Area round weekend
It was a clean sweep for Galveston County’s 11-man football teams in the opening, bi-district round of the UIL playoffs last week; now it’s on to round two, as seven squads will further test themselves in the deeper waters of the postseason.
The following are the local area round matchups.
Clear Springs vs. North Shore
1 p.m. Friday
After defeating one perennial power last week in their bi-district contest, the Clear Springs Chargers face another one in their area-round tilt against the North Shore Mustangs at Pasadena ISD Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2906 Dabney Dr., Pasadena.
North Shore (7-3, 6-1 in District 21-6A) brought a balanced approach on offense in its 48-7 dismantling of Deer Park in last week’s bi-district round action. Mustangs quarterback Dematrius Davis passed for 241 yards and three touchdowns, while running backs Zach Evans and John Gentry combined for 166 yards and four touchdowns.
Clear Springs’ (8-2, 6-1 in District 24-6A) offense exploded for 502 yards (323 yards rushing) in last week’s 54-29 bi-district win over Pearland. Slot receiver Isaiah Bibb filled in admirably for injured starting running back Todd Hudson II, putting up 215 rushing yards. Peyton Sawyer’s seven receptions accounted for 138 of quarterback Garrett Rooker’s 179 passing yards.
The teams share a common opponent during the regular season this year. Both lost to Spring Westfield early in the season. North Shore was defeated 37-20 on Sept. 15, and a week later, Westfield topped Clear Springs, 28-23.
Dickinson vs. Atascocita
2 p.m. Friday
Two of the area’s most-talented teams clash in this area-round contest, as the Dickinson Gators face the Atascocita Eagles at Galena Park ISD Stadium, 15025 Wallisville Road, Houston.
Atascocita (9-1, 7-0 in District 21-6A) is coming off a 58-7 thrashing of Pasadena Memorial in last week’s bi-district contest. Quarterback Jack Roe carried the offense with a combined 353 (227 yards, four TDs passing; 126 yards rushing) of the Eagles’ 475 total yards. Randall McCusker was the favored target in the passing game with 124 yards on seven receptions.
After an up-and-down district campaign, Dickinson (8-2, 5-2 in District 24-6A), looked to have its swagger back on offense in last week’s 35-20 bi-district win over Alief Hastings, with quarterback Montel Parker, running back Myles Lewis and tight end Jalen Wydermyer leading the way.
vs. Humble Summer Creek
It’ll be a rematch of an early-season game, as the Friendswood Mustangs take on the Summer Creek Bulldogs in their area-round contest at NRG Stadium.
The Mustangs survived a sloppy affair Sept. 22 against the Bulldogs in a 27-19 win.
A lot has changed since then, as Summer Creek’s (7-3, 5-2 in District 21-6A) balanced offense — led by quarterback John Holcombe and running back Trey Johnson — appears to be humming after last week’s 63-24 bi-district rout of La Porte.
Much has changed for Friendswood (8-3, 5-2 in District 24-6A), as well, as the offense is now helmed by freshman quarterback Luke Grden. The 14-year-old phenom threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns in the Mustangs’ 35-14 bi-district win over rival Pearland Dawson. Running back Mason Barnes will continue to be a go-to player on offense, as well.
vs. Port Arthur Memorial
4 p.m. Friday
The Ball High Tors will face a big step up in competition in their area round game against the Memorial Titans at Challenger Columbia Stadium, 1955 W. NASA Blvd., League City.
A suffocating Memorial (8-1, 7-1 in District 22-5A) defense held Kingwood Park to just 130 yards of offense and had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in last week’s 41-7 bi-district win. Running back Elijah Hines and quarterback Keitha Jones led an offense that leans toward the run.
Ball High (6-4, 4-3 in District 23-5A) got all they could handle from Houston Austin, but scraped out a 22-17 win in bi-district action last week. Running back Deonte Hunt and quarterback Martavian Jackson stepped up to lead the Tors offense, who were missing leading rusher Clarence Dalton,
For those who can’t attend, the game can be heard on ballhighfootball.com.
Texas City vs. Port Neches-Groves
8 p.m. Friday
The Texas City Stings’ defense will have its hands full as that unit looks to slow down the high-octane offense of the Port Neches-Groves Indians in their area round playoff game at NRG Stadium.
Port Neches-Groves (9-1, 7-1 in District 22-5A) emerged victorious in an epic 72-69 shootout over Crosby in last week’s bi-district action. Dual-threat quarterback Roschon Johnson (a University of Texas commit) accounted for 302 passing yards, 254 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns (five passing, five rushing) in the win.
Texas City (5-5, 4-3 in District 23-5A) used a stellar defensive effort to upend previously unbeaten District 24-5A champion Houston Waltrip in last week’s 24-14 bi-district win. Defensive end Yvan Andrew had a monster game with four sacks, and running back Jo’Vel McDaniel led a team effort on offense.
Hitchcock vs. West
7:30 p.m. Friday
A pair of district champions will meet when the Hitchcock Bulldogs face the West Trojans at Cub Stadium, 1600 E. Tom Green St., Brenham.
An effective zone-read style of offense led West (9-2, 6-1 in District 9-3A-I) to a 41-14 bi-district round victory over McGregor last week. Leading the way for the Trojans was quarterback Nathan Gerik and running backs Jacob Bates and Kain Klish.
Hitchcock’s (7-3, 5-0 in District 12-3A-I) run-heavy slot-T offense pounded Trinity last week in a 34-22 bi-district win with three rushing touchdowns and a passing TD from quarterback Pacey Jones and another score from running back Tygar Thomas leading the effort.
La Marque vs. Franklin
1 p.m. Saturday
After a stunning first round win last week, the La Marque Cougars will look for another upset victory in their area round playoff game against the Franklin Lions at Waller ISD Stadium, 20735 Stokes Road, Waller.
La Marque’s defense will attempt to slow down a Franklin (9-2, 6-0 in District 10-3A-I) offense that logged nine touchdowns in its 63-49 bi-district win last week against Groesbeck. Quarterback Datron Dixon and running backs Jared Pedraza and Clayton Rosprim lead the Lions’ three-headed running attack.
After only scoring a combined 39 points in their previous three games, La Marque offense awoke in a 42-20 bi-district win over Coldspring last week. Running backs Perry Preston and Norvan Saldana and quarterback Myles Launius powered the offensive explosion.