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Five Big Things: 09/25/12 by Chris Doelle

chris doelle's Five Big Things in Texas High School Football

Five Big Things in Texas High School Football


What are the Five Big Things this week?  As usual, it is some pretty interesting stuff.

1. A&M Consolidated knocks of Austin Lake Travis 30-28 – Sure, everyone knew this one would be on the list of big things... but I have a slightly different angle.  While it was the first loss for the Austin Lake Travis Cavaliers in 26 games, it was not their first loss during their title run.  In fact, two of those five championship seasons featured a regular season loss (in 2010 they had 2 losses.)  So, it is not the end of the road for Lake Travis.

In fact, this offense appears to be one of their better.  In each of their last couple games they were down early and stormed back with some offensive fireworks.  This time they came up a couple points short.

So, what does that mean for the Cavaliers making it six championships in a row?  It means they better figure out how to:

  • Get into their games earlier
  • Stop a team
  • Cut down on mental mistakes

or they will be sitting at home a couple rounds into the playoff season.  Looks like Hank Carter has some coaching to do and if anyone can, Carter will get them back on track.

What does that say about A&M Consolidated?  Well, I am a big fan of Coach David Raffield and know that he has put together a solid team.  They have taken on some of the best in the state and almost walked into district play 4-0.  Should they be crowned the "heir apparent" to the state title?  Even Raffield wouldn't suggest that (nor want it.)

Their next two games (Lufkin and The Woodlands) could leave them in the catbird seat for the District 14 title.

2. Marble Falls QB, Mike Richardson, breaks passing record Marble Falls has a lot to be happy about these days.  They lured one of the top Texas high school football coaches away from the college ranks (North Texas) and Coach Todd Dodge has made an immediate difference.  The team was 4-6 last season and haven't had a winning record since 2007 (6-4.)

Mike Richardson completed 35 of 44 passes and threw for seven touchdowns.  He broke the previous record of 683 set by Wichita FallsDylan Sheffield in 2011.  Richardson is either playing above himself under Dodge's system or the coach was able to pull from him the talent that others could not.  Regardless, look for Marble Falls to continue to put up a lot of points (50.3 per game) and continue to give up a lot of points (41.3) in some exciting games.

I'm already looking forward to their regular season finale against Leander.

3. Cibolo Steele is proving it all over again  – Their 35-10 victory of Austin Westlake is just the latest reminder that Cibolo Steele intends to be right back where they have been the past two seasons - a state title game.  Despite the fact that some of us predicted their third straight appearance in that championship game, and LSG fans selected them as the team Most Likely to Finish the Job, some sportswriters around the state have already forgotten about them - in favor of the "story of the day."

Make no mistake, the Knights are a solid team and they will keep knocking off tough teams and if nobody is paying any attention to them, that will be fine by Coach Michael Jinks.

4. Pre-district does matter – okay, we all love the great matchups we see prior to district play.   You hear a lot of talk about how pre-district games are meaningless.  It is true that wins or losses don't count toward making the playoffs, but it DOES matter.   It matters from the standpoint of getting a team ready to face competition like they will see in the playoffs.  Most importantly, it matters from the standpoint of having the athletes believe in themselves.

When a team like A&M Consolidated knocks off a team like Austin Lake Travis, it does wonders for that program.  It makes everyone aware that they can be winners and often the difference in winning or losing is a little belief.  Even in a loss, a highly favored team can get a wakeup call that can help a team to stop skating by on their "press" and realize they have to work hard.

I've seen it time and again.  When Lone Star Gridiron comes to a school to cover a team that isn't one of the "big boys," the athletes take notice.  Coaches have thanked me for helping them to get their kids to believe in themselves.

Believe me, it matters!

5. Cowboys Stadium nabs title games again – Why is this a big deal?  Well, because of a few things.  1 - the advantage (real or perceived) that Dallas area schools have in playing what amounts to a home game for a state title.  2 - the fact that other venues (Reliant Stadium in Houston) have made pitches that don't seem to be matching what the Cowboys have to offer.

I love the fact that you can make a vacation of it and see all the title games at one location, but I do think it would be better for the sport if that location moved around.  The proposal to rotate between cities like Dallas, Houston and San Antonio seemed to make sense.  That would still give the fans one location per year and share the wealth in terms of fan base attendance and tourism dollars.

I am sure we have not heard the last of this and that Jerry's World will not get the deal indefinitely.  Until that time though - I can't wait for another great round of games there.

Chris Doelle

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