_The Ridge Point Panthers’ bi-district playoff game vs. Katy Seven Lakes will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. Friday. Listen to the game live, or later on the podcast, at this link_: https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype.
Also, if the Ridge Point volleyball team advances to the 6A state final, you can also listen to it at the same link starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Ridge Point Panthers, still a young pup of a football program back in 2015, remembers the Alamo. The Alamo City, that is. In the fourth (state quarterfinal) round, the Panthers danced out of San Antonio’s Alamodome with a 36-35 heart-stopper of a win over an Angleton Wildcats team that featured current Texas Longhorn B.J. Foster.
In the next week’s state semi-final vs. eventual champion Cedar Park at NRG Stadium, Ridge Point fell 38-17. The prodigious run at a state title established high standards and escalating confidence for a Ridge Point team that is always a district champion since getting promoted to the state’s largest classification.
They haven’t lost a district game since the UIL moved the fast-growing Sienna Plantation school up to Class 6A for the 2016 season, but that 2015 playoff journey is their apex. Houston Lamar has turned them away in the second round of the 6A Division I bracket the last two seasons with heartbreaking defeats.
So – how to get to playoff round number three? The Panthers have done everything they can to this point in 2018, emerging from District 20-6A at 9-1, 7-0. The only thing that spoiled their otherwise perfect season was a humbling 44-0 loss to North Shore, and it was only humbling because of the score, not the opponent. (The Mustangs are ranked #2 in Texas by nearly every poll, including VYPE’s.)
They’re facing a third different bi-district playoff opponent from District 19-6A, which is completely populated by Katy ISD schools. They defeated Morton Ranch in 2016 and Cinco Ranch last year before Lamar eliminated them the next week each time.
The head coach of this year’s first-round opponent is very familiar with Ridge Point’s schemes and philosophies.
Seven Lakes, under first-year sideline leader Jimmy Hamon (formerly the defensive co-ordinator on the Ridge Point staff for Brett Sniffin, the only head coach the Panthers have ever had), was 6-4 overall and 3-3 in district. Their district losses were to Tompkins, Katy and Morton Ranch, but the Spartans are riding high after a 40-10 season-ending win over Cinco Ranch – the first time they’ve beaten the Cougars in varsity football since Seven Lakes opened in 2005. Phillip Dober, another former Ridge Point assistant, is Hamon’s defensive co-ordinator.
Spartans’ quarterback Michael Batton leads a balanced offense, accounting for 1,405 yards through the air at a 54% completion rate, delivering 17 TD passes and throwing only five interceptions. Receivers Rasheen Green, John Harrington and Jaden Embra have all exceeded 300 receiving yards in 2018, and Green leads the Spartans with 477 yards (18.3 per catch) and eight touchdowns. Seven Lakes’ leading rusher is Corey Anderson (584 yds., 4.6 avg., 4 TDs).
Linebacker Nathaniel Hawkins leads the Spartans’ defense with 58 total tackles and Jailynn Simon has the most sacks (four).
Seven Lakes and Ridge Point have never met in varsity football. All-time in playoff games, Seven Lakes is 0-3 and the Panthers are 9-6.