POSTSEASON TOP PERFORMERS
Defeating Manor on Saturday would send Timberwolves to their first state title game.
The top playoff performances in Central Texas high school football this season, as reported to the American-Statesman. Submit additions or corrections to James Wangemann (512-445-3659, firstname.lastname@example.org).
81 Derek Kiser to Cameron Langley
79 Reed Carlton to Scott Butler
Fort Worth Nolan
76 Reed Carlton St. Michael’s to Matt Vondrak
St. Michael’s Te’Rel Simmons
80 Seth Lozano Lago Vista
George West 75 Stedman Mayberry Ridge
5 Caleb Kimbro
4 Chris Johnson
4 Jake Hubenak Georgetown
4 Justin Pelt
CC Flour Bluff
49 Colin McGuire
48 Michael Barden
42 Michael Barden Westlake
Westlake 252 Caleb Woodward
221 S. Butler St. Michael’s
Plano Prestonwood 219 Nate Grimm Cedar Park
Kerrville Tivy 218 Reed Carlton St. Michael’s
Dallas Bishop Dunne
313 Jake Hubenak Georgetown
Summer Creek 302 Chris Johnson
Huntsville 289 Riley Schaefer
Thorndale 281 Caleb Kimbo
166 R. Knightner Georgetown
Summer Creek 165 Austin Weston Georgetown
Magnolia West 153 Ethan Fry Cedar Park
60 Brandon Boone Georgetown
40 Tevin Smith
40 Preston Oliver
Bowie 100 E. McDonald
90 Seth Barker
75 Da’Trean Simmons
49 W. Drewett St. Michael’s
Dallas Bishop Dunne
44 Richard Robinson
35 John Dodd
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Willis gathered his team together in April to explain the importance of 12/21/12.
That is the date of the Class 4A state championship game, which will be played at Cowboys Stadium. That combination of numbers also represents the end of the Mayan calendar.
“If it’s really the end of the world, as some people think, I want to see it on the big screen,” the Cedar Park head coach said Monday afternoon.
Willis had just been named interim coach after Chris Ross resigned to become the district’s athletic director.
“I don’t know if it’s something I just made up or I heard it somewhere,” Willis said, speaking about the Mayan apocalypse.
To the coach’s credit, Dec. 21 really is the end of the world on the Mayan calendar. NASA is struggling to assure many believers that the date will not be marked by volcano eruptions, meteor strikes or any other natural disaster that could destroy the planet.
If Cedar Park takes care of business by defeating Manor in a 4A Division II semifinal on Saturday, the Timberwolves would have an opportunity to win their first state title.
With the exception of unbeaten Georgetown, no Central Texas football team is playing better than Cedar Park. The Wolves have outscored their last five opponents 204-57, including a 32-7 demolition of previously unbeaten San Antonio Brennan on Friday at the Alamodome.
Cedar Park received offensive support from its usual cast of characters — quarterback Nate Grimm, running back Nathan Harwell, receiver Ethan Fry and tackle Austin Hisler — but also was boosted by junior running back Thomas Middleton, who sliced through Brennan for 99 yards.
Middleton had missed much of the season with an injury but is beginning to show the form than enabled him to contribute 702 yards and 12 touchdowns last year.
Although Willis is in his first season as head coach, he has been on Cedar Park’s staff since 2006. Speaking of experience, co-offensive coordinators Michael Quintero and Brent Brittain and co-defensive coordinators Carl Abseck and Tim Smith have a combined 37 years coaching the Wolves.
Unless the world comes to an end, look for Cedar Park to be at Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 21. Live and on the big screen.
Two teams to salute for their playoff runs are Rouse and Manor, which combined for a 13-7 regular season. Rouse didn’t qualify for the playoffs until the final game, a convincing 35-10 victory over a solid Vista Ridge team.
Coach Joshua Mann’s team has made a meteoric rise from its 0-10 record in 2010, its first varsity season. With a 2-7-1 record in 2011, there was no reason to believe the Raiders would make the 4A state semifinals in just their third season.
As for Manor, after losing three games in September, coach Sadd Jackson’s team has come together the past two months. With quarterback Chris Johnson passing for 2,000 yards and running back Tyrone Owens averaging 9 yards a carry in the playoffs, the Mustangs shocked previously unbeaten Fort Bend Marshall 26-20 on Saturday.
It would take another upset victory — this time over Cedar Park — for Manor to reach the state championship game. After beating Marshall, the Mustangs will head into Saturday’s semis brimming with confidence.