Stepp's Ten Thoughts from Week 6 of the TXHSFB Season

Photo by Russell Wilburn

Cy Falls End’s Cy Fair’s Streak
Coach Chris Brister’s squad showed the Houston area and the entire state of Texas that they are a force to be reckoned with Thursday night stunning defending 6A Division II state champion and arch rival Cy-Fair 14-7 in front of a large crowd at Pridgeon Stadium in Cypress. The Golden Eagle defense was the story forcing three turnovers and holding the Bobcats attack in check all night ending Cy-Fair’s 19-game winning streak. T.J. Goodwin’s one-yard scoring run with just over four minutes left in the game proved to be the difference for the Golden Eagles.

Bye week blues
It was a relatively light week across the state as over 30 percent of the state’s UIL football playing schools took the week off. This resulted in an unusually light schedule this weekend but what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality. There were high-profile non-district games at the small school level as schools in four and five-team districts were forced to pair up and play big measuring stick games, while the teams involved in district play began their run to the playoffs. Starting next week, nearly everyone will be playing district games except for the handful of four-team districts out in West Texas at the 4A and 3A level who will close out non-district action next week. 

Early Coaching Movement
Even though we are still in the middle of the season, we’ve already had some head coaching movement around the state. Two weeks ago, Godley reassigned head coach Duke Dalton and promoted OC Daniel Davis to interim head coach for the remainder of the 2018 season. We learned via the McAllen Monitor’s Nate Kotisso late Friday that after a 1-5 start, Edcouch-Elsa fired head coach Bradley Chavez. The ‘Jackets fell to Pharr Valley View 33-0 on Friday night and the district decided a change was needed. Athletic Director Christian Navarro is taking over the duties as head football coach for at least the remainder of the season. While in the DFW area, there are some questions about the status of South Garland head coach Josh Ragsdale, I spoke to Garland ISD Friday morning after I was made aware of OC Philip Murray coaching the team in the Thursday night loss to Rowlett. GISD advised Coach Murray, "Had assumed the duties of head football coach,” but they advised Murray had not been named interim head football coach. We are unaware of the nature of Coach Ragsdale’s absence from the team at this time, but it’s something that bears watching.

Southlake Trick Play
Without a doubt the game of the night in the DFW area was played at Dragon Stadium as Southlake Carroll remained unbeaten with a heart-stopping 33-29 victory over Denton Guyer. This certainly isn’t the Guyer team we saw in the first two weeks of the season that failed to score a point and gave the heavily favored Dragons all they wanted. With the game tied at 27 with just 11 seconds left, the Dragons decided to run one more play before kicking a potential game-winning field goal. First-year head coach Riley Dodge reached into the bag of tricks and called a double reverse pass and it worked perfectly as John Manero hooked up with Blake Smith for the 23-yard touchdown pass to give the Dragons a big win and the inside track to the 5-6A district title.

Epic In Temple
We just talked about the game of the night in the DFW area, but there’s no doubt the game of the night from a statewide perspective was the absolute classic at Wildcat Stadium in Temple between the Temple Wildcats and the Belton Tigers. The two longtime rivals put on an absolute show and Temple remained undefeated taking down Belton 58-55 in triple overtime, in front of an estimated crowd of over 13,000 fans. The winning score for THS came on its series in the third overtime trailing 55-52 as Jared Wiley hooked up with Quinton Johnson for a 25-yard touchdown pass for the walk-off win. That victory certainly gives Temple the inside track to the 12-6A title, but this game shows Belton will be a player come playoff time in Region II in the Division I bracket.

Andrews Rallies For Big Win
In a big measuring stick game out in West Texas, Andrews staked its claim as a regional title contender with a come-from-behind 28-21 home win over a very strong Hereford squad. Worth noting that the game was called due to lightning in the area with under a minute left in the third quarter, but after training 21-6 at halftime, Andrews has to feel good about the rally. QB Brett Leach tossed three touchdowns in a five minute span in the third quarter to turn the 15-point deficit into a seven-point edge. Three of those scoring tosses went to WR Markeese Lawrence. Andrews is 5-1 on the season with its only loss being to 5-0 Class 5A school Lubbock Cooper by just two points.

Carthage’s Great Escape
Carthage was able to extend its state leading winning streak to 31 games on Friday night at home, but was an absolute dog fight (no pun intended) as Carthage knocked off Texarkana Pleasant Grove 28-21. Carthage trailed for most of the game, but with 6:28 left, were able to tie the game at 21 as Gunnar Capps hooked up with Kaden Holcomb for the touchdown and two point conversion. Pleasant Grove would drive to the Carthage 30-yard line on the next series but fumbled the ball away and the Bulldogs pounced driving 70 yards to win the game with just three seconds left as Kelvontay Dixon scored on a six-yard run to keep the Carthage streak alive. But if Pleasant Grove can put those kind of efforts together consistently, it could re-emerge as a 4A Division II contender.

Central Texas 4A Meat Grinder
You’d be hard pressed to find a better and deeper district at the 4A Division II level than 8-4A Division II as all seven of the teams in this district could potentially still compete for a district title. Madisonville currently leads the district with a 2-0 record, while Robinson sits with a 1-0 record. Lorena, who many had as one of the top two or three teams in the state, was stunned Friday night by Waco Connally and fell to 1-1 along with Waco Connally and Salado (who was a state quarterfinalist a year ago). Don’t forget about 0-1 Mexia is lurking and Fairfield at 0-2 who just a couple of weeks ago, was a top 10 team in the state.

Clyde Stuns Stamford
Just a week after scoring 90 points and having a quarterback that threw for 12 touchdowns and nearly 800 yards, 1-3 Clyde looked like the next victim to unbeaten Stamford and its high flying passing game. First-year head coach Scott Campbell’s Bulldogs had other ideas and put together a suffocating defensive game plan and held Stamford’s offense in check for a big 21-13 upset win.

Lovelady Three Straight Shutouts
Talk about getting defensive. The Lovelady Lions are off to a hot start at 5-1 after blowing past Burkeville 67-0 for their third straight shutout. Although much of the attention in Class 2A Division II is with the likes of Mart, Wellington and Muenster, the Lions will be a force and that’s because of that dominating defense that has allowed just 35 points in their six games.

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