Friday Night Overview Week 7: Battle of the Lakes Classic, can Celina take the next step?

Photo by JR Flores

Battle of the Lakes Classic
Heading into Friday night, Lake Travis was n the midst of something it hasn’t been used to experiencing, a losing streak to Westlake. The Chaps had won the past two meetings, including last year’s 44-14 drubbing after enduring a 10-game losing streak before this current run.

If someone would’ve said that 2019’s edition of the game would feature a low-scoring slugfest at halftime, conventional wisdom would lend itself to presume that that’d be in Westlake’s favor. But not quite. Yes, Westlake’s defense held Lake Travis in check for the most part in the first half, but the Cavalier defense was just as stingy. Both teams were held to under 90 yards of offense in the first half with Lake Travis holding the 10-3 edge. The Cavaliers' defense was up for the fight this time around.

In the second half, the script flipped with both teams moving the ball much easier against one another and exchanging leads three times in the final quarter including Grayson Sandlin’s game-winning jump ball that put the Cavaliers up for good, 26-25. Westlake lined up for a 45-yard field goal to win late in the fourth quarter, but kicking into the wind, it fell well short allowing Lake Travis the opportunity to run the clock out.

Now, Lake Travis can put that season-opening loss to Arlington Martin well in the rearview after a marquee win over its arch-rival to brighten the schedule. Westlake on the other hand is still in the driver's seat in 6A Division II Region 4, but a loss to the crosstown rival always takes a bit of luster off the regular season.

Holliday struggles continue, Gunter still controls 5-3A
Remember when this was supposed to be a down year for Gunter? Yeah neither do the Tigers. No Clopton, no Jantz, no problem for Gunter who rolled past Holliday, 20-7. A Holliday team by the way, that could've been seen as a smart pick to take the district crown from the Tigers. Now with Gunter sitting pretty at 6-1, it’s looking like the district will come down to a three-way dance between the Tigers, Henrietta and Wichita Falls City View.

Everyone ready to pay attention to Celina?
Talk about a one-year turnaround.

Last year, Paris’ physicality was just too much for Celina in a 54-14 rout. And an impressive effort against Texarkana Pleasant Grove and even a stumble against district-foe Melissa still hadn’t soured anyone off of what Paris could do.

But this year, the Bobcats repaid the favor, shutting out the Wildcats, 34-0, and remaining in the hunt for a 7-4A crown, while of course games against Melissa and top-ranked Argyle loom in the distance. Celina looks like it could be a real challenger after Friday night’s game with its only losses on the year being to 5A DII Frisco Memorial by two points and Nolan Catholic in Fort Worth, the No. 2 private school in the state.

Haltom over Euless Trinity
It only took playing against the No. 22 team in 6A to wake Haltom up. After graduating a talented senior class, the Buffalos were bound to take a step back in 2019, but a big, 23-20, win over Euless Trinity could be what Haltom needs to get things back on track. The rest of its schedule unfolds interestingly with a key game against Abilene next week and a big test at the end of the year with San Angelo coming to town.

Social Media Highlights:

A lot of good highlights as usual for a Friday night, but nothing was going to top this over at Midland Lee:

Although, Cedar Hill's Jalon Peoples certainly tried to top it with his tipped interception.

This weekend was also one of the biggest rivalries in the state, The Battle of the Arroyo down in the RGV. Harlingen took this one, 35-13, over San Benito. Think the Cardinals were pumped to start district 1-0 over their rivals? This should definitely be a bucket-list game for any Texas high school football fan.

 

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