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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It more of the same from the Houston Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Sunday afternoon provided a high-res snapshot of the state of Houston sports. The Astros, already assured of the best record in the American League, played a game they didn’t need to win. The Astros won, ho-hum, their 104th win of the season.

Meanwhile, eight miles away, the Texans, mired in last place with fan support dwindling, played a game they really needed to win. The Texans lost 34-24 to the Los Angeles Chargers in front of (giggle) 69,071 fans at NRG Stadium. The Texans really ought to stop saying the stands are packed. Every time a team punts, and cameras follow the ball skyward, there are thousands of empty seats on display. I know the NFL methodology for determining attendance, (total tickets sold, no-shows don’t count) but it just looks silly when the Texans announce 69,000 fans.

The Texans came close as usual before sputtering to another defeat. The Texans now stand at 0-3-1, the only winless team in the NFL. It’s the second time in three years they’ve started a season without a victory after four games. It’s telling to note that not one of the Texans opponents has a winning record for 2022.

In other words, the Texans have played four games they shoulda/coulda won. Shouda against the Colts, Broncos and Bears, and coulda against the Chargers.

Should/coulda four wins. Instead, none.

That’s the Texans. They’re in every game but can’t close the deal. Yeah, yeah, on Monday we hear, “the Texans are playing hard for coach Lovie Smith” and “they’re competitive” and “they’re a young team.” These are NFL equivalents of a participation trophy.

Sunday’s loss to the Chargers at NRG Stadium was straight out of the Texans playbook. Fall behind, make it interesting, lose. The Texans stuck to their script, timid play calling, momentum-crushing penalties (nine for 67 yards), self-inflicted drops, lackluster quarterbacking and Rex Burkhead on the field for crunch time. After one play where a Texan player was called for holding, the announcer said, “and he did a poor job of holding.”

Statuesque quarterback David Mills keeps saying “we’re in a good spot” and “we’re improving.” Statuesque as in he doesn’t move – or barely moves to avoid sacks. Sunday saw his first touchdown pass to a wide receiver. He’s now thrown four interceptions in the past two games. Let’s go to the tote board: 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 4 fumbles, 11 sacks, qbr rating 28.5 – good for 28th in the league.

A bright spot, sort of. This was the first week the Texans didn’t cover the spread. They’re now 1-2-1 against Vegas oddsmakers, meaning you’ve won money if you took the Texans all four weeks. They head to Jacksonville next as early 6.5-point underdogs.

Meanwhile, Alabama’s brilliant quarterback Bryce Young, who will be available for the Texans when they draft first in 2023 (as Paul Heyman says, that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler), suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday. The Texans need to take out a Lloyds of London insurance policy on Young.

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