Cedar Hill Football Primed For Another Strong Season
(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) After reaching the State Championship Game for the fourth time in the past decade, the Cedar Hill High School Football Team will take a familiar path in the 2021 season.
They’ll play one of the toughest Class 6A non-district schedules in Texas, before heading into District 6A-11, the vaunted “District of Doom.”
“We don’t shy away from competition,” Cedar Hill head football coach Carlos Lynn said. “After these three games, we’ll have a true assessment of what type of teams we’ll have before district starts on September 17.”
Lynn was honored as the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Class 6A Coach of the Year. He is 80-61 overall, including 35-12 at Cedar Hill where he’s led the Longhorns to a State Championship Game and two district championships in four seasons.
Cedar Hill vs. Rockwall August 27
The Longhorns will open the 2021 season on August 27 by hosting Rockwall in what is believed to be the first meeting between the two programs. Cedar Hill is 11-6 in season openers since 2004 and 14-3 in home openers during that same span.
Rockwall went 10-2 last season, losing to state quarterfinalist DeSoto, 30-27, in the second round of the playoffs.
Cedar Hill will then host Arlington – a team it defeated 28-21 last season – on September 3. Arlington also reached the second round of the playoffs, falling to state semifinalist Denton Guyer, 38-31, in double overtime. The Longhorns ultimately defeated Guyer, 27-17, to advance to the UIL Class 6A Division II State Championship Game.
The Longhorns will hit the road for the first time in 2021 when they visit Allen on September 10. The Eagles went 10-1 last season, falling to Euless Trinity, 49-45, in the regional quarterfinals. They have a new coach in Chad Morris, who previously served as the head coach at Arkansas and SMU, respectively.
Last season, the Cedar Hill-Allen game was canceled on gameday due to Allen reporting COVID-19 Cases. The Longhorns will be looking for their first win over the Eagles since 1977.
Scrimmage Friday Night vs Lancaster
Before the challenging non-district slate, the Longhorns will host 5A Lancaster in both teams’ lone scrimmage of the season at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Tigers went 9-1 last season, losing to Longview in the second round of the playoffs.
“The scrimmage will give us a gauge of where we are and what we need to improve upon,” Lynn said. “Facing an opponent other than ourselves is what the kids have been waiting on.”
The Longhorns benefited from a Spring Football Season in May – something that was unavailable for all Texas schools in 2020, due to COVID-19.
“Spring Football helps you with evaluation and getting a better idea of who can do what, going into the season,” Lynn said.
Cedar Hill graduated more than 50 seniors, including five who signed with Football Bowl Series (FBS) Programs. Last year’s Junior Varsity Team won the 6A-11 District Championship.
New Defensive Coordinator
The defense is slightly ahead of the offense, with new defensive coordinator Ray Gates promoted from defensive line coach. Gates succeeds DeMarcus Harris, who accepted the head coaching position at Mesquite.
“The defense looks like a typical Cedar Hill Defense,” Lynn said. “We’re doing our job, being stingy and not giving up the big plays.”
Seniors Syncere Massey, an Arizona State commit, and Harvey Dyson will lead the defensive line, while seniors Jalon Peoples, a Kansas commit, and Keandre Jackson will anchor the defensive backfield.
While the linebacker corps is young, Lynn expects senior Jakobie Clayton to be a leader.
A QB That Runs
Offensively, quarterback Cedric Harden Jr. succeeds All American Kaidon Salter, who’s now a freshman at Liberty University in Virginia. Harden Jr. was a backup quarterback as a sophomore and threw a touchdown pass to Salter in the Longhorns’ semifinal victory over Guyer.
“He’s a good athlete with a different style than Salter,” Lynn said. “He’s more of a runner. Harden Jr. will do some good things with the ball.”
Harden Jr. will work with quarterbacks coach Austin Crisler, who succeeds DJ Mann, who accepted the head coach position at Lubbock Coronado, his alma mater.
The Longhorns will have an entirely new group of receivers, with four receivers from the 2020 team joining college football programs at various levels. Senior Xavier Brown, a transfer from Mesquite Horn, has committed to UConn.
He’ll be joined by fellow senior Miles Rhoden and juniors Josh Manley and Jaiden Hawkins.
Senior Robert Richardson, a transfer from DeSoto, was part of a gold medal 4×200 Team at the UIL 6A State Track & Field Championships in May and a bronze medal 4×200 Team at the national championships in Oregon in July. He’ll be joined in the backfield by juniors Jaylen Jenkins and Zaki’re Porter
The offensive line returns two starters in senior Josiah Jefferson and junior Jayden Coker.
“The Offensive Line should have a pretty good group,” Lynn said.
The Longhorns won’t know how deep they are until later in the season.
“You don’t really know until you’re tested,” Lynn said. “We’ve spent a lot of time making sure we have the right people in the right places.”