Friday Night Overview Area Round: Absolute chaos across the Lone Star State

Photo by Russell Wilburn

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Rockwall out-paces Allen in high-scoring thriller
Seriously, what else were we supposed to lead off with?

In what could be looked back on as the game of the season, Rockwall beat Allen, 60-59, in the area round inside AT&T Stadium to avenge last season’s loss to the Eagles in the second round and earn its first area round win in nearly five seasons. In a game that included 1,100 yards of offense between both teams and Allen QB Raylen Sharpe racking up 459 yards passing and 112 yards on the ground, it was Rockwall star WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba that grabbed the spotlight from the opening jump.

The Ohio State commit finished with 15 catches for 252 yards and scored the first five Yellow Jacket touchdowns, all coming in the first half. Rockwall leaned on its explosive offense all season long and baited the Eagles into the track meet it wanted. Allen was game for the offensive showcase, but it was Rodney Webb's decision to go for two with under two minutes to go that separated the two in the end.

So, what does all of this mean? Well now, Region II is about as wide open as it could possibly be! Rockwall, Cy Ranch, Klein Oak and The Woodlands could all realistically come out as regional champions, but right now you have to look at the Yellowjackets as the current favorites to do so.

Oh, and a reminder to coaches everywhere, listen to Rodney Webb. Always go for the win.

6A Division II is wide open
Did anyone have both the reigning state champions, Longview, and the state runner-ups, Beaumont West Brook, going down in the area round? No one did, if you say you did, you’re a liar.

But in all seriousness, with both of those teams going down today, all of a sudden 6A Division II has no clear frontrunner. Dallas Jesuit beat Longview, 27-25, and Houston Strake Jesuit topped Beaumont West Brook, 63-35, a 68-point swing from the two teams' regular game.

This has arguably become the most entertaining state title race in one night. Does that clear a path for Spring Westfield in Region II, or does E.J. Smith and Dallas Jesuit use its upset as a springboard to power through toward a state semifinal? What about Strake Jesuit out of Region III or maybe Cy Creek? Not to mention that the result of Saturday’s Denton Guyer/Cedar Hill game all of a sudden looks like it will determine who the new front-runner is in the bracket with Longview now out of the picture,

Falls City looks the part
It’s hard to call 2A Division II an open race, but with how underwhelming (For their standard) Mart has looked at times this season, it’s certainly looked more up in the air than last.

One of the teams that had the look of a state-title contender heading into the postseason was Falls City. The Beavers went into the postseason 9-1 but hadn’t really been tested during the year aside from a loss to 3A Poth. And while Falls City was a heavy favorite over Chilton inside Bob Shelton Stadium in Buda Friday night, the Beavers didn’t give the Pirates a sniff at an upset bid winning, 41-7.

Brady Lyssy had five touchdowns and an interception to prove his talent as one of the best players in 2A and perhaps one of the most underrated in the state. Falls City is more than living up to its label as the favorite in Region IV and perhaps the whole bracket.

Fort Bend Marshall takes poles position in 5A DII Region III
Okay so before Fort Bend Marshall Twitter reminds me, YES. I picked A&M Consolidated as my 5A Division II state champion…so that didn’t work out.

But the clash between two of the top teams in the state lived up to the hype nonetheless with Syl Labome breaking up a last-second throw to the endzone to seal the FB Marshall victory, 32-27.

What was apparent to everyone was that the winner of Friday night’s game was going to likely be the frontrunner in Region III and Fort Bend Marshall wasn’t ready to let go of that regional crown just yet. Devon Achane and Malik Hornsby proved to be the best tandem on the field in a game littered with collegiate talent. Now the Buffaloes are in the driver’s seat, but will likely have to beat Manvel, the one team to beat them during the regular season, to make the run back to Arlington.

Social Media Highlights

Allen played with a heavy heart Friday night in memory of slain teammatye Marquel Ellis Jr. They made sure he was with them inside AT&T.

 

Jaxon Smith Njigba wasn't the only FBS-bound WR making snags inside JerryWorld Friday night. How about DeSoto's Lawrence Arnold?

 

 

And then there's R.J. Mickens...

 

Big-time matchups call for big-time crowds

 

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