RING CHASERS

The Class 5A Top 10 powered by Champion Energy

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Originally Appeared on VYPE

The 2019 VYPE Class 5A Preseason Football rankings are here!

Of course, the track team, I mean football team that made it to AT&T Stadium last season is back at No. 1. Fort Bend Marshall brings back a ton of firepower this season and should contend for the top spot. There is a chance that the Buffs could run into Huntsville again in the Regional Final, which would be a great showdown. Also making the list is Shadow Creek, which will have to replace some top players but could have the nastiest defensive unit in H-Town. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.


No. 1 Fort Bend Marshall

The "M" Block is back after getting a taste of the bright lights of AT&T Stadium, reaching the state title game last Christmas. But it's different being the hunted instead of the hunter. Talk about star power. Quarterback Malik Hornsby showed off his feet and arm a year ago and emerged as a high-major DI prospect. Devon Achane is ridiculous out of the backfield. He's a weapon running, catching and returning. He's the most exciting player in Houston. The offensive line has a huge piece in Larry Moore (Texas Tech). On defense, teams must game plan around LB Warren Robinson, who will blow you up. The Buffs are No. 1 for now, but have a tricky non-district slate with an improved Eisenhower and Hightower on the sked. Manvel is the only test in district play. The only team standing in their way of a return to state? The Huntsville Hornets who lost to the Buffs in an instant classic and definitely want a rematch.


No. 2 Shadow Creek Sharks

Likely the best story in the history of Houston-area high school football. In their first year of varsity play, the Sharks ran the table in a tough district all the way to the state title game. That is setting the bar high. Coach Brad Butler says goodbye to bobble-head QB Jamarian George to graduation, but Kyron Drones gives the Sharks a different look. A more pro-style guy leading the offense. He can also run but his arm is what will wow people early. The offensive line will need some rebuilding and the WR corps needs to have a No. 2 and No. 3 emerge. Tight end Trent McGaughey needs to become a factor in the offensive plans as a national 2022 recruit. The defense is going to be salty with extra spice. LSU-commit Alec Bryant is unblockable on the edge, while K-State-commit Ronald Triplette stuffs the run. The linebackers? Forget about it. K-State-commit Jeremiah Harris and Warren Shankle lead a deep group. Defensive back Xavian Alford is a household name in recruiting circles. He will shut down an entire side of the field. The Shark bite was deadly in 2018 and should be again this year.


The list continues here

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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