DJ Baptist

DJ Baptist is a preseason All-State selection at wide receiver by Dave Campbell's Texas Football.

Hutto is picked by many to win District 11-5A Division I this fall, and for good reason.

The Hippos have arguably the best quarterback in the entire state, Chase Griffin, an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions and an underrated defense led by stud DE Landyn Watson.

But will it be enough to unseat Cedar Park atop the district standings? Let's break down their 2018 schedule and find out.

Sept. 1 vs. West Mesquite (in Waco)

Hutto and West Mesquite averaged 43.2 and 38.6 points per game, respectively, last year, so expect plenty of fireworks in this one.

The Wranglers have speed to burn at the skill positions with RB Ty-Coreous Jordan (777 rushing, 9 total TDs), who runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, and WR Dylan Wright (550 receiving, 7 TDs), but only return three starters on defense.

West Mesquite's 2017 record: 7-3 (4-3 District 15-5A)

Sept. 7 vs. Liberty Hill

Contrasting styles collide in Week 2 as the pass-happy Hippos host Liberty Hill and its Slot-T rushing attack.

The Class 4A Panthers like to control the clock with RB Kyle Harrison (2,702 rushing) and an experienced offensive line, but could be forced out of their comfort zone if Hutto jumps out to an early lead.

Liberty Hill's 2017 record: 10-3 (4-1 District 13-4A I), regional finalist

Sept. 14 vs. El Paso Del Valle

While Liberty Hill may struggle to keep up with the Hippos, Del Valle should have no such trouble.

The Conquistadors are loaded on offense with the return of dual-threat QB Raymond Montez (2,589 passing, 964 rushing, 35 total TDs) and his top targets Karch Gardiner (1,046 receiving, 14 TDs), Danny Cortez (665 receiving, 8 TDs), Cauy Oropeza and Christian Rendon. Gardiner (5 INTs) also lines up at defensive back.

Del Valle's 2017 record: 10-2 (8-0 District 2-5A), area finalist

Sept. 21 vs. Houston Lamar (in Brenham)

Hutto's only blemish of the regular season could come against a talented Lamar team that played in the 6A regional semifinals last year.

While the Texans only bring back nine total starters, they should still have a formidable defense with the return of pass-rushers Kenneth Dotson (45 tackles, 6 sacks) and Trevon Johnson (37 tackles, 8 sacks), and DB Alex Hogan (2 INTs).

Lamar's 2017 record: 9-2 (6-0 District 18-6A), regional semifinalist

Sept. 28 vs. Pflugerville Connally

If the Hippos end up falling to Lamar, look for them to rebound in their district opener against Connally.

The Cougars return DBs Jhadae Barron (50 tackles, 3 INTs) and Keith Williams (60 tackles) on defense, but they could still get carved up. Last year, Griffin and co. dropped 63 points on Connally.

Connally's 2017 record: 3-7 (2-6 District 19-5A)

Oct. 5 @ Georgetown

Even with a new signal-caller, Georgetown should play Hutto close yet again.

The Eagles return speedy WRs Dylan Cahill (480 receiving, 7 TDs) and Noah Drum (400 receiving, 7 TDs), RB R.J. Moreno (620 rushing, 7 TDs), and a slew of defensive playmakers. Among them are pass-rushers Mason Meyer (8 sacks) and Tyler Noles (3 sacks), and DB Gage Leggett (75 tackles, 4 PBUs, INT).

Georgetown's 2017 record: 9-3 (6-2 District 19-5A), area finalist

Oct. 19 vs. Cedar Park

Coming off a bye week, the Hippos should be well rested for their matchup with defending district champion Cedar Park.

QB Ryan Fiala (1,264 passing, 17 TDs) and WRs Brandon Breed and Carson Neel (60 catches, 8 combined TDs) will move the ball against Hutto, but a youthful defense featuring six new starters could be the Timberwolves' undoing.

Cedar Park's 2017 record: 11-2 (8-0 District 19-5A), regional semifinalist

Oct. 25 @ Pflugerville

Pflugerville won just two games last year in Class 6A, but should be much more competitive this year under new coach Charles Taylor.

Look for the Panthers to employ a spread-based rushing attack spearheaded by RBs IK Evbayiro (189 rushing) and Taye McWilliams (517 rushing). Hutto will also need to be wary of disruptive DL Vincent Ume-Ezeoke.

Pflugerville's 2017 record: 2-8 (1-5 District 13-6A)

Nov. 2 vs. Manor

Manor also drops down from 6A, and brings a talented defense with it.

With 6-foot-5, 240-pound DL Princely Umanmielen (41 tackles, 4 sacks, 7 TFL) and 6-foot-4, 225-pound DE Tre'jon Lewis (42 tackles, 9 sacks, 10 TFL) up front, the Mustangs could make life difficult for Griffin and the Hippos.

Manor's 2017 record: 5-6 (2-3 District 14-6A), bi-district finalist

Nov. 9 @ Rouse

Rouse should be able to put up some points in this one with its balanced offense, led by QB Ethan Moore and RB Mylan Mitchell.

Moore (1,306 passing, 16 TDs) and Mitchell (892 rushing, 5 TDs) will work behind a big offensive line, anchored by 6-foot-6 Ayden Sharp. Defensively, the Raiders will rely on speedy DB Conner Shields (21 tackles) to slow down Hutto's receivers.

Rouse's 2017 record: 5-6 (4-4 District 19-5A), bi-district finalist

2018 Hutto Football Schedule

Date Opponent Time

9/1 vs. West Mesquite (in Waco) 11:00 a.m.

9/7 vs. Liberty Hill 7:00 p.m.

9/14 vs. Del Valle 7:00 p.m.

9/21 vs. Lamar (in Brenham) 7:00 p.m.

9/28 vs. Connally* 7:00 p.m.

10/5 @ Georgetown* 7:00 p.m.

10/12 BYE

10/19 vs. Cedar Park* 7:00 p.m.

10/25 @ Pflugerville* 7:00 p.m.

11/2 vs. Manor* 7:00 p.m.

11/9 @ Rouse* 7:00 p.m.

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