The regular season has ended and seven Fort Bend ISD teams will be advancing to the playoffs.
In District 20 6A, Ridge Point and Travis will compete in the 6A Division 1 playoffs, while Dulles and Elkins will compete in 6A Division 2. Marshall and Willowridge will compete in 5A Division 2.
Hightower will compete in 5A Division 1. Last weekend media reports said that Hightower had violated technology rules during several games. The Hurricanes were penalized by forfeiting two games. However, those two games were games they had lost, so their record did not change, and they qualified for the final playoff spot in District 10 5A D1. The reports also said head coach Padriac McGinnis had been fired. Fort Bend ISD Athletic Director Rodney Chant and Hightower principal John Montelongo did not respond to requests for a statement.
On Thursday, Marshall plays Santa Fe at Hall Stadium and Willowridge plays at Nederland. On Friday, Ridge Point plays Seven Lakes at Hall Stadium, Travis plays Katy at Legacy Stadium, Dulles plays Katy Taylor at Mercer Stadium, Elkins plays Tompkins at Rhodes Stadium and Hightower plays New Caney at Texans Drive Stadium.
Elkins 35, Austin 21
Elkins turned a gloomy November afternoon into a bright victory dance as the Knights scored 28 straight points to beat Austin 35-21 last Saturday at Mercer Stadium. The win puts the Knights into the playoffs where they will meet Tompkins on Friday night.
Austin took a 21-7 halftime lead as Troy Omeire caught a 46-yard pass from Trey Larsen and Moises Tezzo scored on runs of 2 yards and 72 yards. Michael Granson caught a 20-yard pass from Cameron George for Elkins’ only first half score.
The second half belonged to Elkins as Kolby White and George each scored two touchdowns. George scored on an 8-yard run and a 42-yard run. White scored on an 11-yard run and a 5-yard pass from George.
Elkins’ Head Coach Dennis Brantley said the halftime locker room was focused.
“We didn’t scream at them or anything, we just told them that we had put a lot of hard work into the off-season and up to now, and all that hard work had to show up in the second half. And it did. What I love about it is our guys just stuck together. We made it hard on ourselves by losing the last two games but that’s high school football. You have to play hard every week. This time we were on the winning end,” Brantley said.
For the game, George completed 14 of 27 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed 24 times for 204 yards and two touchdowns. White had six receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.
“When we went in at halftime, we just saying we have to be a team. We stand as one. Last year we were 2-6 and this year we are in the playoffs, and we want to keep playing,” White said.
Austin was led by Tezzo who rushed 35 times for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Larsen completed 9 of 17 passes for 175 yards and one touchdown, and Omeire caught two passes for 58 yards and he had two interceptions on defense.
Elkins’ defensive lineman Daelon Mitchell had a key sack late in the game with Austin attempting a pass on fourth down and nine yards to go on the Elkins’ 22-yardline.
“I was just trying to get to the quarterback. That’s all I was doing. I needed to help my team out,” Mitchell said.
Elkins ends district play with a 4-3 record and Austin ends its season with a 3-4 record.
Ridge Point 35, Dulles 21
Ridge Point beat Dulles 35-21 to claim the District 20 6A championship with a 7-0 record. This is the Panthers’ fifth district championship in a row.
“Hearing districts champs is like music to my ears. This is my third year on varsity and I haven’t lost a district championship yet. It feels good to win three in a row. Really it’s five in a row as the team won two before me. Back to back to back is just a real good feeling,” Panther defensive lineman Nelson Ceaser said.
Dulles scored first on a Myles Heard 34-yard run in the first quarter and the quarter ended with Dulles up 7-0.
In the second quarter, the Panthers’ Carter Aycock intercepted a pass on the Dulles 36-yard line, and John Paul Richardson scored on a pass from Will Pendergrass two minutes later to tie the game at 7.
With 6:00 to go in the half, Ainias Smith caught a touchdown pass from Cameron Peters and the Vikings went up 14-7. Three minutes later, the Panthers’ Adonal Mitchell scored on a run and the first half ended 14-14.
In the third quarter, the Panthers caught the Vikings in a defense mix-up and Mason McBride ran 72 yards through the open slot to give Ridge Point a 21-14 lead with 8:25 to go in the quarter. Three minutes later, McBride scored on a 7-yard run to increase the Panthers’ lead to 28-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Four seconds into the fourth quarter, Dulles’ Javian Myles scored on a 1-yard run to cut the Panthers’ lead to 28-21. But two minutes later, McBride scored on a 14-yard run to give Ridge Point a 35-21 lead. Neither team was able to do anything in the final 9:51 and the game ended with Ridge Point on top 35-21.
“Going into halftime, our defensive line coach told us what we needed to do in the second half – get off the ball and watch the ball more. That really helped us stop the run and get after the quarterback. We really like to get after the quarterback, particularly on first and second down, so they have a third and long. We really like to compete against each other to see who can get to the quarterback first,” Ceaser said.
Ceaser had two sacks in the game, giving him 20.5 for his career, which is a new school record. Senior safety Jake Sniffen had 10 tackles for the game. On offense, Mason McBride rushed 18 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns.
“Dulles is a good football team. They have a lot of seniors on their team that have played a lot of varsity games. We knew it was going to be a dogfight and a war the whole game. Dulles came out in the first half guns blazing, but our kids stood their ground. Our defensive line stepped up in the second half, and our offensive line was dominant in the second half,” Ridge Point Head Coach Brett Sniffen said.
Ridge Point lost a lot of experience and talent to graduation last year, but they worked hard to go undefeated in district play and 9-1 overall.
“It feels great to win the championship. We graduated 45 seniors last year including eight kids signed to Division 1 scholarships. We had a bunch of new kids who came onto the team and just continued our tradition. They played their tails and did what we asked them to do. Now they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor,” Coach Sniffen said.
Travis 24, Bush 7
The Travis defense held Bush to one touchdown as the Tigers won 24-7 last Friday at Hall Stadium. Aundre Smith scored two touchdowns on runs of 40 yards and 1 yard. Smith had 13 carries on the night for 76 yards. Eric Rodriguez completed 11 of 22 passes for 141 yards and Parker Washington had four receptions for 70 yards. Defensive lineman Jared Wright scored a touchdown when he scooped up a fumble and ran it into the end zone from five yards out.
Travis linebacker Zach Zimos believes the defense is peaking just in time for the playoffs.
“I believe so. On to Katy now. It’s win or go home time, and defense wins championships. We have to be all in come Friday at 6:30 p.m.,” Zimos said.
The Tigers will play Katy on Friday night, but center Justin Gwalchmai thinks they just need to play their game.
“We just need to stay focused and have the right mindset going in. There is nothing special we’re going to do for them. We just need to follow the game plan and execute,” Gwalchmai said.
Marshall 60, Madison 2
The Buffaloes scored 27 first quarter points and went on to beat Madison 60-2 last Friday at Butler Stadium. Marshall went undefeated in District 11 5A Division 2 play.
Quarterback Malik Hormsby completed 5 of 9 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns and he rushed three times for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Devon Achane had two receptions for 116 yards and one touchdown, and he rushed four times for 27 yards and a touchdown. Jerry Davis had five carries for 30 yards and two touchdowns. Norman Baker led the Buffaloes’ defense with 10 tackles and a sack.
“We are proud of the (regular season) accomplishments, but we are focused and excited to begin this next season, which is the playoffs. This team is determined,” Marshall Head Coach James Williams said.
Willowridge 21, Sterling 8
Willowridge held Sterling to one touchdown as they won 21-8 to clinch third place in District 11 5A Division 2 last Saturday at Barnett Stadium.
The Eagles scored in the first quarter as Jhamarkus Harris ran the ball in from the 1-yard line. The first half ended 7-0.
In the second half, Javion Chatman caught a 32-yard pass from Vaughnte Frederick to make the score 14-0. Sterling responded with a 50-yard scoring run by Frank Brown to close the gap to 14-8. Frederick then closed out the scoring and the game with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Frederick completed 7 of 16 passes for 83 yards and one touchdown, and he rushed 21 times for 149 yards and a touchdown.
“Vaughnte (Frederick) just went over 1,000 yards rushing yesterday to go along with his 1,400 passing yards, which shows just how valuable he is to this team. He is a special player and a special young man who plays for the people around him and the community he lives in as much as anything. He has fans all over the community because he has been representing us with class and character for what seems like forever. His athletic ability and personality are what make our team go and the blessing is that he is good with that. He doesn’t shy away from the pressure that comes with being a team leader and we are going to be leaning on him heavily again this week as we take on a 9-1 Nederland team, at their home stadium,” Willowridge Head Coach Richard Lazarou said.
Clements 27, Kempner 26
Clements won its first district game of the season and second game overall as the Rangers defeated Kempner 27-26 last Saturday at Hall Stadium.
With four minutes to go in the game, Kempner’s Jordan Verge returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to make the score 27-26 in favor of Clements. Kempner went for the game winning two-point conversion, but the run failed, and Clements was victorious.
Kempner’s Jordan Shelton rushed 26 times for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Shelton’s touchdowns came on runs of 46 yards, 67 yards and 58 yards.
Clements’ John Perry completed 19 of 28 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. David Kasemervisz caught four passes for 102 yards and had a 56-yard touchdown reception. Safety Andrew Bottiglieri scored on a 50-yard fumble return.
Foster 21, Hightower 20
Isaiah Essisima scored on a 4-yard run with 4:30 to go in the game to bring Hightower within one point of Foster, but the extra point kick was no good and Foster beat the Hurricanes 21-20 last Thursday at Hall Stadium.
After a scoreless first half, Kobie White scored on a 5-yard run to give the Hurricanes a 7-0 lead. Foster responded with two touchdowns to take the lead 14-7. On the kickoff after Foster’s second touchdown, Kobie Campbell returned it 90 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-14 at the end of three quarters.
Foster scored first in the fourth quarter to take a 21-14 lead before Essisima scored and the Hurricanes could not make the extra point.
For Hightower, Brandon Smith completed 6 of 12 passes for 82 yards, and White completed 4 of 7 passes for 43 yards and White rushed 15 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Chance Ceaser caught 4 passes for 39 yards.
District 20 6A
Ridge Point 7 0
Travis 6 1
Dulles 5 2
Elkins 4 3
Austin 3 4
Bush 2 5
Clements 1 6
Kempner 0 7
District 10 5A D1
Shadow Creek 7 0
Angleton 6 1
Foster 5 2
Hightower 3 4
Friendswood 3 4
Terry 2 5
Ball 1 6
Texas City 1 6
District 11 5A D2
Marshall 8 0
Manvel 7 1
Willowridge 6 2
Northside 4 4
Sterling 4 4
Madison 4 4
Waltrip 3 5
Milby 1 7
Sharpstown 0 8