Another long playoff run in sight for Judson football


Photo By: Max Rutherford

The Rockets run onto the field at D.W. Rutledge Stadium for their Pink Out game against Smithson Valley. The Rockets beat the Rangers 30-13. Clemens is the next highly anticipated game in the district.

CORRECTION: The headline has been updated from a previous version of this article.

There are three weeks left of the Texas High School Football Regular Season and it is all winding down to the playoffs. The Judson Rockets are currently sitting at seventh in the state in 6A, 4-0 in District 26-6A, and 7-0 overall with big wins over Clear Springs, Wagner, Steele and Smithson Valley. 

Last week, the Judson Rockets took on the Smithson Valley Rangers (4-3) at home and after falling behind 10-0 after the first quarter, the Rockets offense woke up to score 17 unanswered points by the beginning of the second half. The game was surrounded by controversy and tension, but the Rockets were able to overcome that to take control of the game and beat Smithson Valley, 30-13.

The Rockets held the Rangers to only three points after the first quarter. This was important as the defense was a huge question mark coming into the second half of this season. The game itself was important to determine who gets a home playoff game and who has to travel for the first playoff game in the 6A Division 1 Playoff Bracket.

This week, the Rockets travel to Cougar Stadium in New Braunfels, Texas to take on the Canyon Cougars (0-7). Canyon lost last week to the East Central Hornets (5-2), 42-14. The Cougars are currently tied for the last place in the district with San Marcos. They aren’t much of a threat to the Rockets.

It can be expected that the Rockets will score early and often. This game could be an opportunity for underclassmen and second string to get some playing time and experience on the field before playoffs. With all of that said, the Rockets should take this game seriously and not look too far ahead.

UIL Snapshot Day

Along with the game against Canyon, this Friday is super important because it is UIL Snapshot Day. Snapshot Day is when every high school in Texas releases its school enrollment numbers to the UIL, which all leads up to UIL Realignment in February 2020. Realignment is when the UIL puts every school into new districts, regions, or conferences which is dependent on the school’s enrollment. As of Wednesday, October 23,  Judson High School is at 2,528 students which is well above the 6A 2018 Realignment cutoff of 2,190. 

Something to consider is after the last realignment, Wagner High School, Judson’s sister school, dropped to 5A and it is a huge possibility they could come back up to 6A. Other schools like Harlan High School from Northside I.S.D., Southwest High School and Legacy High School from Southwest I.S.D., and all of Corpus Christi I.S.D. could come up to 6A and push District 25-6A, the Austin district, out of Region Four, which would be beneficial to San Antonio schools.

Region Four as a whole is very chalky.  In District 25-6A, the Austin Lake Travis Cavaliers (6-1) and the Austin Westlake Chaparrals (6-1) are doing what they normally do. Lake Travis took down Westlake 26-25 a few weeks ago. But also during that game, the Cavaliers lost their senior starting quarterback and Texas commit, Hudson Card, to a foot injury and will be out from four to six weeks. Both have dates with undefeated Buda Hays Rebels (7-0), which will be a good test for Lake Travis before playoffs. Buda Hays is a team the Rockets could very well see in the first round of the playoffs if they lose to Lake Travis.

San Antonio Area Districts

In District 26-6A, the Rockets and the Clemens Buffaloes (6-1) are tied for first place at 4-0. Clemens took down the Steele Knights (5-2) 28-23 a few weeks ago, which launched them back into the playoff conversation after giving up a big lead and losing to Reagan (2-5) 35-28 a few weeks prior. East Central is at 3-1 and third in district with their only loss coming at the hands at Smithson Valley (4-3) and unfortunately, the Hornets end the season with Clemens, Judson, and Steele. Smithson Valley and Steele are tied at 2-2 in the district and in fourth place, but with the way East Central ends the season, we could see them take third and fourth place. Judson and Clemens will face off in the final game of the regular season to determine the district championship

In District 27-6A the Madison Mavericks (5-2) have come back after a rough start to the season and are tied for first place at 4-0 with the Johnson Jaguars (5-2). Both Madison and Johnson took down and beat Reagan by a touchdown. Another team out of that district, the Roosevelt Rough Riders (6-1), also took down Reagan 28-21 and are 3-1 in the district. At this point, playoff hopes for the Reagan Rattlers (2-5) don’t look too good after falling to 1-3 in the district. With that, we could see both Madison and Johnson make their way into the 6A Division 1 bracket with Judson. Madison and Johnson will face off in the last game of the regular season before playoffs which could determine playoff seeding.

In District 28-6A, the Brandeis Broncos (7-0) have completely run the tables on everyone including the Brennan Bears (6-1) 51-16 and the O’Connor Panthers (5-2) 37-15. O’Connor is a pretty solid team that Judson could see in the playoffs. Brandeis and Brennan are looking to go 6A Division 2, which could cause problems for teams like Westlake and Clemens.

The Rio Grande Valley is pretty chalky with teams like Laredo United (6-1), Weslaco (6-1), and Edinburg Vela (5-2) being the top dogs once again. But one team that is a surprise is the Harlingen Cardinals (6-1) with their only loss being to the Judson Rockets 39-0 earlier in the season. It is possible the Rockets could see the Cardinals in the playoffs.

All of this winds down to the most important part of the season. Playoffs. Every season, it is playoffs or bust for the Judson Rockets and this season is no different than the past few. The Judson Rockets still have one more important and highly anticipated game left against the Clemens Buffaloes, which will be a great test before playoffs. It will be interesting to watch how the rest of the season plays out but nonetheless the Rockets look to be the team to beat in the region once again.