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Midlothian Heritage, Red Oak climb AP football rankings; DCTF predicts all week 6 Ellis County football games

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

LEWISVILLE — Red Oak and Midlothian Heritage continue to ascend up the 5A state rankings following undefeated starts to the season, according to the most recent polls released by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

The two programs are the lone ranked teams in Ellis County after five weeks of play. 

DCTF produces the official weekly state poll observed by the Associated Press. The longstanding leader in Texas high school football coverage has also added weekly computer projections, which utilize a number of statistics and past results to predict winners, margins and percentages to win for every game across the state. The week 6 projections for Ellis County are broken down below.

Midlothian Heritage began the season as the lone Ellis County team ranked in the DCTF polls, checking in at No. 10 in the 5A Division II preseason poll. The Jaguars’ dominant 5-0 start has second-year head coach Eric Edwards and company up to No. 4 in the 5A DII rankings. 

The Jaguars (5-0, 2-0 in 5-5A DII) have outscored their opposition 217-73 on the season, which includes a wild 94-17 mark through two District 5-5A Division II games.

Because of the lopsided scores, many of the Jaguar starters have logged very few (if any) second-half snaps.

Junior quarterback Carter Rutenbar has completed 53-of-his-87 passes for 999 yards and 16 touchdowns to 3 interceptions — and only one of those scores has come in the second half.

Stetson “why are DI schools not paying attention” Sarratt has 8 touchdowns and 499 yards on 18 catches. All of those numbers have come solely in the first half of Jaguar games. Sarratt also leads the team with 2 interceptions. Junior wideout Chris Robinson has 4 touchdowns on just 11 grabs for 180 yards. 

As a team, the Jaguars have 35.5 tackles-for-loss, 8.0 sacks, 13 quarterback hurries, 4 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles at the midway point.

The Midlothian Heritage defense is led by Noah O’Neal (30tot tckls, 2.5TFL), Jaylin Hawkins (25tot tckls, 2.5 TFL), Joel Gomez (23tot tckls, 4.5TFL) and Temerrick Johnson (2.5 sacks, 22tot tckls, 7.5TFL).

A quick glance at the rest of the 5A DII state rankings shows Melissa held its top spot, followed by Frisco Emerson and Montgomery Lake Creek, who both rose after Fort Bend Marshall lost to Santa Fe and dropped from No. 2 to No. 8. 

South Oak Cliff and Lovejoy are the only other Dallas-Fort Worth area teams ranked in the 5A DII top-10, checking in at No. 7 and 9, respectively. Texarkana Texas High (5), Port Neches-Groves (6), Fort Bend Marshall (8) and Belton (10) finish out this week’s rankings.

An almost permanent spot inside the state’s top 4 through the end of the regular season isn’t a stretch for the Jaguars. 

Midlothian Heritage will close with crucial home games against Mansfield Summit (Oct. 5) and Everman (Nov. 3) and road tilts against Ennis (Oct. 13) and Arlington Seguin (Oct. 26). The Jaguars should steamroll Corsicana in their only other regular-season game at home Friday, Oct. 20. 

The opportunity to host Summit and Everman at Midlothian ISD Stadium is huge. The second version of the “Battle of 287” between Midlothian Heritage and Ennis will be a must-watch. It’s a fun time to be a Jaguar fan. 

Red Oak moved up one spot to No. 7 in the 5A Division I poll. The Hawks defeated Killeen Ellison 49-18 to improve to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in District 4-5A Division I on Sept. 15.

Red Oak (4-0, 2-0) enjoyed a bye in week 5 and will travel to face (3-2, 1-2) Killeen Shoemaker on Friday. 

The Hawks have leaned heavily on a first-half offense and full-team effort on defense to build their 4-0 start. Red Oak has outscored its opposition 134-68 on the season, though just 87-52 through two district wins against Lake Belton (38-34) and Killeen Ellison (49-18).

Senior quarterback Reggie Moody Jr. paces the Hawk offense with 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns to 3 interceptions on 73-of-115 passing (64.0%). 

Taz Williams Jr. (25-348, 5 TD) and Brayden Robinson (14-261, 2 TD) lead the Hawk receiving corps. 

The Hawk defense is led by seniors Mehki Williams (38tot tckls, 3 TFL, 4 sacks), Kaiden Bates 26tot tckls, 2TFL) and Zachary Smith (21 tot tckls, 3 TFL, 2INT), along with junior Kamauryn Morgan ( 26 tot tckls, 7 TFL, 2 sacks). 

Midlothian (4-1, 3-0 in 4-5A DI) currently leads Red Oak and Killeen (4-0, 2-0) in the district standings. Lake Belton (4-1, 2-1) sits fourth in a district with a top four quickly separating from the other five. 

As for the rest of the 5A Division II rankings, defending state champion Aledo maintains its stranglehold on the top spot, followed by one-loss Longview, Mansfield Timberview, Port Arthur Memorial and Fulshear to round out the top five. Smithson Valley sits at No. 6, one spot ahead of the Hawks.

PSJA North, Frisco Lone Star and Forney file in line behind Red Oak to fill out the top-10 list.

And for those looking for the DCTF computer projections… 

(4-0, 2-0 in 4-5A DI) No. 7 Red Oak v (3-2) Killeen Shoemaker — Shoemaker is projected to win by 1 point and is a 56.2% favorite. 

(4-1, 3-0 in 4-5A DI) Midlothian v (4-1) Killeen — The Panthers are projected to be a 14-point favorite with an 80.2% chance of winning.

(4-1) Robinson v (1-4) Life Waxahachie — Robinson is heavily favored, projecting as a 20-point favorite with an 86.8% chance of securing a fifth win. This is the final non-district game for both teams.

(3-1) Blooming Grove v (3-2, 1-0 in District 7-3A DII) Palmer — Palmer is favored by 17 points with a 79.2% chance of winning. The Bulldogs defeated Trinity Leadership, 27-24, in week 5 after back-to-back nail-biting losses against Westwood (52-44) and Rogers (34-27). 

(0-4) Dallas Gateway Charter v (3-1, 1-1) Maypearl — The Panthers are an absolute lock with a 99.9% win probability and will enter Panther Stadium favored by 50 points. Maypearl was blanked by Grandview, 34-0, one week ago. The Panthers might not cover the 50-point spread, but they will, without a doubt, win this District 7-3A DI game. 

(1-3, 0-0) Rio Vista v (2-3, 1-0) Italy — The Gladiators are favored by 9 points with a 67.5% win probability. Rio Vista has scored 61 points on the season. Italy began the season with losses against Scurry-Rosser (21-14), Chilton (20-14) and state-power Mart (49-7). The Gladiators bounced back with wins against Dallas Roosevelt (48-12) and Cross Roads (45-14). Nine points isn’t enough — Italy by three touchdowns. 

(1-3) Fort Worth THESA v (3-2) Milford — Milford is favored by 12 points but has a comfortable 78.8% win probability. The Bulldogs suffered losses to Aquilla (94-66) and Union Hill (67-65). We’d be shocked to not see this being a 45-point second-half mercy-rule win for the Bulldogs.

(4-1, 1-1 in TAPPS District 2 6-Man Divison II) Ovilla Christian v (1-3, 0-2) Dallas Lutheran — The computers favor the 6-man upstart Eagles by 14 points with an 80.2% win probability. The Eagles opened district play with a thrilling 59-56 win at home against Wylie Preparatory Academy. They then fell to Lucas Christian Academy, 78-47, in week two of district play.

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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