More than ever in Texas high school football: if you can’t score, you can’t win. Points are the coin of the realm at all levels on the gridiron, but especially in Texas high school football, where the average points per team per game now hovers around 27.
What that means is, if your offense is out of whack, you’d better fix it, and quick. Luckily for these Texas high school football teams, they pulled off some incredible offensive turnarounds, going from lethargic to lethal with the ball in their hands.
So let’s take a look at the most improved offenses in Texas high school football of 2018 — we’re doing this by comparing their points-per-game average from 2017 to their points-per-game average from 2018.
Honorable mentions to this list include: Katy Tompkins (+20.7 ppg), Tatum (+19.9 ppg), Bonham (+19.6 ppg), Houston Strake Jesuit (+19.3 ppg), East Chambers (+19.3 ppg), Frisco (+19.1 ppg) and Jourdanton (+19 ppg). Special commendation to Leakey, who improved by 37.5 points per game, though it should be noted that the Eagles played 2017 as an 11-man team and 2018 as a six-man team.
Without further ado, here are…
The 10 Most Improved Offenses in Texas High School Football in 2018
There are no two ways around it — the Bears struggled offensively in 2017, averaging a mere 18.3 points per game en route to a 2-8 season, their worst year since 2003. But 2018 was a return to normalcy (that’s to say, excellence) for coach John Berry’s squad, who dropped to Class 3A and turned up the heat offensively behind star running backs Rashaud Johnson and Eligia Carter. The result: a leap of 21.3 points to nearly 40 points per game, a run to the regional final, and lots for Bears fans to cheer about. — Greg Tepper
The Tigers were picked by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football to finish second in district 10-2A DII, and the leap by QB Quaydrian Scales (2,233 yards, 28 TDs passing; 785 yards rushing) was a huge reason why their offense exploded from 11.6 points per game in 2017 to 33.3 in 2018, a 21.6 point jump. It’s also why Clarksville reached the area round of the playoffs before falling to an excellent Evadale squad. Even better for the Tigers in 2019: Scales will be back for his senior season. Can he and his teammates improve on the offensive breakthrough? — Max Thompson
8: Pasadena Dobie
Dobie’s jump in offensive production was what the Longhorns had hoped for when they pried head coach Kevin Berneathy away from Angleton where he was offensive coordinator for three seasons. The results are pretty staggering: the Longhorns averaged 36.6 points per game, up from a meager 14.8 in 2017 — that’s a jump of 21.7 points. Dobie also snapped a three-year playoff drought and finished the year 7-4, its best record since 2011. — Ishmael Johnson
This was an historic year for the Wildcats in a lot of different ways — the first playoff win in program history, the first 10-win season in program history, and a few other milestones. But one of the driving forces behind the fantastic year for coach Marcus Schulz and company: a giant step forward offensively, which saw the Wildcats improve from 15.8 points per game to 37.8, an improvement of 21.9 points. Fueled by standout WRs Tyler Gamble and Jagger Kennedy, bruising FB Kyle Weber and breakout RB Jessie Paris, it was certainly a season to remember in Wildcat country. — Greg Tepper=
Head coach Devon Dorris has been building for years toward a breakthrough like this. The Hornets have struggled to climb to the heights of their district over the last few years, but 2018 was a year to remember. Not only did Azle jump from 13.2 points per game in 2017 to 36 in 2018 (a 22.8-point improvement), but the Hornets also leapt from a sixth-place projection to district champions. A one-score loss to Lubbock Coronado is all that kept Azle from reaching the third round of the playoffs. Not bad for a squad that went 4-6 the previous season. Drey Owen’s emergence at QB (1,635 yards, 20 TDs passing; 795 yards, 8 TDs rushing) as just a junior bodes well for another run in 2019. — Max Thompson
The Cougars snapped an 18-game losing streak that dated back to their winless 2017 campaign on September 7, beating Florence, 48-15. That score was indicative of the remarkable turnaround season head coach Amos Davidson was about to lead — after one of the most lackluster offensive seasons in the state a year ago (4.5 points per game), the Cougars exploded for 27.4 points per game, an improvement of 22.9 points. That’s a turnaround. — Ishmael Johnson
4: Red Oak
Call it the Chris Ross effect. The man who won gold at Cedar Park took over a Hawks program in need of a jolt, and boy, did he give it one. The Hawks surged from 2-8 in 2017 to 9-2 in 2018, and the offense had a lot to do with it — from 15.7 points per game to 40.6, a jump of 24.9 points. Give a ton of credit to QB Zayid Aziz and RB Dee Johnson, who sparked the turnaround, but make sure the head coach gets a little love, too. — Greg Tepper
The Bulldogs’ explosive ground game burned hot and fast, and while it didn’t come out of nowhere (most projections had them at or near the top of District 4-2A DII), it certainly exploded out of an underwhelming 2017, when they went 4-7. The turnaround to 6-5 and a second place finish in district was largely owed to the offense, which averaged just 17.6 point in 2017, but produced 44.9 points per game in 2018, good enough for a 27.2-point improvement in head coach Stephen Overstreet’s second season at the helm. The better news for the Tahoka faithful: many of the Bulldogs’ key players were juniors. — Max Thompson
2: San Saba
The numbers here are pretty staggering — a 29.8-point improvement for San Saba, from 19.7 points to 49.5 points per game. Arguably the best turnaround story in the state, the Armadillos put their hopes in their talented tandem of juniors in running back Eli Salinas and quarterback Sean O’Keefe, who combined for 3,514 yards and 54 yards on the ground as San Saba and head coach Jerod Fikac advanced all the way to the 2A DI state semifinals. — Ishmael Johnson
1: San Antonio Wagner
Pretty much everything about Wagner’s turnaround 2018 season is remarkable. The Thunderbirds, helped in part by a drop from 6A to 5A, went from 4-6 to 13-2 state semifinalists. How did they do it? Outstanding coaching from Charles Bruce and his staff, a playmaking defense…and the most unstoppable offense in Texas, averaging a state-best 56.8 points per game. It’s the highest-scoring team on a points-per-game basis since 2015, and when you consider they averaged an ordinary 23 points per game a year ago — a staggering 33.8-point improvement — you start to see why this is so amazing. From QB Tobias Weaver to RB LJ Butler to a sensational offensive line, the double-slot offense was cooking for the T-Birds, and it made 2018 truly special. — Greg Tepper