High-SchoolTexas: Baker Mayfield

2011 Final Texas football rankings

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
1:23
PM ET
The resilient Dragons of Southlake Carroll came from behind three times to edge Fort Bend Hightower 36-29 in the Class 5A Division I state title game Saturday in front of 42,822 at Cowboys Stadium to finish the 2011 season atop the POWERADE ESPNHS Texas football team rankings.

In five of its six playoff games, Carroll (16-0) had to overcome deficits. Against Hightower (13-3), the Dragons trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Junior quarterback Kenny Hill, the son of former major league pitcher Ken Hill, threw touchdown passes to Sabian Holmes and Corey Kemp, then put his team ahead for good with a six-yard touchdown run with nine minutes remaining. Hill was named the game’s offensive MVP. Carroll linebacker Will Davis made two key defensive plays in the second half, stuffing Hightower quarterback Bralon Addison on a fourth-down run and later forcing and recovering a fumble that led to the winning touchdown.

The state title was the eighth for Carroll, best in the Class 5A division, and the school's first since 2006. Class 3A Celina also has won eight state titles. Nationally, the Dragons move to No. 6 in the final POWERADE FAB 50 and were joined by six other teams from Texas.

In Class 4A, Lake Travis won its fifth consecutive state title, defeating Midway 22-7 to cap a 16-0 season. The Cavaliers are the first Texas 11-man team to win five straight state titles. In the Division II final, Aledo won its third straight crown, spoiling Manvel’s bid for an undefeated season, 49-28. Aledo senior running back Johnathan Gray broke the national record for career touchdowns with a 37-yard run on a draw play in the fourth quarter, his 205th career touchdown.

With the 2011 season reaching the end, here's the final top 25:

1. Southlake Carroll 16-0 (1)
Junior quarterback Kenny Hill accounted 345 total yards and had a hand in all four of his team's touchdowns as the Dragons defeated 13-3 Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City) 36-29 in the Class 5A Division I state title game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Hill was named the game's offensive MVP and linebacker Will Davis took the defensive honor.

2. Lake Travis (Austin) 16-0 (2)
The Cavaliers completed their "Drive for Five'' by winning a fifth straight Class 4A state title, taking down 13-3 Midway (Waco) 22-7 Friday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Baker Mayfield threw for 294 yards and a touchdown and senior Colin Lagasse had 209 total yards. The win was the 30th consecutive playoff victory for the Cavs.

3. Skyline (Dallas) 14-1 (4)
Junior quarterback Devante Kincade threw for 3,270 yards and 37 touchdowns and rushed for 857 yards and 17 touchdowns in a season that ended in a 28-24 state semifinal loss to eventual Class 5A Division I state champion Southlake Carroll.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings.

Five Days of List-Mas: Texas' underclass football stars

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
12:35
PM ET
5

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The top underclassmen in high school football.

The state championships are winding down and the Class of 2012 had their run, but it’s never too early to start looking at the impressive players in the Class of 2013 and beyond. Who’s going to rule the gridiron in Texas next season? We give you the early rundown of who to watch for.
5. Brice Gunter (JR), Stephenville, WR
Credentials: 69 catches, 1,099 yards, 15 touchdowns, finalist for Gatorade State Player of the Year

4. Jake Oliver (JR), Dallas Jesuit, WR
Credentials: 108 catches, 1,637 yards, 24 touchdowns

3. Baker Mayfield (JR), Lake Travis, QB
Credentials: 3,512 passing yards, 44 touchdowns, five interceptions, 765 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns, led Cavaliers to Class 4A, Division I title game in first year as starter

2. Kenny Hill (JR), Southlake Carroll, QB
Credentials:2,713 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 1,267 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns, led Dragons to Class 5A, Division I title game

1. Devante Kincade (JR), Skyline, QB
Credentials: 3,231 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, four interceptions, led team to Class 5A, Division I semifinals

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas

Tomorrow: POWERADE state hoops rankings

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Longview hands DeSoto first loss to start Week 10 Texas football

November, 4, 2011
11/04/11
4:14
PM ET
To say Longview faced a tall task in No. 5 DeSoto on Thursday is probably an understatement. DeSoto entered the contest 9-0 and averaging nearly 50 points per game. Plus, after No. 1 Allen had its way at Longview earlier this year, some thought the Lobos' huge homefield advantage wasn't such a big deal anymore.

Today, most are singing a different tune about the No. 12 Lobos, thanks to their defense.

While holding DeSoto to its lowest point total of the year, Longview DL Jalen Porter forced DeSoto QB Desmon White to fumble in the end zone with 1:49 to go, resulting in the decisive safety in the Lobos' 23-21 win. The result was Longview's eighth straight District 11-5A crown and huge momentum boost entering the playoffs.

If that's a taste of a weekend filled with district-deciding contests, this should be fun.

No. 2 Katy (9-0) vs. No. 25 Cinco Ranch (8-1)
Cinco Ranch made its debut in our state rankings this week. So what's the Cougars' reward? Oh, just a date with rival and No. 2 Katy. Katy has been inching closer and closer to Allen in the rankings and another district title could certainly help its case. Ricky Bickham and all of his 5-5, 145-pound frame stepped up last week for Tigers, rushing for 149 yards and three scores. But Cinco Ranch has a set of playmakers in RB Jamel James and QB Cole Thomas.
My pick: Katy 38, Cinco Ranch 21

No. 4 Lake Travis (9-0) at Cedar Park (8-1)
The last time these two met to close the season, Cedar Park knocked off the Cavaliers for the District 25-4A title. Mix this bit of vengeance with a Lake Travis squad that's averaging 51 points per game this season and led by the ever-improving start QB Baker Mayfield, and you figure it could be a long night for Cedar Park.
My pick: Lake Travis 42, Cedar Park 24

No. 17 Manvel (9-0) at No. 24 Dawson (8-1)
The District 24-4A title will be on the line in this contest with Manvel clinging to a one-game lead. Dawson is coming off a tough loss to La Marque, which saw its furious comeback from three touchdowns behind vanish in the final two minutes. Meanwhile, Manvel had its way against winless Ball behind Selwyn Green's three scores.
My pick: Manvel 31, Dawson 28

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Gray headlines ESPNHS Texas midseason football awards

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
1:05
PM ET
Before the season starts, everybody's an expert, making predictions here and there about which teams will make noise in the rankings and which players will dominate on the gridiron. But with the midway point of the Texas football season upon us, now it's time to see who has really lived up to their billing, along with a few surprises.

And what better way to commemorate this time than with awards? So I now present to you the ESPNHS Texas midseason football awards (Feel free to offer your thoughts because, like I said, everybody has an opinion):

Player of the Year: Johnathan Gray, Aledo RB
Were you expecting anyone else? There's really not much needed to justify Gray's name here except:
-93 carries, 1,384 yards (that's 14.88 yards per carry) 24 touchdowns.
-He's rushed for at least 209 yards and four touchdowns in all five of Aledo's games.
-He's the new state career leader in total points (932 and counting) and touchdowns (160 and counting), and he's moving up the national lists for total yards and touchdowns.

Offensive MVP: Alec Morris, Allen QB
This spring, Morris had zero college offers. Now, with Allen sitting as the nation's No. 3 team at 5-0, the senior has a commitment to BCS power Alabama under his belt and plenty of national attention (This Thursday, the Eagles play Plano East on ESPN2). Morris has thrown for 1,387 yards, 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions, completed more than 61 percent of his passes and also rushed for two scores. Mind you, most of this production came as standout RB Jonathan Williams missed most of the first four games with a back injury. Perhaps his biggest performance came on the road in a tough Longview environment, where he threw for 368 yards and five scores in a 42-23 win.

Read More »

Skyline rises, Pearland falls in new rankings

September, 13, 2011
9/13/11
2:17
AM ET
Allen and Lake Travis (Austin), No. 1 and No. 5 respectively in the ESPNHS Texas High School Rankings, proved worthy of high standing with convincing road wins on Friday against ranked foes.

Allen went to 3-0 with a 42-23 win in Longview, where Lobos losses are rarer than rain these days.

Lake Travis unveiled a passing attack featuring junior Baker Mayfield that had Aledo on its heels all evening. The Cavaliers proved a fifth straight state title is doable after a 62-35 blowout.

Running back Johnathan Gray did give the Aledo fans reason to cheer when he broke the state’s all-time career touchdown record. He now has 148 after scoring four times against Lake Travis.

Defending Class 5A Division I state champion Pearland was the first casualty among top five ranked teams, losing to 2-1 Memorial, 17-14. The Oilers slipped 16 slots to No. 20.

Nationally, Steele moved into the final slot of the POWERADE FAB 50, leaving the number of Texas teams on the list at eight with Pearland dropping out.

Here's this week's top 25 (Last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Allen 3-0 (1)
Senior quarterback Alec Morris threw for 368 yards and five touchdowns and Andrew Rodriguez made 11 catches for 212 yards and two scores in a 42-23 rout of 2-1 Longview. The Eagles, after an open week, begin District 8-5A play at 3-0 Plano on Sept. 23.

2. Katy 2-0 (2)
The Tigers enjoyed an open date and return to face 3-0 West Brook (Beaumont) on Saturday.

3. Euless Trinity 3-0 (3)
The Trojans out-gained Richland (North Richland Hills) 523 yards to 57 and rang up a 25-4 first down edge in a 64-0 landslide in a District 6-5A opener. Up next is a road trip to 0-3 Irving.

Click here for full POWERADE Weekly State Rankings

Lake Travis routs Aledo in clash of 4A powers; Gray sets record

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
2:43
PM ET
A mix of revenge, momentum and pride fueled Lake Travis in its Friday matchup against Aledo. The result was a stunning statement, a 62-35 victory for the Cavaliers and a 1-2 mark for the defending Class 4A, Division II champs.

The contest began as expected, with each team trading touchdowns on their way to a 14-14 tie in the first quarter. But the Cavaliers took over from there, using a high-powered passing offense behind once-backup, now-starter Baker Mayfield (434 yards and sixh touchdowns) to keep the Bearcats at bay. Griffin Gilbert did his usual damage, with seven catches for 116 yards and four TDs, and Zach Austin continued his emergence, snagging seven passes for 194 yards and two scores.

Even Colin Lagasse, who hasn't started at quarterback since Mayfield took over in the opener, got into the action, rushing for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. With so many weapons at their disposal, the Cavaliers look primed for a fifth straight 4A state title.

Aledo, meanwhile, continues to struggle despite getting the typical production from Johnathan Gray. The Bearcats tailback finished with 263 yards and four touchdowns, moving him into first on the Texas career scoring list with 148. But the record was overshadowed by the loss, as an Aledo defense that's surrendered 39 points per game continued its struggles.

Allen 42, Longview 23
The Eagles did what seemed to be the impossible, not only winning but blowing out Longview on its homefield Friday. Alec Morris again led the way, putting up 368 passing yards and five touchdowns in the rout. Andrew Rodriguez was Morris' biggest target, catching 11 passes for 212 yards and two scores. Jonathan Williams missed his second straight game with back problems, but with a bye week on the horizon, chances are good that the senior RB can finally return and add yet another weapon to the loaded Eagles.

Pearland 17, Memorial 14
The defending Class 5A, Division I champs went down to Memorial in surprising fashion. The Oilers held on to a 14-10 lead with less than two minutes remaining, but Memorial marched down the field with ease before Justin White punctuated the drive and victory on an 11-yard score. White finished 209 total yards on the night.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Aledo vs. Lake Travis highlights Week 2 Texas football

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
4:37
PM ET
Class 4A supremacy is on the line as No. 6 Aledo (1-1) and No 14 Lake Travis (2-0) face off in a highly anticipated battle.

Aledo, the two-time defending Division II champs, looks well past its season-opening loss to a Stephenville team that appears to be no slouch. Johnathan Gray has been his normal self through it all, rushing for 556 yards and nine touchdowns. The Texas commit sits just three touchdowns away breaking the state record for career scores, a mark that most expect him to break tonight.

Also on the Bearcats’ side is a home win streak that dates back to 2007 and momentum from last year’s meeting, when Aledo snapped Lake Travis’ 48-game win streak. (The Cavaliers still went on to win their fourth straight Class 4A title and third consecutive Division I crown.)

This year’s contest could take on a feel similar to 2010. Back then, the Cavaliers were without injured star quarterback Michael Brewer, who is now at Texas Tech. This time around, a shoulder injury could keep starting QB Colin Lagasse out of the lineup. Even so, the Cavaliers won't be too worried. Junior Baker Mayfield has stepped in nicely during the last two weeks, scoring nine total touchdowns. Who they will need, though, is leading wideout Griffin Gilbert. The senior missed last week’s win against Hendrickson with an injury but is expected to play.

This game will be plenty physical and should include tons of scoring, as both teams are anchored by their offense. Lake Travis has the better defense, holding its opponents to less than three yards a carry and 10.5 points a game, but neither team will be depending on its defensive unit to pull out the win.
Prediction: Aledo 35, Lake Travis 31

No. 1 Allen (2-0) at No. 11 Longview (2-0)
The top-ranked Eagles face their first test of the season on the road against an emerging Longview squad. Injuries could play a role in this game, as both starting tailbacks have struggled to recover this year. Allen's Jonathan Williams missed last week's game with back spasms, while J'Haston Faggans missed the Lobos' week two contest with a concussion. In the Eagles' case, quarterback Alec Morris has picked up the slack, throwing for six touchdowns last week in their experienced, high-powered offense. The Lobos, on the other hand, discovered a treasure at tailback, as Tory White filled in and ran for 172 yards last week. An upset isn't out of the question, what with Longview known for its intense home atmosphere. But the wisdom and skilled players that fill Allen's roster are hard to go against, so...
Prediction: Allen 28, Longview 24

No. 8 DeSoto (2-0) vs. No. 22 Cedar Hill (1-1) at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas
A heated rivalry renews itself tonight, when these two Southern Dallas teams face off. DeSoto's defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season, but that will likely change against an explosive Cedar Hill squad. Andre Anderson threw for three touchdowns to help the Horns bounce back from an opening loss and down a solid Denton Guyer program. Still, Cedar Hill will need to play mistake-free football to get past DeSoto.
Prediction: DeSoto 28, Cedar Hill 14

No. 18 Skyline (2-0) vs. No. 20 Bowie (2-0)
Both teams looked impressive in the Herbstreit Classic last weekend, with each putting up 36 points in their victories. Thing is, Skyline's win proved bigger with the Raiders knocking off a talented but reeling Cocoa squad from Florida. Bowie will need another big game from Russell Hansbrough (172 rushing yards and two scores last week) and Devin Williams (two forced fumbles) to pull out a win.
Prediction: Skyline 31, Bowie 20

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Skyline hands Cocoa another loss, Aledo bounces back

September, 6, 2011
9/06/11
2:10
PM ET
During last year's Herbstreit Classic, Skyline appeared out of its league against Florida power St. Thomas Aquinas in a 31-3 loss. On Monday, the Raiders exacted revenge against the Sunshine State by not only beating Cocoa (Fla.) handily, but also sending the Tigers — who brought a 38-game win streak into the season — to its second straight loss.

Known for his prowess at linebacker, Peter Jinkens showed off his offensive skills with two rushing touchdowns for the Raiders. The senior also pitched in to help his defensive comrades hold the Tigers' normally potent rushing attack to just 39 yards on 30 carries.

For more on this contest, as well as Bowie's 36-6 win against New Orleans' Edna Karr, click here. And to read how DeSoto capped off a Texas sweep at the Herbstreit Classic in a major way, click here

AROUND THE STATE
*A week after falling to Stephenville, Aledo is back to its winning ways after easily defeating Weatherford, 50-7, on Friday. What didn't change was Johnathan Gray, who continued his dominant ways with 336 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries. The senior is now just three touchdowns away from breaking the state record for most career scores.

*With QB Colin Lagasse (shoulder), WR Griffin Gilbert (WR) and RB Shaun Nixon all sidelined, the forecast for Friday's matchup against Hendrickson appeared dire. But for the second week in a row, Baker Mayfield carried the load. The junior quarterback racked up 256 yards through the air and totaled six touchdowns in the Cavaliers' 43-14 win against the Hawks.
Once Lagasse is healthy enough to play, coach Hank Carter has quite the decision on his hands between Lagasse and Mayfield. And with Aledo on tap this Friday, having Gilbert and Nixon back will be key if the Cavaliers hope to beat a team that snapped its 48-game win streak last year.

*Injuries also affected Allen, as tailback Jonathan Williams sat out Friday with back spasms. But just as Mayfield did for Lake Travis, Allen quarterback Alec Morris picked up the slack — and then some. Morris threw for 326 yards and totaled six scores before sitting out most of the second half in the Eagles' 59-0 win over Justin Northwest.

*Marshall Williams continued his assault through the air in Flower Mound's 44-36 win against McKinney Boyd. A week after throwing 505 yards (tops in the nation for Week 1) to go with six total TDs, the senior had 437 passings yards and four scores for the Jaguars. Check back later this week for more on Williams' quick start.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

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