One week. Two spots. Three teams.
Those are the stakes in District 19-6A heading into the final week of the Texas high school football regular season. Only Katy High and Tompkins have secured playoff spots. They will represent 19-6A in the Class 6A, Division I bracket.
Mayde Creek, Morton Ranch and Taylor are all vying for one of the last two spots. Here’s how it breaks down:
Mayde Creek holds inside positioning with a 3-2 record in district play and a win head-to-head against Taylor, which is also 3-2. Taylor can clinch a playoff spot with a win in its finale against Katy on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Legacy Stadium.
If Taylor loses, the Mustangs need help to get in.
Mayde Creek and Morton Ranch face each other in their respective district finales on Friday, Nov. 8, at Legacy Stadium. Mayde Creek clinches the No. 3 district seed with a win, which would also put Taylor in the No. 4 spot.
Morton Ranch coach Ron Counter said a win by Morton Ranch would set up a three-way tie for the last two spots, at which point the tiebreaker is point differential in head-to-head matchups.
According to Counter, a Morton Ranch win by four points or more against Mayde Creek would give the Mavericks a plus-one differential and the No. 3 seed in district, with Mayde Creek then qualifying as the fourth and final playoff team because the Rams beat Taylor head-to-head. If Morton Ranch wins by three points or less, then Mayde Creek is the No. 3 team and Taylor qualifies as the fourth seed, because the Mustangs beat the Mavericks head-to-head.
The only way Mayde Creek does not get into the playoffs is if Taylor beats Katy and Morton Ranch beats the Rams.
In simpler terms: Mayde Creek and Taylor have the best odds of getting in, though Morton Ranch is in control of its own destiny. Sort of.
Gotta love this time of year.
Here’s what else is looming in Week 11.
Taylor (5-4, 3-2 19-6A) at Katy (9-0, 5-0)
Thursday, Nov. 7, at Legacy Stadium, 6 p.m.
Taylor is coming off a bye but has lost two consecutive district games since starting 19-6A play, 3-0. Katy beat Mayde Creek last week, 47-0, to clinch at least a share of the district championship. … With a win, the Tigers can secure their 11th consecutive undefeated district title. … Katy is the district’s top offense (45.7 points on 436.7 yards per game) and top defense (8.3 points allowed on 163 yards per game). … Taylor has the second-best passing game, statistically, in the district. The Mustangs are led by junior QB J. Jensen III, who has thrown for 1,164 yards and 10 touchdowns, and senior WR Griffin Dougherty, who has caught 33 balls for 514 yards and three TDs. … Two of the four best running backs in the district share the field in this one: Katy senior Ron Hoff leads the district with 1,289 yards to go with 16 TDs. Taylor junior Casey Shorter has 964 yards and 11 TDs. … Taylor leads the district in takeaways with 22: 12 interceptions and 10 fumbles recovered. Senior Braden Hay has four interceptions, and seniors Lee Davis and Cecil Ivey have three each. … Katy has just 10 giveaways. … Taylor senior Patrick Talbot is second in the district in punting, averaging 35.7 yards per punt. … The Mustangs are aiming for the fifth playoff appearance in six seasons. … Katy has two of the top five receivers in the district in senior Jordan Patrick (27 catches, 598 yards, five TDs) and senior Steven Stiles (25, 348, 5).
Mayde Creek (7-2, 3-2) at Morton Ranch (5-4, 2-3)
Friday, Nov. 8, at Legacy Stadium, 6:30 p.m.
Mayde Creek lost to Katy, 47-0, last week. Morton Ranch beat Seven Lakes, 10-7, to keep its playoff hopes alive. … Mayde Creek was without its two best playmakers last week, as senior WR/RB Daniel Huery and junior QB/WR Donte Jones missed the Katy game with injuries. However, those injuries are not believed to be serious, and they are likely to return to the field this week. … Rams junior RB Julius Loughridge is second in the district in rushing with 1,095 yards to go with 10 touchdowns. … Mayde Creek is tied with Taylor in the district lead in fumble recoveries with 10. The Rams have forced 16. Juniors Gequan Faucette (DL) and Tremaine Armour (LB) have two fumble recoveries each. Senior Jesse Jones (DL) has three fumbles caused. … Though the Rams have 12 fumbles, they have only four lost, a district-low. … Senior JaCoby Wilson ranks third in the district in kickoff returns with 250 yards on eight returns, an average of 31.3 yards per return. … Morton Ranch ranks next-to-last in the district in offense but third in defense. The Mavericks give up just 19.4 points on 252.1 yards per game. … Mavs senior DL Brandon Brown averages 6.8 tackles per game and has 10 tackles for a loss to go with seven sacks and two fumbles caused. … Morton Ranch has 12 takeaways this season: six interceptions and six fumble recoveries. … Senior WR Josh Gaton ranks third in the district in receiving with 494 yards and seven TDs on 30 catches.
Cinco Ranch (0-9, 0-5) at Seven Lakes (3-6, 0-5)
Friday, Nov. 8, at Rhodes Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Cinco Ranch fell to Tompkins last week, 58-0. Seven Lakes lost to Morton Ranch, 10-7. … For the Cougars, this is the last chance to get a win for head coach Chris Dudley in his first year at the helm. For Seven Lakes, it’s a chance to get its first district win. … These are two worst defenses, statistically, in the district. … Seven Lakes lost two of its best playmakers, receiver Jaden Embra and linebacker Parker Jones, to season-ending injuries in its district opener against Tompkins on Sept. 27. … Cinco Ranch is fielding its youngest team since it started varsity football in 2000. The Cougars have 26 juniors and sophomores, and start six sophomores. … Cinco Ranch sophomore LB Kasey Murry is averaging 7.5 tackles per game to go with 5.0 sacks. … Seven Lakes junior RB Milton Jones ranks sixth in the district in rushing with 771 yards and 10 TDs. … Junior QB Cristian Beltran ranks third in the district in passing, completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,117 yards and seven TDs to seven INTs. … Seven Lakes senior WR Eric Johnson leads all of Katy ISD with 38 catches, averaging 15.1 yards per catch.
Paetow (8-1, 5-1 10-5A, D2) at Lamar Consolidated (7-2, 4-2)
Friday, Nov. 8, at Traylor Stadium
Paetow rallied from a 28-7 third-quarter deficit last week to beat Montgomery, 34-0. Lamar Consolidated beat Cleveland, 41-8. … Paetow’s only loss this season has come to eventual district champ A&M Consolidated. … Paetow ranks first in the district in defense (16.2 points on 222.8 yards per game) and second in offense (44.6 points on 421.7 yards per game). … Paetow senior RB Jonathan Jolly leads all rushers in the district with 1,220 yards and 13 TDs. Junior RB Damon Bankston is 38 yards away from the 1,000-yard rushing mark. … Bankston also leads the district in kickoff returns with 314 yards on eight, an average of 39.3 yards per return. Two of those eight returns have been for touchdowns. … Sophomore QB Channing Dumas Jr. has thrown for 21 TDs to three INTs. … Senior WR Johnathan Baker has caught 28 passes for 479 yards and 13 TDs. Baker is averaging 17.1 yards per catch. … Paetow has 20 takeaways this season: nine interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries. The Panthers only have eight giveaways for a plus-12 turnover margin. … Paetow senior LB DJ Mourning averages 6.8 tackles per game with seven tackles for a loss, six sacks, three fumble recoveries, one interception and one fumble caused. … Lamar Consolidated ranks third in the district in offense and fourth in defense. … Lamar Consolidated has 23 takeaways this season. … The top three running backs will be on the field. Jolly ranks first, Bankston ranks third, and Lamar Consolidated senior Taye McWilliams ranks second with 1,133 yards and 15 TDs. … Lamar Consolidated junior Darrin Bankston leads the district with three INTs.