WEEK 8 – HOTZE FIELD INSIDE GRANGER STADIUM
Tomball Concordia Lutheran 21
Eagle Football 49
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Dual-sport dynamo Donte Lewis ‘24 (verbal Kansas St. baseball) dodged, darted, and delivered 307 total yards with five touchdowns in abbreviated duty, while a doomsday defense continued its lockdown mode in a boogie wonderland to merit the attention of Earth, Wind & Fire.
Man-child running back Johann Cardenas ‘24 (verbal Vanderbilt) bullied and bolted for 165 yards and two touchdowns as the no. 1 state private roared through a 49-point first half to rack a 7-0 start for the second season in a row. The Eagles are 2-0 in their immediate goal of recapturing kingpin superiority in a district St. Thomas has dominated since 2018 with a 23-2 record.
Eagle Football staged a Friday the 13th slasher, minus the hockey-mask-sporting, mother-grieving psycho Jason Voorhees, and the assorted barebones gorefests of the Reagan-era film macabre. St. Thomas required only 19 plays to rack the 49-point first-half avalanche and activate a running clock throughout the second stanza.
FRIDAY NIGHT FIVE
1. Lewis continues to flash the sort of slash-and-burn soloing reminiscent of rock-guitar gunslinger Eddie Van Halen unleashing his aesthetic “Eruption.”
After St. Thomas corralled a second TCL fumble, Lewis ramped a slick, speedy getaway from deep in his own territory. The 82-yard jaunt included but one sidestep before a straight-to-the-chase entry to the end zone. He was equally untouched on his 46-yard scamper to the left pylon in the second quarter that swelled the count to 35-0.
2. Lewis also fronts the most entertaining ensemble since Kenneth Branagh pulled double duty as the star and director leading a pedigreed cast in his third Agatha Christie adaptation, “A Haunting in Venice” (think Tina Fay as a slightly bullying know-it-all behind a thin layer of condescension, Kelly Reilly, Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Riccardo Scamarcio, et al).
After the opening salvo, the Eagles needed but three plays to bust the margin to three touchdowns. Receiver deluxe Luke Edgecomb ‘24 took a fling in the left flat, quick-twitched a avoid a pair of would-be tacklers at the line of scrimmage, and raced the sideline 68 yards for the score and his ninth touchdown reception.
3. Then midway first period, Lewis tag-teamed with Larry Benton III ‘24 who continues to burn nonsensical isolated coverage over the top. The 35-yard pitch-and-catch was Benton’s seventh scoring grab.
4. In Space City, Cardenas is ground control (without a Major Tom). He gashed TCL for 45 yards on the game’s first snap and capped the series from short range to ignite the soon-to-be runaway. Early in the second quarter, Cardenas blazed back-to-back for 24 and 36 yards before bulldozing the final four yards for his 10th touchdown in five games and 42-0.
5. Lewis closed the blitzkrieg with a laser to tight end Blaize Covington ‘24 who split the TCL for 47 yards and a resounding 49-7 advantage. QB1 has now thrown for 21 touchdowns plus run for a dazzling nine more. The masterpiece of offense execution was lacking only in joyous, rhythmic two-step conga lines involving the entire crew after a seventh touchdown of the first half, turning the turf into a ballroom.
VENI VIDI VICIOUS
The St. Thomas defense is swinging a raucous flesh hammer to rival The Woggles, last seen dishing a heaping helping of hip-shaking, windshield-steaming three-cord fusillade, shaking the rafters in a dance party rave-up that could melt Dick Clark’s face off.
The disruptive D got to the quarterback like an orca tossing a seal, administering punishment with prejudice in forcing two fumbles in the first quarter with sledgehammer linebacker Tyler Day ‘24 (10 tackles) recovering his third in three games.
The Eagles have allowed a single solitary competitive touchdown in a four-game stretch that includes planting Plano John Paul II 49-3 (35-0 halftime) and San Antonio Central Catholic 49-20 (28-6 halftime) along with a gnarly second-half shutout of Kinkaid.
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT
The smashing is the latest installment of a mismatched series St. Thomas has dominated with ease. The Grand Canyon-esque gap reads 13 overwhelming verdicts in 14 tries by a combined margin of 469-145.
Last season the irrepressible Cardenas roared for 158 rushing yards on only 16 carries with four touchdowns in a 35-7 thrashing.
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.
Hudson plans, preps, and play calls with the most envelope-pushing, in-your-face cocktails of bravado since Jeff Beck was whipping out propulsive rhythm, strings of arpeggios, or wildly scrambled solos.
In addition to the secret sauce he poured all over the Crusaders, Lewis has scorching breakaway touchdowns of 81, 75, 69, 65, 61, 33, 31, and 31 yards plus rambling gains of 52, 49, 48, and 37 yards. He owns a whomping worth of scoring throws for 77, 75, 72, 63, 52, 50, 48, 41, 35, and 33 yards. Lewis was turnover-free for the sixth game and has a 21-2 TD-to-interception ratio (47-9 in his two-year Eagle career) with the only takeaways this season in Week 4.
Also in the assault are 77, 75, 41, 31, and 23-yard touchdown gusts from Cardenas with a 52-yard snag and 39-yard scamper. Keenan Bonner ‘24 ripped a 61-yard scoring surge. Edgecomb is averaging 15 yards per catch, and Larry Benton III ‘24 18 yards.
ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL
Outside the 28-13 triumph over Kinkaid that involved a 21-0 second-half breakout, the Eagles are pushing 49 points per game with liberal substitution in three of the previous four weeks.
ROCKIN’ THE FILLMORE
The fifth home victory of 2023 raised Rich McGuire’s record to 49-24 in his seventh season as head coach.
McGuire has guided Eagle Football to 20 regular season wins in its previous 21 games and 16 victories in its previous 17 games in the friendly confines of Hotze Field in Granger Stadium. The consecutive 7-0 starts are the strongest opening streaks since 2013 when St. Thomas staged an undefeated regular season, the program’s first since 1939. And since 2021, McGuire is 14-1 in the non-district with 10 straight knocks.
The St. Thomas campus community was thrilled to honor 2023 Homecoming queen Cecilia Carrasco of Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and her court of Catherine Brown of St. Agnes Academy (father Alex ‘92), Carmen Colon of Duchesne, Daniella De La Cruz of Incarnate Word Academy, Mikah Kreuzer of Duchesne, Sophia Rivera of Duchesne, and Jane Volf of IWA.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, EAGLE STYLE
¡UNO!, ¡DOS!, ¡TRÉ!
The slam dance was streamed by KPRC 2 as part of its Big Game Coverage and served as the backdrop for its weekly Friday Night Football Frenzy. TCL could only lament the video was not exclusively available on Friendster or whatever, given the grizzly results.
St. Thomas is debuting a state-of-the-art video scoreboard in the south end zone of Granger Stadium during the season.
Cardenas was ranked in the preseason among the state’s top 100 football recruits and vividly showcased in the 64th edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, a prelude to his grand return after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee the previous October.
BIG BAM BOOM
St. Thomas is the Week 9 no. 1 private in Texas by Texas Football (seventh straight poll in the top spot), the no. 1 TAPPS in the state by MaxPreps, and the no. 1 private in Greater Houston by the Houston Chronicle and Houston VYPE.
COVERING ALL THE BASES
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.
Eagle Football travels to Belton and the University of Mary Hardin Baylor to face Prosper Walnut Grove (2-6), part of what the UIL calls an outlaw schedule for a school in its first year before joining a district for 2024-25.
The Wildcats dropped six straight games after their season-opening win before hammering El Paso Cathedral 61-7. Head coach Tommy Allison won the 1A Division II state title at Cayuga in 2009 after finishing as the state runner-up in 2008. He posted a 92-69 overall record in fourteen seasons as a head coach before spending the last two years as the offensive coordinator at Waco Midway.
Eagle Fight Never Dies!