Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Smiley N. Pool
There are just three weeks left in the 2022 regular season and the playoff picture is clearing up every week. Last weekend in Texas high school football wasn’t quite as enthralling as the college football Saturday, but we’ll recap a few games and preview a packed slate of games ahead for the upcoming football weekend.
Eaton defeats Keller Timber Creek
I talked about the ramifications of this game on the playoff picture last week. The Eaton win means Southlake Carroll will likely get pushed to the 6A DI bracket for the playoffs. That is not what the Dragons were hoping for, especially with starting quarterback Kaden Anderson out with an injury. Eaton is now back in the thick of the playoff race, tied for third place in District 4-6A with Keller and Keller Fossil Ridge at 2-2. Eaton still has Southlake Carroll and Byron Nelson, the two teams tied for first place at 4-0, left on the schedule.
Eaton trailed 17-0 after the first quarter before quarterback Noah Lugo led the come-from-behind win. Lugo completed 15 of his 27 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns and added 114 yards and two scores on the ground. Logan Wright carried the ball 12 times for 55 yards and Ja’Mari Harris rushed nine times for 33 yards. Talan Holmes led the Eagles in receiving with three receptions, two of which were for touchdowns. Lugo spread the ball around, connecting with six different receivers.
Keller Timber Creek quarterback Lior Mendji completed 25 of his 32 passes for 392 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Joe Parks led the Falcons in rushing with 55 yards and a score on 19 carries. Maddox Allbritton caught nine passes for 137 yards and Jahrid Hughes added three receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown. Dozie Ezukanma caught four passes for 84 yards and the other receiving touchdown from Mendji. Eaton outscored Timber Creek 14-0 in the fourth quarter for the 38-31 win.
Allen takes down McKinney
Last week I mentioned that any game between two of the top four teams in District 5-6A was going to be must-see football. Allen and McKinney proved me right as Allen topped McKinney 31-28 at Eagle Stadium.
Allen quarterback Mike Hawkins Jr. completed 10of his 16 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and also carried the football 11 times for 73 yards. Kayvion Sibley led the Eagles in rushing with 83 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Sibley added a 17-yard touchdown reception in the win. Allen Wimberly caught four passes for 46 yards and Davon Mitchell added three receptions for 38 yards and a score.
McKinney quarterback Keldric Luster completed 14 of his 20 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown and added 45 yards and a score on 10 carries. Khali Best gained 73 yards and found the end zone once on just three carries and Bryan Jackson II carried the ball 23 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. Dylan Best caught seven passes for 119 yards and Best added two receptions for 25 yards and a score. Tyler Stanley also caught two passes for 25 yards for the Lions.
Allen is tied with Denton Guyer for first place in District 5-6A at 4-0, though one of those two teams will claim sole possession of first place this weekend. McKinney and Prosper are tied for second place at 3-1. Prosper Rock Hill is on the outside looking in at the playoff picture in District 5-6A with a 2-2 record.
Fort Worth Arlington Heights defeats Colleyville Heritage
Fort Worth Arlington Heights took down Colleyville Heritage 41-31 in one of the more surprising results from across the metroplex last weekend. The Yellow Jackets got it done on the ground, rushing for 408 yards and averaging over eight yards-per-carry. A 13-0 fourth quarter run powered Arlington Heights to the win.
Arlington Heights quarterback Eric Orozco completed just four of his 10 passes for 68 yards, but also carried the ball 10 times for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Brian Furch Jr. led the Yellow Jackets in rushing with 25 carries for 278 yards and four touchdowns, good for over 11 yards-per-carry. Brandin Monroe added 64 yards on 14 carries. Latreal Brooks led Arlington Heights in receiving with a reception for 47 yards.
Colleyville Heritage quarterback Weston Smith completed 27 of his 45 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns. Unlike Arlington Heights, the Panthers struggled to get much going on the ground. Collin Bennett led the rushing attack with five carries for 34 yards and Ryan Keleher rushed the ball 10 times for 19 yards and a score. Braden Blueitt was Smith’s favorite target with nine receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown. Kai Pruitt added six reception for 78 yards and a score and Luke Ullrich caught seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Colleyville Heritage is tied for fourth place in District 4-5A DII at 2-2 with Fort Worth North Side while Arlington Heights is tied with Grapevine for first place at 4-0.
Games to Watch
Allen (6-1) @ Denton Guyer (7-0)
Allen and Denton Guyer face off under the Thursday Night Lights to determine which team will be the last remaining undefeated team in District 5-6A. This should be a great game, and kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on ESPN2.
Lake Highlands (6-2) @ Richardson Pearce (3-4)
Richardson Pearce needs a win to stay in contention for a playoff spot. Lake Highlands could use a win to stay amongst the district leaders Highland Park (5-0) and Jesuit (4-1). Lake Highlands is 4-2 in District 7-6A and Richardson Pearce is 3-2.
Aledo (6-2) @ Denton Ryan (4-2)
Aledo is the last remaining undefeated team in District 3-5A DI play at 6-0. Denton Ryan, Burleson Centennial and Northwest are all 4-1 in district play. Those four teams will represent the district in the playoffs, and Aledo will be primed to win the district championship with a win over Denton Ryan on Friday. Denton Ryan will need a win to stay in contention for a district title after losing to Burleson Centennial earlier this month.
Cedar Hill (1-6) @ DeSoto (6-1)
This game will always make the game to watch section because it is one of the most intense rivalries in the state. Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee a close game. After watching DeSoto hang 86 points against Mansfield Lake Ridge last week, it’s hard to imagine Cedar Hill going on the road and keeping pace with DeSoto.
Flower Mound Marcus (4-3) @ Lewisville (6-1)
This is a rivalry game that should be much more competitive than the one mentioned above. Flower Mound Marcus is 3-1 in District 6-6A and Lewisville is in first place at 4-0. This should be a game to watch based on the playoff ramifications alone, but the rivalry aspect adds more intrigue.
Mesquite Horn (6-2) @ Rockwall Heath (5-2)
Rockwall looks likely to win District 10-6A, but the winner of Friday night’s game between Mesquite Horn (3-1) and Rockwall Heath (2-1) should decide which team finishes in second place in district play. Royse City (2-1) is also in the mix.
Weatherford (5-2) @ Saginaw Boswell (6-1)
The playoff race in District 3-6A is a mess. North Crowley is 4-0 and should win the district. Crowley and Boswell are each 3-1. Weatherford, Trinity and LD Bell are all 2-2, giving the district six teams fighting for four spots. This should be a close game with playoff implications.
Offensive Player of the Week
My Offensive Player of the Week is DeSoto wide receiver Johntay Cook! DeSoto took down Mansfield Lake Ridge 86-26! Yes, that’s right, 86 points! Johntay Cook was responsible for plenty of the 86 points that were scored. Cook caught 10 passes for 230 yards and five touchdowns! Half of Cook’s receptions ended in the end zone. Of course, a receiver can’t put up numbers like that without a good quarterback. Darius Bailey deserves some shine here after passing for 331 yards and seven touchdowns!
Defensive Player of the Week
My Defensive Player of the Week is South Grand Prairie defensive back D’Arius Carmouche! South Grand Prairie beat Arlington 44-30 behind a massive performance from Carmouche! It will be hard for any defender in the state to put up a stat line similar to Carmouche’s performance last Friday night. Carmouche finished with 10 tackles, six of those solo tackles, three interceptions and a fourth interception on a two-point conversion play that he returned for two points to make the Warriors lead 37-30 over Arlington instead of 35-32 with a successful conversion or 35-30 with an unsuccessful conversion. In a point of the year where playing winning football is crucial, Carmouche is playing winning football at a high level.
College Player of the Week
My College Player of the Week is former Lewisville star running back Damien Martinez! Oregon State defeated Washington State 24-10 and Martinez led the Beavers in rushing with 111 yards on 16 carries! The freshman is a long way from home but playing well and making a name for himself in Oregon so far this season. Also of note, former Allen running back Jaylen Jenkins led Washington State in rushing with 42 yards on six carries and also caught four passes for 30 yards and the Cougars only touchdown of the night. Both Martinez and Jenkins are true freshmen and representing the metroplex well in the Pac-12.
Cover Photo of Allen running back Kayvion Sibley courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Staff Photographer Smiley N. Pool.