High School: District 9-5A

Lake Highlands gets revenge against Skyline

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
11:10
PM CT
DALLAS -- Lake Highlands' boys basketball team (17-13, 8-5 in 9-5A) planned to exploit its height advantage over Dallas Skyline (14-14, 8-5) in the teams' first meeting this season.

It didn’t pan out for the Wildcats in a 63-58 loss the first time around.

[+] EnlargeJames Lonergan
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comJames Lonergan had a game-high 27 points, including 12 in the third quarter, for Lake Highlands.
Friday, Lake Highlands couldn’t help but try to get the ball to its bigs down low, and this time it worked perfectly in a 79-59 home win.

Post James Lonergan used his long frame to knock down a game-high 27 points for the Wildcats, 12 of which came in the third quarter. He fell one rebound short of a double-double.

“We put in a good week of practice working on that and making sure we could get the ball down low,” Lonergan said. “Working it down low seemed to space it out for everyone.”

That included guard Nate Welty, who sparked the Wildcats' 11-2 run to begin the second half that ultimately put the game out of reach.

Welty drained a 3-pointer just seconds into the third quarter and followed it with a behind-the-back pass to Lonergan on a breakaway that led to an easy layup for the big man.

“I had no idea it was coming,” Lonergan said. “I saw it last second and thought it was about to hit me and didn’t know what was going on, but it worked out. He’s very slippery in the post and can make some great passes.”

Welty added 15 points for the Wildcats.

The win complicates things in the middle of District 9-5A, putting Skyline and Lake Highlands in a tie for third place. Both teams have one more game to play; Lake Highlands against Richardson and Skyline vs. W.T. White.

If Lake Highlands and Skyline both finish the final game with the same result, it would force a tiebreaker between the teams.

If that situation arises, both coaches would agree upon a tie-breaking scenario, either playing another game or flipping a coin.

Lake Highlands coach Rob Wylie said he wasn’t sure which he would pick if the cards fell in a tie, but he said there are some disadvantages to playing another game for third- and fourth-place seeding.

“If it was for a district championship you’d probably see us play a game, but you might see a coin flip since it’s just for seeding," Wylie said. "I’m not real sure at this point. The problem with a game is everyone who is going to see you in the playoffs is up in the stands, taking down everything you’re doing, but in general, you’d like to decide it on the court.”
RICHARDSON, Texas – A massive gust of wind surely must have pushed across the Metroplex around 10 p.m. Friday night originating from Lake Highlands.

The gust was from the entire community letting out a sigh of relief after the Wildcats slipped into the playoffs with a 21-14 win over Richardson at Eagle-Mustang Stadium.

The first person to let out a breath after holding it for a week in anticipation of this win-and-you’re-in matchup was Lake Highlands coach Scott Smith.

[+] EnlargeLake Highlands football
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comJacobi Johnson, playing in place of the injured starting running back, scored two of Lake Highlands' three touchdowns against Richardson.
“Yes, yes we can [finally breath],” Smith said with a big grin. “Our kids worked our tails off this week and pulled out all the stops.”

Lake Highlands running back Jacobi Johnson was unexpectedly thrust into the role as the feature back in the team’s most critical game of the season after starter DeVonte Sunwenghan was sidelined with an injury.

Johnson scored two of the Wildcats three touchdowns on the night, racking up over 170 yards rushing.

“He was a guy coming into the season that we knew he had the capabilities of doing what he did tonight,” Smith said. “A lot of times, because of our offense and how we move it around so much, he didn’t get as many touches sometimes during the week that he wanted. Tonight he had to. Tonight was his night and he had a great night.”

It was Smith’s 5-yard run with seven minutes left that would be enough to send the Wildcats to the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

“It feels great to know that you can carry the team with the star player being hurt,” Johnson said. “This week, with grades coming in and everyone having to pass and this game, it’s just been tough.”

Lake Highlands' defense also came up big, stopping speedy Richardson quarterback Parker Smith on a fourth-and-1 try deep in Lake Highlands’ territory.

Lake Highlands (5-5, 4-3 District 9-5A) will face Rowlett, the top Division II seed from District 10-5A, in a bi-district playoff game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Homer B. Johnson Stadium in Garland. Richardson's season ends at 5-5 overall and 3-4 in 9-5A.

Smith said Rowlett is not unlike many teams the Wildcats have faced this year, but has talent spread all over the field.

Smith said they are “counting on” Sunwenghan being available for the bi-district matchup.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Smith said. “We are going to enjoy this tonight but tomorrow morning we’ll be back at it to see what we can bring to the plate for Rowlett.”

DALLAS LAKE HIGHLANDS (4-5, 3-3 9-5A) AT RICHARDSON (5-4, 3-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Richardson’s Eagle-Mustang Stadium

When we saw them last: Lake Highlands fell to undefeated District 9-5A champion Skyline, 37-0. Skyline held Lake Highlands to 150 yards of total offense. Richardson handled 2-4 W.T. White, 59-39.

2010 result: Lake Highlands edged Richardson by a field goal, 17-14. The win gave Lake Highlands the No. 2 spot in the district, and despite the loss, Richardson still made the playoffs with the last seed.

What’s at stake: Win and you’re in. The winner of this game will claim the last District 9-5A playoff spot and the other will have its season come to an abrupt end.

Key matchup: Which offense will show up ready for the playoffs a week early. Lake Highlands’ offense is centered around running back DeVonte Sunwenghan. Stop him and Richardson has a good chance to outscore Lake Highlands with a very similar run game and short-yardage passing game.

Players to watch: Richardson’s all purpose offensive standout is quarterback Parker Smith, who leads the team in both passing yards and rushing yards. Lake Highlands starts Michael Ketchmark under center, but will bring in athlete Trent Jones to change up the pace in the run attack.

Prediction: Richardson can’t find a way to stop Sunwenghan, and Lake Highlands sneaks into the playoffs, 24-17.
DALLAS JESUIT (5-2 9-5A, 3-1) AT DALLAS LAKE HIGHLANDS (4-3, 3-1)
>7:30 p.m. Friday at Lake Highlands’ Wildcat-Ram Stadium




When we saw them last: Jesuit doubled up on Richardson, 62-30, behind an eight-touchdown performance from fill-in quarterback Brian Buell. Lake Highlands lost a heartbreaker to rival Richardson Berkner, 16-13, changing the shared stadium's name to Ram-Wildcat Stadium next year.

2010 result: Lake Highlands beat Jesuit, 29-20, in current Wildcat running back DeVonte Sunwenghan's breakout game. Filling in for injured star and current Oklahoma State freshman Desmond Roland, Sunwenghan rushed for just under 200 yards and four touchdowns in the game that assured Lake Highlands the No. 2 seed in District 9-5A.

What’s at stake: Jesuit needs to continue to win to claim a second-place finish in District 9-5A behind Dallas Skyline. Lake Highlands is currently tied with Jesuit for second in the district, but has yet to play ESPN Dallas 5A No. 2 Skyline and playoff contender Richardson. Lake Highlands needs to come up with a big win against Jesuit to give the Wildcats a leg up in the race for the last two playoff spots.

Key matchup: Jesuit’s defense against Lake Highlands rushing attack. The Wildcats have proven to be a very one-dimensional team, limited to production on the ground. Until last week’s game, when Michael Ketchmark threw for 133 yards vs. Berkner, no Wildcat passer had thrown for more than 100 yards in a game this season. Jesuit must shut down Sunwenghan and force Lake Highlands to move the ball through the air.

Players to watch: Both teams’ quarterbacks have interesting storylines coming into this game. Before the first game of the season, Jesuit quarterback Brian Buell was relegated to the second team. But after Jack Brezette went down in Jesuit’s loss to Coppell, Buell has filled in seamlessly, throwing for eight touchdowns last weekend. Ketchmark won the starting job over classmate Trent Jones last season, but Ketchmark had been sidelined for the majority of this season because of injury. He returned two weeks ago and has shown signs of being at full strength, but he's several weeks behind in game-speed action.

Prediction: Jesuit 42, Lake Highlands 10.
DALLAS -- Glance at Dallas Skyline’s offense during its 54-7 rout of Dallas Jesuit on Friday, and it looks like this is the Raiders' year to do something special in the postseason.

However, Skyline's weapons on offense haven't changed much since last season, when the Raiders (6-0, 3-0 District 9-5A) were bounced just two rounds into the 5A state playoffs. And they have the same quarterback that failed to lead them to an offensive touchdown until the fourth game of the season in 2010.

[+] EnlargeSkyline
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.com Dallas Skyline dominated Dallas Jesuit on both sides of the ball in a 54-7 victory.
What is different is something often overlooked, or typically taken as cliché: the play of the offensive line.

That unit, led by 6-foot-2, 300-pound Kevin Coleman, created holes three Skyline running backs could break through shoulder-to-shoulder against Jesuit’s defense. The Raiders' ground game accounted for 337 yards on 10.53 yards per carry with six touchdowns.

“Last year we got a lot of ridicule from a lot of people, and it was hard for us,” Coleman said. “So this year we had to come back and work hard in the summer. Nobody has worked harder than us this summer. Running and everything.”

Skyline's Devante Kincade looks like a completely different quarterback than the smaller, less experienced version that hit the field for the first time as a sophomore in 2010. He dissected a disciplined Jesuit defense through the air for 221 yards, including a 92-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass to RaShaad Samples in the second quarter.

A year of experience does wonders for a high school athlete thrown into the craziness known as the pocket, but this season, thanks to the offensive line, Kincade has a well-defined work area to create his magic.

“[Kincade is] able to keep his poise in the pocket and can run through the holes if he needs to,” Skyline running back/linebacker Peter Jinkens said.

A year of experience has also worked wonders for Skyline’s hogs, who are mostly juniors now, but a large piece of the credit goes to new co-offensive line coach Victor Castillo. His fresh ideas and schemes have become some of the most successful elements of the Skyline offense, Coleman said.

Four of the six first-half touchdowns Skyline scored while building a 40-0 halftime lead Friday were on runs of at least 17 yards.

Jesuit (4-2, 2-1) was finally able to find the end zone on a 1-yard run by Marty Murad early in the fourth quarter, but not before Skyline had pushed its lead to 54-0.

Barring any unforeseen upsets, the win over Jesuit all but assures Skyline, No. 3 in the ESPNDallas.com Class 5A rankings, another District 9-5A title.

Looking for a hole in Skyline’s armor? There really wasn’t one Friday, especially from the dominant offensive line.

“They were sophomores last year,” Skyline coach Reginald Samples said. “They came up from the freshman team, so they made a lot of mistakes. But they are growing and learning what to do and they are getting better.”
No. 3 DALLAS SKYLINE (5-0, 2-0 9-5A) at DALLAS JESUIT (4-1, 2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Jesuit


When we saw them last: Skyline was busy handing Richardson its first district loss of the year, 62-7. Dallas Jesuit notched its second district win of the year, 42-34, against Richardson Berkner, a team with a good shot at one of the bottom two playoff spots in District 9-5A.

2010 result: Jesuit fought Skyline hard, coming the closest to beating the 2010 district champions over the rest of District 9-5A. However, it was still a 43-24 blowout in favor of Skyline. Both teams were almost dead even in total yards, but Jesuit turned the ball over four times, handing Skyline easy points.

What’s at stake: This is Jesuit’s only shot at a district championship this season. Skyline and Jesuit were predicted to finish first and second in the district at the beginning of the year, but Jesuit is the only team with a semi-legitimate chance at beating a very athletic and talented Skyline squad. If Skyline can get past this test, it should be smooth sailing to another district title.

Key matchup: Skyline’s defensive secondary against Jesuit’s air attack. Jesuit is just a few miles up the Dallas North Tollway from SMU and has an offense that echoes SMU’s run-and-shoot style. It also helps that the Rangers returned the District 9-5A offensive player of the year, Jake Oliver at wide receiver. Jesuit entered the season a much more potent offense behind Jack Brezette, but since his season-ending injury in Jesuit’s loss to Coppell, Brian Buell has filled Brezette’s shoes nicely. This will be the biggest test the Skyline secondary has seen all season, but it isn’t anything the speedy defenders will have trouble handling.

Players to watch: It will be interesting to keep up with Buell’s progression fitting into Jesuit’s offense at quarterback the remainder of the season, but especially this week against one of the best defenses in the area. Skyline linebacker and running back Peter Jinkens could have a huge night both in coverage against Jesuit’s pass-happy offense and scoring touchdowns in Skyline’s goal-line set. Jesuit will need to get pressure on Skyline quarterback Devante Kincade, who could easily pick apart the Jesuit defense if he is given time in the pocket.

Prediction: Skyline 45, Jesuit 31.

District 9-5A football season preview

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
12:01
AM CT
DISTRICT 9-5A

  • Richardson Berkner (4-6, 3-4). Coach: Jim Ledford
  • Dallas Jesuit (6-5, 5-2), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Brandon Hickman
  • Dallas Lake Highlands (7-4, 6-1), lost in DII bi-district. Coach Scott Smith
  • Richardson (7-4, 4-3), lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Brian Chandler
  • Dallas Samuell (3-7, 1-6). Coach: Steve Pierce
  • Dallas Skyline (9-3, 7-0), lost in DI area. Coach: Reginald Samples
  • Dallas Sunset (1-9, 0-7). Coach: Dennis McAdams
  • Dallas W. T. White (4-6, 2-5). Coach: Eric Ezar
THE BIG QUESTION: Can Jesuit challenge Skyline for the district title?

[+] EnlargeJake Oliver
Travis L. Brown/ESPN.comReceiver Jake Oliver is a weapon for Dallas Jesuit, but the Rangers need to find a new quarterback to get him the ball.
Dallas Jesuit enters the 2011 season with a new stadium, a new coach, the returning district offensive player of the year and the best shot at giving Dallas Skyline a run at the district championship.

But is that enough?

Jesuit still must find a starting quarterback, between Jake Brezette and Brian Buell, to feed WR Jake Oliver, 2010 offensive player of the year for District 9-5A. While they keep the same offense, the Rangers are switching to a 4-2-5 defense to combat the spread offenses most of the district runs.

Skyline boasts one of the most talented rosters in the area and should have no problem with the rest of District 9-5A.

If all the pieces fall together neatly for Jesuit, the Oct. 7 game against Skyline could be circled as the district championship game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

DB Trey Caldwell, DL De’Shon Purtue, Berkner; WR Jake Oliver, DT Akuda Esin, RB Christian Franz, Jesuit; WR Devonte Sunwenghan, QB Michael Ketchmark, Lake Highlands; RB Derrick Jackson, RB Devante Branch, RB Cameron Booty, Richardson; DT Darian Allen, RB Devontrae Smith, Samuell; LB Peter Jenkins, WR Thomas Johnson, QB Devonte Kincade, Skyline; LB Simon Ochoa, Sunset; ATH Donald Snow, W.T. White.

DID YOU KNOW?

After head coach Brent Whitson left for South Grand Prairie, Richardson looked within district 9-5A for his replacement, hiring former Lake Highlands offensive coordinator Brian Chandler. … After running a two-quarterback system for part of 2010, Lake Highlands head coach Scott Smith has settled on Michael Ketchmark as the starter. ... Berkner fell just short of the playoffs in 2010 for just the second time in eight years.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS

  1. Skyline
  2. Jesuit
  3. Lake Highlands
  4. Berkner

Playoffs spots up for grabs in 3 area districts

February, 16, 2011
2/16/11
4:17
PM CT
Although district play wrapped up Tuesday for boys basketball, three playoff spots remain unsettled.

In District 7-5A, Justin Northwest and Keller Fossil Ridge finished in a tie for fourth place after splitting their regular-season series. The two teams will play a play-in game at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Keller Central.

Fossil Ridge forced a play-in game by beating Northwest, 66-58, in the regular-season finale on Tuesday.

The Panthers won their last three games to get into playoff positioning, including a 52-50 upset of Southlake Carroll to get the run started.

In District 9-5A, Richardson and Lake Highlands finished in a tie for fourth after Richardson beat Lake Highlands, 59-53, on Tuesday.

Richardson won three of its last four to force the play-in game. Conversely, Lake Highlands has lost four straight games. The two will play at 7 p.m. on Friday at Richardson Berkner.

Whichever teams win these two games won’t have much time to celebrate.

The winner between Northwest and Fossil Ridge will play Flower Mound Marcus, No. 1 in the ESPNDallas.com Class 5A area rankings.

The winner between Richardson and Lake Highlands will open the playoffs against No. 2 Garland Lakeview Centennial.

In District 9-4A, Carrollton Creekview failed to clinch the last playoff spot by losing to Frisco Centennial, 48-45, on Tuesday. Frisco Liberty won three of its last four to pull even with Creekview in fourth place.

The Creekview-Liberty play-in game will be 7 p.m. Friday at Frisco Lone Star.
DALLAS -- Dallas Skyline remained in contention for third place in District 9-5A with a 71-68 win over Dallas Lake Highlands on Friday at Forester Field House.

The Wildcats were down 36-28 at the half, but battled back to tie the score at 66 with three minutes remaining in the game.

A made free throw put Skyline up by three with 13 seconds left, and the Raiders held on.

"It was a battle like we knew it would be," Skyline coach Stanford Hill Jr. said. "Every time we've played them we've had a lead and they've battled back. Credit to them because they don't give up."

The loss drops third-place Lake Highlands to 8-5 in district play, with fourth-place Skyline moving to 7-5. Lake Highlands has one game left and Skyline has two.

If the teams finish in a tie, Skyline owns the tie-breaker because it swept the season series.
DALLAS -- Thursday was a wild night for the Lady Wildcats of Lake Highlands.

Lake Highlands squared off against rival Richardson Berkner needing a win to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in District 9-5A over fifth-place Dallas Sunset. But the Lady Rams capitalized on Lake Highlands’ mistakes and took the game, 59-46, and potentially playoff the hopes from the Lady Wildcats.

After the loss, Lake Highlands head coach Holly Mulligan said her girls were distraught with the loss because they did not feel they matched up well against Sunset, their would-be opponent in a playoff play-in game.

“They did not want to play Sunset three times ... We don’t match up well with Sunset,” Mulligan said. “They’re not a stronger team in our district, but the way we match up with them -- we don’t match up well.”

Turns out they won’t have to face Sunset again and will get the last playoff spot up for grabs after District 9-5A last place W.T. White upset Sunset, 68-56, later in the evening.

“We are in!” Mulligan said via e-mail late Thursday night, a complete turnaround from the emotion the team displayed after the loss to Berkner.

The Lady Wildcats now have District 10-5A champion Garland to look forward to in the first round of the playoffs. But Thursday’s game left Lake Highlands with a few glaring problems to work on before their date with the Lady Owls.

Turnovers plagued Lake Highlands throughout the entire game, coming mostly from forced passes into traffic in the paint. They also had a bad case of happy feet, possibly from the excitement of senior night before the game, and were called for traveling multiple times.

Mulligan noted the team’s 23 turnovers in the game were well above the season’s average of 16, which is fairly high to begin with, she said.

Berkner was able to pull away and gain momentum for the remainder of the game after Jailee Thomas hit a clutch 3-pointer from the left wing in the middle of the third quarter. After the huge shot, Berkner was able to go on a run and keep the margin near double-figures for the remainder of the game.

“I definitely thought it was a turning point,” Mulligan said. “Basketball is all about runs, and they really started a strong run in the third quarter after [Thomas] led the way. But definitely that three sparked it.”

Thomas, a freshman, led all scoerers with 20 points. She had to leave with 15 seconds remaining after officials called technical fouls on both Thomas and Lake Highland’s Hannah Wedding during a battle for a loose ball. That technical was Thomas’ second of the game, resulting in ejection.

Lake Highland’s Joy Okeke led her team in scoring with 16 points.

The bi-district round of the state playoffs begin for all girls teams Monday and Tuesday of next week.
If high school basketball coaches and athletic directors weren’t confused enough trying to reschedule games after last week’s winter weather spectacular, the snow storm that wiped out Wednesday's games should have done the trick.

With playoff spots on the line and a valuable few district games left to play, teams booked the week full of games to make sure all contests were completed by the Saturday's district certification deadline for girls. That certification is the first step in the process of making a bracket for the UIL girls playoffs, which are slated to begin Tuesday.

If all district games and tie-breakers can't be played before the deadline, it will be up to each District Executive Committee to decide how to determine which teams claim the four playoff spots.

“They have the ability to play those games in exception to school weeks and calendar week limits if they are canceled due to weather if there are enough days to get them in,” UIL interim director of athletics Mark Cousins said. “Ultimately it would be left up to the District Executive Committee on how they were going to certify their representatives if it came down to it.”

With the ice thawing throughout the day Wednesday, it appears Thursday and Friday will be available to finish most, if not all, district games. However, those days had been reserved for tie-breaker games, leaving District Executive Committees with the task of breaking potential ties for playoff spots. Each DEC has its own set of tie-breaking rules, which causes for more confusion among coaches and athletic directors.

In District 9-5A, the Dallas Lake Highlands girls sit in the fourth with a record of 5-6, one game ahead of Dallas Sunset, with one game to play. If Sunset wins its finale against Dallas W.T. White and Lake Highlands loses to Richardson Berkner, there will be a tie for the final playoff spot because Lake Highlands and Sunset split their head-to-head district games.

Sunset athletic director Dennis McAdams was not sure of District 9-5A’s tie-breaking procedures if a play-in game could not be scheduled, but he said it could possibly come down to a coin flip.

McAdams was optimistic that all the necessary games would be played before the deadline.

“Each sport may have a little bit different way they tweak the playoff,” McAdams said. “It just has to be done by Saturday, and we’ll be able to because the weather is going to turn decent.”

Wednesday’s storm might have thrown a wrench in an already crazy week of basketball, but it could have been worse.

“If it had come, let’s say, Friday and it had gone through Saturday, then we’d be in a lot of trouble because all of sudden you’d run out of days,” McAdams said. “That’s why you play the last district game on Tuesday because it gives you Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for play-ins.”

If inclement weather persists through the end of the week, districts can also petition the UIL for an extension on the certification date, which would give them until Monday to sort out their four playoff representatives.
DALLAS -- Dallas Skyline extended its winning streak to seven games and clinched the District 9-5A title by beating Dallas Lake Highlands, 39-14, on Friday night at Wildcat-Ram Stadium.

Both teams entered the game unbeaten in district play.

Skyline junior Peter Jenkins, who was recently converted to running back, carried the Raiders (7-2, 6-0) on offense. Jenkins rushed 13 times for 234 yards, most of which came in the second half, and scored three touchdowns.

[+] EnlargeWilliams Barrows
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comSkyline's defense held Lake Highland scorless through three quarters in a 39-14 victory.
“It felt good because I was able to help the team out with whatever was needed and I feel good,” Jenkins said.

With star running back Desmond Roland limited by an ankle injury, Lake Highlands was forced to rely on the air game, but it was plagued by dropped passes.

First-year Lake Highlands quarterback Michael Ketchmark looked comfortable in the pocket, going 11-for-24 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

“Michael played well,” Lake Highlands head coach Scott Smith said. “Put the ball where he needed to and managed our offense nicely, but in the end it didn’t finish out the way we wanted it to. So he would agree we didn’t do what we needed to, to win the game.”

Skyline, No. 9 in the ESPNDallas.com area Class 5A rankings, went on top in the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Devante Kincaid to Thomas Johnson. Johnson had a step on his defender on a 13-yard out and was given a free lane into the end zone when the defender tried and failed to jump the route.

Jenkins scored his first touchdown with just under five minutes left in the half on a 3-yard run up the middle, bringing the score to 14-0 at the half.

The Jenkins show continued in the third quarter, as he broke off touchdown runs of 68 and 65 yards.

“They weren’t containing the outside and I saw it open and I was just like, ‘I’ve got to go,’” Jenkins said. “I just turned the jets on and I ran as fast as I could.”

Lake Highlands (6-3, 5-1) was able to find the end zone in the fourth on a fade pass from Ketchmark to Devonte Sunwengham right over the defender's hands to the back corner of the end zone, narrowing the deficit to 26-7.

Skyline would not let up, scoring two more times in the fourth on a 19-yard catch on a post route by RaShard Samples and a 5-yard run by Joshua Wilkins. Sandwiched in between the Skyline scores was a Lake Highlands touchdown on a 6-yard run by Sunwengham.

Roland was held out of most of the second half as a precaution against aggravating an ankle injury he suffered in the Richardson Berkner game. Smith said he should be available for the Wildcats' regular-season finale against Richardson.
Going into the season, Dallas Skyline was faced with many questions. Would first-year starting quarterback DeVante Kincade be able to lead the Raiders to a state championship? How would this team handle two very good teams from Florida early in the season? What is this team’s identity?

The questions have been answered, and it has become evident that Skyline has been able to overcome any doubts that existed before the season started.

Kincade has become comfortable in the pocket. After going several weeks at the beginning of the season without an offensive touchdown, he has thrown for 966 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Skyline (6-2, 5-0 District 9-5A) started the season with two losses against Florida teams but has won six straight and remains unbeaten in 9-5A. The Raiders, No. 9 in the ESPNDallas.com Class 5A area rankings, take on Dallas Lake Highland on Friday with the district title in the balance.

Lake Highlands (6-2, 5-0) also began the season with a rocky start, losing two of its first three, before going undefeated in district play. The Wildcats proved they were the real deal the past two weeks, taking down rival Richardson Berkner and Dallas Jesuit.

The biggest question mark for the Wildcats now is the status of injured running back Desmond Roland. Roland, who has rushed for 1,208 yards and 21 touchdowns, did not play in last Friday’s win against Jesuit because of an undisclosed injury. Roland left the end of the Berkner game two weeks ago with what appeared to be an injured leg, and his status for this week’s game is still unknown.

After the Berkner game, both Roland and Lake Highlands head coach Scott Smith said Roland would be fine for the Jesuit game as the injury was just a few bumps and bruises that could be worked out.

The battle for District 9-5A supremacy takes place Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
DALLAS - The Dallas Jesuit Rangers (5-2) have put a whole new meaning into homecoming this year, playing their first home game in their newly built stadium Friday against District 9-5A rival Dallas Lake Highlands (5-2).

The new stadium stands where the Ranger’s old one once was, boasting a brand new synthetic turf field, reserved seating on the home side and a more functional press box, containing booths for both team’s coaches, radio booths and areas for scouts.

The fan experience has been enhanced as the new stadium will hold around 1500 more seats, 6000 total, and has elevated pavilions for Friday’s expected standing room only crowd to stand and watch the game. Around the pavilion areas are new concession stands and a turf volleyball court for kids to run off some extra energy while parents are focused on football action.

Jesuit’s former stadium was built in the 1960’s and seated an estimated 5,000 fans.

This year’s edition of the Jesuit Rangers has taken on the nickname “Road Warriors”, embracing the fact they have been forced to play their first seven games of the season on the road, and will play eight of their 10 regular season games away from their new stadium. The Rangers play one more game at home for their regular season finale against Sunset on Nov. 5.

“It’s going to be special for them to get to have the first varsity home game here,” athletic director Steve Koch said. “They’re excited, especially the seniors. Their having a great season and to not be able to play at home has kind of been a bummer for them. They’re excited and I think they will come to play on Friday and really enjoy the festivities.”

Those weekend festivities for fans and alumni include a dedication of the stadium, fireworks, alumni tennis and flag football tournaments and a concert for alumni by country star Clint Black.

Also included in the festivities is a key District 9-5A battle with important playoff positioning to gain by both teams. Jesuit sits 3-1 in district play, third in the grouping going into Friday’s game behind district unbeatens Lake Highlands and Skyline. Both Lake Highlands and Skyline have the opportunity to clinch a bid into the playoffs with a win this week.

“It’s a big district game,” Koch said. “It certainly has a lot of impact on the standings in our district. That itself is going to make it a big game.”

Jesuit christens its new gridiron on the school’s campus Friday at 7:30 p.m. in front of an expected 7000 person crowd.

Lake Highlands stays on top of Rich. Berkner

October, 15, 2010
10/15/10
11:29
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DALLAS -- Dallas Lake Highlands (5-2, 4-0 in district) claimed rights to its home stadium for the fifth straight year, beating Richardson Berkner (2-5, 1-3 in district) by the score of 27-21.

As tradition goes for these two schools who share the same home stadium, the winner of the annual match up receives the honor of having their mascot first in the official title of the stadium, making the field on the campus of Lake Highlands Wildcat-Ram Stadium, or the Boneyard as students have nicknamed it, for another year.
[+] EnlargeStock
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comLake Highlands' defense did its best to keep Berkner QB Aric Stock bottled up in the second half.

“[The name] means a whole heck of a lot to them,” Wildcat head coach Scott Smith said. “There’s a respect thing there. The kids can hold their head high the rest of the year. It was a tremendous football game between two good football teams.”

The win, more importantly, gives Lake Highlands a big advantage in District 9-5A as they sit tied with Dallas Skyline, undefeated in district.

The leader of the Wildcats' conquest was none other than senior running back Desmond Roland who scored all four of Lake Highlands’ touchdowns, the longest from 18-yards out. Roland ran for 276 yards on 33 carries.

“All week long we told him to make sure he was hydrated and ready to roll because we were going to jump on top and let him take us,” Smith said. “I was really excited about the performance he had tonight and hopefully we can have a few more from him.”

“It was time for me to step up as a person and be a leader for this team and I had to prove that tonight,” Roland said.

Out on a conquest of his own for the Rams was quarterback Aric Stock, who was virtually unstoppable on the run during the first half of the game, finishing with 114 yards on the ground. Stock was then able to show off his arm in the second half, tallying 191 yards through the air for 3 touchdowns.

“He’s such a tremendous football player,” Smith said. “You’re not going to stop him, but we controlled him. Early he got a few things on us. He’s a good football player. But our guys were able to make a few adjustments in the second half.”

The Wildcats' running game single-handedly put Lake Highlands over the top, as most of the other team stats came out close to even. Both teams threw for 191 yards. Berkner ran for only 166 yards compared to Lake Highlands 305 yards.

The Rams began the scoring in the first, on the first drive of the game off a 20-yard touchdown pass to Stock’s favorite target, Spencer Edmonds. Edmonds led the Rams in receiving yards on the night with 67.

Roland answered back just seconds later on a 7-yard touchdown run around the end tying the game at 7. The play was set up by an 87-yard run by Roland that almost went for six.

The Wildcats took their first lead of the night in the second on an 18 yard run by Roland. Berkner would respond a few minutes later on Stock’s second touchdown pass of the night to Hadi Alnaeemi from 30 yards out, tying the game again going into halftime.

The game would remain tied after the third, but both teams scored beginning with a 9-yard run by Roland after another long 84-yard run to set up the score.

Berkner rallied with 1:22 left in the third quarter on on a 15-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Fred White. Stock, with no options left on the left side of the field, bootlegged right and hit an unguarded White in the end zone, knotting the game up at 21.

Roland put the game away in the fourth on a 1-yard run out of the Wildcat, bringing the final score to 27-21 after a missed PAT.

“We needed some confidence going into these next big games like Skyline,” Roland said. “I think this was a big boost of confidence for us to work harder and harder to win big games.”

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