The CenTex Fieldhouse: Week 6 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.

Upcoming Game of the Week: Hendrickson v. Lake Travis 
I realize this seems like a mismatch on paper. After all, Lake Travis has owned Hendrickson over the past couple of years and it seems ages ago since Lake Travis lost a game. Make no mistake, Hendrickson has to play a near perfect game to even keep it close AND they need star RB Kenny Williams to turn in another stellar game. Williams has been THE dominate RB in Central Texas this season. Williams is the best pure power RB I have seen since Cedric Benson scorched Texas HS Football and just may give the Lake Travis Defense all they can handle. Then again, Lake Travis can easily put up 30+ points by half time and extinguish any hopes Hendrickson might have but in any event, Williams makes this an interesting contest.

Team of the Week: Pflugerville 
After stumbling out of the district starting block with loses to Bastrop and Westlake, Pflugerville jumped back into the playoff race with a dominating win over Austin Anderson. Look for Coach Herrmann and his Panthers to build on this win and finish the season strong as they will eventually get star RB Storm Woods back in another week or two.

Best Individual performance I saw for Week 5: 
Nathan Thornhill QB Cedar Park HS. Like his Center Dom Espinosa, Nathan has already committed to the University of Texas – but for Baseball as a flame-throwing pitcher that can also hit for power and average. Nathan accounted for 331 yards of total Offense against Round Rock last Friday which included 2 rushing TDs and 3 passing TDs.

Game Film Observations:
1. Round Rock v. Cedar Park
Like most folks, the final score was pretty much a shock 55-45 with Cedar Park finishing on top. From watching both teams play several times already this season, the score was unexpected since both teams prefer a physical smash-mouth type game to the trendy spread, wide-open and high scoring games. To be fair, Cedar Park does run out several spread formations with empty back fields but Cedar Park still prefers to pound it out via the run behind its massive O-Line headed by UT bound Center Dom Espinosa (#55 C – SR). Espinosa also saw time this week at DT as the CP Defense had been hit hard by injuries and flu (not unlike many times throughout Central Texas). Missing both starting inside LB's, OLB's Garrett Quick (#22 LB – SR) and Holmes Onwukaife (#90 LB/DE – SR) picked up the Defense for Cedar Park and had their hands full with the very good Round Rock ground game led by Jordan Wells (#28 RB – SR) and James McKinney (#2 RB – SR). Once again, sophomore Safety Zach Espinosa was very impressive in breaking up a pass play near the goal line in the 2nd Quarter with a jarring hit and then a late 4th Quarter INT to seal the game. On Offense, beside the great road plowing job by the O-Line, Nathan Thornhill (#17 QB – SR) led the way with 190 yards rushing and 140 yards passing. The main recipient of those passes was Dylan Cox (#4 WR – JR) who hauled in three passes, all for TDs.

The underdog Round Rock Dragons got off to a slow start after two quick turnovers put them in an early hole – and sent their starting QB to the bench. Wells was lightning in a bottle as he exploded through the CP defense for over 150 yards while McKinney chipped in with 99. Also catching my eye was the impressive play of Brian Zalneraitis (#88 TE/DE – JR) whose play on both sides of the ball helped keep RR in the game till the end. Zalneraitis is a solid blocker and has nice hands – finished with 3 catches. Zalneraitis also chipped in with several tackles when brought in to help the D. Probably most impressive for Round Rock on Defense was Logan Bradshaw (#94 DT – JR) who has impressive physical skills (power, speed and good size) but also shows great field awareness. Bradshaw sniffed out more than one screen pass, battled constant double teams and still made plays.

2. Pflugerville v. Austin Anderson
Pflugerville jumped off its recent skid with a solid and complete 31-7 victory over Austin Anderson. Starting district play in 25-5A with two straight losses, Pflugerville was primed to explode out of its funk and unfortunately for Anderson, they were next up on their schedule. Pflugerville's Julian Ward (#28 RB – JR) got things going with a 52 yard TD run on Pflugerville's first play from scrimmage. Ward ended up just a few yards shy of 100 before having to leave the game with an injury. Picking up the rushing attack was Sammy Flowers (#4 RB – JR) who finished with 177 yards. Both Flowers and Ward have excellent speed and use great vision to find the hole and then rely on their speed to get them to them thru to the secondary. Opening most of the gaping holes for this game played in rustic House Park just west of downtown Austin was Oklahoma bound Tyrus Thompson (#64 OL – SR) and Jordan Moon (#80 TE – JR). Thompson is of course known for his size and ability but Moon has been a pleasant surprise. Moon has great size (6'3" 225 lbs), runs well, blocks well and has great hands. Anchoring the left side of the O-line was Aaron Bitoni (#66 OL – SR) who was solid in opening holes for both Ward and Flowers. Pflugerville ended up rushing for 395 yards on the night. The Pflugerville Defense was led by their beefy D-Line of Savon Thomas (#71 DT/DE – SR), Quintin Davis (#78 DT – JR) and Ty Turner (#73 DT – SR). All three go over 255 lbs and are quick off the ball. They prevented Anderson from getting any push for just about the entire game.

Austin Anderson came into the game on a high note after beating perennial Austin football power Austin Bowie the week before. Unfortunately for Anderson, nothing from that win carried over as they started flat and took almost the whole game to get a score up on the board. Sam Wehmeyer (#3 QB – JR) finally got the Trojans on the score board with a nice 10 yard TD throw to Cameron Gravelle (#2 WR/DB – SR). 
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Unfortunately, the flu bug has hit my household pretty hard this past week and so I was only able to get two games into my weekly report this week.
Send me your comments and feedback at hhorne@mac.com. Have a great weekend of Football!
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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 Texas Prep Insider is the perfect forum to share these observations and inside info with other Texas HS Football lovers.


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