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08/29/22

The Cooldown: Week One

Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Juan Figueroa

Football has finally returned to the DFW metroplex! Teams all across the metroplex and replacing a talented senior class from last year and figuring out what works and what doesn’t in non-district play. There were some surprising results and some not-so-surprising results. Denton Guyer looked dominate in a win over Rockwall Heath, Prosper outlasted Trinity in a defensive thriller, New Braunfels upset Denton Ryan, Arlington Martin beat Austin Lake Travis and DeSoto manhandled St. Augustine (LA) in Oregon.

Highland Park beats Flower Mound Marcus

Highland Park impressed in its first game back in the 6A ranks. The Scots downed Flower Mound Marcus 38-24 at home on Friday night. Highland Park never trailed, though Flower Mound Marcus did tie the game at three different points. The Highland Park offense took care of the football and the defense provided stops when needed to secure a season-opening win.

Brennan Storer was particularly impressive for Highland Park, completing 20 of his 29 passing attempts for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Jay Cox led the Scots in rushing and receiving, rushing for 67 yards and catching six passes for 116 yards and a score. Wilson Axely and Luke Herring also caught touchdown passes for Highland Park. Storer added 58 yards and a touchdown on the ground and Grayson Schrank scored on his only carry of the night.

Cole Welliver took over as the full-time quarterback at Flower Mound Marcus and looked good in his first game. Welliver completed 25 of 37 attempts for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Isaac Khattab caught six passes for 103 yards to lead the Marauders in receiving. Ashton Cozart and Chance Sautter each caught a touchdown pass in the loss. Chance Banner scored a touchdown on the ground while Ben Perlmutter carried the ball 12 times for 68 yards.

Highland Park will travel to face Lewisville (1-0) next week while Flower Mound Marcus hosts Southlake Carroll (1-0) in one of the more intriguing matchups in the metroplex next week.

Duncanville defeats South Oak Cliff

Duncanville and South Oak Cliff faced off on ESPN networks on Saturday night. Duncanville beat SOC 23-10 in a game that was closer than the final score suggests. There was never any doubt that South Oak Cliff would be back this year, but that doesn’t diminish how impressive its performance against Duncanville was.

Duncanville quarterback Jameir Willis completed eight of his nine passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. Keelon Russell also threw a touchdown pass at the end of the game. Duncanville used a more conservative game-plan and I would expect Willis to get more opportunities to showcase his talent in the future. Caden Durham impressed at running back with 119 yards and a 99-yard touchdown run on nine carries. Kaleb Kenney and Zachery Turner both caught touchdown passes as the SOC defense did a good job taking away Lontrell Turner and Dakorien Moore.

South Oak Cliff quarterback Tray Walton passed for 98 yards in his first game as the starter at SOC. The Golden Bears also used a fairly conservative strategy and Walton should only get better as the season goes on. Danny Green scored SOC’s lone touchdown on the ground. Corinthean Coleman caught three passes for 42 yards to lead South Oak Cliff in receiving. The Golden Bears managed just 147 yards of offense but won’t have to face a defense as good as Duncanville’s the rest of the season.

The schedule doesn’t get much easier for either school in week two. Duncanville faces Jones (FL) High. South Oak Cliff continues its non-district gauntlet with a road game at Lancaster (1-0). Lancaster is a tough opponent, but South Oak Cliff should have an easier time with the Tigers than it did against Duncanville.

Parish Episcopal takes down Aledo

Parish Episcopal may play in the private school ranks, but the Panthers are playing one of the toughest non-district schedules in the state. Parish Episcopal beat Aledo 24-17 on Friday night and still have games against Austin LBJ and South Oak Cliff on the schedule.

Parish Episcopal quarterback Sawyer Anderson had a big night, passing for 216 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Bryson Fields caught a 71-yard touchdown pass as his lone reception for the night. Derek Eusebio caught seven passes for 64 yards and a score, and Cedric Mays II caught four passes for 46 yards and a touchdown while also leading the Panthers in rushing with 99 yards.

Aledo’s defense forced four turnovers, but the Bearcats weren’t able to capitalize with a win. Quarterback Hauss Hejny passed for 130 yards and a touchdown while also leading the Bearcats in rushing with 68 yards. Cap Mooney carried the ball 18 times for 61 yards and Davhon Keys scored Aledo’s lone rushing touchdown. Jalen Pope led Aledo in receiving with six receptions for 111 yards and a score. Aledo hosts Denton Guyer (1-0) this week.

Games to Watch

Thursday 9/1

Trinity (0-1) @ Rockwall Heath (0-1)

Trinity and Rockwall Heath both opened up the season against tough opponents and lost. Trinity faced a Prosper team that was able to match its unique brand of physicality as neither offense really got in a rhythm. Rockwall Heath faced one of the best teams in the state in Denton Guyer. This matchup should be a fun one as both teams have talent but need to win in week two. Both teams are replacing vital playmakers from last season. This game should help each team identify strengths, weaknesses and potential new playmakers.

McKinney Boyd (0-1) @ Byron Nelson (1-0)

McKinney Boyd lost to Longview last week while Byron Nelson routed Plano. I hoped McKinney Boyd’s experienced offense would score more than 10 points against Longview, but that will be something for the Broncos to work on in week two. The defense will have the difficult task of slowing down a dynamic Byron Nelson offense. This game could feature a lot of points.

Plano West (0-1) @ Keller (1-0)

Plano West has improved greatly over the last two seasons. I believe QB Vance Feuerbacher and RB Dermot White can help Plano West content for a playoff spot this season. The Wolves didn’t get off to a great start with a 41-35 loss to Mesquite Horn. Keller beat Abilene Cooper 34-16 last week and returns back to the metroplex this week before heading back out west to face Odessa in week three. Plano West could use a win this week before having to face McKinney Boyd and then getting into district play.

Friday 9/2

Houston C.E. King (1-0) @ Allen (0-1)

Allen got whacked in week one by St. John Bosco (CA) High. The Eagles chance to respond is against Houston C.E. King at home. Allen has hosted a team from the greater Houston area for several years now. Humble Atascocita handed Allen a 41-20 loss at home last season. C.E. King beat 5A power Crosby last week.

Jesuit (1-0) @ Rockwall (1-0)

Jesuit and Rockwall both got off to hot starts with big wins last week. Jesuit hammered Hebron and Rockwall beat Cedar Hill 34-12. I am interested to see how Jesuit QB Charlie Schmidt performs against Rockwall. On the flip side, I’m sure Rockwall would love to win this game with road games against Prosper and South Grand Prairie still left on the non-district schedule.

Denton Ryan (0-1) vs Bryant (1-0)

Denton Ryan fell apart and lost to New Braunfels 34-33 in week one. The Raiders collapsed late in the game after leading 26-14 in the first half. Bryant (AR) High is coming off a 38-17 win over Benton in front of a crowd of over 29,000. It was the fifth largest crowd ever recorded to watch a high school football game in Arkansas. Bryant has won four straight 7A State Championships in Arkansas.

Denton Ryan needs to rebound this week after a brutal loss. State pride is also on the line as the Raiders take on the best program in the state of Arkansas. The game will be played at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Denton Guyer (1-0) @ Aledo (0-1)

Another team needing to bounce back in week two is Aledo. Like Denton Ryan, Aledo couldn’t draw a much tougher opponent to play against. Denton Guyer’s offense and defense looked in mid-season form in a blowout win over Rockwall Heath last week. Aledo’s offense will need to get in a rhythm early before the Denton Guyer defense settles in.

South Oak Cliff (0-1) @ Lancaster (1-0)

South Oak Cliff impressed in a loss to Duncanville and will face an opponent on a more level playing field as Lancaster is a 5A DI team. Lancaster beat Dallas Skyline 25-0 in week one but faces a much tougher opponent this week. This game should give us a better idea of what South Oak Cliff will look like the rest of the season.

Prosper (1-0) @ Sachse (0-1)

Prosper could have been more efficient on offense against Trinity. QB Harrison Rosar told me as much after the game. Prosper could be a dangerous team if the offense can get going. I think Rosar and the offense will improve, but it will need to improve sooner rather than later. Sachse put up some points in a 56-27 loss to Coppell last week. On the flip side, Sachse’s defense needs to give up less than 56 points to give the offense a chance to keep up. Which team can improve more this week?

Saturday 9/3

Jones (1-1) @ Duncanville (1-0)

Jones (FL) High bounced back last week with a 29-19 win over Cocoa. The Tigers make the trek from Orlando to Dallas to face Duncanville. Duncanville beat South Oak Cliff last week thanks to stellar defense and the ground game. I am interested to see if Duncanville throws it around more this week. As always, state pride is on the line. Get out your red and blue pom poms and cheer for the Panthers (and the state of Texas) in this one.

St. Frances (1-0) @ DeSoto (1-0)

DeSoto manhandled St. Augustine (LA) 35-10 at Nike’s world headquarters in Oregon last weekend. Thankfully the Eagles don’t have to travel out of state this week. St. Frances (MD) High will travel to the metroplex after beating East St. Louis (IL) High 20-13 in week one. DeSoto’s offense get off to a slow start last week before finishing strong. A lot of state pride is on the line on Saturday at Clark Stadium as DeSoto and Duncanville both play out of state opponents in the same stadium on the same day.

Offensive Player of the Week

My Offensive Player of the Week is Little Elm quarterback Kellen Tasby! Little Elm beat Arlington Bowie 42-41 in overtime! Tasby passed for 344 yards and four total touchdowns! Tasby threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Prince Ijioma and ran in the two-point conversion for the one-point win!
Defensive Player of the Week

My Defensive Player of the Week is Denton Guyer defensive back Peyton Bowen! Denton Guyer beat Rockwall Heath 47-14 and Bowen was a big reason why. Bowen finished the night with eight tackles, a tackle-for-loss and an interception returned 75 yards for a touchdown! Bowen is one of the best DB’s in the country and should propel Denton Guyer on another deep playoff run this season.

Cover Photo of Highland Park's Jay Cox courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Staff Photographer Juan Figueroa.