SBLive Texas Top 50: Katy Paetow, Lucas Lovejoy climb after signature wins

The 2021 Texas high school football season marches into Week 10 as playoff berths are clinched and tight district title races are sorted out in every part of the state.

This week two teams made their season debuts in SBLive’s statewide rankings, a 5A powerhouse climbed into the top 15 and an Alamo City heavyweight cracked our top 10 for the first time this year.

Below are SBLive’s Texas Top 50 rankings for the week of Oct. 28. The rankings are compiled by reporter Andrew McCulloch and will be released every week throughout the fall.

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SBLIVE TEXAS TOP 50 – WEEK 9

Oct. 28, 2021

50. Dripping Springs (8-0)

Last week: NR

49. Texarkana Texas High (8-0)

Last week: NR

48. Manvel (6-2)

Last week: 48

47. Montgomery (7-0)

Last week: 47

46. Ennis (8-0)

Last week: 49

45. Austin LBJ (8-0)

Last week: 50

44. Amarillo Tascosa (8-1)

Last week: 45

43. Edinburg Vela (9-0)

Last week: 44

42. Houston C.E. King (6-2)

Last week: 38

41. San Antonio Johnson (8-0)

Last week: 41

Two new squads, Dripping Springs and Texarkana Texas High, claimed spots in SBLive’s Texas Top 50 rankings for the first time this season. Both teams head into Week 10 matchups sporting perfect records and a chance to clinch outright district titles. Texas High has cruised through its District 9-5A DII slate, and the Tigers have asserted themselves as one of the top teams in East Texas led by senior DE/OLB Derrick Brown, a four-star recruit and Texas Longhorns commit. Dripping Springs, meanwhile, has been rolling through District 12-5A DI play after a 48-45 overtime win over New Braunfels Canyon to kick off its district schedule. The Tigers’ prolific offense — captained by junior quarterback Austin Novosad (2,556 passing yards, 33 TDs), a three-star recruit with 10 DI offers — has since dropped 55.3 points per game in their last four district wins. Ennis and Montgomery were the other undefeated 5A teams in this portion of the Top 50 that picked up major district victories during Week 9 action. Ennis moved up three spots this week after securing an impressive 31-7 road win against Forney to set up a de-facto District 8-5A DII championship game against undefeated Royse City. Montgomery stayed put at 47th in this week’s statewide rankings following a 41-24 home win over Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated to lock up at least a share of the District 10-5A DII title. Austin LBJ and Edinburg Vela also earned blowout victories to stay perfect nine weeks into the regular season. Austin LBJ, the highest-ranked Class 4A Division I team in SBLive’s statewide rankings, crushed Lampasas in a 90-42 rout that puts the Jaguars one win away from solidifying their claim to the District 13-4A DI championship trophy. Vela moved to 9-0 after the SaberCats smashed crosstown rival Edinburg Economedes 55-7 and a postponed game against La Joya Juarez-Lincoln was declared a forfeit. Amarillo Tascosa and Manvel each rolled to blowout wins in district play against Lubbock Monterey (60-18) and Fort Bend Kempner (70-14), respectively. San Antonio Johnson remained in place following its bye week, while Houston C.E. King slid four spots after the team’s second straight defeat — a 17-0 loss to Galena Park North Shore — eliminated the Panthers from the District 21-6A title race. Frisco fell out of this week’s rankings after suffering its first loss of the season to Lucas Lovejoy (38-15) in a battle of unbeatens, and so did Cedar Hill after a blowout loss to Duncanville at Globe Life Field in Arlington to fall to 4-4 overall this year.

40. Corpus Christi Veterans (8-0)

Last week: 40

39. Frisco Lone Star (7-1)

Last week: 43

38. Alvin Shadow Creek (6-2)

Last week: 39

37. League City Clear Falls (7-1)

Last week: 35

36. Dickinson (6-2)

Last week: 31

35. Carthage (7-0)

Last week: 37

34. Smithson Valley (7-1)

Last week: 25

33. Garland (8-0)

Last week: 36

32. Fort Bend Ridge Point (7-1)

Last week: 33

31. Midland Legacy (7-1)

Last week: 33

Frisco Lone Star moved inside the top 40 this week after picking up its sixth straight win in a dominant 69-13 victory over Frisco Centennial, the team’s highest-scoring performance of the season so far. The Rangers climbed four spots in our statewide rankings after the win, which keeps Lone Star on track to challenge reigning 5A DI state champion Denton Ryan for the District 5-5A DI title. Garland and Carthage, a pair of red-hot undefeated squads, also saw significant movement in this edition of the Top 50 after enormous wins in district play. Garland climbed three spots after the Owls obliterated rival North Garland 61-24, as the senior quarterback-wide receiver duo of Cergio Perez (2,754 passing yards, 42 TDs) and Jordan Hudson (905 receiving yards, 17 TDs) continues to stick out as one of the state’s best passer-receiver duos. Carthage, the state’s top-ranked sub-5A team throughout the entire season thus far, moved up two spots to 35th, its highest ranking of the year, after notching a significant 35-21 win over Rusk. The Bulldogs have outscored their District 10-4A DII competition 127-32 during their last three games and are led by senior linebacker Kip Lewis, a four-star recruit and Oklahoma Sooners commit, and junior wide receiver Montrel Hatten, an uncommitted three-star prospect. Midland Legacy, meanwhile, moved up two spots and remained the top-ranked West Texas squad after picking up its fifth consecutive victory. The Rebels manhandled Midland 57-27 and have outscored their District 2-6A opponents 232-88 four games into their district schedule. Fort Bend Ridge Point and Alvin Shadow Creek each rose one spot in this week’s Top 50 after the Panthers grinded out a 27-7 win against Fort Bend Elkins in the rain and the Sharks shut out rival Alief Elsik 49-0. District 24-6A foes Dickinson and League City Clear Falls each won during Week 9 too. Dickinson remained in first place with a 42-20 victory against Friendswood Clear Brook, and Clear Falls remained in the district title race by rolling to a 38-7 win over Clear Lake. Smithson Valley fell nine spots this week after the Rangers suffered their first defeat of the year in a 33-32 home loss to Converse Judson, which complicated the team’s path to the District 27-6A crown, while Corpus Christi Veterans enjoyed its bye during Week 9.

30. Lewisville (7-0)

Last week: 30

29. Katy Paetow (8-0)

Last week: 34

28. Lucas Lovejoy (8-0)

Last week: 32

27. Katy Tompkins (8-1)

Last week: 28

26. Austin Vandegrift (8-0)

Last week: 29

25. Cibolo Steele (8-0)

Last week: 26

24. Spring (7-1)

Last week: 24

23. Arlington Martin (6-2)

Last week: 20

22. Highland Park (7-1)

Last week: 23

21. DeSoto (6-2)

Last week: 22

No teams were as impressive during lopsided Week 9 victories than Lucas Lovejoy and Katy Paetow. Lovejoy and Paetow cemented themselves as two of the top state championship contenders in 5A with runaway wins last week to secure at least a share of their respective district titles. Lucas Lovejoy knocked off Frisco 38-15 in a battle between ranked, unbeaten teams to take the inside track at seizing the District 7-5A DII title. The Leopards moved up four spots with the win and have outscored their opponents 434-88 through their first eight games this year. Katy Paetow, meanwhile, pounded Fort Bend Hightower in an all-around dominant 55-7 win to lock up at least a share of the District 10-5A DI championship. The Panthers climbed five spots and inside the top 30 for the first time this fall and have allowed one touchdown in their last five games. Paetow boasts one of the state’s deepest secondaries led by junior safety CJ Johnson, senior safety Kentrell Webb and senior cornerbacks Michael Jordan and KJ Truehill, both Air Force commits. Austin Vandegrift also received a boost in this week’s rankings following a 70-3 blowout win against Round Rock Westwood. The Vipers ascended three spots in this edition of the Texas Top 50 after clinching their fifth straight district victory to move within one win of seizing a share of the District 25-6A crown. Two more undefeated 6A squads, Lewisville and Cibolo Steele, stayed inside the top 30 after earning statement wins in district play. Steele moved back into the top 25 and up one spot in this edition of the top 50 after downing South San Antonio 56-6 during Week 9 action. Cibolo Steele also took sole possession of first place in District 27-6A following Smithson Valley’s loss, and the Knights’ elite defense has now held three of its first five district opponents to one score or less. Lewisville topped Coppell 38-15 at home to stay put at 30th this week, as the Farmers stayed on top of the District 6-6A standings amid a tight district championship race. A pair of one-loss, Houston-area powers in 6A — Katy Tompkins and Spring — also pulled out critical wins to maintain outside shots at claiming shares of their respective district titles. Tompkins torched Katy Seven Lakes 44-0 for the team’s second straight shutout win in District 19-6A play entering its bye in Week 10. Spring trounced District 14-6A foe Aldine 70-0 last week to remain inside the top 25 in this version of SBLive’s Texas Top 50. The Lions have outscored their last three opponents 157-3 since their only loss of the season, a 31-21 defeat to rival Spring Westfield. DFW-area perennial powers DeSoto and Highland Park leapfrogged Arlington Martin, which was on a bye last week, in our statewide rankings following impressive victories against district opposition. DeSoto moved up one spot after destroying Waco Midway 62-10 for its fourth consecutive win in District 11-6A play after falling to Duncanville 42-21 in its district opener. The Eagles have scored 58.8 points per contest during their current four-game winning streak. Highland Park also climbed a spot this week following a 42-14 home win over Tyler to take solo control of first place in District 7-5A DI. The Scots have won their last seven games and outscored their opponents 265-139 during their current winning streak since a 45-21 season-opening loss to Southlake Carroll at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

20. Cypress Bridgeland (6-2)

Last week: 21

19. Cypress Park (7-1)

Last week: 15

18. College Station (8-0)

Last week: 19

17. Euless Trinity (7-1)

Last week: 17

16. Fort Bend Marshall (8-0)

Last week: 18

15. Aledo (8-0)

Last week: 16

14. Lake Travis (7-1)

Last week: 14

13. Rockwall (6-2)

Last week: 12

12. Rockwall Heath (7-1)

Last week: 11

11.  Denton Ryan (7-1)

Last week: 10

Cypress Park fell four spots after dropping its first game of the season in a back-and-forth 42-37 loss to Cypress Woods that has thrown District 16-6A’s championship hunt into flux. Cy Park still sits one spot ahead of Cypress Bridgeland, which won 55-6 against Cypress Springs in senior quarterback Conner Weigman’s return to action to rise one spot in this week’s rankings. A 35-34 upset victory for Langham Creek over previously unbeaten Cypress Ranch during Week 9, however, kept both Cy Park and Bridgeland alive in the quest for the district title. The Tigers enter Week 10 tied for first place with Cy Ranch, who they face this week, with one loss apiece while Bridgeland, Cy Woods and Langham Creek are locked in a three-way tie for third place with two district losses each. Three unbeaten 5A teams — Aledo, Fort Bend Marshall and College Station — each won during Week 9 to continue their upward march in SBLive’s statewide Texas high school football rankings. Aledo, the defending state champs in 5A DII, moved up on spot after annihilating Waco University 65-14 on the road to pick up their sixth win by 40+ points this year. Fort Bend Marshall climbed two spots after the Buffaloes bullied Fort Bend Willowridge 56-7 to seize the District 11-5A DII title outright in their fifth straight district win with 56+ points offensively. College Station, meanwhile, also ascended one spot after earning its second straight shutout win after trouncing Conroe Caney Creek 70-0. The Cougars have held their last five District 8-5A DI opponents to one touchdown or less defensively. One loss 6A powerhouses Euless Trinity and Lake Travis both stayed put after rolling to Week 9 wins that kept each team unbeaten in district play. Trinity ran over Weatherford 49-21 in a battle for first place in District 13-6A, and Lake Travis blew past Austin Bowie in a 52-21 victory in District 26-6A play. Denton Ryan, the defending 5A DI state champion, fell one spot and dropped out of the top 10 following a 55-14 victory against Frisco Heritage in District 5-5A DI play, while crosstown rivals Rockwall Heath and Rockwall each moved down one spot too following a 42-21 road win over Mesquite for the Hawks and a bye week for the Yellowjackets.

10. San Antonio Brennan (8-0)

Last week: 8

9. Denton Guyer (8-1)

Last week: 9

8. Allen (7-1)

Last week: 8

7. Humble Atascocita (7-1)

Last week: 7

6. Galena Park North Shore (8-1)

Last week: 6

5. Duncanville (6-1)

Last week: 5

4. Spring Westfield (8-0)

Last week: 4

3. Southlake Carroll (8-0)

Last week: 3

2. Katy (8-0)

Last week: 2

1. Austin Westlake (8-0)

Last week: 1

San Antonio Brennan — the Alamo City’s highest-ranked team for the eighth straight week — catapulted into the top 10, climbing three spots to 10th in the Texas Top 50 following a 69-6 blowout win over San Antonio Jay. The Bears have been virtually unstoppable in district play by scoring 42+ points per contest during their first six District 29-6A games this fall. Brennan has also beaten its district opponents by an average of 40.5 points per game.  The remainder of the top 10 stayed in place following Week 9 victories. District 5-6A foes Allen and Denton Guyer clock in at eighth and ninth, respectively, after the Eagles beat McKinney 35-14 at home to stay perfect in district play, while the Wildcats won 35-10 against McKinney Boyd to preserve a chance of sharing the district championship with Allen. One-loss District 21-6A rivals Galena Park North Shore and Humble Atascocita check in at sixth and seventh, respectively, after North Shore secured a 17-0 victory against Houston C.E. King during Week 9 action to set about a de-facto district championship game against Atascocita this week. Duncanville, meanwhile, holds a spot within the top five for the second straight week after blowing out rival Cedar Hill 58-7 during the first high school football game ever played at Arlington’s Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark. The Panthers have reeled off six straight wins since a season-opening loss to California’s Mater Dei, the top-ranked high school football team nationally in SBLive’s Power 25, and outscored their opposition from the Lone Star State by 45.2 points per game, including a 287-73 scoring mark against fellow District 11-6A squads this season. Spring Westfield, the second-ranked Houston-area team for the fourth week in a row, secured the largest victory of the four Texas high school football teams that also occupy spots in SBLive’s Power 25 national rankings. The Mustangs outmuscled rival Dekaney in a 55-0 win, their third shutout victory in district play so far this season, to move within one game of claiming at least a share of the District 14-6A title. Third-ranked Southlake Carroll secured the most consequential win of Week 9 among the state’s top-ranked teams by topping second-place Northwest Eaton 47-24 on the road. The Dragons, the DFW’s top-ranked team for eight straight weeks, stayed perfect on the season and likely guaranteed themselves the District 4-6A crown for the fourth straight year. Katy enjoyed its bye during Week 9, while Austin Westlake — the top-ranked team in SBLive’s statewide rankings since the season began — crushed Austin Akins 55-6 to stay unbeaten against District 26-6A opposition and tied for first place with Lake Travis. The Chaparrals haven’t missed a beat with senior quarterback Christian Edgar at the helm while five-star prospect and Clemson commit Cade Klubnik recovers from a Week 7 injury. Edgar threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-18 passing and ran six times for 45 yards and two rushing scores in Westlake’s win against Akins, and the team has scored 61 points per game during his two starts. But what’s been turning heads for the Chaps in district play has been its dominant defense, which has held all five of its 26-6A opponents so far to 6 points or less per game and not yielded any first half points since district play began in late September.

Dropped Out: Cedar Hill (43), Frisco (46).

Andrew McCulloch

Andrew McCulloch, SBLive

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