The Bishop Dunne Falcons come into the 2017 season looking to win another state championship after reaching the finals the previous three seasons and winning it all in 2014. A year ago, the Falcons were a drive away from taking home the trophy but were denied by district rival Bishop Lynch. A large part of the Falcons success the previous 3 seasons was the contributions of last year’s senior class. A whopping 12 graduates from that class have moved on to play college football, leaving a lot of holes to fill for head coach Michael Johnson in 2017.
The skill positions on offense will be a strength for the Falcons. The backfield will feature newcomers junior Dee Johnson and senior Reggie Peck, a standout at Dallas Christian last season who scored 22 touchdowns and averaged 7+ yards a carry. Juniors Marquez Beason, a 2016 first team all-state selection, and Jabari Khepera will give Dunne one of the top returning dual threat options at receiver. Senior transfer Jarel Miller will also be in the mix at receiver to give Dunne even more speed on the outside.
For these athletes to shine on offense, the Falcons will need to get consistent play from the line and junior Alec Ralph, who returns at quarterback after extensively playing in last year’s state title game. Ralph and newcomer Peyton Culberson will have to play behind a much different line after the departure of Malex Fuget, Peyton Matous, Lois Jackson, and “Q” Hennington, all college signees in the spring. Junior Chanc Jones and senior Keivan Myers do return to help bring up to speed an inexperienced o-line.
Defensively, Dunne will have to replace collegiate signees Mene Khepera (Tx. Southern) and Shaine Hailey (SMU) at linebacker. Expected to get substantial time at the LB position will be newcomers junior Gabe Matous and sophomore Brennan Scott. On the line, Bishop Dunne will feature one of the top defensive fronts in the game.
Senior tackle Calvin Avery returns after an all-state junior year and holds a college offer from just about any school you can think of. Avery’s preseason accolades included an invite to the Under Armour All-American game as well as the Army All-American game and is listed in the ESPN 300. Avery has not committed to a school, but has narrowed the decision down to five schools: Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, USC, and TCU. Returning with Avery on the line will be senior Roscoe Jones, who also holds a list of collegiate offers. Helping fill the void left by all-state lineman Damion Daniels will be newcomer and senior, Patrick Lee. Also expect junior Zyuan Jones to be in the mix on the defensive line.
The best unit for Bishop Dunne should be their defensive secondary. Junior safety Brian Williams, an Under Armor All-American, returns after an all-state sophomore year when he led the league in interceptions (8) and finished with 78 tackles. Williams is rated as high as five stars by some recruiting services, including being the top DB for the class of 2019, and is just as good in the classroom, making him a perfect fit to lead a speedy and talented Dunne defense. An experienced senior, Jason White, will join Williams in the defensive backfield. White finished 2016 with 30 tackles and 3 interceptions. New to the mix will be junior Logan Wilson. The cornerback saw limited action a year ago and is expected to play alongside White. If the CB duo can replicate a semblance of the work all-state winner Chevin Calloway put in last season, it will be a very good year for the Bishop Dunne defense.
Kicking duties will once again be handled by Tucker Littleton. The junior averaged nearly 40 yards a punt as a sophomore and connected successfully on 45 of 47 PAT’s, and 7 of 10 field goals.
Bishop Dunne kicks off the 2017 season on the road vs Port Arthur Memorial then hits the road to face one of the top teams in Tennessee, Brentwood Academy, in a game played in Shreveport. The very next week, Dunne will take to the road again to face Fayetteville (AR), a team that defeated the Falcons 35-25 in 2016. This three game stretch should tell us a lot about the Falcons going into the bye week and give fans an idea of how well the offense will operate behind an inexperienced line. The Falcons open up district play following the off week against rival and defending state champion Bishop Lynch. Trying to avenge last year’s title game loss should be short-lived as Dunne faces Nolan, TCA, Parish, and Prestonwood the following weeks.
The mighty Dunne defense will have the Falcons in every game, and barring injury, should give them an advantage throughout the season. The athleticism will be unmatched despite playing in the toughest district, however the Falcons will have to be consistent on offense and avoid turnovers. We expect Dunne to be a playoff team and will be a favorite to reach state again. With the addition of 2-time defending SPC champion All Saints to TAPPS, we could see a Dunne-Saints matchup come playoff time, something we really want to see.
Record: 8-6 (3-4 TAPPS I-1)
Playoffs: Liberty Christian (29-7), Central Catholic (35-0), St. Pius X (23-18), Bishop Lynch (17-21)
Head Coach: Michael Johnson (52-42, 9th season)
Assistants: Myron Hawthorne (OC), Delone Williams (DC)
Key Returning Players
Chanc Jones (G, Jr.), Keivan Myers (T, Sr.), Marquez Beason (WR, Jr.), Jabari Khepera (WR, Jr.), Calvin Avery (DT, Sr.), Roscoe Jones (DE, Sr.), Jason White (CB, Sr.), Brian Williams (S, Jr.), Alex Ralph (QB, Jr.)
Jordan Butler (RB, Texas Wesleyan)
Chevin Calloway (CB, Arkansas)
Rajan Cunningham (RB, Texas Southern)
Damion Daniels (DT, Nebraska)
Paul Favorite (LB, Texas Southern)
Malex Fuget (G, Houston)
Shaine Hailey (LB, SMU)
Q Hennington (TE, Jackson State)
Lois Jackson (T, Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
Mene Khepera (LB, Texas Southern)
Peyton Matous (C, Penn)
Ricky Rollerson (DB, Illinois State)
9/2 – @Port Arthur Memorial
9/9 – Brentwood Academy (TN) @Shreveport – Battle on the Border
9/15 – @Fayetteville (AR)
9/29 – @Bishop Lynch
10/6 – Nolan Catholic
10/13 – @Addison TCA
10/20 – @Parish Episcopal
10/27 – Prestonwood
11/3 – Liberty Christian
11/10 – @Plano JPII
2017 Roster: MaxPreps