The Cooldown- Week Five

Cover Photo via The Dallas Morning News/ Smiley Pool (@smileypool) 

Week five of the Texas high school football season is over and so is half of the season for a good amount of metroplex area teams. We have a much better idea of which teams might make the playoffs in most districts. Week five was a crazy one in the metroplex with several overtime games and a shootout in Rockwall. Let’s recap week five and look ahead to week six!

Rockwall Heath outlasts Rockwall in Overtime

The I-30 Classic lived up to the hype- and more! It’s a good thing Rockwall Heath defensive back Layne Horak ended the game with an interception, or the game might still be going. The team with the ball last was always going to win this game, so of course Rockwall’s Hail Mary attempt was successful to force overtime. The Yellow Jackets mounted a comeback from being down 49-28 in the 3rd quarter to forcing overtime on the last play of regulation on a Braedyn Locke touchdown pass to Aiden Meeks.

Rockwall got rather creative as four different players threw touchdown passes against Rockwall Heath. Lake Bennett, Caden Marshall and Zach Hernandez all attempted one pass, and all went for touchdowns. Braedyn Locke completed 20 of his 33 attempts for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Hernandez rushed for 260 yards and a score and Bennett added two touchdowns on the ground on just three carries. Marshall caught 10 passes for 258 yards and two scores and Meeks finished with five receptions for 94 yards and three scores. In all, the Yellow Jackets finished with 716 total yards of offense.

It was Rockwall Heath’s night though. Josh Hoover completed 16 of his 26 attempts for 365 yards and four touchdowns. Zach Evans was a beast on the ground, finishing with 270 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Brittan Snider also rushed for 119 yards and a score. Jordan Nabors finished with 160 receiving yards and a score while Jay Fair added 101 yards and a score and Lance Mason finished with 65 yards and two scores. The Rockwall Heath offense finished with 775 yards of total offense.

Rockwall Heath has now been involved in two of the best games in the metroplex so far this season. The Hawks suffered a heartbreaking loss to Southlake Carroll 36-35 a few weeks ago before experiencing the high of beating their rivals in overtime in the I-30 Classic. Both Rockwall Heath and Rockwall figure to make deep playoff runs, but the defense needs to improve for either team to have a shot at a State Championship Game appearance. Rockwall Heath improves to 4-1 (1-0) with just the one-point loss to Southlake Carroll while Rockwall drops to 3-2 (0-1) with back-to-back losses after a great win over Austin Lake Travis.

Flower Mound wins the Mound Showdown

It was a homecoming for former Marcus State Champion Marcus Smart as he was inducted into the Marcus High School Hall of Fame on Friday. What better game for Smart to come back for than the Mound Showdown?

Flower Mound quarterback Nick Evers completed seven of his 12 passing attempts for 118 yards before exiting the game with an injury. His backup, Yale Erdman, accounted for both Flower Mound touchdowns. Erdman passed for 91 yards and a score before scoring the go-ahead touchdown on the ground. Caden Jensen caught two passes that went for seven yards but one of those receptions was worth six points in a game where points were hard to come by. Walker Mulkey led the receivers with three receptions for 76 yards. The Marcus defense held Flower Mound to just 259 total yards of offense.

Jaxxon Warren passed for 219 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-43 passing. Dallas Dudley led the receivers with 13 receptions for 118 yards while Isaac Khattab and Connor Vaughn each caught a touchdown pass. Those would be the only two touchdowns for Marcus on the night as Flower Mound took down Marcus 17-14. The Flower Mound defense came up with two interceptions and the Flower Mound offense didn’t turn the ball over at all, and Marcus missed a long field goal attempt trying to force overtime late in the game. Flower Mound got a much-needed win to improve to 2-2 (1-0) with the win and Marcus drops to 2-2 (0-1) on the season.

McKinney Boyd beats Denton Braswell in Overtime

Denton Braswell out-gained McKinney Boyd by well over 100 yards on Friday night, but McKinney Boyd came out on top in overtime. Jaylon Burton had a great night but lost a fumble on the Braswell 15-yard line, setting up a quick score for McKinney Boyd to tie the game in the 3rd quarter. That sequence could very well have won the game for McKinney Boyd.

Burton was a work horse, carrying the ball 43 times for 265 yards and three scores. Keegan Byrd added a touchdown on the ground and passed for 172 yards as well. Ja’Ryan Wallace led the receivers with 86 yards. As good as Byrd has been for Denton Braswell this season, Burton was the star of this game for the Bengals.

Ryan Shackleton had another nice game for McKinney Boyd, completing 13 of his 20 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Carter Whitefield did it all for the Broncos- leading McKinney Boyd in rushing and receiving yards. Whitefield carried the ball 19 times for 76 yards and caught four passes for 119 yards and a score. Peyton Shaw and Caden Park each had over 50 yards receiving and a touchdown reception as Shackleton spread the love on offense.

Wins are going to be hard to come by in District 5-6A because every team in the district is good enough to make the playoffs. Two of the three District 5-6A games played this season have gone to overtime- the other one being a Little Elm win over Prosper 59-56. Denton Guyer may be the favorite to win the district and struggled to put away McKinney in a 44-26 win. McKinney Boyd improved to 5-0 (1-0) and plays Allen in the Eagles district opener at home on Friday. Denton Braswell dropped to 3-2 (0-1) with the two losses coming by a combined seven points. Braswell gets Little Elm on the road on Friday.

Games to Watch

Thursday 9/30

Frisco Lone Star @ Frisco Reedy

Frisco Reedy went 0-2 in a tough non-district schedule against other Frisco teams. Then the Lions had to open district play with Denton Ryan. Reedy lost that game 28-10. The Lions have bounced back with two wins in District 5-5A Division I over Frisco Heritage and Independence.

Frisco Lone Star is 3-1 with a loss to Aledo and a 2-0 start in district play. The Rangers have been without quarterback Garret Rangel since the Aledo game but haven’t missed a beat behind backup quarterback Gabriel Barrientes. Lone Star should win this game, but the Rangers will need Rangel back eventually. Lone Star shouldn’t sleep on this Reedy team either. The Lions hung around with Denton Ryan and they could do the same with Lone Star if the Rangers aren’t careful.

West Mesquite @ McKinney North

West Mesquite impressed in a 56-28 loss against Longview last week but ultimately turned the ball over a few too many times in the second half to let the score get out of hand. That comes after a poor second half performance allowed Keller Timber Creek to mount a big comeback to beat West Mesquite 40-35 the week before. The Wranglers are 2-3 but have plenty of talent on offense and face a McKinney North team this week that is 1-4 and hasn’t won since the opening week of the season against Westmoore (OK). Both teams need a win to get on the right track and to win a game in district play, but only one of these schools can win on Thursday night.

Southlake Carroll @ Keller

Keller is off to a 5-0 start for the first time since the 1960’s and is winning in impressive fashion. The Indians defense has two shutouts on its record and only allowed North Mesquite to score 10 points and Keller Central to score seven points. Keller also beat a good Denton Braswell team 27-23 on the road. The undefeated run will end this week when Keller hosts Southlake Carroll.

The Dragons are looking dominate and the defense is a big part of that. Southlake Carroll held Rockwall Heath to a season low 35 points in a one-point win and opened district play with a 68-7 win over Byron Nelson last week. Regardless, this is a measuring stick game for Keller. If the offense can score a few times and keep it to a three-score game, I think that would say a lot about the Indians.

Lakeview Centennial @ Garland

Lakeview Centennial took a district opening loss last week as a result of a forfeit. Hopefully the Patriots can take the field this week against Garland. The Owls offense has looked among the best in the area so far this season and beat Naaman Forest 56-29 last week. Lakeview Centennial lost to Sachse to open district play and is 0-2 after the forfeit. Simply put, the Patriots need to get back on the field ASAP to challenge for a playoff spot.

Friday 10/1

Frisco Liberty @ Frisco

There should be a lot of points scored in this one. Frisco Liberty is 5-0 and has scored no less than 41 points in a game this season. Quarterback Keldric Luster has a lot to do with that. Frisco is 4-0 and has scored no less than 43 points in a game this season. I expect a shootout between these two teams with Frisco coming out on top by a touchdown.

Prosper @ Denton Guyer

Prosper dropped a heartbreaker to Little Elm at home in overtime last week. Now the Eagles have to take on a tough Denton Guyer team on the road. Prosper is 3-2 (0-1) and could really use a win in district play. Upsetting Denton Guyer would go a long way to putting the Eagles back into the playoff picture, but that’s much easier said than done. The Guyer Wildcats have wins over Denton Ryan and Humble Atascocita to boast one of the most impressive resumes in the state.

Harrison Rosar will need to take care of the ball and Prosper will need to stay on or ahead of schedule. Prosper has a chance if it can pick up first downs and drain the clock. If not, Denton Guyer could win by a few scores. The Wildcat secondary is banged up, so Rosar and the Prosper offense will need to take advantage of that.

Allen @ McKinney Boyd

Allen had the week off last week to prepare for district play while McKinney Boyd was busy getting ahead in the district standings. Allen hasn’t played since a 49-28 win over Tyler Legacy two weeks ago. The Eagles will need to take better care of the football after turning it over several times against Tyler Legacy. McKinney Boyd is capable of winning this game if Allen shoots itself in the foot as many times as it did against Tyler Legacy. Allen will want to get off to a good start in a tough district and McKinney Boyd will want to improve to 2-0 in district play before getting a week off to prepare for a road game at Little Elm.

South Grand Prairie @ Arlington Martin

South Grand Prairie opened the season with a loss to Prosper and hasn’t looked back since. The Warriors have cruised in four straight wins but faces a talented Arlington Martin team this week. Martin is off to a 3-2 start with non-district losses to Austin Lake Travis and Southlake Carroll. Martin opened district play with a dominate 65-17 win over Arlington. Both of these teams could really use a win this weekend to continue to build momentum. Martin should win this one by a few scores, but we will get to find out if South Grand Prairie is for real this weekend against the toughest opponent on its schedule.

Lake Highlands @ Jesuit

Lake Highlands is 5-0 and has scored at least 50 points in every game since a 42-13 season opening win over Mesquite Poteet. The Wildcats will have a chance to go undefeated this season if they can get past Dallas Jesuit this weekend. Jesuit is 3-1 with the only loss coming to Rockwall in non-district play back in week two. Jesuit beat Flower Mound Marcus to open the season and beat Richardson Pearce handily to open district play last week. This game is a toss-up, but I will take Lake Highlands by a touchdown in a high-scoring game.

South Oak Cliff @ Mesquite Poteet

South Oak Cliff is 4-1, although one of those wins was due to a forfeit, and the one loss was a very respectable loss to a good Duncanville squad. South Oak Cliff should cruise through the rest of its schedule en route to another deep playoff run. Mesquite Poteet is 3-2 but 2-0 in district play and gets the advantage of playing at home in this one. I still have South Oak Cliff by a few scores, but Mesquite Poteet shouldn’t be slept on. If South Oak Cliff gets off to a slow start, this could end up being a close game.

Offensive Player of the Week

My Offensive Player of the Week is Little Elm quarterback John Mateer! Little Elm defeated Prosper on the road 59-56 in overtime last week behind 399 total yards and five total touchdowns from Mateer! The win is especially important in a tough and talented District 5-6A for playoff seeding. The overtime win could prove to have big playoff implications at the end of the season.

Defensive Player of the Week

My Defensive Player of the Week is Rockwall Heath defensive back Layne Horak! The Rockwall Heath defense was under duress all night long from one of the most talented offensive attacks in the state. The same was true for the Rockwall defense as the Rockwall Heath offense picked the Yellow Jackets apart. Horak came up with the only turnover and the biggest defensive play of the game to seal the overtime win for Rockwall Heath!

Cover Photo of Rockwall Heath players Lance Mason and Caleb Hoover courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and photo journalist Smiley Pool.

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