Stepp's 10 Thoughts from Week 7 of the TXHSFB Season

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A Wild Week Off The Field

There was plenty of TXHSFB news off the field this week, which is unusual considering we are well into district play in most of the state.

We start in Port Lavaca, where Calhoun on Monday self-reported a UIL violation in their 55-7 win over Alice last Friday. The Sandcrabs misinterpreted the UIL rule about a player being ejected and played a player in the first half of the Alice game when he was actually required by UIL rules to sit out.

Coach Richard Whitaker took full responsibility for the mistake in the local media. The loss doesn’t hurt Calhoun too much provided they take care of businessthe rest of the way.

In a sadder story, Montgomery ISD announced on Monday that they were forfeiting their game against Huntsville as the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Office investigates allegations of widespread hazing in the football program.

Montgomery had multiple players suspended in last week’s loss to A&M Consolidated, but apparently the investigation continues to grow and could impact the rest of the Bears season. 

The fallout from last Friday’s fight between Texarkana Liberty-Eylau and Waco LaVega continues this week as Liberty-Eylau HC Klint King told local media in Texarkana that players involved in the melee would be suspended for this week’s game.

LaVega is idle this week and there’s no word yet on what punishment will take place in the Pirates first district game against Stephenville in two weeks.

Finally, we go out to Mount Vernon, where there’s been no shortage of media attention and news swirling around the program since the hiring of Art Briles on Memorial Day weekend.

The Tigers on the field have been sensational, getting off to a 6-0 start and pushing to get into the top 10 in 3A-Division I. There’s been some controversy surrounding several players who have moved in and multiple DEC meetings held to determine their eligibility. After the initial meeting took place and all four players had clear PAPFs, it appeared there were no issues. But a DEC meeting was called on September 18 to review the eligibility of the players.

At the time all four were cleared. However, on Tuesday, a new DEC meeting was called with additional evidence brought to the table and the 7-3A Division I DEC ruled 5-0 that two players from Mount Vernon were ineligible to compete.

The Tigers subsequently suffered their first loss of the season, 47-16, to high powered district rival Jefferson.

We also learned that Frisco Independence would have to forfeit its win on October 4 over Frisco Heritage for using an ineligible player.


North Shore’s Shadrach Banks Returns

After sitting out the first five games of the 2019 season recovering from a broken bone in his foot, Galena Park North Shore WR Shadrach Banks returned to the field in the Mustangs 49-7 win over Deer Park on Friday.

The Texas A&M commit looked sharp in his return catching five passes for 132 yards and a touchdown.

The Mustangs may benefit long term from Banks being out for six weeks as several young receivers got quality reps and will be excellent complimentary weapons to Banks, who will no doubt draw plenty of attention from opposing defenses.


Weather Again Wins on Thursday

Fall has finally arrived and, so to, has Mother Nature’s annual impact on high school football.

A strong cold front moved through DFW on Thursday evening. Ahead of the cold front was a line of strong storms that brought rain, high winds, hail and lightning. Many games were moved up to 6 p.m. in anticipation of the weather. However, around 7:30 p.m. is when the weather moved into Tarrant County, which forced several games to get postponed to Saturday.

Denton Guyer-Keller Timber Creek and Dallas Samuell-Mansfield Timberview were so lopsided that the games were called final at halftime.

Plano at one point held a 42-14 lead over McKinney, but the Lions rallied back in the third quarter to make it a 42-35 game before weather caused the game to be paused with 11:11 left in the fourth quarter.

The two teams resumed play Friday with Plano hanging on for a 56-49 win.


El Paso Americas Wins Sun City Showdown

The much-anticipated showdown between El Paso’s two best teams lived up to the hype on Thursday night, as El Paso Americas improved to 5-1 with a 17-13 win over previously unbeaten El Paso Franklin in front of a sold-out crowd at the Socorro ISD Student Activity Center.

Aaron Dumas ran for 195 yards and two touchdowns, while the Trailblazers defense sacked Franklin quarterback Danny Walther seven times.

Both teams look poised to close the season strong and finish as the top seed in their respective divisions and get to host a playoff game, but Americas has the bragging rights in the 915 for a year.


Friendswood Stuns Richmond Foster

District 10-5A Division I may be known around the Houston area as the “Little SEC” but Robert Koopman’s squad is showing they are more than up to the task.

Friendswood improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in district play by knocking off state power Richmond Foster, 34-32, Friday night.

Luke Grden led the Mustangs attack with four touchdown passes and the often-overlooked Friendswood defense came up with several timely stops to build the big lead and hang on down the stretch.


Scoreless Teams

There are two UIL 11-man programs that have yet to score.

Houston Wisdom fell to 0-6 in Class 5A-Division I with a 46-0 loss to Houston Austin on Thursday, while Austin Eastside Memorial fell to Wimberley 51-0 on Thursday falling to 0-6 in 4A-Division II.

Eastside didn’t score until Week 10 last season.

We’ll be rooting for these teams to have some success towards the end of the year and we commend the coaches and players from these teams for coming and working hard every day and learning life lessons from Texas High School Football.


Weslaco Ends Edinburg Vela’s 33-Game District Winning Streak

Welsaco got a huge game from quarterback Jacob Cavazos in a 44-28 victory over Edinburg Vela.

Cavazos rushed for 197 yards and four touchdowns, and passed for 183 yards in the win, which improved the Panthers to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in District 30-6A.

The win gives a young team under first year head coach Roy Stroman plenty of confidence moving into the second half of the season.

Weslaco also gets a feather in the cap as they ended Vela’s 33-game district winning streak; the last time the Sabercats dropped a district game was way back in 2014.


Cuero’s Collapse

It’s been a difficult year for the defending Class 4A-Division II state champions, who we thought coming into the year would be in a bit of a rebuild. But we thought tradition and pedigree would win out and still carry the Gobblers to a strong season in 2019.

It appears we may have been wrong as the Gobblers were upset by Bandera at home, 16-15, on Friday night to open district play.

With that loss, there’s a real chance that the unthinkable could happen and Cuero misses out on the playoffs.

However, let’s also give some credit to Bandera who is 6-0 for the first time in 25 years as first-year head coach Joel Fontenot-Amadee has the Bulldogs rolling.


Vanderbilt Industrial Impressive In District Opener

Don’t look now but the Cobras are making noise down in the Crossroads region as Jamie Dixon’s squad opened District 14-3A Division I play with an impressive 49-20 win over perennial power Yoakum.

The Cobras are now 5-1 and are making a major case as a district title contender in Region IV’s toughest district.


Top 10 Dominance in Class 2A

After much chaos in the Class 2A rankings this year, order may now be restored as district play ramps up.

All 19 teams ranked in the two 2A divisions came out winners this week (Albany was idle).

Not only were they winners but of the 19 games played, only one game was closer than 14 points and that was Mason’s one-point win over Brackettville.

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