Stepp’s Ten Thoughts from Week 2 of the TXHSFB Season

Photo by Jay Stevens

A state title contender loses their star
In what is a worst-case scenario for state title contender Mansfield Legacy, star QB/DB Jalen Catalon, the DCTF Class 5A cover boy and a candidate for Mr. Texas Football, saw his senior season end before it could really get started.

Catalon, left the Broncos’ season opening loss to Jenks with an apparent knee injury and despite trying to come back into the game, he was unable to finish the contest.  On Tuesday, Catalon went in for an MRI and Wednesday morning announced on Twitter that his season was indeed over. The four-star, two-sport, two-way dynamo was a key player in the Broncos’ run to the state semifinals a year ago and Legacy had a top-five rating in nearly every preseason poll. Now Chris Melson’s squad will have to regroup and refocus without their catalyst and hope that other players, who formerly played supporting roles for Catalon, step up and become leaders. The Broncos, at least for one week, showed that they could bounce back and hammered Crowley 39-7 Thursday night to even their record at 1-1 just one day after Catalon announced he’d miss the season.

Major injuries to quarterbacks on Friday
Staying with the injury theme, unfortunately, there were a couple of other notable injuries to signal callers on Friday night.

Down in Del Rio, San Angelo Central QB Maverick McIvor, a Texas Tech commit, went down with an injury in the third quarter of the Bobcats’ 49-3 win over Del Rio. While in Port Neches, Roschon Johnson, a Texas commit, left the Indians’ loss to Huntsville with an apparent injury as well. According to Charles Bryce of the San Angelo Standard-Times, McIvor’s father confirmed that Maverick will miss the rest of the season.

Weather a major impact
It was a wild night for weather statewide this week and there were plenty of games impacted, including several notable cancellations and rescheduled games along with most games in the DFW area. Some were delayed for upwards of two hours Friday night. Notable cancellations around the state included on Thursday, Pflugerville Hendrickson-Smithson Valley and on Friday, Lake Travis-Mansfield Summit and Cisco-Wall.

Wild comebacks
There were plenty of notable come-from-behind wins across the state that opened plenty of eyes. We start Thursday night in Houston as Humble Kingwood trailed 20-0 at the half against Spring DeKaney and rallied with 23-straight second-half points to pull off an improbable 23-20 victory.

In the Austin area, Cypress Ranch made the trip up from Houston to take on Austin Westlake. It was a slow start for the Mustangs, who trailed 21-3 in the third quarter, before scoring 22-straight points to leave town with a 25-21 victory. In the DFW area, Arlington remained undefeated with a comeback 37-34 win over Trophy Club Nelson after trailing early in the game 17-0. While down in the Rio Grande Valley, Los Fresnos rallied from a 29-7 third quarter deficit to knock off Austin LBJ, 36-35, to even up its record at 1-1 on the 2018 season. To round things out, Katy appeared to be staring 0-2 right in the face on Saturday evening trailing a very good Humble Atascocita squad, 21-0, in the second quarter. But the Tigers rallied with a touchdown right before half to cut the lead to 21-6 giving them momentum heading into the locker room. Katy answered the bell in the second half outscoring AHS 25-7 to escape Legacy Stadium with a 31-28 win to even its record at 1-1.

Some surprising starts in San Antonio
There have been several outstanding starts in the Alamo City including three non-traditional powers who are turning heads. We start in Class 6A where Joe Hubbard’s San Antonio East Central Hornets entered the 2018 season on a 19-game losing streak, but the Hornets are buzzing so far in 2018 with a 2-0 start after a 28-14 win over San Antonio Roosevelt Friday evening.

After going 7-3 but missing out on the playoffs in 2017, San Antonio Brandeis has sights set on not letting the same thing happen this year. The Broncos are up to the task opening up District 28-6A play on Thursday with an emphatic 59-17 win over San Antonio Stevens to improve to 2-0. Finally, down in Class 4A, La Vernia has made its first appearance in the DCTF state rankings in 4A Division I after improving to 2-0 with a 55-7 rout of San Antonio McCollum Thursday night. We end up with another surprise 2-0 team in new varsity program San Antonio Harlan who is 2-0 and UNBEATEN in school history.

Crosby takes down Manvel
The No. 2 team in DCTF’s Class 5A state rankings jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead at Crosby on Friday night and looked to be on their way to a 2-0 record, but four turnovers later and a determined Crosby bunch had other ideas as the Cougars stunned Manvel 49-47 ending a 21-game regular season winning streak for Manvel.

It’s a signature win for Crosby, who the past couple of seasons have fallen short of expectations, but in 2018 the team has flown under the radar early on.

Powerhouses starting slowly
Several traditional powers are off to slower starts than usual and, in some cases, there’s cause for concern while others, we may hold off on writing the obituary. At the small school level, a young Albany squad has taken its lumps going 0-2 against a pair of 3A opponents losing to a good Colorado City squad in Week 1 and falling to Dublin last week.

Staying out in the Big Country, the transition to Class 5A has been tough for the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs who fell to 0-2 after a 28-21 home loss to Lubbock Monterey Friday evening. Moving up to the bigger schools, Cedar Park is 0-2 after back to back losses to 6A programs after playing a very tough schedule in the Austin area. In Class 6A, The Woodlands and Arlington Martin are also off to 0-2 starts. Martin’s blowout loss to Lewisville Hebron on Friday night raises a few red flags after a relatively competitive loss in Week 1 to Lake Travis.

The really concerning 0-2 start has to be the Denton Guyer Wildcats who are 0-2 after a 28-0 loss to Cedar Hill late Friday. Guyer has failed to score a point in its two losses to Aledo and Cedar Hill and will try and get back on the right track this coming week in a winnable game against North Crowley.

Yoakum stuns Cuero
No. 1 Cuero came into its annual rivalry game with Yoakum as a heavy favorite after all the Gobblers had a veteran squad that handled Yoakum a year ago, and the young Bulldogs were rebounding from a tough season opening loss to Boerne.

Games aren’t played on paper and Yoakum jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead on the strength of multiple Cuero first half turnovers and held on down the stretch to stun Cuero 30-20 and earn local bragging rights in DeWitt County for a year.

More long losing streaks end
In Week 1, we saw the state’s longest losing streak come to an end as Fort Worth Diamond Hill broke its 77-game skid, and the team won again last night to improve to 2-0.

Quitman also broke into the win column in Week 1 breaking a 43-game skid, while Olney ended a 22-game losing streak as well. We saw a few more streaks end last night as well as there’s definitely a theme developing statewide.

Waco University took over the dubious title of having the state’s longest losing streak and the Trojans didn’t hold it for long and rolled past Austin Travis 37-0 Friday night to end a 47-game skid.

Dallas Pinkston broke into the win column Friday night as well under first-year head coach Derek Lewis, the Vikings beat Dallas Life 22-13 to end its 36-game losing streak. Finally, we head out to West Texas where Big Spring ended their 26-game losing streak with a 33-7 rout of Sweetwater at the Mustang Bowl. El Paso Socorro now holds the state’s longest losing streak at 29 games, so the Bulldogs are on the clock.

Giddings and Goliad send a message
A couple of smaller schools made quite the impression Friday night and served notice to the entire state of just how good they can be. In Class 4A Division II, Giddings under first-year head coach Wade Griffin opened the season with a hard fought 17-16 win over defending 3A Division I state champion Rockdale. But on Friday, the Buffaloes exploded routing Wimberley, a 4A Division II state semi-finalist in 2017, 63-13 and expect the Buffs to end up in a lot of statewide polls on Monday.

One team that’s been in statewide polls all year is 3A Division I Goliad and the Tigers got the first real test of the year Friday travelling 30 miles down the road to visit the top team in 2A Division I Refugio. Consider that test passed, as Goliad dominated Refugio in emphatic fashion drilling the Bobcats 35-0. DCTF will be in Goliad next Friday as the Tigers look to go to 3-0 against fellow unbeaten George West.

Friday night at Bivins Stadium, one of the real legends in the media in Texas high school football covered his final game as the Amarillo Globe-News’ Lance Lahnert retired after 37 years covering prep sports in the panhandle.

Lahnert was given the honor by Amarillo ISD of performing the coin toss before the annual showdown between Amarillo High and Amarillo Tascosa. Lance is a great man and has always been incredibly generous with his time anytime I personally reached out with a question about a local team. In my trips up to Amarillo to cover games, Lance invited me up to the office to chat for about an hour about their local teams and how they stacked up statewide to give me the rundown on the local scene. Needless to say, visits that were meant to be just an hour long turned into three-hour conversations. Lance, we’ll miss you and we know we’ll see you at a game very soon!

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