High school games, players to watch this week
When Fort Bend ISD first went to a zone-play setup, it was a product of Hurricane Ike — a way to make up games missed because of the storm that swept through the Houston area in 2008.
After sticking with it in 2009, the district refined it before this season, allowing for its schools to play more than just one non-Fort Bend ISD opponent, so that teams would have true “non-district” games. With three non-district games and two non-zone games to complement its four zone-play games, it has yielded a diverse schedule for all of the district’s squads.
With the District 23-5A championship game and two play-in games on the horizon this weekend, Fort Bend ISD athletic director Keith Kilgore is pleased with the results. He said the refinements have led to an increase in interest, ticket sales and an overall positive feel to the football product the district has put out.
“It has kept a lot of people in it and kids involved,” Kilgore said. “The interest, the crowds — all of those things are positive. The more people we can have come out and watch Friday and Saturday games — that’s what we’re aiming for.”
Players of the week to watch
Clay Martin, WR
Sr., Strake Jesuit
The senior has 41 catches for 820 yards and 20 touchdowns this year. He is averaging 20 yards per catch.
Jalen Champagne, DB
The junior has four INTs for the Bobcats, including one last week in a win over Cypress Ranch.
Pearce Martens, QB
Sr., Seven Lakes
The senior has thrown for more than 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
Games of the week to watch
Elkins (7-2, 4-0 in District 23-5A Zone A) vs. FB Travis (5-4, 3-1 in 23-5A Zone B)
23-5A championship game
7 p.m. today, Hall Stadium
Elkins at a glance: The Zone A champion Knights are riding a six-game winning streak. They ranked No. 1 in Zone A in total defense (227.6 yards allowed per game) and had the zone’s leading passer, Jake Burkhalter (1,824 yards, 17 touchdowns).
FB Travis at a glance: The Zone B champion Tigers have won three in a row and finished first in Zone B in scoring defense (15.6 points allowed per game). Chris Oliver, James Abiodun and Ricardo Riascos are tied for the team lead with two interceptions this season.
Klein (7-2, 4-2 in District 13-5A) vs. Klein Oak (6-3, 4-2)
7 p.m. today, Klein Memorial Stadium
Radio: 97.5 FM, 1560 AM
Klein at a glance: The Bearkats are coming off a 23-10 loss to Tomball but have the district’s No. 1 total defense (262.4 yards per game). Running back Keshawn Hill is fourth in the district in rushing yards with 1,150 to go with 13 touchdowns.
Klein Oak at a glance: The Panthers are second in the district in total offense (392 yards per game) and are second in passing yardage. Dual-threat quarterback Nicky Baratti has thrown for 1,214 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 882 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Austin (8-1, 5-0 in District 21-4A) vs. Yates (7-2, 5-0)
7:30 p.m. today, Barnett Stadium
Radio: 1430 AM
Austin at a glance: The Mustangs are second in the district in total offense (287.1 yards per game), total defense (168.6) and scoring defense (11.2 points per game). Quarterback Casey Davis leads the league in passing yards (845) and is fifth in rushing yards (689).
Yates at a glance: The Lions are tops in the district in all team offensive and defensive categories except passing. Their defense allows just 10.4 points per game, and they’re averaging a league best 35.7 points on offense. Receiver Tevon Robbins leads the district with 586 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
Cinco Ranch (9-0, 6-0 in District 19-5A) vs. Katy (9-0, 6-0)
11 a.m. Saturday, Rhodes Stadium
Radio: 1430 AM
Cinco Ranch at a glance: The Cougars are ranked fifth in the state. They rank first in the district in total offense (441 yards per game) and have two of the district’s top five rushers: K.C. Nlemchi (1,139 yards, 18 touchdowns) and Jamel James (998 yards, 14 touchdowns).
Katy at a glance: The Tigers are ranked second in the state. They are No. 1 in the district in total defense (222.4 yards allowed per game). Senior running back Donovonn Young leads the district with 1,526 yards and 26 touchdowns. Sophomore Adam Taylor is sixth with 883 yards and 13 scores.
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