Cedar Ridge Uses Late Surge To Stay In Playoff Race
UIL 13-6A has been one of the state's most unpredictable football districts in 2019, so Friday's Week 10 matchup between Round Rock Cedar Ridge (5-4, 4-3) and McNeil (3-6, 2-5) recorded an important result for the playoff race. The home Raiders ultimately inched closer to a postseason berth with a 38-21 win at Round Rock ISD's Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. It was their third victory in the last four games.
VYPE Player of the Game DJ Rountree kicked off his three-touchdown performance when he caught a 62-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Brown at the 8:59 mark of the opening quarter.
"We try to come in here and play our best," said Rountree. "We knew what we had to do, so come out here and execute."
The Raiders were off to a good start, but didn't start pulling away until the second quarter. Its 10-point period featured a Gavin Baudek 27-yard field goal and another Brown-to-Rountree touchdown connection that resulted in a 17-0 halftime advantage.
Cedar Ridge's lead was expanded to a 24-point edge when Deuce Vaughn scored a 63-yard rushing touchdown at the 3:30 mark of the third quarter, but McNeil answered with a Blake Henke 34-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds left in the period to make it a 24-7 game.
The start of the fourth quarter was more of the same, as Cedar Ridge expanded its lead to 31 with Jack Turner's 28-yard touchdown pass to Rountree and Brown's five-yard touchdown run.
McNeil also found late game success, but didn't have enough time to erase the entire deficit and keep its playoff chances alive. The noise that the Mavericks made came from Henke's 63-yard touchdown run, Mekhai Coleman's second fumble recovery of the game, and Henke's 22-yard touchdown pass to Sakiusa Tikoikosov in the fourth quarter.
A week remains in the 2019 Texas high school football regular season, but most of the 13-6A playoff race hasn't been decided. That's because Cedar Park Vista Ridge (7-2, 5-2) and Round Rock Stony Point (7-2, 5-2) are tied for second in the current district standings, and Round Rock (6-3, 4-3) and Round Rock Cedar Ridge (5-4, 4-3) are holding a one game lead over Round Rock Westwood (4-5, 3-4) in the race for the district's final playoff spot. The only thing that's certain is Austin Vandegrift's (9-0, 7-0) 13-6A title.
The 13-6A playoff teams and positions will be finalized by Vista Ridge at Round Rock on Thursday November 7th, and both Cedar Ridge at Westwood and Stony Point at Vandegrift on Friday November 8th, so keep an eye on the Week 11 matchups. The eventual representatives will play 14-6A teams in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
"Not take 'em lightly," Brown said of Westwood in the upcoming regular season finale. "They're a good team over there. Stay sharp on offense and stay lockdown on defense, and get a big win next week too."
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