High-SchoolTexas: DeSoto

Marcus remains No. 1 in Texas, drops out of top 10 nationally

December, 8, 2011
12/08/11
6:42
PM ET
Flower Mound Marcus may no longer be in the top 10 nationally and may have seen its 42-game win streak snapped after a loss to national powerhouse Findlay Prep (No. 7 in POWERADE FAB 50), but the Marauders are still the team to beat in Texas.

Led by Marcus Smart and Phil Forte, the Marauders have played well against a tough early schedule, beating the likes of Yates and Upper Room Christian (Raleigh, N.C.) to earn the No. 11 spot nationally. The defending 5A champs will have a chance to move back into the top 10 next week when they face No. 4 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) in a nationally televised game (8:30 p.m., ESPN).

"Playing a tough schedule builds self-esteem and gives courage to see where we could be with the top teams," Smart told ESPNHS. "We're getting there as a team. We're good, but we can be better than where we are right now."

Other teams that are setting themselves for future success are South Grand Prairie, Warren and Churchill, which debuted in the Nos. 7-9 spots, respectively, this week after strong starts. Likewise, DeSoto and Prestonwood Christian moved into the national rankings.

Here's how the state rankings shake out (preseason rankings in parentheses):

1. Flower Mound Marcus 8-1 (1)
Marauders' only hiccup came in a eight-point loss to national No. 7 Findlay Prep (Las Vegas), but the defending 5A champs scored wins against Yates and Upper Room Christian (Raleigh, N.C.).

2. Grace Prep (Arlington) 6-0 (3)
Lions knocked off 4A power South Oak Cliff behind Jordan Mickey's 21 points.

3. Westbury Christian (Houston) 7-0 (5)
Wildcats have seven players averaging in double figures while winning each of their seven games by at least 15 points.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas basketball state rankings

Matt Jones pledges to Duke

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
12:48
PM ET
Another guard from Texas is headed to play for Duke and the all-time winningest coach in college basketball.

DeSoto junior Matt Jones committed to the Blue Devils on Monday, making him the program's first pledge from the Class of 2013 and second Texas product to join Duke in the last year. Strake Jesuit senior Rasheed Sulaimon signed with Duke earlier this month. Jones is ranked No. 21 in the ESPNU 60.

For more on Jones' decision, click here.

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

Katy takes over top spot after Allen falls to Trinity

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:18
PM ET
Texas, we have a new No. 1.

The Katy Tigers (12-0) have muscled their way atop this week’s Texas state rankings. The Houston-area power defeated Woods (Cypress) 44-30 in a Class 5A Division II area playoff game Friday night. Katy takes over the top spot that Allen held the previous 13 weeks of the season.

On Saturday, Allen’s season ended at the hands of 12-0 Trinity (Euless), 28-21, in a Class 5A Division I area playoff at Cowboys Stadium. As a result, Katy moves up to No. 3 in the latest POWERADE FAB 50, while Trinity takes over the No. 5 slot in the national rankings.

Katy, ranked No. 2 throughout the season, is four playoff wins away from the school’s seventh state championship. The Tigers’ most recent state titles came in 2007 and 2008. The Tigers have made five other state final appearances, the most recent a loss to Abilene in 2009. In the last 11 seasons, Katy’s playoff record is remarkable 42-6. Only in two games this season has Katy trailed. It has outscored opponents 547-88.

Allen (11-1) was unable to contain the power running game of Trinity, which moves up a rung in the rankings to No. 2. Trinity also ended Allen’s 2010 season in the area round.

In another Saturday area playoff showdown of Top 25 teams, 12-0 Skyline (Dallas) prevailed over 10-2 DeSoto, 41-31. Skyline stopped DeSoto on two crucial fourth downs while converting on fourth down for the clinching touchdown.

Here's the top 25 two rounds into the state playoffs. (Last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Katy 12-0 (2)
Freshman Rodney Anderson rushed for 215 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-30 victory over 9-3 Woods (Cypress). Katy will play in the regional round for the 10th straight season (Vince Young was the opponent’s quarterback the last time it lost in area) against 11-1 La Porte at 6 p.m. Saturday at Houston’s Tully Stadium.

2. Euless Trinity 12-0 (3)
Running back Joel Kimpela carried 32 times for 345 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-21 triumph over 11-1 Allen in a Class 5A Division I area playoff at Cowboys Stadium. Up next is 11-1 Martin (Arlington) at noon Saturday at Bedford’s Pennington Field, the third consecutive season the two have met in a regional playoff. Trinity’s playoff record in the last eight years is 31-4.

3. Skyline 12-0 (5)
Junior quarterback DeVante Kincade threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards and three scores in a 41-31 elimination of 10-2 DeSoto in a Class 5A Division I area playoff in front of a capacity crowd of 11,500 fans in Irving. The Raiders advance to a regional playoff against 9-3 Klein Oak (Spring) 7 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings
Allen versus Euless Trinity. It's not every day or year that a matchup like this happens in the second round of all times in the playoffs. Only in Texas.

The No. 1 Eagles face their greatest test of the year in No. 3 Trinity, pitting an explosive offense against a defense that hasn't broken — let alone bent — this season. The Trojans actually enter this matchup with the momentum and upper hand for several reasons:

-Trinity ended Allen's season last year in the second round with a 37-35 decision.
-Allen has had to put together late-game rallies in each of its last six games.
-The Trojans D isn't much for allowing comebacks, as it's given up less than 12 points per game this year.

Still, there's a reason Allen has been able to avoid so many upset bids. Having the likes of RB Jonathan Williams and efficient QB Alec Morris leading the offense makes it hard for defenses to hold down the Eagles, who can score in bunches and in a hurry. The Trojans love to eat up the clock behind their running back Joel Kimplea, and it's safe to say they will do the same to reduce Allen's offensive opportunities.

The onus will be on Allen's defense to slow down Trinity's run game and make sure the Eagles' offense can take control of the contest. Should be another classic matchup.
My pick: Allen 38, Trinity 35

Skyline vs. DeSoto
These two also met in the playoffs last year, but it was far from a barnburner as DeSoto shut out Skyline, 38-0. Like most, I'm expecting a much closer game this time around. Division I talent will be all over the field in this matchup, from Skyline WR Thomas Johnson and LB Peter Jinkens to DeSoto DB Bryson Echols and OL Curtis Riser. On paper, Skyline has the advantage from the offensive firepower wielded by Johnson and QB Devante Kincaide along with a nasty defense that's surrendered just 5.7 points per game this year. But DeSoto has played a slightly tougher schedule, facing the likes of Longview and Cedar Hill. This could be a shootout, leaving it up to one of the defenses to assert itself as the X-factor.
My pick: Skyline 35, DeSoto 31

Southlake Carroll vs. Cedar Hill
After struggling in their first-round contests, these two face off with high offensive hopes. Quarterback Kenny Hill leads the way for Southlake Carroll, as he's capable of making plays with his arms and legs. Cedar Hill gets most of its yards behind junior running back Laquvionte Gonzalez, who averages almost 10 yards per carry. Neither defense has been great this season, but Cedar Hill showed signs by allowing less than 200 yards in last week's win against L.D. Bell.
My pick: Southlake Carroll 24, Cedar Hill 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.

Several heavyweights survive scare in first round of Texas football playoffs

November, 14, 2011
11/14/11
12:24
PM ET
Since that November evening in 2010 when Trinity (Euless) ended the season of Allen in a 37-35 playoff classic, it almost seemed a matter of course that the two powerhouse programs would meet again.

That wait ends at 2 p.m. Saturday. In the second game of a Cowboys Stadium high school quadruple-header, Allen (11-0) will face Trinity (11-0) in a Class 5A Division I area playoff rematch.

Allen has occupied the top spot in the Texas rankings all season. No. 3 Trinity has been yapping at its heels. The position of the teams in the rankings was reversed last year. Trinity was No. 1 and Allen was No. 9 going into the area playoff that drew an estimated 40,000 at Cowboys Stadium. Allen’s upset bid was slowed by three fumbles and the inability to contain Trinity star Brandon Carter, now a freshman at TCU.

Both programs know what it is like to finish on top. Trinity won Class 5A Division I state championships in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The Trojans lost to Pearland in the finals last season. Allen won the 5A DI state title in 2008, knocking out Trinity along the way in a state quarterfinal.

There is another intriguing area-round rematch on Saturday matching No. 5 Skyline (Dallas) against No. 12 DeSoto at 5 p.m. Saturday at Irving Schools Stadium in Irving. It will be the fourth consecutive year for Skyline (11-0) and DeSoto (10-1) to face off in the area round. Skyline took the first two and DeSoto got revenge with a lopsided shutout last year.

Should DeSoto get the win, the Eagles will most certainly enter the POWERADE FAB 50 after receiving votes in this week's national rankings.

Here's the top 25 one round into the state playoffs (last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Allen 11-0 (1)
Alec Morris threw for a touchdown and ran for another in a 17-point fourth quarter as the Eagles came from behind yet again to defeat 8-3 Central (Keller), 30-17, in a Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff at Cowboys Stadium. The Eagles also trailed in the second half of four of their last five district games. Up next is an area playoff against 11-0 Trinity (Euless) 2 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.

2. Katy 11-0 (2)
The Tigers dominated in all phases of a 63-7 dismantling of 6-5 Madison (Houston). Freshman Rodney Anderson rushed for 91 yards and four touchdowns. Up next is 9-2 Woods (Cypress) in a Class 5A Division II area playoff Friday at the Berry Center in Cypress.

3. Euless Trinity 11-0 (3)
The Trojans led by only six points at halftime, but stepped on the gas in the second half as Joel Kimpela finished with 269 rushing yards and five touchdowns in a 55-36 Class 5A Division I bi-district win over 7-4 Duncanville. The Trojans face 11-0 Allen in an area playoff Saturday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings.

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.

La Porte, Cinco Ranch enter Week 10 Texas football rankings

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
6:12
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, Oct. 29

The playoff field in Texas has grown steadily since the days prior to 1982 when only district champions were allowed entry. When the playoffs begin next week, each district will send four teams into postseason play.

Not many argue that more is better now, but change comes with a downside. A district championship doesn't carry as much significance these days beyond a less dangerous first-round playoff opponent, on paper anyway.

Still, for many, "district champion'' has a nice ring and isn't taken lightly.

This week there are three showdowns for district titles involving ranked Texas teams.

On Friday, No. 5 DeSoto will pay a visit to No. 12 Longview for the District 11-5A crown while No. 17 Manvel goes on the road with a one-game lead to face No. 24 Dawson (Pearland) for District 24-4A honors.

In the Houston area, No. 2 Katy will face No. 25 Cinco Ranch (Katy) in a Saturday morning start at Rhodes Stadium for the District 19-5A title.

Nationally, while Allen still holds the No. 3 spot, Katy moved into a tie in the points category with 236 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Allen 9-0 (1)
The Eagles came from behind yet again, scoring the game's final 21 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to diffuse the upset bid of 6-3 Hebron (Carrollton), 28-21. Jonathan Williams scored the game-winner on a five-yard run with 1:25 remaining. Allen faces 3-6 Flower Mound in the regular-season finale on Friday.

2. Katy 9-0 (2)
Ricky Bickham, a 5-5, 145-pound junior, rushed for 149 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers' 52-14 blowout of 1-8 Taylor (Katy). Katy goes for the outright District 19-5A title and a perfect regular season against 8-1 Cinco Ranch (Katy) on Saturday.

3. Euless Trinity 9-0 (3)
Nothing fancy about the way the Trojans win. Running back Joel Kimpela averages over 10 yards per carry with 1,218 yards and 14 touchdowns. Coming off a bye, Trinity risks its 26-game regular-season winning streak against 3-6 MacArthur (Irving) on Thursday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings.

Week 8 Texas football rankings remain steady as big contests loom

October, 17, 2011
10/17/11
2:15
PM ET
Results as of Saturday, Oct. 15.

With few upsets in Week 7, there was very little movement in the state rankings. But that could change this week. Three Week 8 games pit Top 25 teams against each other in district contests.

Heading the list, No. 1 Allen visits No. 14 Marcus (Flower Mound). Both teams are 7-0 and the winner will take command of the contentious District 8-5A race in North Texas.

San Antonio area powers Steele (Cibolo) and Judson (Converse) meet in a District 25-5A showdown on Thursday night. No. 7 Steele (7-0), the defending Class 5A Division II state champion, has won 20 games in a row, dating back to the third game of the 2010 season. No. 23 Judson (6-1), has a rich tradition, having won six state championship titles.

Debuting in the rankings this week at No. 25 is Mansfield. The Tigers are 7-0 for the first time in 41 years and will host No. 24 Cedar Hill (5-2) with the District 5-5A lead at stake. Cedar Hill’s losses have come at the hands of Allen and No. 5 DeSoto.

Nationally, Southlake Carroll is now knocking on the POWERADE FAB 50 doorstep, as the Dragons received votes for the first time this season.

Here's this week's top 25 (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Allen 7-0 (1)
The Eagles survived a scare for the second straight week, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter of a come-from-behind 40-28 triumph over 4-3 Plano West (Plano). Alabama-bound quarterback Alec Morris, who threw for four scores, put Allen ahead with an 18-yard touchdown run. Next is a road showdown with 7-0 Marcus (Flower Mound) for the District 8-5A lead on Friday.

2. Katy 7-0 (2)
The Tigers took care of business quickly, reeling off five touchdowns in the first 14 minutes of a 52-0 pasting of 1-6 Mayde Creek (Houston). Quarterback Brooks Haack threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another. On Friday, the Tigers face 5-2 Memorial (Houston).

3. Euless Trinity 8-0 (3)
The Trojans took command early with 42 points in the first 13 minutes of a 49-9 sinking of 2-5 Nimitz (Irving). On Friday, Trinity goes for its 26th consecutive regular season win at 4-3 Grapevine.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings

Five teams nearly lose in Week 7 Texas football rankings

October, 10, 2011
10/10/11
2:07
PM ET
Results as of Saturday, Oct. 8

Five unbeaten Dallas-area teams in the state rankings stared down the barrel of defeat last week, but all five were able to avoid midseason upsets with clutch fourth-quarter play.

The trend began with No. 1 Allen in Thursday’s 42-38 victory over Plano East. The Eagles didn’t take the lead for the last time until Jonathan Williams’ touchdown run with five minutes remaining.

On Friday, No. 6 DeSoto went to halftime trailing North Mesquite 17-0. The Eagles stormed back in the second half, finally grabbing the lead for good a minute into the fourth quarter.

No. 7 Ryan (Denton) cut it much closer. The winning field goal in the Raiders’ 20-17 nail-biter over Rider (Wichita Falls), a 41-yarder by Mark Orozco, came with six seconds on the clock.

Highland Park, ranked No. 12, fell 21 points behind Wylie in the first half. The Scots’ 24-21 comeback win was complete when Jackson Hauser scored on a three-yard run with 20 seconds remaining.

No. 18 Marcus (Flower Mound) needed four overtimes to finish off Plano West, 51-48. It was the second overtime win in as many weeks for the Marauders.

In this week's POWERADE FAB 50, Katy moved up to the No. 4 spot, just behind Allen. Seven teams from the Lone Star State remain in the national rankings.

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

1. Allen 6-0 (1)
The Eagles three times overcame a 10-point deficit in Thursday's 42-38 win over 2-4 Plano East (Plano), thanks in part to receiver Andrew Rodriguez (six catches, 173 yards, two touchdowns). Next for Allen is a home game against 4-2 Plano West on Friday.

2. Katy 6-0 (2)
Quarterback Brooks Haack threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another in a 45-7 drubbing of 3-3 Morton Ranch (Katy) on Thursday. Another Thursday game is on the horizon this week against 1-5 Mayde Creek (Houston).

3. Euless Trinity 7-0 (3)
Joel Kemplea punched in two short touchdown runs and Austin Lopez kicked field goals of 36 and 41 yards as the Trojans defeated 2-4 Haltom, 35-8. On Friday, Trinity goes on the road for the second time this season to face 2-4 Nimitz (Irving).

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings.

Longview rebounds, Stephenville plummets in Week 4 Texas rankings

September, 19, 2011
9/19/11
1:29
PM ET
Only 14 of the top 25 teams in ESPNHS Texas High School Rankings were in action over the weekend. The Week 3 schedule is traditionally lighter because schools in eight-team districts prefer to schedule open dates the week before district play begins.

For those teams that did play, No. 2 Katy, coming off a bye week, had no problem against a previously unbeaten West Brook (Beaumont).

No. 6 DeSoto climbed another notch in the rankings, going on the road to avenge in a big way last season’s two losses to Stony Point (Round Rock). DeSoto's improved defense has allowed three touchdowns in four games. No. 7 Ryan (Denton) needed two overtimes to get past Mesquite.

Longview, ranked No. 16, knocked East Texas rival Lufkin out of the Top 25 by rallying from an early 10-0 deficit for a 24-10 victory. Stephenville dropped 10 slots to No. 21 after losing in the final half-minute to a Hebron touchdown pass, 10-6.

On the national stage, Skyline vaulted into the POWERADE FAB 50, taking over the No. 46 spot after a strong 3-0 start. Texas now has eight teams in the national rankings.

Here's this week's top 25:

1. Allen 3-0 (1)
Quarterback Alec Morris, a 6-3, 240-pound Alabama commit, has thrown for 935 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Eagles, coming off an open date, begin play in District 8-5A on the road against 3-0 Plano.


2. Katy 3-0 (2)
With running back Adam Taylor out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, the Tigers turned to Cody Gomez and the senior responded with 133 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-7 mauling of 3-1 West Brook (Beaumont). Next is a the District 19-5A opener against 3-0 Seven Lakes (Katy).
3. Euless Trinity 4-0 (3)
The Trojans didn’t attempt a pass or a punt in registering their second straight victory by a 64-0 score, this one over 0-4 Irving. Trinity figures to have a tougher time this week when it hosts 4-0 Heritage (Colleyville) in a District 6-5A showdown.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas rankings.

DeSoto, Stony Point renew rivalry in Week 3 Texas football

September, 16, 2011
9/16/11
3:29
PM ET
Before we get to this week's football preview, I'd be remiss not to tell you guys to check out a touching story on how the Bastrop football team has helped the post-wildfire recovery. Great story here by Matthew Muench. And speaking of Bastrop, the Bears won 48-23 last night against San Marcos, giving some joy to a town that saw fires destroy 1,200 of its homes. Trae Bunton led the way with four touchdowns.

This weekend, a number of the state's top programs have their bye weeks, including Allen, Coppell, Skyline and Arlington Martin. But you should know better than to think that means there won't be some good football played. First up.....

No. 6 DeSoto (3-0) at Stony Point (1-1*) (does not include forfeit wins)
Several factors make this an intriguing matchup. Last year, Stony Point had DeSoto's number, winning both of their contests, including a 72-48 win in the Class 5A quarterfinals. But as the saying goes, what a difference a year makes. DeSoto has been nearly invincible, outscoring opponents 151-16 through its first three games. Raheem Wilson has led the charge at quarterback with 10 touchdowns in the last two weeks. Expect another high-scoring contest, but this time, DeSoto will be out in front.
My pick: DeSoto 38, Stony Point 14

No. 14 Lufkin (3-0) at No. 22 Longview (2-1)
Last week saw Longview, which rarely loses on its turf, suffer its worst home defeat in 11 years. Granted, the 42-23 loss came at the hands of No. 1 Allen. Though the Lobos' defense is young, it should fare better against Lufkin. But that's not to say Lufkin is a pushover. Far from it, in fact. The Panthers showed their offensive firepower by scoring 42 points in 13 minutes during a 69-14 blowout of Nacogdoches last week. Both these teams have beaten a solid Tyler squad this year, but the Lobos earned a 38-22 win while Lufkin squeaked by 34-31. In my opinion, this small factor, mixed with the Lobos' big home-field advantage, will brew an upset.
My pick: Longview 28, Lufkin 24

No. 17 Cypress Falls (2-0) at Cypress Creek (2-0)
Bragging rights as well as an unblemished record are on the line tonight in this battle. This should be a tight one, with both teams sporting explosive offenses. Cypress Falls has vaulted into the state rankings behind Bryce Peters, who rushed for 250 yards against another Cypress squad (Woods) last week. But the Cougars have a talented runner of their own in Devan Demas. The Boise State commit has tallied 522 yards and five scores through two games.
My pick: Cypress Falls 21, Cypress Creek 17

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.

Drug cartel threat cancels Stony Point game

September, 8, 2011
9/08/11
9:07
PM ET
It's been quite an interesting two weeks for Stony Point's football program, highlighted by a near-loss to Nuevo Leon (Mexico) followed by a defeat at the hands of Wagner. And after Thursday's developments, things got even more interesting.

The Tigers' scheduled Thursday contest against Monterrey Tech (Mexico) was cancelled due to fear of an anonymous drug cartel threat. According to this Austin-American Statesman article, Monterrey Tech received an anonymous phone call demanding $30,000 to cross the United States border. School officials believed that the Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel, may have been behind the potential threat. As a result, the game was cancelled due to safety concerns.

Monterrey Tech was forced to cancel its game last week for the same reason.

Stony Point, which dropped out of the state rankings this week, now has more time to prepare for its next contest against No. 8 DeSoto.

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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