FRIDAY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Seven Lakes sends Katy to D2; Dickinson wins 24-6A; Manvel upends Paetow
Seven Lakes' District 19-6A game against Mayde Creek on Friday night was not only consequential locally but held statewide ramifications as well.
The Spartans secured a third playoff berth in four years with the 50-10 demonstrative win at Legacy Stadium, but the result also meant defending Class 6A-Division II state champ Katy will be in the DII bracket of the 6A playoffs once again.
But don't bother bringing that up to Seven Lakes.
"We couldn't care less about any of that," said senior captain and linebacker Scott Stanford, who led a defense that produced four takeaways. "We just want to be in. That's all we care about."
Seven Lakes is 6-3 overall, 3-2 in 19-6A. The six wins are the Spartans' most since 2018, and just the fourth time they have won at least six games in a season since starting varsity play in 2006.
The Spartans are set to play Ridge Point in the first round of the playoffs for the third time since 2018. Head coach Jimmy Hamon was formerly the defensive coordinator at Ridge Point.
Seven Lakes lost 14-10 to the Panthers in 2018 and 56-20 last season.
"The difference is we're not just happy to be there," Hamon said. "We know what it feels like to get into the playoffs, but we don't know what it feels like to win. We're hungry to do something we haven't done in school history, and that's to win a playoff game. Getting there just isn't good enough."
Against Mayde Creek (2-7, 0-5 19-6A), the Spartans relied offensively on sophomore running back Barrett Hudson (102 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries) and senior quarterback Grayson Medford (4-of-9 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns; 40 yards and a touchdown on eight carries).
Defensively, Seven Lakes held the Rams to 220 total yards.
"We have 57 seniors on this team," Stanford said. "We knew we'd have a lot of leadership on this team. We have good chemistry. We execute. This is our first year where we didn't have to win our last game of the season to get in. Now we can focus on staying healthy and Ridge Point."
DICKINSON 35, CLEAR SPRINGS 24: Dickinson improved to 5-0 in district play to remain the only unbeaten team in 24-6A and secure the District 24-6A championship.
"We weren't playing real well," Dickinson coach John Snelson said. "The defense was playing well, but offensively we were turning the ball over, missing some assignments. Some of that was due to Clear Springs playing hard and well. We stayed the course. These guys were resilient and believed in each other. They didn't panic."
Senior quarterback Luke Martin threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more. "When he was good, he was really, really good," Snelson said. "But he missed some receivers, had a couple interceptions, fumbled the ball one time. But he's our leader. Our team believes in him. They kept picking him up and he got the job done in the end."
Dickinson last won district in 2019. The Gators are 7-2 overall.
"It was hard to get a team feeling last year, and a bunch of that was my fault. I did not do a good job leading last year's team," Snelson said. "In January, we focused on being our best selves individually so we can be our best self as a team. We have kids that play hard for each other."
Snelson praised the selflessness of star senior Donovan Green, the No. 1 tight end of the country. He also commended senior halfback Micah Barnett, who moved to the backfield out of team need after playing on the O-line earlier this season, and a strong offensive line of senior left tackle PJ Williams, senior left guard Josiah Mason, junior center Evan Wiltz, senior right guard Michael Bimage and junior right tackle Ryley Hall.
Clear Springs, the defending 24-6A champion, fell to 3-2 in district, 5-4 overall, and will fall short of a fifth district title in six years.
SHADOW CREEK 34, PEARLAND 27: The Sharks claimed at least a share of their first Class 6A district title by snapping the Oilers' six-game winning streak in Pearland and extending their own win streak to seven. It is Shadow Creek's third district title overall in four varsity seasons. The Sharks improved to 6-0 in District 23-6A, 7-2 overall. The Oilers fell to 5-1, 6-3.
MANVEL 33, PAETOW 28: The Mavericks intercepted Paetow with less than a minute left in the game to create a three-way tie for first place in District 10-5A, Division I, with a week left and hand the Panthers their first loss of the season. Manvel, Paetow, and Hightower are all 6-1 in district, with Manvel beating Paetow and Paetow beating Hightower. Manvel is 7-2 overall, while Paetow dropped to 8-1 overall. Paetow entered boasting one of the widest margin of victories in the state, 441-55; a point differential of 48.2.
MAGNOLIA WEST 31, NEW CANEY 24: The Mustangs stayed perfect on the season, going to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in District 8-5A, Division I, to set up a spectacular showdown with fellow undefeated College Station next week. New Caney fell to 7-2 overall, 5-2 in district.
(Check back often as this story will be updated with quotes and stats accordingly.)