Playoffs: Division 2 – Region 2 Preview

FAVORITES 1. Longview Lobos (9-1) – The Lobos always play one of the tougher schedules in the state and are shooting for their fourth straight state semifinal appearance. They notched wins over #7 DeSoto, #8 Lufkin and #20 Abilene during the regular for what might be the most impressive resume of anyone in the top 25.  The only loss came to #3 Allen.  The Lobos feature a balanced ball control offense (1,991 passing, 1884 rushing) and a top 25 defense (-9.4 ADS) which suits them very well in the playoffs. Key Players: QB Bivins Caraway (Jr.), RB J’haston Faggins (Sr.), WR Eric Hawkins (Sr.), DT Cornelius Williams (Jr.), LB Demarkus Lathan (Jr.), DB Stephon Maxey (So.) 2. Lufkin Panthers (9-1) – Surprising to some, they came into the year as an unranked “dark horse”, but quickly worked their way into and up the top 25.  An early season loss (24-10) at highly ranked Longview still proved that this group could compete with the better teams in the state.  That was later justified with a 30-10 win over The Woodlands.  Senior RB Jamarcus Walker is a three-year starter for the Panthers and has the ability to carry this group deep into Read More …

Playoffs: Division 2 – Region 1 Preview

FAVORITES 1. Colleyville Heritage Panthers (9-1) – The Panthers finished the regular season only three points in overtime to #4 Euless Trinity away from an undefeated record.  They like to spread you out and throw the rock around the yard (349 passing attempts).  Junior QB Cody Thomas has enjoyed a breakout season with over 2,500 yards passing and 30 touchdowns to only 9 interceptions.  That kind of production out of a quarterback is very difficult to prepare for and is a big reason why the Panthers are a favorite to emerge from the region. Key Players: QB Cody Thomas (Jr.), RB Landon Sherman (Sr.), WR Nolan Brown (Jr.), DL Rex Montes (Sr.), LB Christian Gonzales (Jr.), DB Justin Vallilee (Sr.) 2. FM Marcus Marauders (9-1) – Just about the polar opposite of Heritage, Marcus does most of their work on the ground and is equally as effective.  The Marauders feature two 1,000 yard rushers in senior Harvey Giddens (1,449 yds., 21 tds) and senior Jeff Smiley (1,110 yds., 15 tds).  They led the Metroplex in rushing offense with 339 yards per game.  A last minute loss to Allen a few weeks ago showed that this bunch is a legit contender. Read More …

Playoffs: Division 1 – Region 4 Preview

FAVORITES 1. Harlingen Cardinals (10-0) – What a year it has been for the Cardinals – undefeated with a win outside the region over Abilene – and it could still get a lot better.  Many outside of the valley have convinced themselves that the win over Abilene wasn’t that significant.  What they fail to realize is that it showed this team can handle playoff type pressure in a neutral venue and pull out a win in a close game.  It’s not something that should be underestimated over the next month.  They’ll field the best offense, can the defense hold up their end of the bargain? Key Players: QB Kevin Ledesma (Sr.), RB Brian Blake (Sr.), WR Randy Bermea (Sr.), DE Tadeo Rodriguez (Sr.), LB Nathan Prado (Jr.), S Daniel Ramirez (Sr.) 2. San Antonio Wagner Thunderbirds (7-3) – They come out of the highly competitive 25-5A, home to multiple state ranked teams at various points this season, including the defending D2 state champs in Cibolo Steele.  Wagner does most of their damage on the ground behind 1,200+ yard back senior Derrick Kindred.  They also feature three other backs that have combined for nearly 900 yards rushing.  On the defensive side Read More …

Playoffs: Division 1 – Region 3 Preview

FAVORITES 1. Cy Fair Bobcats (10-0) – The Bobcats enter the playoffs with two major factors in their favor – experience and defense.  Fair came into the season with 14 starters from the season before, most of them on the defensive side of the ball.  The Bobcats finished the regular season with a defensive adjusted scoring mark of -20.3, good for second best in the state.  To only give up an average of 8.6 points per game in a district full of offensive firepower is very impressive and why they’re considered a favorite. Key Players: RB John Jacob (Sr.), TE Sean Irwin (Sr.), DB Ryan Bradshaw (Jr.), LB/DB Dwight White (Sr.), DB Khalil Coleman (Sr.), DB Jalen Champagne (Sr.) 2. Cy Falls Golden Eagles (9-1) – The Golden Eagles make it two-for-two for 17-5A as favorites in this bracket.  Only a seven point loss to Fair separates the two.  This isn’t your older brother’s Cy Falls, this is a group that gets it done on defense.  Like Fair, the Golden Eagles saw several explosive offenses during district play and lived up to the challenge.  Another key factor in Falls’ corner is an experienced, dual-threat quarterback in senior Troy Mitchell (2,500 Read More …

Playoffs: Division 1 – Region 2 Preview

FAVORITES 1. Dallas Skyline Raiders (10-0) – No one has dominated their schedule quite like the Raiders have this season.  Skyline finished the year as the #1 ranked team in Texas, #1 in adjusted defensive scoring (ADS) and #1 in team dominance (DOM).  The list of accomplishments so far this year is long, however, Skyline was in a similar position in 2009 and was upset by Cy Woods in the 3rd round.  The monumental test will come in the 2nd round where Skyline could face off against DeSoto, a team that sent them packing last year 38-0. Key Players: QB Devonte Kincade (Jr.), RB David Greene (Sr.), WR Thomas Johnson (Sr.), WR RaShaad Samples (Jr.), LB Peter Jinkens (Sr.), DB Cedric Collins (So.) 2. DeSoto Eagles (9-1) – The Eagles are coming off of a tough 23-21 loss to a very good Longview team.  We would expect the Eagles to bounce back in a big way and use the loss as a learning tool and motivation moving forward.  There’s no doubting the talent level and, minus the one defensive blip against Mesquite Horn, it’s clear that they are playing much better defensively than in the past.  A likely 2nd round Read More …

Playoffs: Division 1 – Region 1 Preview

FAVORITES 1. Allen Eagles (10-0) – The Eagles came into the season as the #1 team in Texas with an experienced quarterback, a star running back, weapons at the skill positions, experience in the trenches and a coach that has been there and done that before.  Due to the expectations placed on this team, each game has been scrutinized and every little chink in the armor has been discussed.  The Eagles aren’t concerned by any of that and remain well-built for a deep run. Key Players: QB Alec Morris (Sr.), RB Jonathan Williams (Sr.), WR Andrew Rodriguez (Sr.), DL Stone Drulman (Jr.), DL Brandyn Bolling (Sr.), LB Chris Hudson (Sr.) 2. Euless Trinity Trojans (10-0) – The Trojans entered the season as the #2 team in that state behind a bevy of experienced bodies in the trenches, a dominating run game and a fast, physical defense.  Inexperience at the quarterback position did catch up with the Trojans a little bit during the regular season, however, they still finished 10-0 and know how to get it done come November and December.  The Trojans are sitting right where they want to be, undefeated in an odd year. Key Players: RB Joel Kimpela Read More …

Playoffs: FBS Commits by Region

For uncommitted seniors, the playoffs provide up to six additional games to show off their skills against top competition.  For juniors, the playoffs can serve as a launching pad leading into the most important off-season for those looking to play at the next level. Here’s a current region-by-region breakdown of players committed to play for FBS schools. Please note: A few top uncommitted seniors such as Euless Trinity’s Brain Nance, Klein Oak’s AJ Hilliard, Lufkin’s Tommie Mark won’t appear on this list because they haven’t chosen their school yet, but hold multiple offers. DIVISION 1 (65) Region 1 (22) DB Eric Amoako, Arlington Martin – Oregon (2012) DB Stephen Amoako, Arlington Martin – Oregon (2012) OL Steven Baggett, Arlington Martin – Boise State (2012) OL Adam Butler, Duncanville – Vanderbilt (2012) LB Will Davis, Southlake Carroll – Kansas State (2012) DE Devonte Fields, Arlington Martin – TCU (2012) OL Aderius Epps, Cedar Hill – Kansas State (2012) OL Simon Goines, Keller Central – Missouri (2012) RB Russell Hansbrough, Arlington Bowie – Arizona State (2012) DB/WR Sabian Holmes, Southlake Carroll – Baylor (2012) ATH/QB Kolby Listenbee, Arlington Bowie – TCU (2012) LB Thaddeus LaGrone, Allen – Baylor (2012) OL Hiva Lutui, Read More …

Div. 1 State Championship: Dragons Win!!

Date: December 17th, 2011 Time: 4:00pm TV: Fox Sports Southwest When the playoff brackets crystallized five weeks ago, Carroll and Hightower were only considered outside favorites in their respective regions.  Many pointed to the second round game between Allen and Euless Trinity in Region 1, and thought the eventual region (and potentially state) winner would emerge from that game.  Carroll, despite entering the playoffs with an undefeated record, was overlooked as a primary favorite. If Carroll flew under the radar on its side of the bracket, Hightower was almost off the grid entirely.  An undefeated Cy Fair team and a rapidly improving Pearland squad were considered most likely to win Region 3.  Hightower wasn’t expected to survive the second round match-up with North Shore.  Carroll and Hightower have earned their places in the state championship after an unpredictable and tightly contested Division 1 bracket. For Carroll, this year’s playoffs have been a redemption tour of sorts for everyone who left this storied program for dead after Todd Dodge’s exit and four barren post-season years.  The Dragons have fought every step of the journey and survived close calls against Plano East, Arlington Bowie and Dallas Skyline to reach this point.  Hightower Read More …

Div. 2 State Championship: Dekaney brings home their first title!

Date: December 17th, 2011 Time: 8:00pm TV: Fox Sports Southwest A wide open Division 2 bracket did not disappoint and only Steele, last year’s Division 2 state champion, made it through the bracket as a favorite.  The Knights (15-0) will do even better than last year record wise (14-2) no matter what happens this week, but they’ll only be satisfied with a win.  The Steele program is only in its sixth season, but already has a chance to win back-to-back state championships. Dekaney is an even younger program in just its fourth varsity season.  The Wildcats, led by head coach Willie Amendola, had 0, 5 and 6 wins in their first three seasons.  They have more wins this season (13) than they had in their first three combined.  Though one step remains, it’s safe to say Dekaney has made the most of its first ever trip to the state playoffs. Dekaney and Steele had their closest games in Bi-District.  Dekaney beat The Woodlands College Park, for the second time this year, 27-21 and Steele beat San Antonio Johnson 24-14.  Steele’s closest margin of victory since was last week’s 51-31 win over PA Memorial, but the Knights led 51-10 before calling Read More …