HS Recap: The Semifinals
DCTF's Greg Tepper recaps an unforgettable weekend in the Texas high school football semifinals.
What a weekend in the Texas high school football state semifinals (and six-man state championships)! DCTF's Greg Tepper recaps an unforgettable weekend in the Lone Star State.
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5A Division I
Allen 42, DeSoto 35
The instant classic that we thought it would be. DeSoto, led by another virtuoso performance from QB Desmon White, looked like it would reach the title game, leading 35-20 with just over 8 minutes left. But back came Allen, tying the game quickly and, after a costly special teams snafu by DeSoto in the final two minutes, capped the comeback with Kyler Murray’s go-ahead 24-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds left to win.
Pearland 38, San Antonio Madison 34
Is it possible that this was the best 5A DI semifinal? Pearland trailed for most of this game – QB Cody Ennis was terrific for Madison – including 24-10 late in the third quarter. But back came the Oilers, taking the lead with 5:26 left on Jacolbie Butler’s 12-yard TD run. But Ennis found Byron Daniels for what looked like the game-winning score, putting Madison up 34-31 with 1:51 left. Game over, right? Nope: Jacoby Lewis returns the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for the game-winning score. Never count out the Oilers.
5A Division II
Cedar Hill 19, Lake Travis 10
A defensive slugfest through most of the game, it was Cedar Hill who found the big plays when it was necessary, including Justin McMillan hitting Damarkus Lodge for the go-ahead touchdown midway through the 4th quarter. From there, it was the Longhorns defense that stood tall, forcing a turnover on downs and then putting it away with a 23-yard Aca’Cedric Ware touchdown run.
Katy 52, San Antonio Johnson 0
An absolute brutalization by Katy. It’s one thing to roll up 486 rushing yards, like the Tigers did. It’s quite another thing to hold your opponent to just 86 total yards. The Tigers earned a rematch of last year’s 5A DII title, and just like last year, they look like the favorite.
4A Division I
Denton Guyer 22, Highland Park 16
Highland Park was in control of this game through the first three quarters, dominating defensively and doing just enough offensively to take a 10-0 lead into the fourth. But the defending champion Guyer roared back, getting touchdown runs from Anthony Taylor and Jerrod Heard to take the lead. HP looked like they may salvage it when Stephen Dieb plunged in for a go-ahead score with 2:18 to go, but Heard led the Wildcats down the field, finishing the drive with a 1-yard TD run with 55 seconds left to send Guyer back to the title game.
San Antonio Brennan 31, Houston Stratford 7
Stratford scored in this one! And it was legit! Rakeem Boyd busted off a 72-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7 in the first quarter, the 6th TD that Brennan has allowed all year. But from there, it was all Brennan, with Da’Shawn key rattling off 194 yards and 3 TDs on the ground, and the defense holding Stratford to 173 total yards.
4A Division II
Aledo 29, Ennis 6
The most stunning first half of the entire weekend, as they entered halftime scoreless. It was the first and second quarters of the season that Aledo has been held scoreless. But after that, the Bearcats found their groove, as Jess Anders, Ryan Newsome and Taco Anderson each scored in a 19-point outburst for the Aledo while the defense held Ennis’ sturdy rushing attack to just 70 yards on the ground.
Brenham 56, Port Lavaca Calhoun, 21
The word “opportunistic” doesn’t begin to describe Brenham’s effort in this one, as the Cubs took the fight to Calhoun all day. QB Caleb Hill was terrific (4 TDs), RB Earnest Patterson was solid (152 yards, 2 TDs), but the defense broke this game open with two fumble returns for TDs in the final minutes of the first half to turn this one into a laugher.
3A Division I
Kilgore 44, Stephenville 6
We thought that Kilgore looked like the best team in 3A Division I this season…and boy, they looked the part in an absolute demolition of the defending champs. The Bulldogs’ running attack was on point, as Kevrin Justice ran for 223 yards and three scores and Juju Brown added 139 yards and a score. And the defense absolutely manhandled Jarrett Stidham and company.
Carthage 51, La Grange 22
It was a weekend of East Texas flexing its muscle, and Carthage joined the party on Friday with a dominating victory over La Grange. Remember: this was an outstanding LG team, but Carthage QB Blake Bogenschutz had his way with the LG defense, throwing for 400 yards and six touchdowns in what turned out to be a rout. It’s an all-east Texas final, and that’s exciting.
3A Division II
Argyle 38, Graham 14
We expected a shootout, and on one side of this one, we got it. RB Nick Ralston was sensational, running for 147 yards and 3 TDs to pace Argyle. But it was the Eagles’ defense that was the difference-maker, picking off Graham star QB Ben Davis five times to push Argyle back to the 3A DII title game.
Fairfield 56, Sinton 13
The Fairfield Demolition Derby that is the 2013 season continues. RB Larry Rose scored four times to lead the Eagles, but the defense really won this game, completely stifling star Sinton QB Tyler Handson and making life difficult for him all evening.
2A Division I
Wall 31, New Boston 3
This was a game dictated by two halves. The first half was all defense, as New Boston and Wall fought to a 3-3 halftime lead. But after the break, Wall’s option offense got on track with the Luke Dacy-led option scheme, while the defense continued to dominate, holding New Boston’s white-hot attack to just 167 total yards on the day to send Wall to its first-ever state title game.
Cameron Yoe 24, White Oak 21
For long stretches of this game, White Oak was the better side – QB Dylan Gale hit some big plays, and the defense frustrated Yoe for much of this one. But football’s a game of margins, and Yoe made all the key plays, including Michael Evans’ go-ahead 36-yard field goal with 6:44 to play. After that, Michael Gelner picked off Gale to seal Yoe’s victory and send them back to the title game.
2A Division II
Cisco 55, Leonard 6
One could say that Leonard ran out of magic, but that wouldn’t give enough credit to Cisco, who took this game over early and never let up. Mason Reed scored on the Loboes’ first play from scrimmage, and Colton Kent did the rest, slicing up Leonard’s defense while the Lobo defense never let Leonard into the game.
Refugio 69, Waskom 33
It’s important to remember that Waskom’s got a really, really good defense. But boy, Travis Quintanilla sure made them look average. The record-smashing Refugio QB threw for 422 yards and six touchdowns, including three of them to Tyler Castellano. That’s sending the Bobcats back to AT&T Stadium for the second time in three years.
1A Division I
Stamford 34, Hico 26
Hico gave Stamford all they could handle, getting big plays from RB Duane Hyles to pull this game even at 20 late in the third quarter. But when the game mattered most, Bo Wimberley – the QB for Stamford – had all the answers, leading Stamford back to AT&T Stadium to defend their title.
Shiner 49, Mart 22
The surprise of the state semifinals, Shiner scored its most points all season in this one, as QB Jacob Stafford ran for 203 yards, Marcus Coleman added 127 and Chad Neubauer threw in 123 yards, with five Stafford touchdown runs providing more than enough. Beyond that, the defense did its part, forcing a pair of turnovers and holding explosive Mart QB De’Narian Thomas to just 84 yards passing (though he did run for 203 yards).
1A Division II
Wellington 46, Albany 20
I know the result was just 26 points, but this game was over early. Wellington held Albany to just 23 yards in the first half, while RB Terry Gilbreath and QB Klark Ashmore lifted off, cruising to a 28-0 halftime lead (and a 40-0 lead near the end of the third quarter).
Falls City 36, Tenaha 34
A thrilling and often bizarre game, this game ended up coming down to a few key plays, specifically Falls City stopping Tenaha on its two-point conversion with under two minutes left. The star of this game: easily Justin Twine, the sensational running back for Falls City, who ran for 252 yards and four touchdowns to send Falls City back to the title game, where it won in 2010.
Crowell 78, May 52
In the first-ever six-man football game played at AT&T Stadium, it was Crowell who took the fight to unbeaten May, using its size to push around May to the tune of 570 total yards, including 364 total yards and six touchdowns for QB Mitchell Parsley, the offensive player of the game. Lex Bond made key play after key play defensively, earning defensive player of the game honors. May was on the verge of being 45’d – that is, losing via the 45-point mercy rule – but staged a solid comeback thanks in large part to Kendrick Aguerro.
Grandfalls-Royalty 73, Milford 28
Size doesn’t matter here, as Grandfalls – enrollment: 27, and total number of players suited up: 16 – absolutely dominated Milford behind a virtuoso performance from RB Junior Marquez (228 yards and 2 TDs) and QB Thomas Burns (3 TD passes). The game ended with 6:28 left in the game via the 45-point mercy rule, the 13th time that Grandfalls had 45’d a team.