The high school football playoffs begin Friday with Ridge Point playing Cinco Ranch at Hall Stadium and Travis playing Katy at Katy Legacy Stadium in Division 6A – Division 1 action.
In 6A – Division 2, Bush plays Katy Taylor at Mercer Stadium, and Hightower plays Strake Jesuit at Crusader Stadium. In 5-A Division 2 action, Marshall plays Sterling on Thursday at Hall Stadium.
The last week of district play game summaries are below:
Willowridge 31, Galveston Ball 28
Gustavo Medrano kicked a 37-yard field goal as time ran out to give the Willowridge Eagles a 31-28 victory over Galveston Ball. The Eagles end their season on a two-game winning streak.
Galveston took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter before Vaughnte Frederick found Joe Jackson for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Galveston scored again just before halftime to make the score 21-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Galveston returned an interception to up the score to 28-7. The Eagles began their comeback with Johnson scoring on a 3-yard run, and the third quarter ended with Galveston up 28-14.
In the fourth quarter, Javion Chatman scored on a 19-yard pass from Frederick, bringing the Eagles within 7. Chatman scored again on a 19-yard pass from Frederick and the score was tied.
Frederick completed 20 of 32 passes for 308 yards and 3 touchdown passes. Johnson rushed 12 times for 63 yards.
Willowridge finished the district season with a 2-5 record and an overall record of 3-6. The Eagles encountered a few distractions before the season started. The Willowridge school building was closed for mold remediation and classes are still being held at Marshall High School. Then Hurricane Harvey disrupted several weeks of classes at the beginning of the year. However, head coach Richard Lazarou is proud of how his team handled adversity.
“We had some very high expectations coming into the season, but we had to deal with some very extreme situations, and all of that culminated with Gustavo Medrano kicking that field goal last night as time ran out. The coaches and players had every opportunity to make excuses for why they should quit all season but instead they decided to strive for excellence regardless of those circumstances,” Lazarou said. “Obviously we had to deal with a very extreme situation concerning the mold remediation and being housed at Marshall all season. We had to deal with the disappointment of not making the playoffs after doing so last year for the first time in 12 years.
“With all that being said, the last two games exemplified the sort of class and character that set the foundation for this team going forward in the future. Last week we were down 33-7 in the second quarter, and then last night we were down 28-7 in the third quarter. Both games were opportunities for the players and the coaches to pack it in and lean on all the excuses that they had to deal with. But they didn’t do that, they fought the good fight, made adjustments, trusted each other and played with class and character all the way until that game winning field goal with no time left on the clock. I am so proud of those coaches and players that I can’t wait to start working towards next year on Monday.”
Travis 51, Kempner 13
Travis needed a win to advance to the playoffs, and they got it, as the Tigers overcame a stubborn Kempner team early to run away with a 51-13 win.
Kempner scored first as Jacob Mangum-Farrar caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Oliver to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead with 5:35 to go in the first quarter. On the ensuing series, Travis tied it up as Naveon Mitchell scored on a 9-yard run.
The play of the game occurred with time running out in the first quarter. Travis was threatening to score, but fumbled on the Cougar 3-yard line. Kempner’s Mangum-Farrar scooped up the fumble on the right sideline and took off to the opposite end zone, out-distancing all of the Tigers except for Arjei Henderson. With Henderson closing on him around the Tiger 30-yard line, Mangum-Farrar angled to the pylon on the left sideline, attempting to escape from Henderson. After both players had sprinted about 150 yards , Henderson caught Mangum-Farrar at the 1-yard line, preventing a touchdown, at least for one play. On the next play, Joel Adams ran in from the 1-yard line, giving Kempner a 13-7 lead.
“I was very excited during the run,” Mangum-Farrar said. “It was challenging but I am willing to do what it takes to win.”
After that it was all Travis as Mitchell caught a 57-yard pass from Amryn Jeffrey, Kaelen Shankle scored on a 9-yard run, Josue Guerro kicked a 39-yard field goal, Shankle added a 10-yard touchdown run, and Henderson caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jeffrey to make the halftime score 38-13.
Mitchell added two touchdowns in the second half on a 20-yard pass and a 25-yard pass, both from Jeffrey, to make the final score 51-13.
Travis welcomed three players back from injuries, as Felix Etugbo had five tackles, Kollin Jackson had two pass receptions, and Austin Bertness had two pass receptions.
“It felt good to have Austin back,” Jeffrey said. “I am glad we could get a win and head into playoffs with some confidence. Everyone should be looking out for us to upset Katy next week.”
Travis freshman defensive back Cameron Oliver earned family bragging rights as he intercepted a pass thrown by his brother, Kempner’s senior quarterback Jordan Oliver. His father, O.C. Oliver, is a Kempner assistant coach.
“It was an honor to play against him (Jordan). It felt really good,” Cameron Oliver said. “The atmosphere was great. It was a fun time.”
The Travis defense held Kempner to 196 yards on the ground, and 19 yards of passing. The Tiger offense rushed 29 times for 170 yards and completed 24 of 37 passes for 352 yards.
“Our kids played well after a shaky start. It was good to have a few kids back from injury and to go into the playoffs with some momentum,” Travis head coach Trey Sissom said. “Offensively, we are playing better, and our offensive line has really come along in the second half of district play. Defensively, we are playing the against the run much better than early in the season and by eliminating the big passing plays, we have given ourselves a chance to make a push into week 12.”
Marshall 63, Santa Fe 21
The Buffalos were never threatened as they tuned up for the playoffs by beating Santa Fe 63-21.
Quarterback Jabari James completed 9 of 10 passes for 285 yards and 4 touchdowns. On the receiving end were Korey King, three receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns, Dominick Houston-Shepard, two receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown, and Henry Thomas, two receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown.
“We are taking the playoffs one practice and one game at a time,” Thomas said.
Devon Achane led the team in rushing with three carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Jerry Davis added 75 yards on seven carries and scored one touchdown, while Korey King had one carry for 69 yards and a touchdown, and Michael Jones Jr. had seven carries for 57 yards and a touchdown.
“The team is really focused on playing one week at a time. We don’t ever talk about last season. I am excited to see our kids compete in the playoffs,” Marshall head coach James Williams said.
Bush 38, Austin 17
The Bush Broncos prepared for the playoffs by beating Austin 38-17. Quarterback Wade Freeman completed 11 of 18 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Catching those touchdown passes were James Cooley and Lawrence Scott. Demetrice Jones and Dy’Shon Hodge each had a rushing touchdown.
Ridge Point 38, Hightower 14
The Ridge Point Panthers took a 38-0 lead and then cruised to a 38-14 win over Hightower.
Quarterback Aaron Allen completed 11 of 17 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Mustapha Muhammad caught three passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Mason McBride carried 21 times for 140 yards, and Chad Bailey carried four times for 12 yards and four touchdowns.
“We will enter the playoffs with a sense of focus and confidence,” Muhammad said.
The Panthers won District 20 6A because they had the best offense in the district, scoring 281 points to Bush’s 272, and the best defense which only allowed 61 points, compared to Bush’s 111 points.
Dulles 43, Clements 13
Dulles beat Clements 43-3 to finish the season 4-5 overall and 3-5 in district.
“We fought very hard each game even with most of our team being fairly young. We ended our season with 3-0 record and we will carry on that momentum into the offseason and to next year,” Dulles junior Myles Heard said. “We will be back better than ever through hard work and discipline.”
“Our seniors sent us out with a great way to start the next season. We’re going to come together as a team and work hard in the weight room and fix our mistakes,” Junior Ainias Smith said. “We are most definitely going to have a better season next year.”
Clements finished the season 0-9.
“Well it’s definitely disappointing to go out like that. I’m obviously not happy with what happened but I’m confident in the men behind me to carry on and keep getting better for next season,” Clements senior Fote Demeris said. “I’ve left guys I trust to be great leaders behind me. If they carry on how my fellow captains and I carried ourselves great things will happen for that team.”
Texas City 39, Elkins 21
Elkins lost 39-21 to Texas City. The Knights ended the season with a 2-6 overall record and a 2-5 district record.