Last weekend, I had the opportunity to cover two of the biggest high school football games in the Central Texas area. Today, I will remark on some of my takeaways from the season-opening week in Texas high school football.
New Braunfels vs Denton Ryan
On Thursday, the Denton Ryan Raiders travelled to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to take on the New Braunfels Unicorns. In the season-opening contest, two things were apparent: 2023 five-star linebacker Anthony Hill Jr. and 2023 four-star running back Kalib Hicks are good at football. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, Hill, a Texas target, elected to commit to Texas A&M in July while Hicks is currently.
At the end of the night, Hill had tallied 13 tackles and a forced fumble, to go along with 70 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Furthermore, a continuing trend that I have seen in every Denton Ryan game that I have covered with Hill is that he provides the team with a bit of a necessary mean streak from the linebacker position. Thankfully for Texas, National Signing Day is still a ways away from today, however Hill appears to be the type of player that Texas can not be missing out on - especially at a much-needed linebacker position.
Along with Hill on defense, 2025 cornerback Trae Williams was able to show off his playmaking ability with an interception on defense. Moreover, Williams is certainly a prospect to keep an eye on, especially with Denton Ryan having proven to be a Division 1 talent factory over the years.
On the offensive side of the ball, Kalib Hicks was having an offensive field day for the Raiders, particularly in the first half when he hurdling defenders on his way to picking up chunk yardage. Ultimately, Hicks finished the game with 129 rushing yards and a touchdown.
With all of this being said, the New Braunfels Unicorns came into Thursday's contest looking for a fight and they certainly got one. But, in the end, the Unicorns were the last team standing despite trailing 33-14 at one point in the third quarter.
Lake Belton vs #8 Leander Rouse
In my second game of the weekend, I made the short trip over to Leander to cover Lake Belton's matchup against the Rouse Raiders. On Friday, I was looking forward to seeing 2024 five-star wide receiver Micah Hudson in action, but was impressed by the team as a whole. But, with that said, Hudson got the scoring action started off with a bang as he exposed the Rouse defense on its first play as he accounted for an explosive touchdown rush immediately.
Later in the game, Hudson made several more explosive plays, including a lengthy touchdown reception in which he made the entire defense look silly as he traversed the field and showed off his ability to go 0-60 mph a few times. Afterwards, his final performing act of the night was a heavily contested touchdown catch in which he skied over two defenders to make the grab. Additionally, one should also credit Lake Belton senior quarterback Connor Crews who was setting up his receivers for success all night. Hudson finished the contest with 7 receptions, 143 receiving yards, 2 TD receptions, 92 rushing yards, and 1 rushing TD.
On defense, one athlete that automatically stood out for Lake Belton was 2024 cornerback Selman Bridges, who is an intimidating presence in the secondary at 6'4". Bridges made an impact on the game through a pick-six interception in which he snatched the ball away from the offense. Currently, Bridges has 6 scholarship offers from schools such as Baylor and TCU.
Also in the secondary, Bruce Onchweri also was making plays in the secondary, capitalized with an interception of his own.
Ultimately, Rouse did not have the firepower to match the Broncos and Lake Belton came away with an impressive 47-21 upset victory.
The main takeaway from week one is that Micah Hudson is a top-tier wide receiver in the state of Texas and ranks up there with former high school stars Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
152 miles (total)
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