Despite loss to Clemens, the Rockets are still strong playoff contenders


Photo By: Justin Lopez

Coach Rodney Williams walks on the sidelines during the first regular season game against the Clear Springs Chargers. This is his first year has head coach.

It’s football playoff time in Texas! 

Starting on Thursday, November 14, the Texas High School Football Playoffs begin all around the state and 704 teams will battle to become the best of the best, all the way up until the week before Christmas. Judson is one of 64 teams battling for the 6A Division 1 State Championship. 

The Rockets (9-1) fell to the Clemens Buffaloes (9-1) last Friday, 34-30. Despite the loss in the final regular-season game, it had no impact on the playoff seeding as Clemens is going to 6A Division 2. The Rockets kick off the playoffs with a Bi-District home game this Friday against the Buda Hays Rebels (8-2).

6A Division 1 Region 4

This is where things get interesting.

Austin Lake Travis (9-1) will host the Smithson Valley Rangers (6-4) in the first round. Lake Travis is still without Texas quarterback commit Hudson Card and Smithson Valley is always a tough team to play. It is still unclear when Card will return but Coach Larry Hill and his Rangers will be ready to take on the Lake Travis Cavaliers.

The Madison Mavericks (8-2) are back-to-back District 27-6A Champions after a slow start to the season. They will take on the Stevens Falcons (5-5) in the first round and will likely take on either Lake Travis or Smithson Valley in the second round and just like last year, it will be a game to watch.

The Rockets, despite the loss on Friday, will be the number one seed in Division One. The Hays Rebels (8-2) will travel to D.W. Rutledge Stadium to take on the Rockets who will be hungry for a long playoff run. The Rebels, despite their record, aren’t that impressive and the Rockets should have control of the game. The Rebels only losses were to powerhouses Lake Travis, 59-27, and Westlake, 65-7, which means Judson should have no problem taking care of business. 

The San Antonio O’Connor Panthers (8-2), even though they are not undefeated, seem to have a much better team this year than last year. They will take on the Reagan Rattlers (5-5) and want to avoid a repeat of last year, where the Rattlers took advantage of the Panthers’ mistakes to win 30-7. The Panthers and the Rockets are likely to meet in the second round in what could be a highly anticipated matchup.

Lake Travis and Judson are the favorites in Region 4 and we could see another huge round four matchups for the region championship.

Photo By: Victoria Patterson
Football players run on to the field for their game against Steele.

6A Division 2 Region 4

Two teams from our district are representing in the Division Two bracket. Schertz Clemens (9-1) will host the Austin Bowie Bulldogs (5-5) and Cibolo Steele (8-2) travels to Austin Westlake (9-1) in a highly anticipated matchup. 

Steele’s only losses on the season were to Judson, 51-48, and Clemens, 28-23. The loss to Clemens is what sent the Knights to Westlake in the first round. Steele will have the tall task of using their offensive firepower to overcome Westlake’s crushing defense. The Westlake Chaparrals have only allowed 100 points on the season.

The Clemens Buffaloes could see a team like San Antonio Brandeis (10-0) in the second round in another highly anticipated matchup. Clemens has come a long way since their 35-28 loss to Reagan earlier in the season, as they down Steele and Judson to win the District Championship. 

Anything can happen in this region as Westlake, Steele, Clemens, and Brandeis are all state-ranked and contenders for the regional title. The hope is that a San Antonio team can come out of the region and represent in the final four and maybe even at AT&T Stadium in December. 

5A Division 1 Region 4

The Wagner Thunderbirds (9-1) and the Veterans Memorial Patriots (8-2) will represent Judson I.S.D. in the 5A Division One bracket. Both are favored in a pretty much wide open region. Teams like San Antonio Harlan (10-0) and Corpus Christi Miller (10-0) could give them a little bit of trouble. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if there will be a Judson I.S.D. representative at AT&T Stadium in December.