gary Spencer ran for 313-yards on 33-carries and 2-TD's in the victory.
Two great, Alpha-Dog football programs are 2-3, Daingerfield in Class 2-A, Division I, and Mart in Class 1-A, Division I. These are state championship pedigree programs who play very difficult non-district schedules, and both will most likely, as they always are, playing deep into November and/or December.
But, not only are both teams 2-3, it doesn't get any easier for them this week, with Daingerfield hosting (5-0) New Boston, and Mart playing at (5-0) Chilton.
Based on history, you would think both will eventually hit a nice stretch, and we'll be talking about both of them as well after Thanksgiving.
Finally, this story from Waco Midway's 34-14 win against Killeen Ellison. Trent Gregory is trying to turn around an Ellison program that has lost 24-consecutive games. He's upbeat, he's positive, and he knows he'll be hitting his head against the wall in District 8-5A, BUT---I have to tell you about a post-game scene that you don't see very often, at any level.
Following the Eagles loss to Midway, the two teams shake hands, both head over to talk to their respective coaches. And, Midway begins playing their school song, Coach Gregory ends his talk, asks his team to go stand in unison as Midway's school song continues. The Ellison players stand at attention, never saying a word, and don't move until the Midway school song is over. The Ellison players and coaching staff then run over to their sideline and start singing their school song.
I've been broadcasting and/or covering Texas high school football for 32-years, since 1981, yes, I'm old, but I had never seen that before.
Here's a program suffering through a 24-game losing, beaten down again, 34-14, and yet their first-year head coach was trying to help the student-athletes understand the process of class and integrity.
-David Smoak, Smoaky.com and ESPN Central Texas
It was supposed to be the big showdown of the week in West Texas – defending Class 1A state champion and No. 1-ranked Stamford versus Cisco, ranked No. 7 in Class 2A. Both teams were unbeaten. It turned out to be no contest, however, as Cisco rolled up 457 yards rushing in a 54-14 victory over the Bulldogs. Cisco quarterback rushed for 135 yards and passed for another 125 yards.
Snyder held off a late San Angelo Lake View rally to edge the Chiefs 42-35 and pick up its first victory over the season. Snyder deserved a close win. The hard-luck Tigers lost their first four games this season by a total of only nine points, and all four losses came on an opponent’s touchdown in the final minute of the game.
Braxton Kilgo rushed for 148 yards on 29 carries and scored four touchdowns in Brownwood’s 35-30 win over Sweetwater.
A pair of District 2-5A quarterbacks had big games last week. Abilene Cooper’s Lorenzo Joe, who has committed to Texas, ran for 243 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-31 victory over Odessa High, while San Angelo Central’s Mickey Scott rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 233 yards and three more scores in the unbeaten Bobcats’ 32-10 win over Abilene High.
Central (3-0), Midland High (2-0) and Midland Lee (2-0) lead the District 2-5A standings.
Abilene High (1-4 overall and 1-2 in district) has lost consecutive district games for the first time since 2000 and has suffered two district losses in a season for the first time since 2003. The Eagles had won 48 of their previous 50 district games before this season.
Abilene High will face rival Cooper (3-2, 2-1) in the annual crosstown showdown this Friday night at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. A little of the luster is gone from this year’s game, however, because of the Eagles’ sluggish start.
-Al Pickett, KWKC 1340 AM