We’ve reached the final week of the 2021 high school football regular season! After two-and-a-half months of hard-fought battles on the gridiron, teams from around the San Antonio area take the field in Week 11 of KSAT 12′s Big Game Coverage (BGC) looking to either clinch district titles or secure playoff positioning. There is a lot of the line, especially in a pair of Top 12 matchups at Farris Stadium and Lehnhoff Stadium.
As always, the KSAT 12 sports team breaks down all of the matchups and scenarios on the Big Game Coverage Preview show.
Instant Replay producer Daniel P. Villanueva gets Sports Director Greg Simmons and Anchor Larry Ramirez together in studio every Thursday to discuss the week’s matchups, 12′s Top 12 rankings and which players stand out from the rest. The two break down Thursday night’s showdown between Brennan and Marshall, and discuss some of the biggest surprises heading into the playoffs!
A battle for the District 27-6A title is our Game of the Week:
NO. 5 SMITHSON VALLEY VS. NO. 2 STEELE
These two teams have been on a collision course since the early stages of the season, and both squads feature strong running games, dominant defenses and explosive passing attacks.
Steele (9-0, 6-0) is one of the last remaining undefeated teams in the San Antonio area. The Knights have survived multiple upset bids throughout the season, including last week’s 35-30 victory over Judson and a 35-21 win over New Braunfels in Week 7. They also rallied from a 6-0 deficit against Reagan all the way back in Week 2, so Steele has been battle-tested throughout the year. Quarterback Connor Vincent has had a consistent presence in the Knights’ dynamic offense, completing 63% of his passes for more than 1,100 yards and 10 TDs. He’s also proven elusive in crunch time outside of the pocket. Running backs Jaydon Bailey and Teshaun Singleton headline a powerful running game that has punished defenses all season long, while wide receivers Edmarrion Contreras and Joe Perez rack up catches on the outside.
Smithson Valley (8-1, 5-1) will do their best to slow down that stacked offense with an impressive defense and a solid running game. Outside of Week 9′s 33-32 loss to Judson, the Rangers have held their district opponents to just 47 points over the course of five games, and the margin of victory in those contests was roughly 31.8 points per game. Running backs Travis McCracken and Malachi Lane are still the bedrock of Smithson Valley’s offense, posting more than 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns combined. Meanwhile, quarterback Derek Mata has returned to the lineup in recent weeks, bolstering their passing attack. Wide receiver Dylan Domel has been the Rangers’ top target, racking up nearly 18 yards per catch for 7 TDs.
Over the course of the past seven seasons, Steele owns a 5-2 record in head-to-head match-ups against Smithson Valley and has won their last two meetings. Last year, the Knights defeated the Rangers 14-10 in an evenly-matched affair that wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter.
Will we see a repeat in 2021? Or will Smithson Valley hand the Knights their first loss? Kickoff at Lehnhoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday.
Of course, that’s not the only district title up for grabs this week. Brennan, the top team in KSAT 12′s Top 12, will take on No. 6 Marshall Thursday night at Farris Stadium. Both offenses are rolling heading into the matchup, with the Bears averaging 48 points per game and the Rams posting 35 ppg. We’ll have highlights from this one tonight on the Nightbeat!
You also don’t want to miss the KSAT 12/Texas Sports Productions Game of the Week on Friday night between Central Catholic and Antonian! To hear from both teams ahead of the matchup, click here. Kickoff at Ferrara Stadium is set for 7 p.m. Stream it live that night on KSAT.com, on the BGC App or watch on our 12.2 digital channel!
Sports anchor Larry Ramirez returns this week and hits the road alongside photographer Eddie Latigo. The pair are heading back to Carrizo Springs for the only game of this week’s road trip!
- Hondo (4-4, 3-1) vs. Carrizo Springs (9-0, 4-0) - The Owls have won all three of their previous meetings against the Wildcats in each of the last three seasons. They outscored Carrizo Springs in those games by a combined margin of 138-21.
Be sure to keep up with the latest information by visiting our Scores & Schedules page! That includes every game’s date, kickoff time and location. It will be updated with live scores throughout the night so you can track every game in progress.
What do Greg and Larry think heading into Week 11?
This has got to be one of the best weekends of high school football ever, starting Thursday with No. 6 Marshall vs. No. 1 Brennan according to 12′s top 12. The Rams are 8-1, 6-1 in District 28-6A, while the Bears are 9-0, 7-0. If Brennan wins, they capture the district title outright. A Rams victory clinches a share of the title.
The “Big Game” in our Big Game Coverage this Friday night has No. 2 Steele hosting No. 5 Smithson Valley. This is for the District 27-6A title on Friday night at Lehnhoff Stadium. The Rangers are 8-1, 5-1, with their only loss is to Judson. The Knights are 9-0, 6-0 and looking for their first undefeated regular season since 2015.
And in District 13-5A Division I, we will have to wait until Saturday to see how that district and the playoff positioning plays out. Highlands has a shot at the title but will have to beat Brackenridge on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Alamo Stadium. That’s after Lanier faces Burbank Thursday at the Rock Pile. Highlands, Lanier and Brackenridge are all 5-2 in district. The Voks have already clinched a playoff spot. It all boils down to six teams going for the remaining three playoff spots, including the Kennedy Rockets.
There’s a lot on the line when the Hondo Owls (4-4, 3-1) visit the Carrizo Springs Wildcats (9-0, 4-0) Friday night, and that’s why it’s the only game on the BGC Road Trip. Carrizo Springs sits in first place in District 15-4A-II. If they beat Hondo, the Wildcats will claim their first district championship since 1997. If they lose, the Cats will either finish as co-champs with Hondo, or tri-champs depending on the outcome between Devine (7-2, 3-1) and Crystal City (1-8, 1-3). With their first winning campaign since 1998 wrapped up, Carrizo Springs is also seeking its first perfect regular season dating back to 1984. Hondo, the defending champion of District 15-4A-II, wants to ruin the Wildcats night and a shot at history.
The UIL volleyball playoffs got off to an incredible start this week, and one of the best matches of the year came on Tuesday night as Madison upended Smithson Valley in the Bi-District round. The Mavs trailed by seven points late in the fourth set, but flipped a switch defensively that allowed them to rally and win in five, 25-23, 15-25, 16-25, 25-22, 15-10. Senior Dallasstar Johnson led the way with 11 kills, 25 digs and 4.5 blocks, while fellow senior Rylee Davis dished out a team-high 27 assists.
“For the first couple of sets, we were kind of off because we were used to other peoples’ hitting, like Brandeis and Reagan,” Davis explained. “They usually hit a little bit different, and our block was a little bit early or late. After awhile, we picked it up, our blocks perfectly came together and held it in for us all.”
“I think we just came together as team and fought to the end.” Johnson said. “We didn’t give up just because they were ahead. We just pushed and pushed until we had nothing left to give.”
Madison now travels to Dripping Springs High School to take on Round Rock Westwood in the Area round. That match starts Friday at 7 p.m. To catch all the highlights from Madison comeback victory, Reagan’s sweep of Steele, Burbank’s win over Floresville and Pleasanton’s victory over Boerne, click the link below!
The UIL cross country state championships get underway this weekend, and the Lytle Pirates will take the course in Round Rock for both the boys and girls Class 3A races for the first time in program history! They’re one of many teams to watch this weekend. 1A, 3A and 5A teams compete at Old Settlers Park on Friday starting at 8:30 a.m., while 2A, 4A and 6A teams take the course on Saturday.
Congratulations also go out to the Central Catholic boys (6A), Antonian girls (6A) and TMI boys (5A) cross country teams on bringing TAPPS team state titles back to San Antonio! Antonian senior Benjamin Tijerina took home the individual crown in the 6A boys race in 16:14.4, while TMI’s Marcelo and Franco Parra finished 1-2 in the 5A race. Click here to check out all of the results from the TAPPS competition!
Watch Instant Replay on KSAT 12 Sunday nights at 11
Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter