Cedar Hill advanced to the third round yesterday, on a perfect day for football at Dragon Stadium in Southlake, outlasting Denton Ryan, 48-35. It was a very entertaining game and, as always, I’m just amazed by the talent I see in Texas and 5A football in the metroplex takes the usual Texas talent to another level. Ryan had no answer for the Cedar Hill offense. On the ground and through the air, the Longhorns scored quickly and almost every time they touched the ball. I’ve had the pleasure to watch this team three weeks in a row, and each time they have looked a little better on offense. They seem to be clicking at the right time and they look like a very confident group. Cedar Hill took a 14-0 lead before the Raiders ever touched the ball; recovering an onside kick after scoring on their first possession, the ‘Horns quickly scored again. From there it was a track meet with both teams trading touchdowns. Ryan scored on some broken coverages and several trick plays to stay in the game until the final minutes. In the end, Cedar Hill’s defense made three stops, one in the first half and two in the second, and that made the difference.
The win sets up a third round game between Cedar Hill and Arlington High next Saturday.
As entertaining as all the football was this weekend, I’m not sure about the current trend of the game. This was the second game in a row I saw WITHOUT A PUNT. Not that anyone gets excited about watching punts, but the balance between offense and defense has gotten out of whack.
Football has always been kind of a pendulum between offensive and defensive tactics. Offense coaches find new ways to move the ball down the field, other coaches copy those methods and scoring goes up. Defensive coaches than come up with new ways to attack the offense, coaches’ copy and scoring goes back down.
The problem is, nobody has yet figured out a consistent way to shut down the spread. This offense spreads the field vertically and horizontally, simplifies assignments, gives the quarterback the ability to take advantage of mismatches and puts the best athletes in open field where defenders have to make decisions that can never be right. Play aggressive and this offense will kill you with screens, hang back and the quarterback will have time to pick apart your coverage and find a receiver. ‘Backers read keys and the QB reads (options where the QB can either hand off the ball or pull it out and run.) will blow up. I don’t have an answer, it will take a defensive coach a lot smarter than me to come up with the next big evolution and I don’t see it on the horizon.
After the game I drive to Early, about 2 hours southwest of the Metroplex, hoping to get there in time for the 2nd half of the Throckmorton game against undefeated Water Valley. Fortunately/unfortunately this game was, unexpectedly, a blowout. Throckmorton was up, 46-8 when I arrived at the half. The mercy rule ended the game a few minutes into the 3rd quarter as the Greyhounds won 62-16.
I’m going to be tying up loose ends in West Texas; then to Wichita Falls on Thursday for Stamford- Quanah in their 1A game. Stamford has been playing very well; I’m looking forward to seeing them again. From there it’s down to Houston to see La Marque play the undefeated and top ranked team in the 3A, Navasota. This coming Saturday will be a tough decision; Cedar Hill-Arlington and Abilene-Hewitt Midway are both in the metroplex and at the same time. I hate to miss either one of them. Also have to miss Carthage and Throckmorton again. Hopefully they all will keep winning and keep giving me tough choices to make.