Stunning Upsets Highlight Opening Round!

Stunning Upsets Highlight Opening Round!

Texas high school football never at a loss for drama

Wow, what an amazing opening weekend of Texas high school football playoffs!  The big story has to be the upsets, but a close second are the matchups that are now set for the second round.  Let's start with the upsets.

In over 30 years of playing and covering Texas high school football, I cannot remember a more dramatic bi-district round of playoffs.   Sure, upsets are a part of the playoff scene every year, but usually they happen in the next round.    TWO defending state champions falling in the opening round and a boatload of other upsets highlight this first weekend of the "second season."


When Deer Park (5-5) went up against a traditionally strong program, Pearland (8-2,) it was no surprise that they came in as the underdogs.  After a blistering start and a 17-0 halftime lead, the Deer and Oilers knew this wasn't going to be a repeat of last years 47-7 Pearland victory.   By the start of the final quarter, Pearland had cut the lead to 10 points but Deer Park held on for the 24-10 win.  Next up for Deer Park is Fort Bend Travis (7-4)

Another upset being mentioned in this division is the Odessa Permian 34-33 loss to El Paso El Dorado.  For me, this one could have gone either way, but for traditionalists it seemed a shocker.  Either way, the next opponent is Southlake Carroll... win this one and we are talking upset.


Austin Lake Travis, winners of five state titles in a row brought into the game against Pflugerville a playoff win streak of 30 games.  That ended Friday night as Lake Travis' Grant Foster caught what appeared to be the game wining touchdown from quarterback, Baker Mayfield but was ruled out of bounds.  The Pflugerville Panthers take the win 23-20 and move on to play the winner of our next upset.

Lufkin Panther fans will tell you that their 35-20 win against Spring DeKaney shouldn't be considered an upset.  Judging by the way the two teams played this year, I may even agree, but you cannot overlook the fact that going into this game, Spring DeKaney was the ALL-TIME WINNINGEST playoff team in Texas high school football history.   In their first and only playoff run last season, DeKaney went all the way to a state title.


Another shocking upset was the Hereford Whitefaces taking down Canyon Randall 34-31.  Hereford entered the game with a 4-6 record while Randall was sitting at 9-1.  Folks doing predictions had Randall as a heavy favorite, but the Whitefaces didn't believe it.  Hereford now moves on to face El Paso Burges.

Brenham (9-1) coach Glen West knew their game against Elgin (6-4) was not going to be an easy one, but that didn't stop most of the fans from picking Brenham to take the win.  Elgin didn't get the memo as they knocked off the Cubs 44-30.  Elgin will next face 8-3 Barbers Hill.


Of all the upsets, this is on the one that seemed most likely to happen.  It wasn't because of anything going wrong for Dallas Highland Park.  DHP is a team that always puts together some great playoff wins.  The Scots took their 9-1 record to Denton to take on 7-3 Frisco.  The reason this was a seen as a potential upset was because of how good Frisco had been playing.  It just seemed like they were due to break out.  The Frisco Panthers let the Scots know early on that they would not roll over and held on to get the win 21-20.  Frisco will face Dallas Samuell in the next round.

Another one that while officially an upset, did not surprise some folks was Wylie (4-6) knocking off Mount Pleasant (8-2.)  Wylie opened the season  0-5 and has managed to be near perfect since.  The 45-21 victory included six Mount Pleasant turnovers.  Next up for Wylie is a Tyler John Tyler team that put up 77 points in their victory over Waxahachie.


4-6 Taylor faced off against 7-3 Waco La Vega in Killeen Friday night and came away with one of the bigger shockers of the weekend.  Taylor took the victory 17-14 in a game that was close throughout.   The Taylor Ducks forced two fourth quarter turnovers which proved too much for the Pirates to overcome.  Taylor will next face a very tough Carthage (9-2) team Friday in Corsicana.

A minor upset in 3A-DI was Houston Stafford knocking off Houston Yates 42-20.  It wasn't so much that they got the win, but how clearly they defeated Yates


Malakoff may have come into their game against Redwater with a better record, but history has not been on their side.  Their 28-22 win over the Redwater Dragons was historical for the Malakoff Tigers.  The win marked the first time in team history that they have had a playoff win in consecutive seasons.  While that doesn't mean a thing to the stronger programs in the state, it is a big deal for a team like Malakoff.  Next up for the Tigers is 10-0 Pottsboro.

All in all, it was a great opening weekend of Texas high school football.  What can we take away from all these upsets?  It is that a "changing of the guard" is taking place as traditional powers are shifting?  Is it that with Texas high school football moving into a new modern era, we are seeing more parity among teams?  It could be all of that or none of it.  What I do know is that each and every week (playoffs included) we are witnessing what he here at Lone Star Gridiron have coined, "the greatest sport in the greatest state" and we are thankful for every snap.

Let's get ready for round two!!

by Chris Doelle
Lone Star Gridiron
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