It has been an interesting first two weeks of Texas High School Football, especially in Houston.
Entering every season there are the teams you expect to be the contenders and then there are the dark horse teams that come out of no where and surprise everyone.
Thus far there are have been the contenders, such as Manvel, and then the surprises such as Dickinson and Tomball Memorial.
Manvel in its shift to 5A has been impressive as many expected. The Mavericks beat Crosby in Week 1 and then took down defending State Champion North Shore, 26-14 to move to 2-0 and into the spotlight. Junior quarterback Kason Martin has played a key role in their success, passing for 488 yards and five scores.
This week Manvel gets tested by Pearland, which is off a its first week without Texas A&M commit Connor Blumrick after he got sidelined with a foot injury for the season. Jacob Whitehead stepped in and led the Oilers to the 36-0 victory against Memorial. Whitehead passed for 134 yards on 11 of 17 with an interception.
Dickinson has been a bit of a surprise in 2016 thus far.
A year after losing every starter on offense, the Gators are off to a solid start opening 2-0, including a 28-14 victory against defending State Champion George Ranch on Friday.
Jordan Griggs and Myles Lewis have powered the Gators; Griggs passing for 325 yards, six touchdowns and two picks thus far, while Lewis has rushed for 199 yards and three scores on 32 attempts.
Dickinson is at Texas City this week seeking a perfect 3-0 start heading into their bye week.
Another surprise team has been Tomball Memorial.
The Wildcats have been building up to this season for four years now and coach Finis Vanover said prior to the season they feel they are finally at the place they’ve been working towards since the school opened.
After a 33-0 victory against Goose Creek Memorial, the Wildcats had a big home test against New Caney, which they passed with a 41-34 victory, in which could be considered a statement win.
Dru Baker has led Tomball Memorial offensively, using his elusiveness at quarterback to keep plays alive, while his wide receivers Jordan Grice and Torey Richardson have done their jobs. The defense and offensive line have been most impressive. Defensively, the Wildcats have given up an average of 17 points a game thus far, after giving up nearly 28 per game a year ago. The offensive line has opened up the lanes for the running game, which has allowed Rylan Walker to push forward for 133 yards and two scores.
The Wildcats face Galena Park in their finally non-district game before the bye week and then District 20-5A opener against Huntsville.
Other teams off to hot starts in 2016 include, Pearland Dawson and Cy Springs.
Dawson is off to a quick 2-0 start behind Darrius Smith and Niko Thomas as the Eagles downed Oak Ridge and Deer Park quite emphatically in the opening weeks. Smith, who won the Texan Live Player of the Week for Week 1, has amassed 415 yards and five scores thus far. Thomas, who came in for Zach Smith, has guided the offense passing for 246 yards and two scores.
Cy Springs is back on the gridiron in Week 3 after getting its bye week following its 55-42 win against Conroe in Week 1. It will interesting to see if the Cy Woods defense has enough to stop Taye Barber. The Panthers quarterback was the majority of the offense in Week 1 passing for 225 and rushing for 190. Barber had 415 of Cy Springs’ eventual 496 yards of offense by night’s end and accounted for five touchdowns.
Barber and the Panthers get Cy Woods in their District 17-6 opener on Friday.
Of course it is still early in the season. We still do have 14 more weeks until we crown the State Champions again, so there is still time for teams to continue to surprise us and other teams to come out of nowhere and make it an interesting run to Dallas.