RACE FOR THE RING

The Class 6A Top 20 powered by Champion Energy

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Originally Appeared on VYPE

The 2019 VYPE Class 6A Preseason Football rankings are here!

Of course, the defending state champions sit atop the rankings for a second-straight year with Katy sitting right behind them. That will make the opening week game very exciting. Check out the rest of the Top 20 below.

No. 1 North Shore Mustangs

Here come the champs loaded and ready to defend their title. North Shore enters the 2019 season as the heavy-weight favorite not only to claim the District 21-6A Championship but also make a run back to state in December. Jon Kay guided the "Beasts of the East" to the program's second state crown in the previous three seasons in 2018 with a perfect 16-0 mark and an unforgettable win against Duncanville. Dematrius Davis passed for 3,373 yards and 43 touchdowns, while his top target Shadrach Banks (Texas A&M-commit) reeled in 60 grabs for 1,299 yards and 17 touchdowns. Zach Evans returns to anchor the backfield as the top recruit of the entire 2020 class in the country. Evans rushed for 1,793 yards and 29 scores a year ago. The bigs upfront include Alabama-commit Damieon George, Jaeden Roberts and Edzavier Deblaw. Arkansas pledge John Gentry joins Evans in the backfield. Defensively, Kansas State-commit Jojo Wilson and Utah State-commit Upton Stout will hold down the secondary, while Miami-commit Corey Flagg Jr. will anchor at linebacker. The season begins with a monster battle against the Katy Tigers.


No. 2 Katy Tigers

North Shore is getting all the shine, but do not sleep on the Katy Tigers. Tiger Nation won't say it, but they want H-Town to remember that they are still the brand of the city with eight state titles and 15 state title appearances. The Tigers went back to the drawing board and are ready for 2019. The offensive line is experienced with Drew Murphy, Justin King, Dakota White and Brayden Gammel to protect QB Bronson McClelland, who enters his junior season after throwing for 2,300 yards and 30 scores a year ago. His primary WR will be Jordan Patrick along with Steven Stiles. Tight ends Samuel Dunn, Fernando Garza and Jake Norman are giant. Running backs Sherman Smith and Ronald Hoff will tote the rock. Defensively, the strength is the secondary. Hunter Washington is a national recruit, along with Heights' move-in Bobby Taylor. UTSA-commit Bryan Massey, Dalton Johnson and Hamilton McMartin are super talents as well. The linebackers are led by Jaylen Phillips and Ty Cana. The front will be the only question mark.

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Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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