St. Thomas, Second Baptist, Lamar rally for district titles
Shepherd Drive’s elite quarterbacks faced off once more Nov. 9 at Granger Stadium, adding an exceptional chapter to one of the city’s best rivalries.
St. Thomas’ Peyton Matocha and St. Pius X’s Grant Gunnell did not disappoint, combining for 12 touchdowns. In the end, it was the Eagles boasting the TAPPS Division I District 3 championship for the fifth time in seven years after a 52-49 thriller.
The Eagles (5-5, 4-0) could be considered the underdog entering the game. St. Pius X (8-2, 3-1) had the better record, a state final appearance last fall and more recruiting star power. The Panthers also defeated St. Thomas the last two years, including 56-14 in their last meeting.
None of that deterred St. Thomas, which used a 22-point run to rally from a 21-13 halftime deficit. The Eagles scored on five consecutive possessions to open the second half, while a late field goal by Paul Langemeier and a clutch interception by Dylan Dixon sealed the title.
Matocha powered the Eagles, completing 15-of-29 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. The performance put him over the 3,000-yard mark for the season.
But he was on another level carrying the ball, even compared to his previous work. He rushed for 117 yards and five touchdowns on 21 carries.
“Peyton is the best high school quarterback I have ever seen,” St. Thomas coach Rich McGuire told sths.org. “He doesn’t have the most statistical records, is not the highest rated, doesn’t project to college with the highest ceiling, but he’s the best quarterback on the field I have ever seen. He’s the whole package. That run out of the gate in the second half gave us an immediate jolt. The game-changer. At that point, we knew we could win.”
Joshua Crissmon led St. Thomas with five catches for 157 yards and a key 50-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jordan Augustine added a touchdown reception. Ian Wheeler had a game-high 169 yards on 19 carries.
The Eagles will host Plano John Paul II (4-5) in the first round of the Division I playoffs. St. Pius X hosts Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal (2-7).
Gunnell capped his regular season with 514 yards and five touchdowns, completing 28 of 39 with one pick. He has passed for 4,000 yards entering the playoffs.
Chase Lane (10-196-2), Trenton Waggoner (8-139-2) and Cash Walker (3-86-1) were the Panthers’ leading receivers, while Bruno Forestieri added 122 yards and a score on the ground.
Week 11 included several entertaining games to close the regular season, including Second Baptist’s 28-21 overtime victory against Lutheran South and Lamar’s 45-35 win against Chavez, both clinching undefeated district championships to continue streaks.
Second Baptist earned its sixth straight district title as Josh Johnson rushed for two touchdowns, the latter a 63-yard run late in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 21. Grayson Kim added a clutch fourth-down touchdown reception in the first half.
Anthony Mackenzie scored the go-ahead touchdown from 26 yards away in overtime. The Eagles (9-1, 5-0) sealed the win with an interception.
Second Baptist has not lost a district game since Oct. 9, 2015, falling 49-42 to the Pioneers.
Lamar (7-3, 6-0) extended its district winning streak to a remarkable 61 games, holding off Chavez for sole possession of a ninth consecutive district crown. The Texans have not lost in league play since Oct. 2, 2009, a 17-14 loss to Westside.
Quarterback Troy Tisdale led the offense against the Lobos with 173 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries, with Jaquon Marion adding a touchdown.
But the Texans’ special teams were crucial, as Alex Hogan and Zane Knipe both returned kicks 85 yards for second-half touchdowns. Knipe’s immediately answered a Chavez touchdown that put the Lobos ahead 35-31.
Cameron Hudson (16 tackles), Caleb Giles (14 tackles, forced fumble), Josh Smith (12 tackles), Kobe Jones (12 tackles) and Jalen Emery (6 tackles, INT) led Lamar defensively.
WEEK 11 SCORES
Jersey Village 62, Spring Woods 7
Lamar 45, Chavez 35
Galena Park 68, Wisdom 6
Westside 54, Houston 30
Memorial 44, Northbrook 0
Marshall 60, Madison 2
North Forest 47, Yates 22
Port Arthur Memorial 43, Austin 14
Wharton 63, Scarborough 6
Sweeny 55, Washington 0
La Marque 27, Kashmere 6
Manvel 52, Waltrip 0
Strake Jesuit 35, Alief Taylor 0
Bay Area Christian 41, Lutheran North 14
St. Thomas 52, St. Pius X 49
Second Baptist 28, Lutheran South 21 (OT)
Willowridge 21, Sterling 8
Heights 55, Westbury 0
Furr 41, Wheatley 27
Milby 26, Sharpstown 6
Stafford 40, Worthing 14
Emery/Weiner 50, Faith West 30
Kinkaid 41, Episcopal 21
St. Thomas (5-5) vs. Plano John Paul II (4-5), TBA
St. Pius X (8-2) vs. Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal (2-7), TBA
Second Baptist (9-1) vs. Brownsville St. Joseph (2-7), 7 p.m., Nov. 16, Eagle Stadium
Lutheran North (2-8) vs. Geneva School of Boerne (7-3), TBA
Six-Man Division I
Emery/Weiner (9-1) vs. Dallas Lakehill Prep (5-4), TBA
Class 6A Division I
Jersey Village (9-1) vs. Chavez (6-4), 7 p.m., Nov. 16, Pridgeon Stadium
Lamar (7-3) vs. Cy-Fair (8-2), 7 p.m., Nov. 16, Delmar Stadium
Class 6A Division II
Westside (5-5) vs. Cypress Falls (8-2), 1 p.m., Nov. 17, Pridgeon Stadium
Heights (4-6) vs. Cypress Creek (5-5), 1 p.m., Nov. 17, Delmar Stadium
Strake Jesuit (9-1) vs. Clear Brook (3-7), 7 p.m., Nov. 16, Clay Stadium
Class 4A Division I
Wheatley (7-2) vs. Lumberton (5-5), 7 p.m., Nov. 15, Stallworth Stadium
Class 4A Division II
Washington (2-8) vs. Giddings (9-1), 7:30 p.m., Nov. 15, Giddings