High-SchoolTexas: Kyle Hicks

Texas football playoffs enter round three

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
5:35
PM ET
Thanksgiving means three things: turkey, leftovers and football. I'll let you guys handle the first two on your own and jump to the third with a preview of some of this weekend's biggest third-round playoff games:

Katy vs. La Porte
The state's new top team gets a big test against La Porte, which boasts a strong defense. That much is clear in round two, when the Bulldogs held Bush to 108 total yards, seven first downs and posted a pick-six. Granted, Katy is easily the best and most offensively talented team La Porte has faced this year. The Tigers found another weapon in freshman Rodney Anderson, who ran for 215 yards and two scores last week. And their defense has been just as impressive, allowing just a touchdown per game.
My pick: Katy 35, La Porte 20

Euless Trinity vs. Arlington Martin
Trinity survived the postseason's biggest matchup so far, downing previous No. 1 Allen, 28-21, last week. Joel Kimplea continued his dominance on the ground, racking up 345 yards and two touchdowns. Obviously, Arlington Martin will have its hands full with Kimplea and look to let loose its own offensive weapon in RB Kyle Hicks. His production will be key in thwarting Trinity's tough defense.
My pick: Trinity 31, Arlington Martin 21

Lamar vs. Pearland
These two teams have been the comeback kings of these playoffs so far. Some had written off Pearland, the defending Class 5A, Division I champs, after consecutive losses in September, but the Oilers have bounced back with eight straight wins. The offense has been impressive during this stretch, putting up 41-plus points in seven of those victories.
Lamar experienced the same misfortune in September and then needed 21 straight points to close out a 35-34 win against Cypress Falls last round. Which team will keep rolling?
My pick: Pearland 31, Lamar 30

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

District title implications on the line in Texas Week 4 football

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
1:06
PM ET
Here's a shocker: Johnathan Gray set another record.

In the Bearcats' 62-17 win against Keller Timber Creek on Thursday, the senior tailback needed just eight carries to rack up 209 rushing yards and four touchdowns. That scoring output earned him the title of Texas' most prolific prep scorer ever, as Gray's current total of 920 points surpasses Sugar Land's Kenneth Hall (899) for most career points.

What's more, Gray, who's averaging almost five touchdowns a game, is just four points from moving into fourth nationally on the all-time scoring list.

To all Texas Longhorn fans: Yes, your team have questions at quarterback, but with freshman RB Malcolm Brown emerging and Gray headed to Austin next season, Mack Brown's squad might not ever need to pass the ball again.

With that said, let's move into this weekend's contests. As most teams move from their bye week into district play, there are quite a few intriguing matchups, but it's only natural to start at the top. So....

No. 1 Allen (3-0) at Plano (3-0)
History and the rankings aren't on Plano's side in this District 8-5A matchup, but when has that ever stopped an upset from happening? It's been six years since the Wildcats last beat Allen, with last season seeing them squander a 13-7 halftime lead. The Wildcats has shown offensive firepower during their 3-0 start, putting up 51 points per contest behind quarterback Richard Lagow's play (six TDs, no picks). But of course, the Eagles have their own standout QB in Alabama commit Alec Morris, who thrown for 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Plus, the bye week allowed tailback Jonathan Williams to get some much-needed rest for his ailing back, which could give the Eagles yet another weapon in an offense that was already averaging 43 points. It could be a shootout, but ultimately, Allen will again be too explosive for the Wildcats.
My pick: Allen 42, Plano 31

Coleyville Heritage (4-0) at No. 3 Euless Trinity (4-0)
For just about the entire season, Coleyville Heritage has been knocking on the state rankings door. But with a win against a very tough Trinity squad, the Panthers could finally make their way in. Heritage has shown an ability to spread around the ball while shutting down the opposition, winning their last two games by a count of 75-3 and before that beating a solid Hebron squad. Thing is, Trinity has been just as good, if not better. The Trojans have put together consecutive 64-0 shutouts and won last week without throwing the ball once (See, I'm not crazy). Plus, All-State defenders Brian Nance and Polo Manukainiu are back from injury, making that unit even scarier.
My pick: Trinity 38, Heritage 21

Bowie (2-1) at No. 10 Arlington Martin (3-0)
This one really could go either way, as both offenses and defenses are ones that deserve a salute. Not to mention it's a heated, District 4-5A rivalry game. Bowie is looking to bounce back after a big loss to No. 8 Skyline and the Warriors have the tools to do so. The offense boasts dual-threat QB Kolby Listenbee and tailback Russell Hansbrough while the defensive line is a handful. But Martin has successfully rode the backfield tandem of Kyle Hicks (361 rushing yards, six scores) and Cameron Williams (335 yards, four TDs). Plus, All-State defensive lineman Devonte Fields has rarely been stopped this year. Martin has the homefield advantage, but that can mean little in town rivalries. I smell an upset brewing.
My pick: Bowie 24, Martin 21

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

SPONSORED HEADLINES