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Brauny's Best: Highlighting top high school performances from Round 4

December 5, 2023
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We are getting down to the nitty-gritty across the high school football landscape as the state of Texas moves into semifinal weekend. Therefore, that also means we are winding down Brauny's Best, but not before we crown some champions next week in Arlington. With that said, here are my top performers from last weekend.

Texas A&M Class

Jasper LB Tyanthony Smith

  • 12 tackles, 3 tackles for loss

Unfortunately, this will be the last time I'm able to shine a spotlight on Smith this year as Jasper ran into the buzzsaw that is the Bellville Brahmas in 4A Division II. Still, the A&M LB commit ended his senior year with another really solid outing against one of the most devastating ground games in the state of Texas. I mean, Bellville has three running backs who are well over 1,000 yards rushing. Go look at some of those clips in the Hudl video above. Watch Smith navigate all that traffic and continue to play downhill. His nose for the football and overall feel for the game took off over the back half of his senior season. It's clear he started to see the game and became confident in his preparation throughout the week. Even in a loss, Smith played winning football.

State of Texas

Gilmer Buckeyes and the Tyler Chapel Hill Bulldogs

  • Gilmer: An upset win over state favorite Carthage, 47-44
  • Tyler Chapel Hill: An upset win over state favorite Kilgore, 21-19

OK, so I cheated this week and went with team performances rather than individual. In my defense, it is extremely well-earned. These were two massive upsets in the heart of East Texas that had high school football media across the state buzzing. Gilmer isn't a stranger to success or making deep playoff runs, but Carthage had just beaten what everyone assumed was going to be their biggest test on the road to AT&T Stadium in the week prior when they edged out Pleasant Grove. Nobody told the Gilmer Buckeyes they were just supposed to roll over, play dead and let their Pine Curtain brethren move on. They got into a wild shootout and walked out on the other side with their season still alive and a massive gold ball for their trophy case.

Similarly, Jeff Riordan's Tyler Chapel Hill Bulldogs entered Friday night's affair with Kilgore as the prohibitive underdog. Kilgore's only loss on the year had come at the hands of the aforementioned Carthage and had disposed of Chapel Hill by 23 points on Nov. 3. Led by standout SMU commit Demetrius Brisbon‍, Chapel Hill was able to win a bare-knuckle fistfight over their district rivals.

My Coverage

Fort Bend Hightower RB Jeremy Payne

  • 9 rushes, 31 yards
  • 7 receptions, 106 yards, 1 touchdown

Fort Bend Hightower came up just short in their regional final contest against Summer Creek on Saturday, but TCU commit Jeremy Payne did everything he could to propel his team to the next round. While he did have some success on the ground, most of his damage came in the passing game, where he showed soft hands, great contact balance and elite speed after the hauling in catches. He made pursuit angles disappear on a 76-yard scoring play after he took a check-down throw, made a man miss and then sprinted down the Summer Creek sideline to pay dirt in the first half. He later plucked a screen pass out of the air one-handed then made an acrobatic spin to get stay on his feet and nearly scooted down the sideline for another long touchdown reception. I like the all-purpose skill set here and think he could thrive in the right system at the next level.

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Brauny's Best: Highlighting top high school performances from Round 4

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