Freshmen Phenoms

Freshmen lead the way for Class 6A playoff programs; predictions

Friendswood freshman Luke Grden. Vype

Originally appeared on Vype.com.

Ready for a Playoff Fun Fact?

Of the 10 Houston-area programs remaining in the Class 6A postseason, three have freshman starters at quarterback.

What?

Yes, North Shore, Katy and Friendswood put the ball in the hands of athletes who can’t even drive a car yet.

Mustang Dematrius Davis took over after midseason and looks the part with his feet and arm. The east Houston star already has an offer from Baylor. Katy’s Bronson McClelland does more than just hand off the ball to Deondrick Glass and Josh Ogelsby. He is well-trained and has a big future. Friendswood’s Luke Grden is 14-years-old and has a live arm. He’s the future of Mustang football.

But that just seems a little nerve-racking for Jon Kay, Gary Joseph and Robert Koopman, who play their best available player.

It’s the regional semis, folks. Let’s get ready for a wild weekend of big-boy Houston-area football.

Here are the predictions.

CLASS 6A

REGION III

DI

Katy vs Atascocita, NRG Stadium, Friday at 7 pm

I know, I know. Atascocita was 3-0 at NRG Stadium last year making their run to the state Final Four. Take it easy Eagle fans. The Katy D is giving up like a touchdown a game. Unless that defense can hold down two of the top RBs in the state, Katy does their thing. Eagle QB Jack Roe has over 2,900 yards from scrimmage, but Katy eats QBs for brunch.

Katy by 14

Lamar vs North Shore, Friday at 7 pm

This is a complete battle of Houston heavyweights. North Shore is a few years away from being dominant again and Lamar is experienced with tons of DI talent. So this is a battle of the young stars of North Shore and the College Ballers at Lamar. Lamar makes plays on special teams, offense and defense. The 'Shore' is relying on a freshman QB Dematrius Davis.

Lamar by 4

CLASS 6A

REGION III

DII

Cy-Fair vs Friendswood, TDECU Stadium, Friday, 7 pm

Trenton Kennedy has rushed for over 1,418 for Cy-Fair, who will out-physical the Mustangs. Friendswood's 14-year-old QB is legit for the future, however. Bobcats defense is too tough.

Cy-Fair by 14

Langham Creek vs Kingwood, TDECU Stadium, Saturday, Noon

The Lobos are so explosive with QB Herron, Mehn at RB and Eke at WR. If the defense gets a few stops, Langham stampedes past Kingwood.

Langham Creek by 17

Region II

Longview vs Klein Collins, McLane Stadium, Saturday at 2 pm

This will be Klein Collins’ toughest test of the year. Longview is no joke and very balanced on offense. They have only one loss and beat Rockwall, who beat The Woodlands and took Sasche to the wire. Longview is legit. Klein Collins is as well with their heavy set backfield with Spiller (OU-commit) and Powell. Rhyne is gritty at QB. The defense could be the best in H-Town.

Tigers by 1

Lufkin vs Westfield, Texan Drive, Saturday at 1 pm

Lufkin’s offense has NOT seen anything like the Westfield defense. Mustang QB Gipson is a true dual-threat and has recently received a DI offer from Memphis as a junior. He’s dialed in.

Westfield by 17

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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