Cen Tex Fieldhouse: Games Galore

TPI has an in-depth look at Central Texas football on 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: Several

This Week is tough to pick just one Game of the Week; so I am picking three. Two of the games have major playoff implications, while one is just an old fashioned backyard brawl.

Austin Anderson v. Austin
Austin needs a win, and they are in the playoffs. Anderson needs a win and some help – a Bowie win over undefeated Bastrop. The Anderson players have come along way since their two-win season last year. Austin is coming off back to back tough losses to Pflugerville and then Westlake. Anderson is coming off a solid win over Connally where offense, defense and special teams contributed. Both teams can put up points so expect the scoreboard lights to heat up the Austin skyline down at House Park.

Hutto v. Lampasas
Winner gets in and loser stays home. That is the likely scenario unless Marble Falls knocks off Lake Travis. Hutto has a recent rich tradition of football. Current TCU standout Jeremy Kerley guided Hutto to the State 3A Championship game in 2005 and then another playoff berth in 2006. Then Hutto moved up to 4A and has had some tough luck just barely missing their first 4A playoff berth. Lampasas has struggled over the last several seasons being outmanned by the larger suburban Austin area schools and despite having a losing record (3-6), they can still sneak into the playoffs with a win over Hutto, which would get them to 3 District wins in the 7 team District 25-4A. Lampasas plays gritty and is capable of pulling off the win.

Leander v. Cedar Park
This is the old-fashioned backyard brawl. Year eight of this red-hot intense rivalry is just as competitive as Texas vs. Oklahoma or Ohio State vs. Michigan. Both teams have just one district loss. Both teams like to play smash mouth football. Both are in the playoffs (Division II), but the winner will get the top seed. To top it off, this may be the last meeting for a while as Cedar Park is expected to drop to 4A next season and one last win by Cedar Park will tie the all time series at 4-4. With the close proximity between the schools, most of the players have former friends on the team across the field. They grew up playing football and baseball together at the local LCP (Leander Cedar Park) youth leagues. However most of the friendships ended when the kids entered middle school and were indoctrinated as Lions or T-Wolves. This game never lacks intensity and hard hitting, and this Friday will be no exception. Get there early or forget about getting into the parking lot much less the game.

Team of the Week: Austin Bowie
Down by 20 points to Pflugerville late in the second quarter, Bowie goes on a 31-8 run to force overtime and a 38-35 miracle win over Pflugerville for a second year in a row. After being left for dead in the District 25-5A race following a three-game losing streak while being called one of the most disappointing teams in Central Texas by the Austin paper, the Bulldogs have battled all the way back by replacing their losing streak with a three-game winning streak. Football has always been a game of mo – momentum – and not big Mo is with the Bulldogs.

Best Coaching performance for Week 8: Coach Jeff Ables: Austin Bowie HS.
See above for game details. Basically, after being left for dead following a losing streak, Bowie claws right back into the District 25-5A race and can get back to the playoffs with a win over Bastrop and an Austin loss. Great job by Coach Ables to not only keep his players interested, but to get them to execute in the clutch and keep their post season hopes alive.

Best Player performance for Week 9: Jacob Morgan Senior QB - Austin HS.
Morgan is my player of the week – despite the fact that his team lost to Westlake in Overtime. So how does someone win player of the week after losing? By tossing 6 TDs and throwing for 545 yards! Westlake is a solid team and well coached so 540 yards is mind-boggling. Morgan is coming off a tough week after being benched the previous week for violating team rules. Nice way to bounce back.

Game Film Observations:

1. Cedar Park v. Westwood
I would guess every team has their own personal nemesis – a team that always seems to have their number no matter what the season record says. Westwood always seems to bring their A game to Cedar Park, and last Friday was no exception. Westwood dominated the first half and then help on for life as Cedar Park finally got on track in the second half but just didn't have enough in the tank to complete the comeback. For Westwood's Offense, Ben Johnson (#5 – QB Soph) kept the Cedar Park defense off balance with some great zone – read runs for 60 yards and a big TD. The real star for Westwood was Utah bound Princeton Collins (#25 RB – SR) who constantly out raced the D to the corner to rack up 140 yards and 3 huge TDs. The Westwood D was anchored by Eric Dehoux (#21 LB –SR) and Patrick Onderick (#51 DE – JR) who constantly stuffed the Cedar Park rushing Offense in the first half including a goal line stand that held CP to a Field Goal.

Cedar Park got another standout rushing game out of Brian Hogan (#12 QB – Soph) making his second start for injured QB Nathan Thornhill. After a slow first half, Hogan opened it up in the second half and finished with 200 yards rushing. Also providing huge plays for Cedar Park was Dylan Cox (#4 WR – JR) who threw 2 passes off of trick plays for 60 yards. Michael Darby (#84 WR – SR) also had a huge night hauling in 3 passes but for 107 yards. The Cedar Park Defense was spearheaded by Joey Nichol (#47 LB – SR) who is finally healthy and back to making huge plays. Holmes Onwukaife (#90 LB/DE – SR) was pretty much unblockable as he has been for much of the season.

Sorry folks for only having one game this week. This is the time of year when I get real busy building recruiting videos for Seniors and Juniors, and I just ran out of time this week.

Send me your comments and feedback at hhorne@mac.com and visit my website (www.hhorne.com) for more video recruiting info. 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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