The most famous of Texas rivalries, Lee and Permian developed the standard from which the infatuation with Texas high school football grew. Both teams have been quiet in the last four years, neither reaching past the second-round of the playoffs. But Midland Lee is looking to break that streak, and set the tone for their legitimacy in one of the biggest stages in high school sports.
Lee struck first in the first quarter on a 20-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Caden Coots to senior receiver Alex Bell to take a 7-0 lead. Permian fired back with a long touchdown pass of their own, distancing 40-yards from junior quarterback Heath Wood to senior receiver Malik Shinsako to tie the game. The Panthers stopped Lee on the next possession, and drove down into the Rebel red zone, but fumbled at the Lee 15-yard line. Lee took advantage of the blunder, capitalizing with another touchdown pass from Coots to Alex Bell of 28 yards to take a 14-7 lead to end the first quarter. Permian regained offensive composure on their next drive to tie the game again on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Wood to junior receiver Kevin Hudnall. But Coots threw his third touchdown pass of the gamed to end the half, connecting with senior receiver Isaiah Johnson for a 16-yard score to put the Rebels up 21-14 at halftime.
During the break, Coots and Bell must have noticed something about their chemistry in the first half, and continued the Coots/Bell show to start the second half with two touchdown connections of seven and eight yards, extending the Lee lead to three scores. The Rebels put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter with the first rushing touchdown of the night on a 12-yard run by junior running back Aron Dobbins. Permian scored with just under two minutes remaining in the game on a two-yard run by senior running back Mikorban Fields, setting the final score 42-21.
Caden Coots completed 23-of-30 on the night for 402 yards passing, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Alex Bell was his main receiver, catching nine passes for 186 yards and four scores. Mikorban Fields led the game in rushing for Permian, gaining 106 yards on the ground on 26 carries and a touchdown. Heath Wood completed 18-of-27 for 222 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Permian will return home to play Coronado (2-7) in a game they must win in order to have a chance at the playoffs. Lee will look to earn their first district championship in over 10 seasons against San Angelo Central (8-1) in the final game of the regular season.
Lake Travis (8-1) 28 Austin Westlake (5-4) 27
Lake Travis had not trailed in a game in eight weeks. The Cavaliers had a combined score of 342-63 in the stretch, facing teams that had a combined record of 19-35. They finally met their match against Westlake, in a classic Central Texas rivalry to decide the 15-5A District Title.
Westlake took the lead first on a 22-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jordan Severt to junior receiver Sean Rollings in the first quarter. Lake Travis responded with a 31-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Dominic De Lira to senior receiver Dominic Packer to tie the game 7-7. Westlake was stopped on the ensuing possession, allowing Packer's second touchdown of the game on a 48-yard punt return score to give Lake Travis the lead at the end of the first quarter. But Westlake tied the game up again on a six-yard run by senior running back Alex Chavez. The Chaparral defense stopped Lake Travis on the following possession, allowing Westlake senior kicker Dallen Nelson to steal the lead 17-14 at the end of the half.
Westlake scored twice more coming out of the break to cap off 20-straight points on a two-yard touchdown run by junior running back Breckyn Hager and another Nelson field goal from 29-yards out. Down 27-14 in the fourth quarter, Lake Travis pulled within six on De Lira's second touchdown pass of the night, connecting with senior receiver Tyler Payne for a 15-yard score. Westlake could not score again, allowing Lake Travis senior running back Varshaun Nixon to score the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run.
The Westlake defense held Lake Travis to 226 total yards, the first time the Cavalier offense has been held under 300 yards since week two, and forced the games only turnover on a De Lira interception. Westlake led Lake Travis in every team statistical category except punts and points. Jordan Severt completed 18-of-30 for 185 yards and a touchdown. Sean Rollings was his main target, catching six passes for 95 yards and a score. Lake Travis held the leading rusher in Varshaun Nixon, who carried the ball 26 times for 134 yards and the game-winning score.
Westlake will look to avoid falling below third place for the first time in over ten seasons as they host Austin High (3-6) in the last game of the regular season. Lake Travis has finished out their schedule and will head into a bye celebrating a District Championship.
Arlington (5-4) 24 Arlington Bowie (7-2) 21
An upset in District 3-5A, Arlington took on a Bowie team that had beaten Arlington Lamar (7-2) 48-17 two weeks before. Arlington was coming off of a three-game win streak since their loss to Lamar, and needed a win to ensure a playoff spot.
Both offenses struggled to start the game, as Bowie fumbled at their own 11-yard line on their first possession. Arlington could not take advantage, as junior kicker Brendan Conn struggled to get a 28-yard field goal off after an initial fumble. Bowie regained composure on their next possession, capping off an 82-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Keaton Perry to give Bowie a 7-0 lead. Arlington responded on the ensuing possession, tying the game on a 32-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Michael Gray. Those would be the only scores in a first quarter that included six fumbles between both teams. Bowie took a two-score lead in the second quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by senior running back Brican Crossley and a 12-yard touchdown pass from Perry to senior receiver Jordan Versey . Arlington regained offensive composure to pull within seven on a four-yard touchdown pass from Gray to junior receiver Mason Shaw to end the first half.
The Bowie offense continued to struggle with fumbles in the second half. Although they did not lose a fumble, a fumble was forced three times throughout the second half that resulted in -30 yards for the Bowie offense. The Arlington defense also forced Keaton Perry's fourth interception of the season. The Arlington offense had no such troubles and tied the game in the third quarter on a Michael Gray two-yard rush. A quarter later, Brendan Conn gave Arlington the lead on a 42-yards field goal with just under six minutes remaining. Bowie would not score again.
Bowie outgained Arlington by 113 yards in total offense. But four turnovers, spread across eight fumbles and an interception, hampered the Volunteer offense from sustaining any stability in the game.
Michael Gray led Arlington with 157 yards passing and a touchdown, while rushing for 103 yards on 20 carries and two scores. Bowie senior running back Trenton Shumate led the game with 151 yards rushing on 15 carries.
The win propelled Arlington into third place in 3-5A, a spot they will look to sustain against North Crowley (1-8) next week to close out the regular season. Bowie has been handed their first district loss of the season, and is now tied with Arlington Lamar (7-2) for first place. Bowie will close out the regular season on the road against Arlington Martin (4-5).
After losing to Allen (9-0) in the season-opener, Carroll went on a seven-game win streak heading into their matchup with Fossil Ridge, beating their opponents by an average of 46 points. Fossil had lost their first district game against Keller Central (5-4) two weeks before and rebounded in a 40-6 win over Haltom (3-6) and looked to upset Carroll to get back in to District Title contention.
Fossil Ridge junior kicker Cody Seidel gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal to start the first quarter. Carroll took the lead on the following possession on a two-yard touchdown run by senior running back AJ Ezzard . The Dragons added to the lead after the defense intercepted Fossil Ridge senior quarterback Jacob Gnacinski with a 30-yard field goal by senior kicker Drew Brown, making the score 10-3 at the end of the first quarter. Seidel pulled the Panthers within four with a 26-yard field goal to start the second quarter, but Carroll extended the lead, 17-6 on a 12-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Ryan Agnew. Then the Panther offense erupted, scoring on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Gnacinski to senior receiver Ryan Parker and a one-yard touchdown run by junior running back Keshawn Mitchell to take the lead. With under two-minutes to go in the first half, Fossil Ridge forced an Agnew interception, and capitalized with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Gnacinski to junior receiver Cameron Castleberry to give the panthers a 27-17 halftime lead.
Fossil Ridge would not score again, as Carroll scored two touchdowns in the third quarter on an 11-yard pass from Agnew to senior receiver Chris Hogan and a two-yard run Agnew rush. The Carroll defense forced three interceptions in the second half to fuel the comeback and stifle any chance of a Fossil Ridge recovery. No points were scored in the fourth quarter, and Carroll held on to win 31-27.
Agnew completed 14-of-16 for 110 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception, and rushed for 143 yards on 29 carries and two scores. Senior receivers Chris Hogan and Luke Timian were his main targets and combined for six catches, 69 yards and a touchdown. AJ Ezzard finished with 105 yards rushing on 18 carries and a touchdown. Jacob Gnacinski attempted 60 passes in the game, completing 40 for 367 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Ryan Parker was his main receiver with 15 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown.
The game created a three-way tie for second place between Fossil Ridge, Justin Northwest (7-2) and Keller Central (5-4). All are 4-2 in district. Fossil Ridge will look to remain in contention for second against Keller Timber Creek next week (2-7). Carroll has clinched their fourth-straight District Championship with their sixth-straight win over Fossil Ridge. The Dragons will close out the regular season against Haltom 3-6).
Katy (9-0) 40 Katy Cinco Ranch (7-2) 7
Cinco Ranch started 5-0 in district for the second time in three seasons after a win over Katy Seven Lakes (6-3) last week. Cinco Ranch had not won a District Championship since 2008, the same season they last beat Katy. In order to snap the streak, they would have to beat Katy again. The Tigers had capped off their 24th-straight win against Houston Strake Jesuit (1-8) and were welcoming back junior running back Rodney Anderson who had missed the last four weeks due to injury.
Rodney Anderson began his welcome back party with a three-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to give Katy a 7-0 lead. Cinco Ranch responded in the second quarter with a one-yard run by senior running back Denzell Bates to tie the game. The Cougars did not score again as Katy scored 33 straight points. Normally, a point-streak like that from Katy would be attributed to the run game, and on occasion the passing game. But this streak included four field goals from senior kicker Manny Mendoza. Mendoza's kicks distanced 41, 43, 51 and 25 yards, giving him 16 points on the game alongside his extra points. Rodney Anderson scored twice more on a 51-yard pass from sophomore Garrett Doiron and a one-yard run in the fourth quarter. The Tiger defense also chipped in, as junior defensive back Sy Slater picked off senior quarterback Luke Klingler for a 35-yard interception return touchdown.
Rodney Anderson finished with 57 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns in his return, and senior running back Kyle Porter added the team total with 74 yards on 16 carries. Cinco Ranch senior Luke Klingler struggled against a Katy secondary led by senior linebacker Jake Blomstrom and junior defensive back Junior Henderson , completing 6-of-19 for 36 yards and four interceptions.
Cinco Ranch has now lost their first district game of the season and are tied for second in 19-5A with Houston Memorial (6-3). The Cougars will look to stay in second place as they head to Houston Strake Jesuit (1-8) to close out the regular season. Katy will finish out the season in hopes of clinching their fifth-straight district championship against Houston Memorial (6-3).
League City Clear Creek (8-1) 38 Clute Brazoswood (3-6) 27
A season ago, Clear Creek was 8-0 and were taking the Houston area by surprise. But then the Wildcats were upset on the road against Brazoswood and did not win again the rest of the season. This year, Clear Creek knew Brazoswood would be no tough out, and the Buccaneers, knowing a win was the only way into the post-season, came very close to thwarting the Wildcats' season for the second straight year.
After a scoreless first quarter, Creek took the lead on a 37-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Erik Baughman to take a 3-0 lead in the second quarter. Brazoswood took the lead on the next possession on a 12-yard touchdown run by junior running back La'Wayne Ross. Creek responded with a 13-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jarrett Hildreth to sophomore receiver Landon Ethzel to take a 10-7 lead. But with just seconds remaining in the first half, Brazoswood regained the lead on a nine-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Keith Washington to senior receiver David Davis, setting the score 14-10 at halftime.
In danger of ruining their unblemished district record, Creek scored two straight touchdowns out of the half on a 10-yard run by senior running back Kaliq Kokuma and another scoring connection from Hildreth to Ethzel from 17 yards out. Down 24-14, Brazoswood pulled within three on a 59-yard touchdown run by senior running back Ryan Ross just before the end of the third quarter. But Creek pulled away with the third Hiildreth-Ethzel touchdown connection for 17 yards and Kokuma's second rushing touchdown of the night from three yards out. Ryan Ross scored on a three-yard touchdown run to the end game, setting the final score 38-27.
Jarrett Hildreth completed 17-of-25 for 217 yards passing, three touchdowns and an interception. Landon Ethzel led the game with 212 yards receiving on 13 receptions and three touchdowns. Kaliq Kokuma finished with 141 yards rushing on 21 carries and two scores. Ryan ross led the game in rushing for Brazoswood with 159 yards on 24 carries and two scores.
With no hopes of making the playoffs, Brazoswood will finish their season against Friendswood Clear Brook (4-5) next week. Clear Creek has now clinched the District 24-5A championship and will look to beat Clear Springs (6-3) for the first time since Springs opened 5A play in 2008.