Welcome to the fifth edition of the free KSAT 12 Big Game Coverage Newsletter. If you are interested in a wrap-up of the biggest local high school football scores, highlights, players and teams, you can sign up for the biweekly newsletter for free right here.
With the first two weeks of the 2021 high school football season in the books, the balance of power across the Alamo City is coming into focus. Week 2 of KSAT 12′s Big Game Coverage (BGC) showcased teams establishing their identities ahead of district play, and there are plenty of surprises in the current list of undefeated teams!
First, let’s highlight the biggest moments from the week that was in Week 2′s Best of BGC.
Week 2′s results have shifted the landscape of KSAT 12′s Top 12 once again. Two new teams made the cut this week, and there’s been some shuffling at the top of the rankings. Find out who’s in and who’s out heading into Week 3!
Just like Week 1, Week 2 featured some dramatic finishes, as a number of games were decided by a single possession. Here’s an in-depth look at three of the best in our weekly segment Three Deep.
STEELE VS. REAGAN
KSAT 12′s Game of the Week for Week 2 certainly lived up to the billing as a showdown between top-tier defenses and offenses devoted to smash-mouth football.
Reagan (0-2) controlled the pace of play for the majority of the first half and led 6-0 thanks to a pair of field goals from kicker Matt Velasco, but Steele (2-0) converted on a pair of explosive offensive plays to turn the tide. Quarterback Connor Vincent outran the defense for a 15-yard score with only 28 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Knights a 7-6 lead at the break. Vincent struck again early in the third quarter, finding TeShaun Singleton on a crossing route over the middle for a 24-yard touchdown. Those proved to be the final points of a hard-fought 14-6 victory.
Key turnovers helped the Knights defense stifle the Rattlers’ offense for the remainder of regulation. Dante Payton and Daveon Hook each recovered fumbles in crucial situations. This marks the second straight week Steele has pitched a shutout in the second half.
SOUTHSIDE VS. SOMERSET
It’s rare in today’s modern game to see a 10-6 final score and think of it as one of the best games of the week, but Somerset’s defensive gem in the Battle of 1604 on Friday night absolutely qualifies.
The Bulldogs (2-0) stymied a high-octane Cardinals (1-1) offense all night long. Southside quarterback Richard Torres threw for eight touchdowns in a Week 1 victory over Brownsville Lopez, but Somerset held the Nebraska commit to just 163 yards passing with two interceptions.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs committed to a ground-and-pound style of offense, racking up 116 yards on the ground. Running back Jacob Alcorta accounted for 88 of those yards and gave Somerset a 7-0 lead at halftime with a six-yard touchdown in the dying seconds of the second quarter.
The drama ramped up midway through the fourth quarter, as Torres finally found the endzone on an elusive three-yard scamper. Southside elected to go for two instead of kicking the extra point, and a controversial ruling on a forward fumble erased an apparent conversion. With their lead cut down to a single point, Somerset answered with a massive kickoff return to set up Justin Valenzuela for a 32-yard field goal and a 10-6 lead. Senior Josh Corn secured one last fumble recovery, and the Bulldogs earned a statement victory for head coach Koy Detmer by grinding out a pair of first downs.
VETERANS MEMORIAL VS. TAFT
While Somerset High School relished in the afterglow of a masterful defensive performance, Farris Stadium was treated to a breathtaking offensive showcase on Saturday night between Taft and Veterans Memorial.
The Raiders (2-0) and Patriots (1-1) combined to score a whopping 11 total touchdowns, and the game wasn’t decided until the late stages of the fourth quarter. Veterans Memorial quarterback Alex Alva completed 10 of 13 passes for 161 yards and four touchdowns to complement an effective ground game. Running back JC Solitaire led the way with 122 yards and a score, as the Patriots rushed for 255 total yards.
Unfortunately, Taft’s rushing attack was just better. The Raiders dominated on the ground with 481 combined rushing yards, highlighted by TJ Andrews’ 315-yard effort. Andrews accounted for a pair of touchdowns on his own, including the eventual game-winning six-yard score with just over two minutes left in regulation. Dual-threat QB Justice Hurt provided the rest of the offensive firepower, rushing for 107 yards and accounting for four total touchdowns in a 42-35 win.
Time for some expert analysis!
You have to give the Judson Rockets credit for scheduling one of the most difficult non-district schedules in all of high school football. After beating DeSoto last week 35-28, Judson took on the No. 7 team in the state: Lake Travis in Austin. This time, no victory. The Rockets fumbled the ball twice, gave up a pick-six and allowed a kickoff return for another TD. This week they will face A&M Consolidated in San Marcos at Texas State’s Bobcat Stadium before starting district play next week.
The McCollum Cowboys have started off their season undefeated at 2-0. The Cowboys shutout South San 26-0 to open the season and followed that up with a 65-13 route of Austin Navarro to score a total of 91 points in their first two games.
The Somerset Bulldogs have surprised a lot of folks by opening their season at 2-0. They followed up a 36-22 comeback victory against Brackenridge in Week 1 by stunning Southside 10-6 in one of the greatest defensive efforts ever. They held Cardinals QB Richard Torres, a Nebraska commit, to just 163 yards passing. It was a special victory for head coach Koy Detmer, who has taken over the Bulldogs from his late father Sonny Detmer. McCollum and Somerset will meet in Week 3, and this matchup will be the “Big Game” in our Big Game Coverage next Friday night.
A tip of the hat to the Kennedy Rockets who have opened their season at 2-0 by routing two teams from Austin. They won 50-0 against Navarro and 55-6 against Hyde Park. This week, they open district play by hosting Burbank.
Seguin edge rusher Ian Box is the real deal. The Matadors move him from side-to-side to take advantage of his pass-rushing skills. Against New Braunfels, Box bull-rushed one of the Unicorns tackles and knocked him over. At 6-foot-3, 240 lbs, the best way to slow him down is to double-team him. Box is verbally committed to Lamar University.
The Unicorns have a great three-headed attack in running back Ryker Purdy, quarterback Aiden Baumann and receiver Landon Marsh. For the second straight week, they were making plays all over the field and factored heavily in the Unicorns 35-15 win to improve to 2-0.
One of the best plays I’ve seen in the first two weeks happened in the Goliad-Marion game. Marion defensive back Dominic Castellanos delivered a big hit, causing Goliad’s running back to fumble, which was recovered by Marion defensive back Bryce Gonyer. That turnover led to a Marion touchdown to help them win 44-26 and remain undefeated at 2-0.
The poise and athleticism Holmes quarterback Christopher Medelez displayed on Saturday night in a dramatic 35-34 victory over San Marcos was incredible to watch. The ball flew like a dart into his receivers’ hands, and he dazzled with elusive runs. Medelez’s 48-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was certainly highlight worthy, but one of the most impressive plays came midway through the second quarter.
Trailing 14-7, the Huskies lined up to go for it on fourth down. Medelez made that crucial situation feel like a routine play. As soon as the ball was snapped, he calmly surveyed the field and gunned it over the middle to Ernie Solis for a first down. A few plays later, Medelez capped the drive with his second touchdown run. He finished with four total TDs on a banner night for the Huskies, who are undefeated through the first two weeks of a season for the first time this decade.
One more shoutout: JJ Morales was impressive in the first half of Pleasanton’s game against Antonian on Friday night. The senior safety dazzled with two crucial interceptions. The first erased an early Apache threat, and the second set up the game’s first touchdown. Pleasanton might have lost the game 19-17, but it looks like Morales and their defense will be a force for the remainder of the season.
Watch Big Game Coverage Preview show Thursday at 4 p.m.
Greg Simmons and Larry Ramirez will get you set up for Week 3 of the high school football season with our weekly Big Game Coverage Preview show, featuring breakdowns of KSAT 12′s Game of the Week and some of the biggest matchups to watch. This week, we are moving the start of the show back one hour to 4 p.m., where it will remain for the rest of the season. See you then!
Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter
If you have any questions about this newsletter or story ideas for the season ahead, feel free to reach me via email at email@example.com.