Best Team: Round Rock Westwood
Absolute props should go to the Round Rock Westwood defense, which held the Cavaliers scoreless for most of the SQT final, as the Warriors rolled off a 26-15 victory over the defending five-time state champions. Westwood probably doesn't have the same 7-on-7 potential it did last year, when Westwood had Desmond Wyatt as a top receiver, but getting a win over Lake Travis is a great start, and using the local tournament to qualify never hurts. This team will go as far as 2014 quarterback Bear Fenimore will take them.
Best Game: Pflugerville Hendrickson 21, Abilene Cooper 19
In a classic win-or-go-home matchup, the Hendrickson defense held on the game's final two-point conversion to eliminate a strong Cooper team that finished second at a highly competitive UnderArmour Sevens event recently. Hendrickson received some big plays from 2013 wide receiver Latrell Martin, and the matchup of Cooper 2013 wide receiver prospect Anthony Pierson and 2013 Hendrickson cornerback Chance Waz was a great one, as was Martin against top Cooper cornerback Fred Lawrence. Texas 2014 wide receiver target Lorenzo Joe played quarterback from Cooper, and, with Hendickson leading 21-13 on the game's final play, found a receiver in the end zone. That led to one final play, a two-point conversion, for the tie. Hendrickson blanketed the Cooper receivers, and Joe, with time running out before he was "sacked," was forced to lob a desperation pass into the end zone. It was intercepted by Hendrickson, sealing the game.
MVP: Baker Mayfield, Lake Travis
The Cavaliers are considerably less talented than they were in last summer's 7-on-7s, with the loss of do-it-all player Colin LaGasse, wide receiver Dannon Cavil and tight end Griffin Gilbert. Lagasse and Gilbert graduated and are with SMU and TCU, respectively, while Cavil, an Ole Miss commitment, is now with San Antonio Madison. But that didn't keep Mayfield from carving up every defense he saw until the finals, spreading the ball around to a variety of receivers and generally looking like the most accurate quarterback on the field. His team fell short at the end, and Mayfield threw two interceptions in the finale while trying to make a comeback, but that shouldn't detract from an otherwise outstanding day.
* It was a great showing for a Pflugerville Hendrickson team without top 2014 runner Samaje Perine, who was injured. Hendrickson beat an awfully good Abilene Cooper team, then gave Lake Travis all it could handle in the semifinals. Considering the players that Hendrickson lost between seasons, and the fact that Perine wasn't available, that made for good play on Saturday.
* Joe can flat-out wing the ball. He was actually one of the better passers in attendance.
* 2013 wide receiver Zach Austin of Lake Travis is an awfully good football player. He's so quick with his cuts and catches the ball cleanly.
* Despite my comment above that Lake Travis isn't as talented as they were last go-round, I thought the Cavaliers looked like an awfully good team … potentially great if they can fix some issues with their secondary. The Cavalier receivers, generally, were outstanding, getting open and catching the ball cleanly even when they were in traffic.
* An interesting 2015 quarterback has emerged at Round Rock Stony Point. Damian Lindley, younger brother of Oklahoma linebacker P.L. Lindley, certainly looks the part. At 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, Lindley is actually bigger than his brother (currently 6-3 245 at OU) was at the same age, and he's a smooth athlete who has been clocking in the 4.8 range. While he's still a bit raw, when he gets his footwork right and throws in rhythm, he throws a great ball with a tight spiral. He certainly had his moments.
* Unfortunately, Lindley doesn't have 2012 standout Braizon Fresch to throw the ball to, but he could have a nice receiver to form a relationship with in fellow 2015 prospect Justin Gamble. Gamble didn't run away from people, but he did a nice job of getting open, and made several outstanding catches on jump balls.
* Shaun Nixon had a great day. The 2014 running back's main strength is that he's an all-purpose guy, and he lined up in the slot all day Saturday. He was good enough that anybody in attendance who didn't know he was a running back wouldn't have guessed. And he made one of the most athletic plays of the day, making a diving catch near the end zone, then, while in midair, having the presence of mind to stretch the ball out to get it over the end zone plane.
* And while 2013 Stony Point linebacker Marcos Curry may be on-the-sly with his recruiting: "I'm talking to some people," he said, there's nothing sly about his play. Curry is significantly thicker than last time I saw him, and one of the Stony Point coaches told me that he measured 217 pounds and ran a 4.52 this spring. There are some questions with Curry, namely that he's only 5-10 to 5-11 and that he's definitely more linebacker than safety, but he's a monster on the football field that has drawn interest from some BCS conference schools. He was one of the top defensive players on the fields Saturday, and he's 10 times better with his pads on, when he's a thumping hitter.