This fall, MaxPreps and the National Guard will visit high school football rivalries all across the country as we honor what is quite possibly the greatest tradition in sports. We're sending photographers and videographers out to capture the whole rivalry experience between some of the longest standing rivals in the nation.
We get to kick off our first rivalry game in where else, but the Lone Star state for the Pearland-Manvel Showdown. The Rivalry Series microsite has all the details and information you'll need to follow this rivalry from start to finish.
Beforehand, the Pearland-Manvel Showdown was just a rivalry waiting
to happen. Then, to the delight of Houston area football fans,
realignment from the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL)
forced the issue and this short, but fiery rivalry between the Mavericks
and the Oilers was born through district competition beginning in 2012.
The winner of the Showdown claimed the district championship in
each of the first four seasons of the rivalry. But a year ago, Manvel
dropped to 5A while Pearland remained in 6A forcing these two
powerhouses to play each other for nothing more than bragging rights and
a momentum boost heading into postseason play.
Both programs expect their football seasons to extend beyond the
regular season each and every fall. Manvel, who won the first three
games in the series, and Pearland are both mainstays in the Texas state
Between them, the Mavericks and the Oilers, who earned their only
rivalry triumph in 2015, have qualified for postseason play each season
since the rivalry’s inception. Collectively, they're responsible for a
22-10 playoff mark during that time.
Although 10 miles separate these two schools, their boundaries
actually touch, allowing both schools to draw students from both
communities. When they aren’t knocking each other around on the football
field, many of the warriors involved in this ‘Clash of Titans’ may be
found hanging out with each other regardless of which school they call
Pearland is itching to turn this young rivalry in their favor as they
go for their second win in six tries. Manvel, on the other hand, wants
to build momentum and stretch last year’s 36-0 win into another winning
streak against their rivals.
10,000 fans are expected to show up at Alvin Independent School
District’s Memorial Stadium on Friday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m., so come early as fans will be pouring in to
watch the Pearland-Manvel Showdown, a rivalry that is true to its name,
a showdown indeed.
Located about 10 miles to the northeast of their rivals and 15
minutes from downtown Houston, Pearland High School opened its doors in 1937 and has
put together quite a postseason resume.
Oiler Head Coach Tony Heath guided Pearland to 18 of Pearland’s
22 state playoff appearances since he took over the reigns in 1997,
including a current streak of 17 straight postseason runs beginning in
The 20-year coach, who compiled a 195-53 mark at Pearland, will
not be on the Oiler sideline this fall when Pearland attempts to tackle
Manvel for the second time in the six seasons since this spirited
rivalry began. With Heath’s resignation, former Oiler defensive
coordinator James Farmer took over the reigns on an interim basis
beginning August 1.
Manvel upended the Oilers 42-7 in 2013 just before Heath guided
his club to the 5A Division 1 title game. Pearland came up short in its
bid for a second state championship in four seasons when the Oilers
dropped a 63-28 decision to Allen. Heath guided Pearland to the 5A
Division 1 state title in 2010 by sticking it to Trinity 28-24.
The Oilers knocked off Manvel 27-24 in 2015 to grab the 6A District 22 title and head into postseason play full speed ahead.
Pearland has posted a 31-15 postseason record since 2001, the
first season the UIL posted playoff brackets online. Since then Pearland
has lost in the first round only four times and will certainly be
looking for a win and some revenge against their rivals this fall.
Manvel High School, home of the Mavericks, is located about 10 miles
southwest of Pearland. Hosting more than 2,000 football hungry students,
Manvel High School opened its doors in 2006.
Guided by Kirk Martin, the Maverick football program won its
first three contests against Pearland and four of the five played to
date. The Mavericks upended the Oilers 42-28 in the series opener in
2012. Following a 42-7 triumph over the eventual state runner-up Oilers
in 2013, Manvel edged their Manvel-Pearland Showdown counterparts 35-33
In 2016, Martin guided his squad to a 36-0 win over the Oilers
and he and his club have high hopes of starting another streak against
The Maverick football program lost the only two contests they
played in 2006 and went 4-5 in 2007. After dipping to 3-6 in 2008,
Martin’s club won as many games as it lost in 2009. Beginning in 2010,
the Mavericks started a playoff run that continues today.
Going into the 2017 football season, Manvel has made the playoffs
seven straight seasons, posting a 22-7 postseason record during that
time. In 2011, Manvel played for the Texas 4A Division 2 state
championship before falling to Aledo 49-28.
This season Manvel is looking to not only dominate its rivals, but to also make its eighth postseason appearance.
This year the rivalry tradition will be a little different. Houston is still rebuilding from the destructive category 4 major Hurricane Harvey that hit Houston and other surrounding southeast cities in the Lone Star state. Harvey brought winds of 130 mph and dropped between 40-52 inches of rainfall in a four-day period. Harvey also triggered flash flooding in three other nearby states, but the damage and flooding caused by it's catastrophic impacts in the Houston area is something that will be felt for weeks and months to come.
Pearland and Manvel, both located near Houston have been at the center of this hurricane. Their schools were both closed and football stopped. Pearland especially was hit hard as they had major flooding, received over 50 inches of rain. The Oilers football team has already been out in the community starting to help rebuild damaged homes and they even ran a shelter at their school.
The game this year is less about the rivalry and more about how these two schools and the entire community have come together to help one another during this time. The players, coaches and fans are ready and anxious to move on and start their season. This game shows that not even a hurricane can stop the great state of Texas from playing high school football and that the citizens here will always remain TEXAS STRONG.
Pearland and Manvel fans will be happy to know that after the game, photos will be available to download FOR FREE because this game is a part of our special Rivalry Series program presented by the National Guard. Check back here the Monday following the game.
To learn more about the Pearland-Manvel Showdown and the other teams who are a part of the 2017 Rivalry Series, check out the MaxPreps Rivalry Series microsite.