High-SchoolTexas: Marcus

Texas final hoops rankings: FM Marcus, Kimball repeat as champs

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
3:45
PM ET
After games on Sunday, March 11

Call it deja vu, call it partying like it's 2011 – heck, you could even call it a comeback. Whatever the case, Marcus and Kimball emerged as champs once again in the 5A and 4A ranks, respectively, this past weekend.

For Marcus, it meant holding off the twin duo of Aaron and Andrew Harrison. No easy task, but also not a tall order for the Marauders' own duo in McDonald's All-American Marcus Smart, who played stifling defense, and Phil Forte, who knocked down eight critical free throws to secure the 56-52 win. The Marauders sit fifth in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

For Kimball, it mean coming back against a Yates team known for its high-scoring offense and championship success in 2009 and 2010. But behind a late rally and Torrey Henry's go-ahead three-pointer, the Knights proved that the title was theirs to keep.

That will do it for an eventful Texas hoops scene in the public and private-school ranks. Here are the final rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Marcus (Flower Mound) 39-2 (1)
Phil Forte drained eight free throws down the stretch to finish with 24 points and MVP honors as the Marauders repeated as Class 5A champs with a 56-52 win against Fort Bend Travis.

2. Prestonwood Christian (Plano) 27-4 (2)
Super junior Julius Randle led the Lions to the TAPPS Class 5A crown.

3. Grace Prep (Arlington) 27-4 (3)
Repeated as TAPPS Class 4A champs with win against No. 6 Westbury Christian in the title game.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas basketball rankings.

Texas Week 11 hoops rankings: Grace Prep falls again

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
5:56
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Feb. 19

There's no worse time to drop a few games than right before the postseason. Momentum and matchups always prove key come playoff time. But then again, there's probably no better time to get a few losses out of your system than right before the postseason. Watching film from those defeats can help teams work out the kinks in time for when the games really count.

So with Grace Prep losing its second game in three weeks, the Lions can pick their approach to fixing things now that the TAPPS 4A playoffs underway. Either way, they must bring their 'A' game, especially should they win their next two games and face fellow POWERADE FAB 50 squad Westbury Christian in the finals.

Other teams in Texas have plenty of momentum entering this week's playoffs. Top-ranked Marcus ran the table in District 8-5A play. Prestonwood Christian has won eight straight since falling to FAB 50 No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) last month. Fort Bend Travis became the first Fort Bend ISD boys team to go undefeated in district play since 2008-09. Others like North Crowley (15 in a row) and Yates (13 in a row) are also riding high.

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

1. Marcus (Flower Mound) 32-2 (1)
Marauders secured a perfect record in District 8-5A play by downing Flower Mound behind Phil Forte's 14 points. Their march to a second straight 5A title begins this week.

2. Prestonwood Christian (Plano) 24-4 (2)
Zach Peters dropped 23 points to push the Lions past Houston Christian in the area round of the TAPPS 5A playoffs. Lions are the favorite after finishing second last year.

3. Grace Prep (Arlington) 24-4 (3)
Grace Prep lost for the second time in three weeks, this time to Kimball. But the Lions were able to avenge an earlier loss to Trinity Christian before entering the TAPPS 4A playoffs. Next up: Tomball Concordia in Saturday's regional playoff game.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas hoops rankings.

Texas Week 10 hoops rankings: Three new teams enter FAB 50

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
5:00
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Feb. 12

It was a big week on the national stage for Texas hoops stars and programs. Here's a quick rundown:

-Four local players in Isaiah Austin, Cameron Ridley, Marcus Smart and Rasheed Sulaimon earned spots on the McDonald's All-American team.
-Julius Randle dropped 46 points in a blowout win against Bishop Lynch. The super junior scored 50 points earlier this season.
-Three Texas teams entered the POWERADE FAB 50, as South Grand Prairie, Richland and Churchill made their debut riding lengthy win streaks.

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

1. Marcus (Flower Mound) 31-2 (1)
Marauders downed Hebron before beating Plano East behind 15 points from McDonald's All-American Marcus Smart.

2. Prestonwood Christian (Plano) 22-4 (2)
Julius Randle went bananas with 46 points in a rout of Bishop Lynch.

3. Grace Prep (Arlington) 22-3 (3)
Lions ended the regular season with a victory against Faith Christian, a nice recovery from their loss to No. 9 Trinity Christian. Next up: the TAPPS playoffs.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas basketball rankings.

Texas Week 9 hoops rankings: Marcus retakes top spot

February, 7, 2012
2/07/12
6:09
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Feb. 5

With 11 straight wins and one of their two losses coming against the nation's second-best team in Findlay Prep (Nev.), some could have argued that Marcus was the top-ranked squad in Texas. On the heels of Grace Prep's stunning, last-second loss to Trinity Christian, that debate has been settled — for now.

The Marauders are once again Texas' top team after improving to 11-0 in District 8-5A with wins against Allen and Lewisville. Marcus Smart continued his consistent play with 15 points in the victory against Lewisville. As a result, the Marauders are now fifth in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

Meanwhile, Trinity Christian moves into the rankings after knocking off Grace Prep behind Parker Wentz's 31 points. The Lions could make their own argument to be the state's No. 1 team if they manage to knock off Findlay Prep on Friday.

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

1. Marcus (Flower Mound) 29-2 (2)
The Marauders retake the top spot and remain undefeated in District 8-5A play after beating Allen and Lewisville.

2. Prestonwood Christian (Plano) 21-4 (3)
Zach Peters was a beast this past week, netting 30 points in a win against Nolan and 16 in a victory over Liberty Christian. Lions will finish the regular season with games against Bishop Lynch and Bishop Dunne.

3. Grace Prep (Arlington) 19-3 (1)
Lions were bounced by Trinity Christian, a team they beat by 13 points earlier this season.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas hoops rankings
After games on Sunday, Jan. 29

Opponents have been in double trouble this season when they face off against Fort Bend Travis. Twin junior guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison have created problems on both ends of the floor, with Aaron taking care of the scoring (team-high 18.2 ppg) and Andrew doing a little of both (11.8 ppg, 5.7 apg) for the Tigers.

With eight straight wins, including a victory against No. 8 Bush to complete the season sweep, the Tigers have earned a spot in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings at No. 44.

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

1. Grace Prep (Arlington) 17-2 (1)
Lions have had their way of late, easily beating Fort Worth Christian and Pantego Christian. Jordan Mickey had 19 points in the win against FWC.

2. Marcus (Flower Mound) 27-2 (2)
The Marauders showed their mettle in a win against a strong Plano West squad. Phil Forte led the way with 22 points while Marcus Smart added 14. Next up: road games against Allen and Lewisville.

3. Prestonwood Christian (Plano) 19-4 (3)
Mickey Mitchell and Julius Randle were dominant in wins against Trinity Christian and John Paul II. Mitchell dropped 24 points against Trinity while Randle had 21 in each contest.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas hoops rankings.

Texas Week 7 Hoops Rankings: Kimball falls in district play

January, 24, 2012
1/24/12
5:23
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Jan. 22

The past week proved good to all of the top 10 teams, with the exception of Kimball. Despite getting 34 points from star Keith Frazier, the Knights fell to South Oak Cliff, 69-66, in a critical District 11-4A matchup.

Nationally, by virtue of Findlay Preps's (Nev.) rise to No. 2 after two victories against ranked teams, Grace Prep is now third in the latest POWERADE FAB 50.

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

1. Grace Prep (Arlington) 15-2 (1)
Lions easily beat Faith Christian by the score of 93-26. Next up: Pantego Christian on Friday to begin a string of three games in five days.

2. Marcus (Flower Mound) 25-2 (2)
Phil Forte had 25 points and Marcus Smart dropped 20 to lead Marauders to win against Flower Mound and push win streak to eight games.

3. Prestonwood Christian (Plano) 18-4 (3)
Bounced back from loss to Oak Hill by beating Bishop Dunne last Friday. Next up: John Paul II on Tuesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas hoops rankings.

Week 6 Texas hoops rankings: Grace Prep moves to No. 2 in nation

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
5:00
PM ET
After games on Monday, Jan. 16

Ever since losing to Prestonwood Christian in the City of Palms final, Grace Prep has been on a mission to prove it still belongs among the nation's elite. The Lions have won their last five games by an average of 39 points, punctuating their current streak with a 60-42 win against Thurgood Marshall (Ohio) on Monday. With their only other loss coming against new No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Va.), the Lions now sit in the second spot in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

Also surging is Richland. The Rebels knocked off Marcus en route to the Whataburger title last month and after a New Year's Eve lost to Coleyville Heritage, have won four straight.

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

1. Grace Prep (Arlington) 14-2 (1)
Lions are now second in the POWERADE FAB 50 after downing Thurgood Marshall (Ohio) behind Isaiah Austin's 15 points and 11 boards.

2. Marcus (Flower Mound) 23-2 (2)
The Marauders are 4-0 in District 8-5A play after downing Lewisville behind Marcus Smart's 15 points. Next up: Flower Mound on Saturday before a big test against Plano West on Tuesday.

3. Prestonwood Christian 17-4 (3)
Lions had won five straight before falling by 30 points to new national No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) at the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas hoops rankings.

Marcus re-enters top 10 in POWERADE FAB 50

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
4:18
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Jan. 8

The new year brought the same results for the Marcus basketball team. The Marauders opened Region 1, District 8 play with two wins against Plano and Allen, pushing them back into the top 10 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Prestonwood Christian looked just as impressive, shaking off a 1-2 showing at the Beach Ball Classic with a close in against No. 4 Westbury Christian. Both teams remain ranked nationally, as the Lions sit at No. 19 and Westbury Christian comes in at No. 33. Prestonwood Christian stands to move up even more should it be able to knock off national No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) during Saturday's action at the HoopHall Classic.

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

1. Grace Prep (Arlington) 12-2 (1)
Lions cruised to wins against Pantego Christian and Fort Worth Christian as they prepare to face undefeated Trinity Christian on Friday.

2. Marcus (Flower Mound) 21-2 (2)
Marauders re-enter top 10 of POWERADE FAB 50 with wins against Plano and Allen.

3. Prestonwood Christian (Plano) 14-3 (3)
Lions squeaked by No. 4 Westbury Christian, notching a quality win in preparation for contest against national No. 2 Oak Hill Academy on Saturday at HoopHall Classic.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas basketball rankings

Grace Prep moves to No. 1 in Week 4 Texas hoops rankings

January, 3, 2012
1/03/12
6:20
PM ET
After games ending Jan. 2

The holiday tournament season proved nice for some and not so cheerful for others. Ultimately though, it was the team that take some time off that benefited the most.

After finishing second at the City of Palms and playing an early schedule that included three nationally ranked opponents, Grace Prep moved up to the state's top spot and the No. 3 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50 during an idle week. This happened by virtue of Marcus' loss to Richland in the Whataburger Tournament and Prestonwood Christian's 1-2 showing at the Beach Ball Classic.

Kimball and A&M Consolidated debuted in the rankings after winning the crown at the DISD/Coca-Cola Tournament and Westlake Holiday Classic, respectively.

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

1. Grace Prep (Arlington) 10-2 (3)
Idle Lions move into top spot by virtue of losses by Marcus and Prestonwood Christian and wins against two national top 10 teams.

2. Marcus (Flower Mound) 19-2 (1)
Marauders fell short of winning their third straight Whataburger Tournament title, losing 58-55 to eventual champ Richland.

3. Prestonwood Christian 11-3 (2)
After winning City of Palms, Lions stumbled to a 1-2 showing at the Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas hoops rankings.

Top 10 Stories of the Year in Texas

December, 29, 2011
12/29/11
10:10
AM ET
The year 2011 is winding down to an end and what a year it was in the world of sports. Here are the top 10 stories from the Texas high school sports scene:

10. Double Dip
All Craig Nowak and Daniel Vertiz did in the last two months of the year was run — and run well. After winning the 5A state championship, Nowak of Cypress Woods took third at the NXN and 14th at Foot Locker Nationals in consecutive weeks. Vertiz of S.A. Reagan performed the same gauntlet, taking second at the state meet, second at NXN and fifth at Foot Locker Nationals. Vertiz and Nowak finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in the DyeStat rankings.

9. Ballers 'R Us
Texas has always been known for football but with the talent brimming from the hardwood this year, basketball has stepped into the spotlight. Led by the likes Isaiah Austin, Cameron Ridley, Marcus Smart and Rasheed Sulaimon, 13 players made the ESPNU 100.

8. Dragons Net Crown
For the second straight season, a Class 5A team went unbeaten en route to the state crown. This time it was Southlake Carroll, which finished 28-0-3 behind tournament MVP Oshick Sams' dominant play in goal.

7. Watch the Throne
As you've already seen and will find out later (see No. 2), Southlake Carroll had a good year, to say the least. After winning in soccer, the Dragons went on to make noise in cross country by dethroning five-time Class 5A champ The Woodlands by scoring a meet-record 20 points. The Dragons nearly completed a perfect season but finished second behind CBA at Nike Cross Nationals.

6. Lions Shine at City of Palms
Just a few days after suffering a loss to Grace Prep in front of a national TV audience, Prestonwood Christian got even in a big way at the City of Palms tournament in Florida. The Lions knocked off Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and nationally ranked Riverside (Calif.) before beating Grace Prep by 20 points to become the first Texas team to win the City of Palms.

5. Super Mario
A year after being named Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year, Denton Ryan's Mario Edwards Jr. left little doubt as to who was the nation's top player. As for where the No. 1 player in the ESPNU 150 will head to college, that isn't so sure. Edwards is committed to Florida State but is still strongly considering Oklahoma, among other schools.

4. Drive for Five
Lake Travis' push for a fifth straight Class 4A football title appeared to take a hit when QB Colin Lagasse went down in the first game. But junior Baker Mayfield stepped up big, throwing for 3,788 yards, 45 touchdowns and just five interceptions to lead the Cavaliers to a 16-0 record and another championship. The Cavs are the first 11-man team to win five straight titles.

3. Marcus Makes its Mark in Hoops
Almost a year to the day after shedding tears of sadness over losing in the Class 5A state semis, Marcus Smart and FM Marcus hoops team shed tears of joy this past winter when they capped a 38-1 campaign with the Class 5A crown. Smart sits as the reigning Gatorade State Player of the Year in the Marauders' drive to repeat this season.

2. Gridiron Kings
Southlake Carroll had quite a ride to the Class 5A, Division I title. The Dragons have to come back in every playoff game, had some question whether a late onside kick travelled 10 yards in the semifinal against Skyline and saw a fox join the action during Kenny Hill's game-winning TD run in the same game. Hill, not the fox, proved to be the star of the 36-29, title-game win against Fort Bend Hightower as the junior QB totaled 345 yards and four scores to earn offensive MVP honors. The Dragons are now tied with Celina for the most football titles in state history.

1. Gray's Anatomy
It's safe to say that no football player boasts a better rèsumè than Johnathan Gray. The Aledo senior tailback broke the national record for career touchdowns with 206, won Gatorade National Player of the Year, repeated as Gatorade State Player of the Year and Mr. Football USA, won a second Class 4A, Division II title and finished in the top five nationally in career rushing yards, points, carries and 100-yard games. Texas Longhorn fans are more than happy that UT hooked this legend.

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

Prestonwood Christian rises up in Week 3 Texas hoops rankings

December, 27, 2011
12/27/11
11:23
PM ET
After games ending Dec. 26.

Fresh off a loss against Grace Prep, Prestonwood Christian certainly had its work cut out for it entering the prestigious City of Palms tournament. But the Lions were the ones doin' work in Florida, beating Shabazz Muhammad and Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and California power Riverside before settling the score against Grace Prep in the final.

Julius Randle was up to his usual exploits, but the Lions got big contributions from Kansas commit Zach Peters and freshman Mickey Mitchell, who dropped 19 points and eight assists in the championship. That all equals the No. 2 spot in Texas and No. 5 slot in the POWERADE FAB 50, just behind Marcus on both lists.

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

1. Marcus 16-1 (1)
Marauders jumped to No. 4 in the POWERADE FAB 50 after beating No. 7 Montrose Christian and Plano West. Next up: Whataburger Tournament this week.

2. Prestonwood Christian 10-1 (6)
Lions rebounded from defeat against Grace Prep in a big way, winning the City of Palms Classic while avenging the loss to Grace Prep in the title game.

3. Grace Prep 10-2 (2)
Two losses have been to nationally ranked teams in Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and Prestonwood Christian. Ten wins have included triumphs against Prestonwood Christian, Mater Dei (Calif.) and Montverde (Fla.).

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Texas basketball rankings.

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

Marcus hoops driven to repeat last season's championship success

November, 30, 2011
11/30/11
5:15
PM ET
This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Texas edition. Marcus is now 8-0 entering Friday's game against Lancaster.


Just about everywhere Phil Forte turned, the painful reminder was there. Plastered on his bedroom wall and hanging in his basketball locker was an article about Marcus’ 45-43 loss in the 2010 Class 5A state semifinals.

“I wanted it there because I knew it was going to push me and our team to work harder,” Forte says.

Marcus Smart couldn’t avoid the memory, either. So the talented guard made a pact with his best friend that the 2010-11 season would not end in defeat. The duo made good on that promise, leading the Marauders to the coveted state championship.

“Barely a year from that day, we had been on the ground crying because we lost,” says Smart, the reigning Gatorade State Player of the Year, “and now we were on the ground crying because we had won. It was amazing.”

Just as amazing is that Marcus, which has gone 75-4 over the last two years, returns its four top players in Smart, Forte, Nick Banyard and A.J. Luckey. With the talent and experience brimming from this squad, a repeat title might seem like a foregone conclusion. But Marauders coach Danny Henderson says not so fast.

“I know the fans mean well, but when you’re constantly focusing on a repeat, it takes the fun out of the season and pressure mounts,” the coach says. “Sometimes the journey can be just as good as — or better than — the end.”

The road will certainly be a tough one. On the Marauders’ schedule are games against POWERADE FAB 50 teams Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.). But Forte, who still keeps those articles in clear view, knows Marcus has the tools and drive to produce another happy ending.

“There’s a target on our back,” he says. “But we’re not going to let anyone outwork us.”

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

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.

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