Eagle Football 28
The Kinkaid School 13

Relentless running back Johann Cardenas ‘24 (verbal Vanderbilt) roared for 159 rushing yards with two touchdowns and a suddenly gnarly St. Thomas defense racked its second consecutive second-half shutout for a fifth straight double-digit verdict to start the season.

The Eagles erased their first halftime deficit with a commanding overall finish. The second explicit 5-0 launch in a row matches the 2013 outfit that posted the program’s first undefeated regular season since 1939.

Cardenas took control in the third quarter with enough bang in Eagles’ ying yang, zing in their zang zang, ting in their tang tang. He carried five times in an 11-play drive that covered 60 yards to open the second half, crashing in from four yards out for 14-13 with 4:16 remaining. St. Thomas had the lead for good.

On the next offensive possession, Cardenas charged through a huge gap opened by Jacob Husband ‘24, Sam Hense ‘24, and Michael Kanakidis ‘24 and bolted 41 yards for his fifth rushing touchdown in three games in his grand return from tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee the previous October. The Eagles were never threatened with a 21-13 advantage into the final stanza.

1.  Darting quarterback Donte Lewis ‘24 (verbal Kansas St. baseball) was more efficient than pure electric (11-17, 107 yards and 200 total yards). But mid-way first quarter he turned turbo after a simple run-fake to Cardenas and detonated up the right hashmarks to the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown romp. Perfectly crafted spontaneity comparable to Jeff Beck’s creative guitar gymnastics manning a maple-wood Fender Esquire for The Yardbirds.

2.  Early in the fourth period defensive end Jack Reid ‘25 stripped the Kinkaid quarterback from behind for Reid’s second forced fumble and head-hunting linebacker Tyler Day ‘24 recovered at the Kinkaid 34.

3.  Three plays later, Lewis easily exploited mismatched single coverage on receiver Larry Benton ‘24 alone on the right side. The perfectly placed 25-yard pitch-and-catch sealed the outcome with their sixth tag-team touchdown of the season.

4.  The marauding St. Thomas defense spent the night dishing a rendition of rattlin’ bones not seen since the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Reid and Day were the masters of mayhem, taking part in 24 tackles, five for loss with one-and-a-half sacks. The Eagles kept the Kinkaid run game in a cage while also getting upfield to make that confinement feel even more punitive. The Falcons never got comfortable with how quickly Eagle Football applied pressure.

5.  Since surrendering 49 points in Week 1 and 41 in Week 4, Eagle Football has found an intimidating identity. They mauled in the trenches in consecutive games, stuffed the run, and hounded opposing quarterbacks. Twice St. Thomas forced Kinkaid field goals after facing first and goal at the nine-yard line. In the previous eight quarters, the Eagles have allowed a single touchdown.

Offensive coordinator Matt Hudson adheres to the adage that roughly half a dozen explosive opportunities are available per game and elite outfits must capitalize on the vast majority to achieve championship-contending status. Lewis has now stacked scorching breakaway touchdowns of 81, 75, 69, 65, and 61 yards with scoring throws of 77, 75, 72, 63, 52, 50, 41, 35, and 33 yards plus gains of 52, 49, 48, and 37 yards.

Through six games, Lewis is completing a sizzling 67% (87-129) for 1,293 yard with an outrageous 15 yards per completion and 16 touchdowns while roaming for 476 yards and a stunning 18.3 per carry with six scores.

Also in the assault are a 75-yard touchdown bolt from Cardenas and a 61-yard lightning strike from Keenan Bonner ‘24.

The second road victory of 2023 raised Rich McGuire’s record to 47-24 in his seventh season as head coach. His non-district mark is 14-1 since 2021 with 10 straight wins. The consecutive 5-0 starts are the strongest opening streaks since 2013 when Eagle Football staged an undefeated regular season, the program’s first since 1939.

The Eagles seized their second straight emphatic win in the series. It’s the sixth victory in eight games in the previous 10 years (interruptions courtesy Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and the response to the pandemic in 2020). In that mix, Eagle Football secured three consecutive season-opening blows over the Falcons from 2014-16 by a combined margin of 109-51.

In 2022, the daring Donte whipped four touchdowns, Cardenas ripped for another score with 178 rushing yards, and a tenacious defense forced three turnovers for a bullish 35-14 stomping.

The Eagles are dishing out the sort of tasty pudding that would make Miles Davis salivate. And turning matchups into migraines. At the season’s midway point, they’re flashing a quality that develops over time. A starving mindset. A killer instinct. Even while there are lessons to be learned. Perhaps the recent second half at Kinkaid was one. Knowing how to finish. Whatever comes next is not guaranteed but the immediate goal is recapturing kingpin superiority in a district St. Thomas has dominated since 2018 with a 22-2 record.



¡UNO!, ¡DOS!, ¡TRÉ!
The game was streamed by KPRC 2 as part of its Big Game Coverage.

Lewis’s Week 5 stat-stuffing against Plano John Paul II earned him Private Quarterback of the Week by Texas Football. In his scintillating 16th varsity start, he racked 270 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in only quarters of a 49-3 runaway rout.

Cardenas was ranked in the preseason among the state’s top 100 football recruits and vividly showcased in the 64th edition of Texas Football only eight months removed from the ACL injury.

St. Thomas is the Week 7 no. 1 private in Texas by Texas Football (fifth straight poll in the top spot) and MaxPreps, and the no. 1 private in Greater Houston by the Houston Chronicle and Houston VYPE.

Lewis was featured in the Hank Aaron Invitational, a showcase game at Truist Park in Atlanta in July capping two weeks of competition, coaching, and evaluation at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Florida.

Lewis was among an elite group of 44 players invited for the exclusive event, powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation and in partnership with USA Baseball. Lewis then verbally committed to continue his student-athlete career at Kansas St.

GAMEDAY CENTRAL || Undefeated State No. 1 Private Eagle Football Dominates for 4-0 Start

GAMEDAY CENTRAL || Undefeated Eagle Football Dazzles Behind Undaunted Donte Lewis ’24 and Johann Cardenas ’24 Duo

GAMEDAY CENTRAL || Lethal Lewis ’24-Benton ’24 Combo Ignites State No. 1 Eagle Football to Convincing 2-0 Launch

GAMEDAY CENTRAL || Eagle Football Enjoys Electric Season-Opening Explosion

Eagle Football opens the district race hosting San Antonio Central Catholic in a series that has pivoted from non-district competition since 2017.

In 2021, Cardenas was the catalyst for a 35-18 road wipeout with three touchdowns while the dynamic Donte delivered two fourth-quarter scoring lasers to receiver Shaffer Henderson ‘23.

In 2020, a suffocating defense led by linebacker Kevin Silva ‘21 (Trinity) slammed the Buttons in a 31-14 beat down. Quarterback Maddox Kopp ‘21 (Miami, OH) ignited a thunderous first-half assault with sizzling strikes of 64 yards to Drake Martinez ‘21 (McNeese St.) and 46 to Cameron Price ‘22 (Yale) on consecutive touchdown possessions.

Eagle Fight Never Dies!