The high school football season kicked off just last week, but Judson coach Sean McAuliffe already is running out of superlatives to describe dynamic dual-threat senior quarterback Julon Williams.
Williams was spectacular in the Rockets’ decisive 65-45 victory over defending Class 6A Division I state champ Austin Lake Travis on Friday night, rolling up 501 of Judson’s 748 total yards and accounting for five touchdowns.
A four-star recruit, Williams capped off his big weekend by committing to the University of Houston on Sunday. He said UH coaches have told him he probably will play slot receiver in the Cougars’ offense.
Williams hurt Lake Travis with his arm and legs, completing 16 of 22 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 14 times for 214 yards and three more scores. He averaged a staggering 15.3 yards per carry.
“I’m kind of out of words to describe him,” Coach McAuliffe said Monday after practice. “I think the biggest thing that describes him is he’s just a great kid. He’s as competitive as the kids I’ve been around. I thought when I was out at Kerrville with the Manziel kid (Johnny Manziel) that he was the most competitive. I’m not so sure that the one I’ve got right now might be a little bit more.
“Where he’s different this year than maybe in years past is he’s rallying the kids around him. It’s not necessarily that he talks more. It’s more that he’s demanding it out of them, and the kids know that the other 10 that are going to step out on the field with him, whoever those 10 are, they better play well or they’re going to hear something about it.”
Judson is No. 1 in the first KENS 5 Class 6A area rankings, followed by District 27-6A rival Steele, which cruised to a 36-3 rout of Madison in David Saenz’s debut as the Knights’ head coach.
“It feels great,” said Saenz, who was Steele’s co-defensive coordinator for five seasons before being promoted when Scott Lehnhoff resigned early in the year to become athletic director of the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD. “I told our staff, I told our kids, you don’t take [victories] for granted. Anytime you win at any level, 1A through 6A, you appreciate it.”
The Knights won big despite playing without senior running back Brenden Brady, who sat out the game with a minor knee injury. Brady, who led the team in rushing with 1,685 yards and 20 TDs last year and has committed to Rice, should be ready to play at Lake Travis on Friday, Saenz said.
O’Connor (1-0), Smithson Valley (1-0) and Reagan (1-0) round out the 6A top five. Johnson, Clemens, Churchill, New Braunfels, and Warren are ranked Nos. 6-10, respectively.
Kerrville Tivy, which beat Stevens 30-24 in its opener, is No. 1 in the KENS 5 Sub-6A rankings. Somerset is No. 2 after routing Brackenridge 41-7. Bulldogs senior quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann, who has committed to BYU, hit 14 of 21 passes for 288 yards and three TDs.
Boerne Champion (0-1), Alamo Heights (0-1) and Highlands round out the Sub-6A top five. Navarro (1-0), Canyon Lake (1-0), Holy Cross (1-0), Antonian (1-0) and Central Catholic (1-0), in that order, complete the top 10.
Texas Football magazine picked Judson and Steele to win the 6A Division I and 6A Division II state championships, respectively, in its summer edition. Judson, 0-7 against Steele, hosts the Knights on Sept. 29 at Rutledge Stadium.
The Rockets have won six state titles, but none since 2002. Considering how they looked against Lake Travis, that drought could end this season. Williams made it clear he’s not thinking that far ahead.
How does a team as talented as the Rockets stay grounded?
“You just focus on the basics and stay humble, listen to your coaching staff, stay in the film room,” Williams said. “Do everything that got you to the point you’re at now.”
Judson plays Brennan at 7 p.m. Saturday at Farris Stadium. The Bears are coming off a 34-27 loss to four-time defending 26-6A champ Reagan on Saturday.
KENS 5 Area High School Football Rankings
1. Judson (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Austin Lake Travis 65-45
The skinny: Senior quarterback Julon Williams was spectacular in the win over defending Class 6A Division I state champion Lake Travis, piling up 501 of the Rockets’ 748 total yards and accounting for five touchdowns.
This week: vs. Brennan, Saturday, 7 p.m., Farris Stadium
2. Steele (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Madison 36-3
The skinny: It was a big night for first-year Steele head coach David Saenz and sophomore running back De’Quavion Thomas, who rushed for 190 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns before leaving his varsity debut with an ankle injury in the second half.
This week: at Austin Lake Travis, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
3. O’Connor (1-0)
Last week: Defeated MacArthur 49-24
The skinny: Senior Roel Sanchez completed 13 of 19 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns, leading the way for an O’Connor offense that also got 138 yards and two TDs from senior Tre Patterson and amassed 500 total yards.
This week: vs. No. 7 Churchill, Thursday, 7 p.m., Comalander Stadium
4. Smithson Valley (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Pflugerville Hendrickson 24-20
The skinny: The Rangers rallied for a scintillating victory on a fourth-down, 27-yard pass from junior Levi Williams to senior Ricky Rios with eight seconds left.
This week: at Austin Anderson, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
5. Reagan (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Brennan 34-27
The skinny: Junior John Carrington rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns as the Rattlers’ rallied for the win in Lyndon Hamilton’s debut as the Rattlers’ head coach.
This week: vs. Laredo United, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Heroes Stadium
6. Johnson (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Brandeis 31-28
The skinny: Senior wide receiver Brandon McDuffie scored on an 83-yard kickoff return after Brandeis took a 21-10 lead, igniting a 21-0 Johnson run that sparked the Jaguars to victory.
This week: vs. Corpus Christi Calallen, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Comalander Stadium
7. Churchill (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Clark 48-20
The skinny: Junior Derek Perez completed 16 of 16 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Chargers won the Gucci Bowl for the eighth consecutive year.
This week: vs. No. 3 O’Connor, Thursday, 7 p.m., Comalander Stadium
8. Clemens (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Round Rock 26-17
The skinny: Clemens senior running back Marshawn Brown rushed 35 times for 248 yards and three touchdowns, and the Buffaloes’ defense held Round Rock to only two first downs in the second half.
This week: vs. MacArthur, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Lehnhoff Stadium
9. New Braunfels (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Alamo Heights 44-19
The skinny: New Braunfels senior quarterback Ryan Redding racked up 299 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns, two passing and two rushing.
This week: at Seguin, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Matador Stadium
10. Warren (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Del Rio 24-21
The skinny: Senior running backs Marcus Thompkins (140) and Devin Moore (100) combined for 240 yards to help the Warriors overcome a 21-10 deficit in the fourth quarter.
This week: vs. Madison, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Gustafson Stadium
1. Kerrville Tivy (1-0)
District: District 26-5A
Last week: Defeated Stevens 30-24
The skinny: Junior quarterback Karson Valverde scored the winning touchdown on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter and added the two-point conversion.
This week: vs. Del Rio, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
2. Somerset (1-0)
District: 15-4A/Division I
Last week: Defeated Brackenridge 41-7
The skinny: Senior Zadock Dinkelmann hit 14 of 21 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who outgained Brackenridge 457-184 in total offensive yardage.
This week: vs. Sam Houston, Thursday, 7 p.m., Alamo Stadium
3. Boerne Champion (0-1)
Last week: Lost to Prosper 47-13
The skinny: The Chargers are looking to get back on track after a tough season opener. Senior Davis Brin completed 23 of 43 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown, but was intercepted three times.
This week: vs. Stevens, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Gustafson Stadium
4. Alamo Heights (0-1)
Last week: Lost to New Braunfels 44-19
The skinny: Junior Reed Anderson hit 19 of 31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns, all to junior wide receiver Nik Proctor, who had eight receptions for 151 yards, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an improved New Braunfels squad.
This week: vs. Brandeis, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Farris Stadium
5. Highlands (1-0)
Last week: Defeated Floresville 49-42
The skinny: Senior running back Rene Palomino rushed a whopping 46 times for 213 yards and five touchdowns, sparking Highlands to a victory in Hank Willis’ debut as the Owls’ head coach.
This week: vs. Holmes, Thursday, 7 p.m., Gustafson Stadium
6. Navarro (1-0)
District: 13-4A Division II
Last week: Defeated Giddings 29-28
The skinny: Senior running back Will Reyna scored the game-winner on a 24-yard run with 1:25 remaining, giving the Panthers their 24th consecutive regular-season victory. Giddings missed a 37-yard field goal as time ran out.
This week: at Marion, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
7. Canyon Lake (1-0)
District: District 14-4A Division I
Last week: Defeated Blanco 38-0
The skinny: Canyon Lake senior running back Tanner Faris slashed through the Blanco defense for 140 yards on just 12 carries and scored one TD.
This week: vs. Austin Reagan, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Nelson Field, Austin
8. Holy Cross (1-0)
District: TAPPS Division II/District 3
Last week: Defeated Lanier 28-0
The skinny: Freshman running back Jonathan Hernandez gained 111 yards on only seven carries and scored a 63-yard touchdown on his varsity attempt. The Knights dominated the Voks, outgaining them 415-82 in total offensive yardage.
This week: vs. Blanco, Thursday, 7 p.m., Wheatley Heights Sports Complex
9. Antonian (1-0)
District: TAPPS Division I/District 2
Last week: Defeated Jefferson 42-0
The skinny: The Apaches outgained the Mustangs 329-106 in total offensive yardage.
This week: vs. Hondo, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Antonian Stadium
10. Central Catholic (1-0)
District: TAPPS Division I/District 2
Last week: Defeated Kennedy 48-14
The skinny: Junior Nick Chavez completed 10 of 18 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns in former Incarnate Word coach Mike Santiago's debut as the Buttons' head coach.
This week: vs. McCollum, Thursday, 7 p.m., Harlandale Memorial Stadium