High-SchoolTexas: Manvel

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.

Johnathan Gray is the new touchdown king

December, 17, 2011
12/17/11
8:03
PM ET
Even when Johnathan Gray "only" scores one touchdown, it can be a special game.

The Aledo senior tailback became the national high school career leader for touchdowns Saturday when he registered his lone score in the Class 4A, Division II championship. A 37-yard draw play resulted in Gray's 205th career touchdown, moving him past Mike Hart on the all-time list.

More importantly, the score helped the Bearcats secure their third straight state championship with a 49-28 win against Manvel in Gray's final high school game.

Click here to read more about Gray's feat and here to read about the game.

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

Southlake Carroll knocks off Skyline to take over top spot

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
12:30
PM ET
The new No. 1 team in POWERADE ESPNHS Texas football team rankings, Southlake Carroll, has an opportunity to become No. 1 in another category -- most Texas state football championships won.

Carroll is one of five schools currently tied with seven state titles and the Dragons can step to the top by defeating Fort Bend Hightower in Saturday’s 4 p.m. Class 5A Division I state title game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. An eighth state title for Carroll would be one more than Abilene, Brownwood, Celina and Plano.

Carroll needed every bit of playoff magic it could muster in a 28-24 victory over former No. 1, Skyline on Saturday in a Class 5A Division I state semifinal. Touchdown runs of 3 and 35 yards by junior quarterback Kenny Hill in the final 1:07 enabled Carroll to overcome a 10-point deficit. Skyline (14-1) outgained Carroll by 143 yards in the showdown, but had three turnovers and three failed fourth-down gambles.

Three other state finals this weekend will involve teams attempting to repeat as state champions. Steele tries to defend its Class 5A Division II state title against 13-2 Dekaney. Aledo and record-setting running back Johnathan Gray have a chance to win a third straight state title in Class 4A Division II, but standing in the way is unbeaten Manvel. And Lake Travis will try to complete its “Drive for Five,’’ an unprecedented fifth straight state title, in a Class 4A Division I match-up against Midway.

Nationally, three Texas teams are in the top 15, led by Carroll at No. 7. Fort Bend Hightower also moved into the POWERADE FAB 50, debuting at No. 46.

Here's the top 25 going into the final week of the state playoffs. (Last week's ranking in
parentheses):

1. Southlake Carroll 15-0 (2)
Junior quarterback Kenny Hill capped an amazing comeback by scoring two touchdowns in the final 1:07 of a 28-24 victory over 14-1 Skyline (Dallas) in a Class 5A Division I state semifinal Saturday at SMU‘s Ford Stadium. In between the Hill touchdowns, Carroll recovered an onside kick. The Dragons meet Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City) in the state title game set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

2. Lake Travis (Austin) 15-0 (3)
Junior quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for four touchdowns and Colin Lagasse scored four times in the Cavaliers’ 45-14 bashing of 12-3 Dawson (Pearland) in a Class 4A Division I semifinal Friday night in San Antonio’s Alamodome. The Cavaliers, winners of 29 consecutive playoff games, go for their fifth straight state title against 13-2 Midway (Waco) at 8 p.m. Friday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

3. Steele (Cibolo) 15-0 (4)
Tommy Armstrong, a Nebraska commit, rushed for four touchdowns and passed for another in a 51-31 bashing of 13-2 Memorial (Port Arthur) Saturday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. The Knights, winners of 28 straight, will attempt to defend their Class 5A Division II state title against 13-2 Dekaney (Spring) at 8 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

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.

SPONSORED HEADLINES