There might not be a bigger game in Class 5A this week than the one scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at Hall Stadium. As ranked by the Associated Press, No. 2 Elkins clashes with No. 6 Ridge Point in a game that could decide the District 23-5A title and perhaps some bragging rights in Missouri City.
While Marshall lurks a game behind in the standings and has yet to play Elkins, the Knights and Panthers have been perceived as the top two for much of the season. In the Houston area, they are ranked No. 1 and No. 3, respectively.
Elkins has had little trouble adjusting to 5A after winning district and area championships in the largest classification last year. The Knights defeated 6A teams Bellaire and Lamar to open the season, then held off A&M Consolidated in overtime.
Adding wins against Texas City, Ball and Willowridge, the Knights are 6-0 and have outscored opponents 210-103. The only other district teams to even score 100 have been Ridge Point (195) and Marshall (133).
The Panthers (6-0, 3-0) have been equally impressive this season, including a stifling defense that has allowed only 46 points in six games. They opened the season defeating three defending district champions in Clear Creek, Hightower and Stratford before shutting out Marshall 13-0 and downing Bush and Santa Fe.
If the Panthers win this game, there might not be anyone left on their schedule to stop them from a 10-0 regular season.
Last week’s 56-0 win at Santa Fe gave Ridge Point a chance to spread the ball around on offense. Cedric Horton and B.J. Rainford both ran for two touchdowns, while David Packard and Deante Ford made touchdown catches. Jesse Crebbe and Remus Bulmer also scored on the ground.
On defense, Joe Turk led the team with nine tackles and a sack. Cameron Robinson matched Omari Houston with eight tackles. Four of Robinson’s stops were behind the line of scrimmage. Michael Tirado added seven tackles and Justin Jackson made an interception.
Elkins led Willowridge 21-7 at halftime and gradually put away the Eagles. Khalif Smith scored on runs of eight and seven yards, while Johnathan Giles scored from 18 yards out and completed touchdown passes to Darren Woods, Justin Frecker and Shemick Watts.
Also in District 23-5A action last week, Marshall improved to 4-2, 2-1 with a convincing 36-14 win against Bush.
Marshall met Bush in a matchup of teams whose only district loss was to state-ranked Ridge Point. The Buffalos used an early interception from Jared Scroggins, a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jeremy Smith to Ashley Williams and a 70-yard touchdown run by Cam Jackson to build a 21-7 halftime lead. Smith also caught a touchdown pass from Jackson in the half.
A field goal by Mark O’Campos pushed the edge to 24-7, and Marshall put the game away on a touchdown pass from Smith to Kendall Sheffield for 57 yards and a scoring run by Adrion Robertson in the fourth quarter.
Bush outgained Marshall 491-388 but committed five turnovers. Jaz Johnson completed 20 of 41 attempts for 289 yards and a 25-yard touchdown to Otis Lanier. Alexander Wade scored the Broncos’ first touchdown on a 10-yard run just before halftime.
Bush fell to 1-5 overall and faces a key stretch beginning with an Oct. 17 game at Texas City. After playing Santa Fe, the Broncos run into state-ranked Elkins on Nov. 1.
Marshall visits Santa Fe on Oct. 17 before facing Elkins on Oct. 24.