The Morton Ranch Mavericks entered the 2011 football campaign with back-to-back one-win seasons and a tough schedule that included games against six projected playoff teams. Observers predicted an uphill battle all season long.
But on Friday night, the Mavericks must have felt on top of the mountain as they knocked off 2010 Region II surprise team Tomball with a convincing 32-17 win at Cougar Stadium in Tomball.
Morton got a pair of 100-yard rushing performances from Elijah Hall-Thomas (19-138, TD) and E.J. Achelus (4-126, 2 TD) and racked up 420 yards of total offense in matching their win total from both the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Big rushing plays highlighted the night for the Mavericks.
Hall-Thomas scored on a 75-yard run in the third quarter before broke off touchdown runs of 49 and 53 yards in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, it was absolutely no surprise that No. 6 Katy performed like one of the top teams in the state against state-ranked opponent North Shore at Rhodes Stadium on Friday night.
For the second consecutive season, the Tigers opened up with a dominating win against their cross-town rivals, with a 34-6 decision, and picked their third win in two seasons over the No. 8 Mustangs.
Quarterback Brooks Haack completed 11 of 14 passes for 183 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Jordan Thompson. Thompson finished the night with seven catches for 120 yards.
Defensively, the Tigers held the North Shore offense to one completed pass, seven first downs and 161 total yards. The lone Mustang score came midway through the final period after Katy had built up a 34-0 lead.
Four teams got the season started on Thursday, and three came away with wins.
Seven Lakes traveled to Mercer Stadium in Sugar Land and held off the Kempner Cougars to earn a 24-21 win on the road.
The Spartans built a 24-7 lead midway through the third quarter, thanks largely to a pair of touchdown runs by Denzel Guillard, the second of which came as time expired in the first half.
Seven Lakes then had to hold off a late charge by Kempner, which made the game close with a pair of second-half TD runs.
Mayde Creek turned four Cypress Springs turnovers into scoring opportunities and rolled to a 34-12 win at Rhodes Stadium on Thursday.
The Rams opened the scoring in the game with a touchdown on a fumble recovery and return of 16 yards by Denman Watson.
Troy McCormick scored three touchdowns—two rushing and one receiving—and Jan Pedroza added a pair of field goals for Mayde Creek.
At Tully Stadium, Memorial opened against Spring Branch ISD rival Stratford and the Mustang defense dominated the Spartans in the 14-0 victory.
Memorial held Stratford to 69 rushing yards and 46 passing yards, while limiting the Spartans to seven first downs and forcing seven punts on the evening.
Not surprisingly, Boomer White was the workhorse on offense for the Mustangs, rushing for 186 yards on 30 carries and scoring on a 30-yard run with 2:34 to go in the first quarter.
Junior quarterback Tyler McCloskey completed just one pass for Memorial in the game, but it was a 28-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Baumgartner in the fourth quarter. McCloskey also rushed for 101 yards on 17 carries.
Cinco Ranch opened the season against Klein Forest, which was bent on revenge after losing quarterback Matt Davis for the 2010 season in the opener against the Cougars last year.
Davis, playing his first football game since tearing his ACL in that game, led the Golden Eagles to a 32-17 win at Klein Memorial Stadium on Thursday.
For the Cougars, junior quarterback Cole Thomas, starting his first varsity game at the position, completed 12 of 21 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown. Thomas started at safety for the Cougars during his sophomore season.
Strake Jesuit opened its season on Saturday with its traditional Catholic-school rivalry game against St. Thomas and the Crusaders came away with a victory for the fourteenth consecutive year against the Eagles, 31-26.
St. Thomasoutgained Strake on offense, 333 yards to 157, but was stymied by five turnovers in the game.
Tyler Schiro completed a pair of touchdown passes for the Crusaders and Jordan Underwood had touchdown runs of one and two yards.
For St. Thomas, Justin Sebo completed 24 of 49 passes for 321 yards and threw for four touchdowns on the evening, including an 80-yard strike to Cavan Biggio in the third quarter. Biggio wound up with nine receptions for 171 yards.
Turnovers and special teams mistakes doomed Katy Taylor on Saturday night, as the Mustangs threw four interceptions and fumbled once on the way to a 41-0 defeat at the hands of Cy-Fair.
The lone bright spot for Taylor was junior quarterback Robby Wells, who rotated with senior Hunter Riggs (5-14-3, 37 yards) at the position, completed his first six pass attempts. Wells went 16-for-26 for 112 yards with one interception in the game.
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joltleft.com 19-5A Player of the Week
Boomer White, senior RB, Memorial: 30 carries, 186 yards, TD
- Tyler McCloskey, junior QB, Memorial: 17 carries, 101 yards; 1-7 passing, 28 yards, TD
- Troy McCormick, junior RB, Mayde Creek: 9 carries, 137 yards, 2 TD; 1 reception, 56 yards, TD
- Denzel Guillard, senior RB, Seven Lakes: 19 carries, 159 yards, 2 TD; 2 receptions, 27 yards
- Brooks Haack, senior QB, Katy: 11-14 passing, 183 yards, 2 TD; 5 carries, 22 yards, 2 TD
- Jordan Thompson, senior WR, Katy: 7 receptions, 120 yards, 2 TD
- Adam Taylor, junior RB, Katy: 20 carries, 106 yards
- Elijah Hall-Thomas, junior RB, Morton Ranch: 19 carries, 138 yards, TD
- E.J. Achelus, sophomore RB, Morton Ranch: 4 carries, 126 yards, 2 TD