The Clements Rangers can party like it’s 2007, as its football program is headed back to the UIL postseason for the first time in 14 years.
Clements came away with a hard-fought 28-13 victory over the George Ranch Longhorns, moving to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in district play to earn the playoff spot. The Rangers accumulated nearly 400 yards of total offense, while its defense forced two turnovers in holding the Longhorns to a season low in points scored.
Senior receiver/defensive back Patrick Smith was in the middle of the action as always for the Rangers, hauling in touchdown passes of 61 and 17 yards from quarterback Gunner Chenier while also intercepting a pass on defense. In total, Smith caught 10 passes for 189 yards – his third 100-yard game of the season.
Chenier had his best game as a starter this season in throwing for 295 yards and three touchdowns against one interception, including a 32-yard strike to Marcus Darnell to put the Rangers up 21-7 early in the fourth quarter. Darnell hauled in six passes for 76 yards, and the scoring catch was his third of the season. Junior running back J.R. Mirelles also added 68 yards rushing along with his third touchdown of the season.
The Rangers will square off against the Bush Broncos (4-5, 4-2) in this week’s regular-season finale. The Broncos, who are currently tied with the Rangers, would make the postseason with a victory or a George Ranch loss to Dulles.
Buffalos lock down 11-5A title
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Marshall Buffalos will be headed to the postseason as the winner of District 11-5A. The Buffalos defeated Houston Sterling 56-0 on Friday to move to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in district play ahead of next week’s finale against Houston Madison.
Quarterback Ja’Koby Banks had his way with the Sterling defense, rushing for four touchdowns before giving way to backup Jordon Davis, who ran for a touchdown of his own while also throwing one to Rundrick Dudley. Banks has now accounted for 36 total touchdowns (20 passing, 16 rushing) on the season.
Stafford clinches 12-4A playoff spot
The Spartans won their third straight game Friday, and locked down the second seed in District 12-4A with their 20-12 victory over Brazosport. Sophomore Running back Jamaal Wiley ran for 74 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Brayden Batiste had 223 total yards (137 passing, 86 rushing) and three total touchdowns.
District 20-6A title still up for grabs
The Panthers can’t quite celebrate yet, but Saturday’s win against the Bush Broncos pushed them to the brink of their sixth District 20-6A title in seven years. Ridge Point defeated Bush by a score of 49-21, moving to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in District 20-6A play. Quarterback Bert Emanuel, Jr. had 367 total yards (250 passing, 117 rushing) and five touchdowns (4 passing, 1 rushing), his fourth game with at least five touchdowns this season.
Ridge Point has clinched at least a share of the title, but will have to beat the Travis Tigers next week to win it outright after the Tigers defeated Elkins 52-6 to keep its district title hopes alive last Friday. Quarterback Anthony Njoku accounted for 324 total yards (222 passing, 102 rushing) and four touchdowns for Travis, while Jamison Singleterry rushed for 73 yards and three scores.
Travis (6-3, 5-1) and Ridge Point (8-1, 6-0) will square off Friday night to determine who will take home the crown.
Hightower district hopes still alive
The Hurricanes did their part to stay in the District 10-5A title race, racing past Houston Milby by a score of 64-0 last Thursday at Hall Stadium. Hightower’s victory moved the Hurricanes to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in district play. The Hurricanes now sit in a three-way tie atop the district with Manvel and Katy Paetow ahead of next week’s regular-season finale against Wisdom.
It was Hightower’s rushing attack doing most of the damage in this one, with seven different players running for at least one touchdown. Individually, Jeremy Payne had two rushing touchdowns while quarterback K.J. Penson had a 35-yard touchdown run in addition to a 55-yard scoring toss to Caleb Douglas. Douglas also had an 82-yard touchdown run.
Last week’s scores
Clements 28, George Ranch 13
Marshall 56, Houston Sterling 0
Hightower 64, Houston Milby 0
Ridge Point 49, Bush 21
Dulles 34, Austin 7
Travis 52, Elkins 7
Stafford 20, Brazosport 12
Houston Madison 30, Willowridge 7
Angleton 35, Kempner 7
This week’s schedule
Kempner vs. Richmond Foster, 6 p.m., Stafford High School
Marshall vs. Houston Madison, 7 p.m., Hall Stadium
Ridge Point vs. Travis, 7 p.m., Hall Stadium
Hightower at Houston Wisdom, 7 p.m., Butler Stadium
Dulles at George Ranch, 7 p.m., Traylor Stadium
Stafford at Bay City, 7 p.m.
Willowridge vs. Galena Park, 11 a.m., Hall Stadium
Elkins vs. Austin, 1 p.m., Legacy Stadium
Clements vs. Bush, 6 p.m., Hall Stadium