Junior Mike Chandler II passed his test as Judson’s new starting quarterback with a tidy, efficient performance in the Rockets’ season opener Saturday night.

While it’s only one game, Chandler's execution of Judson’s high-octane offense went a long way toward answering any questions about whether he could step in and take over the position that 2018 graduate Julon Williams held for nearly three complete seasons.

Chandler, who transferred from North East ISD school Johnson during the summer, completed 12 of 21 passes for 179 yards in the Rockets’ 46-28 victory against Clear Lake Clear Springs in their season opener.

“Offensively, we executed really well,” Judson coach Sean McAuliffe said Tuesday. “Mike Chandler did a great job for his first start for us. He’s a true quarterback. He’s obviously extremely athletic. He’s got a knack for always looking down field before he takes off running, which is kind of a rarity in today’s day and age with everybody wanting to be the next Johnny Manziel-type kid.”

Judson is No. 1 in the first KENS5.com Class 6A area rankings of the season, and Alamo Heights is atop the Sub-6A rankings. The 5A Mules beat 6A New Braunfels 34-24.

O’Connor, Smithson Valley, Brandeis and Reagan, in that order, round out the top five in the 6A rankings. O’Connor, which reached the state quarterfinals last year and finished 13-1, beat Steele for the second year in a row.

Wagner, Southwest, Kerrville Tivy and Boerne Champion are Nos. 2-5 in the Sub-6A rankings. Wagner dropped to 5A with this year’s University Interscholastic League realignment.

Asked what he learned about his team in the season opener, McAuliffe said: “That they’re a close group of kids. They played really hard for each other. They held each other accountable. When things weren’t going well there in the third quarter, they kind of rallied themselves. That’s the sign of a team that I think has got a chance to some really good things.”

The Rockets, who rushed for 200 yards, outgained Clear Springs 379-246 in total offense. McAuliffe singled out sophomore Lucas Coley, a quarterback and wide receiver who was moved to outside linebacker.

“He did a really nice job,” McAuliffe said of Coley. “Super talented kids, both those guys. We’re just happy that our kids played really hard and that they played for each other.”

Judson plays Wagner in the annual Hammer Bowl on Saturday night at Rutledge Stadium. The Judson ISD rivals are meeting early this season because Wagner dropped to 5A with this year’s realignment.

“It’s a neighborhood deal,” McAuliffe said of the rivalry with Wagner. “These kids all grew up with each other. Some of them are related to each other. It’s kind of, 'draw a line in the sand and you’re either a Wagner kid or a Judson kid' when we get ready to duke it out."

“It’s a fun game to be a part of because the atmosphere and the build-up to it. But once the ball is kicked off, they’re the next guys on our list and hopefully we execute well and prepare well this week. If we do that, we feel like we’ll do a good job on Saturday night.”

KENS5.com Area High School Football Rankings

Class 6A

1. Judson (1-0)

FBH Judson getting ready to take the field for the 2016 Hammer Bowl_1536080119005.jpg.jpg
Judson has ranked among the best high school football programs in the state since it won its first of six state championships, including one by forfeit, in 1983. Photo by Antonio Morano (Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT) / Special to KENS5.com

District: 26-6A

Last week: Defeated Clear Lake Clear Springs 46-28

The skinny: New Judson quarterback Mike Chandler II, who transferred from Johnson during the summer, had a solid debut, completing 12 of 21 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 64 yards on only eight carries.

This week: vs. Wagner, Saturday, 7 p.m., Rutledge Stadium

2. O’Connor (1-0)

District: 28-6A

Last week: Defeated Steele 21-14

The skinny: O’Connor broke a 7-7 tie and seized the momentum with two third-quarter touchdowns that gave the Panthers a 21-7 lead heading into the fourth period.

This week: vs. Holmes, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Farris Stadium

3. Smithson Valley (1-0)

District: 26-6A

Last week: Lost to Midland Lee 24-23

The skinny: Missed extra-point kicks after their last two touchdowns proved costly to the Rangers.

This week: at Pflugerville Hendrickson, Thursday, 7 p.m.

4. Brandeis (1-0)

District: 28-6A

Last week: Defeated Johnson 35-17

The skinny: The Broncos rolled up 415 yards of total offense and beat Johnson for the first time since 2014.

This week: vs. Stevens, Thursday, 7 p.m., Gustafson Stadium

5. Reagan (1-0)

District: 27-6A

Last week: Defeated Brennan 24-22

The skinny: Reagan fought back from a 16-7 halftime deficit.

This week: vs. No. 6 Steele, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Heroes Stadium

6. Steele (0-1)

District: 26-6A

Last week: Lost to O’Connor 21-14

The skinny: Steele wide receiver Daniel Jackson caught 10 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns, both on throws from Wyatt Begeal.

This week: vs. No. 5 Reagan, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Heroes Stadium

7. Warren (1-0)

District: 28-6A

Last week: Defeated Del Rio 45-7

The skinny: The Warriors made Jeff Robbins' debut as head coach a memorable one.

This week: vs. Brennan, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Gustafson Stadium

8. Jay (1-0)

District: 28-6A

Last week: Beat Laredo Johnson 45-29

The skinny: Senior running back Jaylin Hastings was outstanding in the Mustangs' season opener, rushing for 242 yards and five touchdowns on 17 carries and catching a 13-yard TD pass.

This week: vs. Clark, Thursday, 7 p.m., Farris Stadium

9. Clemens (1-0)

District: 26-6A

Last week: Defeated Madison 23-20

The skinny: Sophomore defensive back Max Didomenico scored on a 68-yard fumble return to give Clemens a 23-13 cushion with 3:13 left.

This week: vs. MacArthur, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Lehnhoff Stadium

10. Madison (0-1)

District: 27-6A

Last week: Lost to Clemens 23-20

The skinny: Madison quarterback Dante Heaggans finished with 271 yards of total offense, passing for 152 yards and one touchdown and rushing for 119 yards and one score.

This week: vs. Austin Bowie, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Burger Stadium, Austin

Sub-6A Area Rankings

1. Alamo Heights (1-0)

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Alamo Heights senior quarterback Reed Andersen completed 16 of 28 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-24 season-opening victory against New Braunfels on Friday night. Photo by Dan Dunn / Special to KENS5.com

District: 14-5A / Division II

Last week: Defeated New Braunfels 34-24

The skinny: Alamo Heights wide receiver Nik Proctor had seven receptions for 106 yards yards and two touchdowns and passed for a 49-yard TD.

This week: at Laredo United, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. Wagner (1-0)

District: 13-5A / Division I

Last week: Defeated Laredo United South 60-21

The skinny: Wagner running back L.J. Butler rushed for 158 yards, averaged 14.4 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns in the Thunderbirds' season-opening rout.

This week: vs. Judson, Saturday, 7 p.m., Rutledge Stadium

3. Southwest (1-0)

District: 14-5A / Division I

Last week: Defeated Roosevelt 22-14

The skinny: Rosendo Olague ran for two touchdowns in the Dragons' victory.

This week: vs. Eagle Pass, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Southwest Dragon Stadium

4. Kerrville Tivy (0-1)

District: 14-5A / Division II

Last week: Lost to Dripping Springs 48-38

The skinny: Antlers were in same district with Tigers until this year's UIL realignment.

This week: vs. Fredericksburg, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Kerrville

5. Boerne Champion (0-1)

District: 14-5A / Division II

Last week: Lost to Stevens 21-7

The skinny: Champion outgained Stevens 348-220 in total offensive yardage, but the Chargers were hurt by three turnovers.

This week: vs. Veterans Memorial, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Rutledge Stadium

6. Navarro (1-0)

District: 13-4A / Division II

Last week: Defeated Gonzales 55-35

The skinny: Navarro piled up 501 yards of total offense and had 449 on the ground.

This week: at Marion, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

7. Boerne (1-0)

District: 15-4A / Division I

Last week: Defeated Yoakum 47-28

The skinny: The Greyhounds have made the playoffs six of the past seven seasons.

This week: at Medina Valley, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

8. Canyon Lake (1-0)

District: 14-4A / Division I

Last week: Defeated Marble Falls 22-0

The skinny: Canyon Lake running back Jacob Ruff ran for 158 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.

This week: vs. Pflugerville Weiss, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Canyon Lake

9. Somerset (1-0)

District: 15-5A / Division II

Last week: Defeated Brackenridge 54-39

The skinny: Somerset running back Hunter Hernandez rushed for 142 yards on 16 carries (8.9 average) and two touchdowns

This week: vs. Devine, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Somerset

10. Fredericksburg (1-0)

District: 14-4A / Division I

Last week: Defeated Sam Houston 18-15

The skinny: Sam Houston gave the Battlin' Billies a tough fight.

This week: at Kerrville Tivy, Friday, 7:30 p.m.