The CenTex Fieldhouse: From Week 3 action

TPI has added a new edition to the team and to the site with The CenTex Fieldhouse. H. Horne shares his insights from watching hours of high school video and visiting with Austin area coaches. Here is his weekly report. This week's edition is free, but will become a premium feature in the future.

Upcoming Game of the Week: Austin Bowie v. Westlake
While District 25-5A is a much deeper district this year from top to bottom, this game will be a major factor in deciding the District Champion. I am expecting a close and low scoring game as Westlake will be very careful with the ball and try to grind it out against Bowie.

Team of the Week: Del Valle
Del Valle pulled off a HUGE road win against the previously unbeaten Hutto Hippos even though it took an over time period to finally settle this slug fest. In the end, the game came down to a final goal line stand in OT when Del Valle stopped Hutto inches away from sending the game to a second OT.

Best Individual performance I saw for Week 3: 
Kenny Williams RB Pflugerville Hendrickson HS. Basically watching Kenny Williams this week was like going back in time to Alabama when a certain young RB named Bo Jackson was tearing up the SEC at Auburn. Williams is the full power back package: size, speed and raw power. Williams also electrified the home crowd with a dazzling 95 yard Kickoff return for one of his 5 TD's on the night.

Best Team Performance I saw for Week 3:
Round Rock is your basic smash-mouth football Team. Man, I love watching teams like Round Rock but maybe that is because I am old school also. The Dragons line it up and try to win the old school football way: by running the ball down your throat on Offense and then hard-hitting, gang tackling on D. That formula worked perfectly last Friday for Round Rock as the handed perennial Football power-house Pflugerville their first loss of the season. I don't see Round Rock challenging for the 5A State Title but no one better take these guys lightly. Oh, and you better have plenty of ice ready after you play these guys.

Game Film Observations:
1. Elgin v. Pflugerville Hendrickson
I already mentioned Kenny Williams (#34 RB-SR) and the incredible night he had. Impressive to say the least. Williams ended up with 240 yards rushing (just 13 carries), a 90 yard kickoff return and 5 TDs. Opening some of those holes for Williams was Jeremy Spence (#53 OL/DE SR) as a pulling guard. Spence showed some nice footwork in making his blocks, including a couple of staggering pancake blocks. Also setting the table for Williams was big Right Tackle #77. Unfortunately, I don't have #77 listed on my roster but I will get his name for next week. Big #77 also found himself carrying the ball for a good 5 yards after a RB fumble bounced right up into his hands and he lumbered forward for additional yardage. I wonder if visions of a rushing TD flashed thru his eyes briefly? Brandon Bedford (#21 RB-SR) probably gave Hendrickson Head Coach Chip Killian a minor heart attack after fielding a punt on his own 1 yard line but quickly made up for the cardinal punt fielding error with a nifty 40 yard return up the home sideline.

On the Elgin side, they did have their share of trouble on both sides of the ball but did have a few glimpses of hope and certainly deserve credit for not totally rolling over for Hendrickson. Cromartie Faulks (#2 QB-SR) is a great athlete, throws lefty and can scramble with the best of them. Faulks will give teams fits that don't stay discipline while rushing the passer. Elgin also has a very good running back in Sam Works (#25 RB-SR) who showed good hands in catching the ball coming out of the backfield and also had a very impressive TD sprint down the visitor sideline. Works has a slashing style of running with excellent speed. On the defensive side of the ball, Patrick Grimes (#7 S-SR) showed good reads at the snap and flowed to the ball with speed and finished with some solid tackles.

2. Pflugerville v. Round Rock
Storm Woods (#34 RB-JR) got off to a hot start by scoring on Pflugerville's first Offensive play of the game. Woods entered a scrum of offensive and defensive linemen at the Round Rock 34 yard line and disappeared – only to exit the scrum at the 39 yard line and sprint the rest of the way to the end zone for Pflugerville's only TD (Woods would later leave the game with a knee injury and I have not heard what his status is for the rest of the season). Having a solid game for Pflugerville on Defense was Dante Jackson (#22 DB-JR). Jackson did a solid job avoiding WR blocks and coming up with several tackles for loss. Jackson defends the screen pass extremely well. Also making his presence felt on Defense was Quintin Davis (#78 DT-JR). Davis is an excellent run stuff and has a great burst off the ball. With those skills and physical tools (6'2" and 255 lbs) should give him a good shot at playing college football in the near future.

The smash mouth Round Rock Dragons are led by the bruising backfield of Jordan Wells (#28 RB-SR) and James McKinney ( #2 RB-SR). McKinney is more of the bruiser while McKinney is more of the speedster but both are hard to bring down and get to the line of scrimmage in a hurry. These two young men really set the physical tone of the team with their physical styles of running between the tackles. Opening holes for Wells and McKinney is Chase Stotland (#74 OL-JR). Stotland shows great technique in locking up his man and then sealing off running lanes for his RBs. But in my eyes, the real star of this team is Safety Jeremy McKnight (#26 S-SR). McKnight is regarded by several coaches in the area as the BEST safety to ever come out of Central Texas. McKnight can flat out HIT. He is fearless and seems to enjoy getting a running start and just unload on any and all ball carriers in his line of sight. RB's facing Round Rock need to keep an eye peeled for #26.

3. Del Valle v. Hutto
Once again, Del Valle was lead to victory by Quarterback Josef Cortez (#14 QB-SR). Cortez has nerves of steel as he stands in the pocket and takes huge hits in order to give his receivers more time to get open. The results are usually completions including a huge TD pass in OT that sealed the win for the Cardinals. This kid is one tough QB but more importantly, is a play maker. Aaron Chisolm (#24 RB-JR) is also an up and coming running back as he showed good hands catching passes out of the backfield and had a nice night running the ball. On Defense, Tyrell Avery (#2 DB-SR) showed great run support skills for when Hutto tried to run the ball at the edges. Da'yon Denmon (#50 LB-JR) was impressive at linebacker by coming up with several big tackles in heavy traffic. Del Valle is an excellent gang tackling team and just seems to come up with big play after big play. One of the biggest surprise teams in Central Texas this season.

Even though Hutto came up short in OT Friday night, they had several players step up with big performances. That would include kicker Michael Cottingham (#80 K-SR) who had several booming touchback kickoffs into the Cardinal end zone but also a clutch 42 yard FG at the end of the 4th Quarter to send the game to OT. Of course I have to mention Nehemiah Hicks (#81 DE/TE-SR) again as he was his usual dominate self at DE and as a blocking Tight End. This week though Hicks also showed some ball skills by coming up with a long catch thrown down the middle in the fourth quarter. Jabari Prewitt (#26 S-JR) had a good night at Safety coming up with several huge hits. Also Aaron Nichols (#32 LB/DT-JR) kept Hutto in the game with several big tackles on special teams and also while playing nose guard. 
Only 3 match ups on this week's report due to several CenTex Teams playing on Zero Week and having a bye right before entering district play. Next week I'll be back with observations from 4 CenTex games. Video Highlights from this past week can also be found on my website – Have a great weekend of Football!

Each week I visit several coaches around Central Texas and collect game video as a Football Recruiting Producer (H. Horne Sports Video). I also get a chance to talk to football dads and moms, area sports writers, high school athletes and other folks in the know. My weekly report to TPI is the perfect forum to share these observations and inside info with other Texas HS Football lovers.

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