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Ouch. That hurt. 30 September 2007

Posted by Sarah Parker in Analysis, Editorial, Game recaps, Spring.
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I was soooo looking forward to the Spring-Klein game. On Thursday, it crossed my mind that the game was only a few days away. On Friday, I thought, “The game’s tomorrow!” On Saturday, I was extolling Kenric McNeal’s and Charles Solomon’s virtues to my brother over cheese fries at Saltgrass.

You can’t ever accuse me of not getting into my assignments.

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Spring goes down hard against outstanding Klein squad 29 September 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Analysis, Game recaps, Spring, Updates.
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klein-spring-ed.jpgDespite its strong start to the season, Spring could not stay in Saturday night’s District 16-5A opener against a powerful Klein team. The Bearkats ran for 309 yards, intercepted Kenric McNeal three times and finally pulled away with a 21-point fourth quarter in a 48-14 rout Saturday night at Klein ISD Memorial Stadium. Online recap.

Sarah was there and will have some gory details for you at some point, but it has to be a disappointing way for Spring to start the season. Still, remember that the Lions are playing in what could be the area’s toughest district. Things only get tougher this week, hosting an unbeaten Klein Oak squad fresh off a whooping of The Woodlands.

In other action, Aldine Eisenhower added insult to Westfield’s injury from last week by blanking Spring Branch Memorial 26-0 at Tully Stadium. In a perfect example of how futile comparative scores can be, I’m certainly not convinced that Eisenhower is 27 points better than Westfield or that Humble is better than Westfield. But it’s a darn good thing that 10-9 loss did not count toward district standings.

Humble 21, Baytown Sterling 0 and the Friday night wrap 29 September 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Analysis, Atascocita, Editorial, Game recaps, Humble, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, New Caney, Splendora, Updates, Westfield.
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_mg_5633.JPGHumble enjoyed a terrific Homecoming night at Turner Stadium today, shutting out Baytown Sterling 21-0 to open District 21-5A play 1-0. Here’s my brief online recap and we’ll have more coverage in the print edition this week.

While the offense moved the ball well at times, and Keith Baker had his best game as a starter, the defense was unquestionably the story of the night. I picked a good night to try my hand at keeping home team tackles, because it helped me focus on some of the defensive standouts. Defensive end Robert Parker had a terrific game and picked up both Wildcat sacks. Safety Thaxton Francis came up early, often and made Sterling feel some pain with big hits and a team-high seven tackles, by my count. Linebacker Justin Weinand also had a big game. Those are by no means the only defensive stars – the whole unit played well, and Stephen Clarke and Brian Womack picked up interceptions.

I talked to Francis and Parker after the game, and their pride in earning a shutout was evident. More than that, I really appreciated how seriously they took their role to set up the offense. I’m sure some defenses take a bend-but-don’t-break philosophy that’s all about the scoreboard. The Wildcats clearly take pride in forcing turnovers and punts to give their offense good field position. That certainly paid off tonight, as the offense had touchdown drives of 52, 60 and 30 yards.

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Humble’s Billy Bell (top right) and Justin Weinand helped the Wildcats to a shutout win. Photos by Joseph Musarra.

Even at Humble’s Homecoming, people I talked to at the game kept a close eye on the Atascocita and Kingwood scores, both of which were disheartening for the district. Beaumont West Brook blew Atascocita away, 44-6, but that was not much of a surprise. Kingwood’s 38-0 loss to Baytown Lee, however, was a surprise. Octavio Torres, last year’s hero, returned at quarterback ahead of transfer Josh Jones and went 13-15 in the first half to lead the Ganders to their best game of the season. In the other District 21-5A opener, Port Arthur Memorial edged Channelview 24-21.

Elsewhere in the Observer coverage area, hats are off to New Caney, which picked up its first win of the year in a 41-14 demolition of Huffman Hargrave on Homecoming at Don Ford Stadium. The Eagles scored twice in the first four minutes and rolled to the first win of the Russell Roberts era. Westfield also rolled, breezing by Tomball 38-0.

In volleyball, Splendora beat Kingwood Park 3-0 in a crucial District 22-3A game, taking sole possession of second place. New Caney beat Huffman to stay on pace for third place in District 21-4A. Atascocita (7-0) and Kingwood (6-1) rolled in District 21-5A play, while Humble blew one of its best chances for a win by falling 3-0 at Port Arthur Memorial.

Humble-Baytown Sterling live blog 28 September 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Analysis, Game recaps, Humble, Updates.
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Thanks to the ethernet hook-up at Turner Stadium – thank you, thank you Humble ISD! – I will be bringing you a live blog of tonight’s District 21-5A opener between Humble and Baytown Sterling. The blog will include stats, analysis and maybe even a few pictures or out-of-town scoreboard updates.

Here’s the FINAL scoreboard:

Sterling 0 0 0 0 0
Humble 7 0 13 0 20

1st
1:36 (10:24) Hmbl – Jarret Malone 6 run (Audran Cruz kick)

2nd

3rd
5:24 (6:36) Hmbl – Josh Wilson 27 pass from Keith Baker (Audran Cruz kick)
10:18 (1:42) Hmbl – Keith Baker 7 run (kick failed)

4th

With running commentary continued below …

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TGIF! 28 September 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Atascocita, Game recaps, Humble, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, New Caney, Splendora, Spring, Updates, Westfield.
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Man, am I happy that it’s Friday. It was a great week, but I’m ready for some Friday Night Lights (although this Friday Night Lights won’t actually start until next Friday.) As a side note, if you read this blog and you have not yet read the real Friday Night Lights (the book), shame on you. It is a definite must-read for any high school sports fan. Neither the movie nor the series does it justice.

Okay, I’m off of my soapbox now and ready to tell you Joe and I saw an exciting sophomore football game yesterday at Charles Street Stadium (after several wrong stops). Atascocita edged Montgomery 23-22 thanks to the Vince Young-like efforts of quarterback Choydrick Willis, the running of spin-o-rama king Jordan Jones and a solid defensive effort led by linemen like Anthony Bryant and Jose Rico. Look for more coverage of that game (including some incredible pictures) in this week’s Observer.

Tonight, we’ve got plenty of games going on. It’s Homecoming for Humble, New Caney and Northeast Christian Academy, and all will be playing home football games. I will be live blogging the Humble-Baytown Sterling game, beginning at 7:30 p.m. In other action, Westfield is hosting Tomball, Kingwood is at Baytown Lee and Atascocita is at Beaumont West Brook. Spring plays Klein tomorrow.

On the volleyball court, I’m very excited to see who comes out on top in the District 22-3A battle between Splendora and Kingwood Park – that’s a 4 p.m. start time up at Splendora. New Caney and Atascocita are also at home, while Kingwood, Humble, Spring and Westfield go on the road. Humble has a good shot at its first win of the season tonight, playing at Port Arthur Memorial.

Also, please note the new Standings page linked on the top menu. I’m still playing with the formatting, but this will allow everybody to keep tabs on district races.

Wherever you are tonight, cheer loudly, enjoy the games and come back here tonight or tomorrow to see how all the games came out.

What a match 25 September 2007

Posted by Joe Musarra in Analysis, Atascocita, Kingwood, Updates.
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Whew, that was a wild one. I am pretty sure that I can safely say the Kingwood-Atascocita game that I just witnessed was the most exciting volleyball match I have ever seen.

What an atmosphere! In addition to all of the thrills and stunning moments on the court, the crowd and a brief delay during the second game when the lights in the Kingwood gym shut down added to what was already an incredible match.

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Atascocita knocks off Kingwood; other volleyball action 25 September 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Analysis, Atascocita, Game recaps, Humble, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, New Caney, Splendora, Spring, Updates.
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Atascocita stunned two-time defending district champion Kingwood Tuesday night with a pulsating 25-19, 24-26, 31-29, 25-22 victory before a large crowd at Kingwood High School. On Breast Cancer Awareness Night, both teams wore pink T-shirts that read “Playing for the Cure” and the stands were awash with pink. Read on for more details. (more…)

Weekend update 25 September 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Game recaps, Humble, Kingwood Park, Spring, Updates.
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Just a few things to wrap up from last weekend before we move on to this week’s volleyball and football action.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, we will have results from the Texas A&M Cross Country Invitational, where the Kingwood Park girls finished fourth (out of 20, trailing three 5A schools) and the K-Park boys finished ninth out of 16 teams. Panther freshman Bree Schrader won the 3,200-meter race with a time of 12:09. Girls’ coach Brittany Lanehart was featured in this interview on flotrack.com.

We will also have some more details on freshman football from last week. Humble beat Spring in both freshman contests, with the purple squad winning 36-14 and the white team winning 8-0. Kingwood Park swept its freshman contests, including the black team’s 18-8 win. Details below. (more…)

Spring ISD wrap-up, or, it’s a great time to be a Lion 22 September 2007

Posted by Sarah Parker in Analysis, Editorial, Game recaps, Spring, Westfield.
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I look forward to Spring ISD football all week long. Literally. I annoy the Sports Guys with the love-I think they get pretty tired of it. Even when one of my illustrious colleagues gets blessed (That’s right; I said blessed.) with the assignment to cover the Spring games, I’m usually there anyway.

Which brings me to Spring’s rampage over Humble. It was so. much. fun. watching that game last night. Like Karas told me a week ago, some of the Lions are getting their first taste of being on a winning team. You could tell that was true last night.  (more…)

Getting technical about the hook-and-lateral 22 September 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Analysis, Kingwood, Updates.
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Okay, so I’m a bit of a statistical dork at times. We had a really tough time deciphering the hook-and-lateral play in the Kingwood game tonight AND we (four of us keeping stats for different institutions) were trying to do it during a last-minute rally. So here’s what happened.

Kingwood had the ball at its own 39. Geoff Perrott threw downfield to Cory Scherr, who made the catch at what we later decided was midfield. Scherr quickly lateraled to Jordan Raney, who darted downfield to the College Park 31. At the time, I gave Perrott an 11-yard completion, Scherr 1 reception for 11 yards, and Raney 1 rushing attempt for 19 yards. According to the NCAA statisticians’ manual, which is commonly used in high school scoring, that was incorrect.

Section 4, Article 1: The recipient of a lateral pass (a backward pass or one that travels
parallel to the line of scrimmage) is credited with the yardage he gains from the
point he received the lateral, but he is not credited with an attempt, reception
or return on the play.

Further clarification shows that the correct interpretation is to give Perrott a 30-yard pass completion, Scherr a reception for 11 yards, and Raney 19 receiving yards but no catch. So Raney is officially listed with one reception for 42 yards, even though his only catch of the game went for 23 yards. Pretty crazy.

That interpretation of lateral passing (differentiating downfield laterals from backfield option plays) also changes a few plays I’ve scored in the past, so should it ever arise again, we’ll be more accurate in the future.