TAPPS Division I Preview: St. Thomas riding "Price is Wright" combo into playoffs
The TAPPS Division I playoffs push into the Regional Round this week as four teams will vie for a spot in the State Semifinals next weekend.
Here is VYPE's preview of the TAPPS Division I showdown off St. Thomas vs Bishop Lynch.
St. Thomas opens the 2021 Texas high school football playoffs on Saturday as they face Bishop Lynch at 5 p.m. The Eagles enter this game at 8-2 overall, while the Friars are 5-6. This is the 7th meeting in playoffs between these two since 2011.
St. Thomas is riding a four-game winning streak, while Bishop Lynch is has won two of their last three, including a 30-7 TAPPS Division I Area Playoff victory over Concordia Lutheran.
St. Thomas offense is riding high going into the playoffs with 381 points for and having had only 180 points scored against them. The offense is fueled by quarterback Jake Wright, who has passed for 3,326 yards (which ranks 6th overall in Texas) and 38 touchdowns and only one interception. Wright has completed an impressive 72 percent of his passes. His top target has been Cameron Price, who has reeled in 72 grabs for 1,317 yards and 14 scores.
The "Price is Wright" combo has been electric for St. Thomas all season and should continue into the postseason.
You heard them... Me and my boy @wright7jake the dynamic duo, both #1 in Texas@CoachMcGuire16 @Coach_SweetFeet pic.twitter.com/ekoZHdwYsD
— Cameron Price (@cameronnprice) November 2, 2021
But Price is not the only weapon on offense. Rumbling out of the backfield has been Johann Cardenas, who is a load to bring down. Cardenas has led the team in rushing with 891 yards and eight scores and could past 1,000 yards for his season this weekend. He is also a threat out of the backfield catching the ball with 35 grabs for 544 yards and six scores.
Along with Price and Cardenas, Wright spreads the wealth. Joe Madden has 10 catches for 496 yards and nine touchdowns and Samuel Mahlberg has 250 yards and three scores on 16 grabs.
Defensively for the Eagles, Zach Rocha has led the way with 99 tackles and 14 tackles for loss. Tegan Spencer is right behind him with 83 tackles for the year. Charles Batterson has 2 ½ sacks as well up front, while Jackson Ward has patrolled the secondary with three interceptions.
Bishop Lynch's offense has been guided by Cooper Alford at quarterback. Alford has passed for 726 yards and seven scores this season with seven picks a well. Isaiah Schmidtke is the one that gets the unit going with the run game as he has busted off six 100-yard-plus performances this season. He has 1,239 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year.
PREDICTION: On paper, this game leans toward St. Thomas and I will also. Jake Wright and the Eagles' offense has been explosive all year long and they will continue that on Saturday as they get their first playoff win over Bishop Lynch since 2019. With a win, a date most likely with Parish Episcopal (9-1) awaits the Eagles in the State Semifinals next week.