Episcopal, St. John’s clash Friday in very interesting SPC South showdown
It is October and that quickly, things have gotten very interesting in the Southwest Preparatory Conference South Zone.
The first of many big games for the seven schools in this district most likely comes this Friday night when archrivals Episcopal, which is 3-0 and 2-0 in the Zone, travels about three miles to Skip Lee Field to face St. John’s, which is 4-1 and 2-1 in the Zone after being stunned and shutout last Friday night in Fort Worth by Country Day, 29-0.
The other games at that same time have now 5-0 Kinkaid going to Austin to face St. Andrew’s and Houston Christian, which got into the win column in the Zone with its 47-14 victory on Trinity Valley, at home to take on Country Day.
For the longest time it looked like Friday night’s counter showdown between Episcopal and St. John’s would feature a pair of unbeatens, but Country Day ruined those plans with their performance against the Mavericks.
The Mavs finished with a season-low 144 yards and just 210 yards in total offense against FWCD, which is now 1-1 in the Zone and definitely right back in the playoff picture. For the first month of the season, St. John’s quarterback Wes Wallacegashed defenses with his running, but CD held him to only 44 yards on 12 carries and, most importantly, kept him out of the end zone. Risher Randall in his second game at running back was the pace-setter for St. John’s with 64 yards rushing on 19 carries.
CD’s offense had a very good night, scoring at least one touchdown in each quarter while never really letting the St. John’s offense finding its footing.
Episcopal, on the other hand, continued its rampage on opposing defenses by scoring 54 points for the second time in four games and scoring the final 33 points in what became a blowout victory over St. Andrew’s, which is now 0-3 in the Zone and pretty much out of playoff contention.
Junior running back Tyreik Gray continues to be the man for Episcopal, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown on just five carries against the Crusaders. But on a night the Knights picked up 499 yards in total offense, including 298 on the ground, running back Jimmy McCartney made a big splash himself, running the ball 16 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Gray’s most impressive feats, besides a 62-yard scoring run, was catching two touchdown passes from quarterback Will Taussig, who was 14-of-21 throwing the ball for 186 yards and two scores. He also ran for two more short touchdowns and Brice Madison chipped in a 33-yard touchdown run as Episcopal scored at least two touchdowns in each quarter.
St. Andrew’s, which is still looking for its first SPC victory in three years, led 6-0 midway through the first period and were down just 21-20 midway through the second period before Episcopal won going away.
So both St. John’s and Episcopal have a lot at stake this week. Episcopal, with a win, would stay right where they are atop the South standings and give themselves a two-game lead over the Mavericks while a St. John’s victory would put them back above .500 in the Zone and pull them even with the Knights in the standings because each team would have a loss.
So it should be a very interesting evening Friday at Skip Lee Field.
Meanwhile Kinkaid, which now has a new head coach in Nathan Larned after the highly-successful Stephen Hill was relieved of his duties nearly two weeks ago, gets back into the Zone when they visit St. Andrew’s Friday night in the state capital.
The Falcons are 2-0 in the South and stepped out of the league last Friday night to give Larned an easy 40-4 conquest of Beaumont Kelly last week in his debut in the Golden Triangle. Kinkaid led 34-2 at halftime and all of Kelly’s points came on two safeties off returning a blocked extra-point kick and a punt late in the game.
Junior quarterback J.T. Granato continued to have an outstanding year, throwing for over 200 yards on 15 completions to five different wide receivers. Stephen O’Suji scored two of his team’s touchdowns while Sam Mays and Jacob Mathews also added scores.
Even the defense got into the act when safety Thomas Dillon returned an interception 25 yards for the Falcons’ final score of the night in the third period.
With a Kinkaid victory Friday night and an Episcopal loss, the Falcons could take over first place all by themselves and be the last undefeated team in the South. While if both teams could win, they could stay tied with each other.
It’s October and the SPC South Zone has suddenly gotten very interesting.