Brennan (8-0, 4-0) vs. Highlands (3-4, 1-2) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.
Teams don’t seem to spend much time at the crest of the hill in District 28-4A.
Invariably, it seems, when a team gets hot, it’s destined to run into Brennan in a week or two. Highlands is the latest team to put its momentum to the test against the Bears, No. 2 in the Associated Press state Class 4A rankings.
As Brennan rolls toward the playoffs, expect the Bears to keep things fairly vanilla. Brennan quarterback Da’Shawn Key only attempted six passes last week.
Even so, the Bears outgained Lanier 437-49 in total yards in a 62-0 shutout, their third in four district games. Makai Green ran for 145 yards and Nathaniel Green Jr. added 95.
Highlands has adjusted to life without standout junior quarterback Jordan DeLuna, who is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. With progress in the offensive line and among the backs, the Owls have become a grind-it-out team.
Behind a 100-yard rushing game from Quindon Boston (his first), which included touchdown runs of 12 and 50 yards in a 41-22 win over Jefferson. He’s had two long touchdown runs in the last two games.
Senior Elijah Garces and junior John Cervantes are splitting the quarterback duties, and each is a running threat. However, the passing game is lacking a deep threat. That’s going to make it difficult to move the ball consistently against a Brennan defense that’s outstanding against the run (and pretty darned good against the pass, too).
Defensively, the Owls won in classic bend-but-don’t-break style against Jefferson. They gave up 263 total yards, but allowed just eight points and came up with stops at key times in the second half.
Last year’s game was the first in the series. 2012 score: Brennan 63, Highlands 3.
Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-7, 0-2) at Central Catholic (3-4, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
With a game against Antonian a week away, Central Catholic will be looking for a stepping stone performance tonight.
That shouldn’t be much of a problem. The Buttons seem to be improving and they’ll be facing a Corpus Christi John Paul Il team that still is looking for its points in the TAPPS District 2-I season.
In fact, the Centurions haven’t scored THIS SEASON. They lost 44-0 last Friday to Austin St. Michael’s, a team that defeated the Buttons 28-17 a week earlier.
So, back to Central Catholic. The Buttons scored the last three touchdowns in a 38-13 win over St. Anthony last week. They’ve been a second half team all year. But this one should be in the bag by halftime.
Central Catholic ran for 249 yards with contributions from backs Jacob Rodriguez and Jimin Suh as well as quarterback Joseph Nava. With wide receiver Will Barr back in the lineup, the Buttons may opt to throw a little more frequently this week to prepare for Antonian. Or they may keep things under wraps so that the Apaches don’t have too much to think about.
That may be the most intriguing element about this matchup. 2012 score: Central Catholic 35, Corpus Christi John Paul II 0.
Corpus Christi King (2-5, 0-2) at South San (2-5, 0-2), 7:30 p.m.
One team will emerge from this District 28-5A game with its first district win.
Basing too much on score comparisons can be a slippery slope, especially when the common opponent is far stronger than the teams in the comparison. Those qualifications aside, King fared a little better in their games at state powerhouse and district leader Steele.
King lost 49-20 two weeks ago. The score might be a tad misleading because King scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns after the outcome had long been decided. The Mustangs mustered 211 total yards to the Knights’ 395.
South San lost 49-7 last Friday. The Bobcats gained 131 yards while allowing 366.
The Bobcats’ fortunes in recent weeks have seemed to coincide with whether senior back Christian Morales has a big game. Morales’ chances for a bounce back performance are good after Steele limited him to 11 yards.
By the same token, quarterback Darren Tinajero should have a little more time to throw, and find big-play receiver Juan Zamarripa.
South San appears to be a little stronger than the Mustangs defensively.
Quarterback Bronze Jackson is the focal point of King’s offense. Jackson is a run-pass threat. Kevin Dawson is the Mustangs’ top ballcarrier and Dominque Lane is their leading receiver.
Not to overestimate the importance of this game, but a win will keep playoff hopes alive but a loss here means that they’re probably dashed. It’s a small district. 2012 score: Corpus Christi King 31, South San 7.
Edison (3-4, 1-2) vs. Lanier (2-5, 2-1) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.
The last six games in the series have been decided by 10 points or fewer, and this year’s District 28-4A contest shouldn’t break the mold.
Lanier enters the game tied for second place while Edison is tied for fifth, but just a game separates them and Edison has the better overall record.
The Golden Bears may have the edge, coming off a 14-6 win over Burbank last Friday. This also shapes up as a defensive-oriented game and Edison has proven that it can win that type of contest.
So has Lanier, with 20-14 win over Jefferson two weeks ago. In that game, though, the Voks had quarterback Nicholas Garcia throwing for 205 yards. Garcia didn’t play last week.
Without Garcia, Lanier was one-dimensional in a 62-0 loss to Brennan last Friday. Fullback Steven Veliz shifted over to fill the void, but completed just two of 10 passes.
If Garcia returns, the Voks will be able to counter-balance the running threat posed by Joe Orta and open things up downfield for receiver Rodrigo Garcia.
Edison also had a key absence last week, senior running back Andres Aguilar. Without him quarterback Jonathan Hernandez carried the ball more often than usual and only threw eight times.
Like Garcia, Hernandez is able to make game-changing plays with his arm. Either could be a key factor, providing Garcia plays.
Without Aguilar, Edison wasn’t able to play the ball control style it prefers. And the team that controls the ball is the likely victor tonight.
Edison leads the series 29-11 and has won the last six games, although Burbank won on the field in 2008 and later had to forfeit the win. 2012 score: Edison 36, Burbank 13.
Holy Cross (4-3, 3-1) at Victoria St. Joseph (1-6, 1-3), 7 p.m.
The Knights’ road to a second-consecutive TAPPS District 3-II became a little more difficult when they lost 35-28 to Austin Regents. The loss ended 10-game district winning streak.
Holy Cross should get back in the win column this week against Victoria St. Joseph. The Flyers won’t be a pushover, though. They lost 28-16 to TMI two weeks ago and fell 42-6 to Austin Regents in their last two 3-II games.
The top priority for the Knights is to cut down on their turnovers. They committed an uncharacteristic five in the loss to Austin Regents. Holy Cross made none a week earlier against San Marcos Baptist.
Against Austin Regents, the turnovers in both the running and passing games hampered an offense that still managed 324 total yards. The 1-2 punch of Greg Scott and quarterback Cisco Flores out of the backfield has been Holy Cross’ greatest offensive strength. Earlier in the season, Flores had great success through the ari, particularly to senior receiver Greg Kelly.
Victoria St. Joseph is led by back Barclay Proctor. Denny Williams is the Flyers’ quarterback. 2012 score: Holy Cross 46, Victoria St. Joseph 14.
McCollum (3-4, 1-3) vs. Kennedy (5-2, 2-2) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7 p.m.
Both teams are on the outside looking in, as far as the District 29-4A playoff picture is concerned. But that could change for the winner of tonight’s contest.
If Kennedy wins, the Rockets would gain a fourth-place tie with the loser of the Floresville-Medina Valley game. They’ll take a two-game winning streak into the game.
McCollum will be a worthy adversity, coming off relatively close games Medina Valley (48-23) and Uvalde (41-24) the last two weeks. The Cowboys were competitive against teams that are currently sharing third place, but they likely can’t afford another loss if they hope to make the playoffs this year.
Against Medina Valley, they gave up 24 unanswered points from the start of the game. They’ll need to avoid an early deficit of 14 points or more against Kennedy. The Rockets’ defense only allowed a kickoff return touchdown in a 21-6 win over Southside last Friday.
The Cowboys will try to get their running game established early against the Rockets behind Mike Ramirez. The Panthers limited McCollum to 46 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, junior quarterback Ralph Vidal completed 15 of 22 passes for 200 yards. Robert Salas finished with 96 reception yards, including a 52-yard touchdown.
McCollum’s defense has given up 952 yards in the last two weeks. Medina Valley passed for 323 yards last week, but that won’t be a great concern as the Cowboys prepare for Kennedy. Uvalde ran for 411 yards two weeks ago, and that’s an area where the defense will need to show great improvement..
Kennedy’s formula for victory has been to ride senior back Matthew Avalos, while its opportunistic defense creates extra possessions and often points.
Avalos scored all three touchdowns last week, while piling up 148 rushing yards. The passing game, though, reveted to its earlier ways, completing just four of 16 attempts for 91 yards
The Rockets will need to show more of a passing threat to keep McCollum from stacking the box for Avalos.
McCollum has an 11-2 edge in the series, although the Rockets won last year. The Cowboys had won the previous seven games. 2012 score: Kennedy 23, McCollum 17.
Memorial (3-4, 1-3) at Uvalde (4-3, 3-1), 7 p.m.
Despite the improvement Memorial has made this season, its back is to the wall, in terms of its playoff hopes.
It’s a tough must-win situation for the Minutemen, as Uvalde is one of the toughest places to play in District 29-4A. The fact that the Coyotes are coming off a 28-14 loss to Floresville and are battling for first in the district won’t make matters easier for Memorial.
Memorial is capable, though. That was reinforced in last Friday’s 42-23 loss to current district leader Harlandale.
A bounce-back game from back Raul Rangel (99 rushing yards) was the best sign for Memorial against Harlandale. The Minutemen are at their best offensively when Rangel is running the ball effectively.
Quarterback Alfred Ramos completed 10 of 15 throws for 159 yards, effectively utilizing four receivers. Senior Ivan DeAnda had his best game of the year with 72 reception yards.
A concern is that Harlandale back Nicholas Martinez ran for 202 yards. Uvalde’s attack is predicated on its ground game.
The Coyotes have had games with more than 400 rushing yards. Floresville held them to 216, but back Zach Sanchez still ran for two touchdowns of more than 60 yards apiece.
Uvalde quarterback Jerry Almaraz is a running threat who’s capable of mixing in passes for first downs or touchdowns when needed.
With a varied attack, Memorial should be able to score points against a Uvalde defense that has been somewhat inconsistent this year. 2012 score: Uvalde 45, Memorial 0.
Sam Houston (1-6, 0-1) at Pleasanton (7-1, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Sam Houston breathed new life into its season last Saturday with a strong showing against Somerset. Saturday in a 32-20 loss.
Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, their District 28-3A schedule isn’t getting any easier.
Pleasanton stomped Poteet 41-0 last week after a late comeback fell short against La Vernia in its 28-3A opener, resulting in a six-point loss. The Eagles rolled up 337 total yards while limiting Poteet to 154.
Unlike Somerset, Pleasanton does most of its offensive damage on the ground. Quarterback Jacob Arevalo and back Grant Jackson combined for 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns last week. They’re over 1,500 for the season.
Sam Houston witnessed the triumphant return of leading rusher Erin Mack against Somerset. Mack gained 129 yards on just nine carries, which helped to balance out the offense.
Quarterback Raymonte Prime threw for a season-best 220 yards. Khiry Darby and Jvoni Badie-Jones each gathered more than 90 reception yards.
The Hurricanes outgained Somerset and its prolific offense 377-310 in total yards, which provides hope for the trip to Pleasanton. 2012 score: Pleasanton 35, Sam Houston 0.
Southwest (4-3, 2-0) vs. Corpus Christi Carroll (2-5, 1-1) at Cabaniss Stadium, Corpus Christi, 7:30 p.m.
Southwest is coming off its two best games of the season, and will face a Carroll team that played arguably its best last Friday.
The Dragons, who find themselves sharing first place in District 28-5A with Steele, defeated East Central 41-21 last Friday and South San 36-20 two weeks ago.
The wins coincided with the return of Nathaniel Scott, who rushed for 397 yards. He gained 193 against East Central and ran for four touchdowns.
Southwest quarterback Bowen Crisp has developed into an increasinly efficient passer. he running threat and find Cody Johnson and his other receivers for big gains.
Corpus Christi Carroll, which lost 31-28 to East Central two weeks ago, pulled away from crosstown Rival King in the second half for a 38-17 win last Friday.
The Tigers are led by quarterback Jesse Jones, who led them in both rushing and passing against East Central. The Hornets’ defense was able to hold back Noah Lisk to five yards.
Southwest’s defense also has been improving lately. It limited the Hornets to 270 total yards as well as just seven points over the last three quarters.
The game shapes up to potentially be a higher-scoring game, and that bodes well for the Dragons. They have the more prolific offense, and likely the more potent defense. 2012 score: Southwest 38, Corpus Christi Carroll 26.
Steele (6-1, 2-0) at East Central (3-4, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
East Central is seeking to avoid back-to-back District 28-5A losses, and it wll be a tough task, despite the homefield advantage.
Steele might not be quite as powerful as in the last couple of seasons, but still is formidable – not to mention one of the top teams in the San Antonio area.
The Knights are led by back Justin Stockton (949 rushing yards), a Texas Tech commit. Stockton has scored 18 touchdowns, but Steele rested him with just four carries against South San in a 49-7 win last Friday.
Steele quarterback L.G. Williams also is dangerous. He has run for more than 500 yards and thrown for 786 yards. He only passed five times against the Bobcats and still totaled 80 yards through the air.
The Bobcats only mustered 131 total yards against Steele’s defense.
Despite a big game from East Central quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza in just his second start, the Hornets never got rolling last week in a 41-21 loss last Friday at Southwest. Upshaw-Mendoza threw three touchdown passes and completed 10 of 16 throws for 164 yards. He also was East Central’s leading rusher with 58 yards.
The Hornets have two Division I-calber backs in Johnathan Jackson (102 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Javion Polk. Although the passing game is getting to where coach Clint Hartman needs it to be, restoring the running game will be a big priority.
Defensively, East Central will need to try to limit Stockton’s long gains.
Steele has won all three games in the series. 2012 score: Steele 28, East Central 0.