Digital Mag Issues
VYPE's Playoff Breakdowns: The Houston-Area
December 3, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
So we are down to the nitty gritty in the Houston high school football season, as only five Bayou City squads remain in the 2012 state playoff race.
Who will get it done? We will know by Saturday night, but here is what we predict.
Class 4A Division II
Manor vs Fort Bend Marshall
What a difference a reclassification makes. Marshall had been battered for years in the Class 5A Fort Bend ranks. After being reclassified to 4A, the Buffs are in the right place, winning district and going 13-0 thus far. Coach James Williams is doing it with ATHLETES and he has a bunch of them playing together as a family. QB JW Kethum is the team’s leading passer with over 700 yards, while he has rushed for over 1,000 yards. He’s a special athlete who has matured this season and has accounted for 38 touchdowns. RB Davon Crookshank could go over 1,000 yards against Manor as the Buffs need another offensive weapon. The offensive line is on point with Maurice Porter (Texas Tech-commit), Darius Moore (Baylor-commit) and Marcus Johnson opening holes.
What makes Marshall so tough is their speed and size on defense. Deon Hollins, Jr. is a bona fide beast on the line, keeping offensive linemen off of his linebackers. Allen Smith and Anthony Lee shore up the d-line, while Zachry Newman patrols the secondary.
Class 5A Division II
Katy vs Cy Ranch
Katy has beaten a passing team in Langham Creek and a running team in La Porte in the playoffs and would be considered a three-touchdown favorite against the Cypress Ranch Mustangs. No disrespect to the Ranch, but Katy is ridiculous this season and even a perfect game by the Mustangs might not be enough.
Nebraska-commit Adam Taylor is a beast and will be tough to lasso, while Katy’s QB play in tremendously overrated. Huddleson has an 18-3 TD to Interception Ratio and is a load to bring down. Rodney Anderson should be back this weekend to complement the running and passing game. The offensive line has a nasty streak as well.
No other player in Houston has dominated the defensive side of the ball more than end Matt Dimon, who is headed to OU next season. His motor is hot and he can rush the passer and stop the run. He is relentless. The city’s best defensive back also wears the red and white in Isaiah Brown, who has 10 picks.
Enough about Katy. What coach Gene Johnson has done this season is amazing. After falling to Cinco and Cy Creek to start the season, the Mustangs have rode OU-commit Keith Ford to an unlikely run to and in the playoffs. They finished 6-3 in district and beat Nimitz, Memorial and upset Manvel in the playoffs. Do they have one more trick up their sleeve? Not likely.
Cy Ranch 14
Class 5A Division I
North Shore vs Lamar
In the larger division, North Shore grinded it out against Elsik in the regional semis 17-10, but got a little nicked up in the process. Mustang QB Micah Thomas, who re-broke his hand a month ago, injured his foot early in the game against Elsik. It is hard to say how bad the injury is, but he was seen wearing a boot through the weekend. He’s a tough kid and should go against Lamar. The four-headed monster of running backs that North Shore can go to can wear down defenses. But they aren’t considered a “quick strike” offense. For North Shore to win, they must ball-control, get good field position with the help of their kick returners and play error-free defense.
If Lamar were to win, the Redskins will be the first HISD team to reach the state semis since Vince Young. Wow. Lamar has playmakers on offense with Darrell Colbert, Jr., and more playmakers at the WR spot. Shelby Walker, Beau Wells, Cory Mitchell and Nick Turner all have 200 yards receiving while Ronnie Wesley handles the running duties. North Shore’s defensive backfield is very short and can get exposed against bigger receivers. Lamar is pretty balanced on offense, but cannot turn the ball over to have a chance. Their special teams must be on point and the defense must load the box and sell out to stop the run. The play of stud DB Cedric Lancaster could be the difference as he is a ball-hawk and playmaker.
NORTH SHORE 17