Video: Most talented high school football teamsHow does 1988 Carter stack up against best teams from the 2000s?
Next week, MaxPreps correspondent Randy Jennings starts his 43rd season covering high school football in Texas.
All of it has been in and around the Dallas region. For most of the last two decades he's written about games for the Dallas Morning News
In 1988, however, he was the sports editor for the Grand Prairie News
. Part of his beat was covering the Dallas Carter Cowboys, who are the subject of an ESPN documentary set to air this week (What Carter Lost
, Thursday 9:30 p.m. EST).
That team, with 21 players who were offered college scholarships, is being called one of the best high school teams ever.
Jennings politely but sternly disagrees.
"The best team? I don't think so," he said. "The most talented team? Maybe. They're defense was awesome to watch."
Jennings said the Cowboys would line all 11 defenders along the line of scrimmage.
"The outside guys were fast and athletic enough to cover anyone one-on-one," Jennings said. "The rest of the guys would attack and blitz. They just destroyed offenses."
Carter recorded six shutouts in 15 games and allowed just 117 points (7.9 per game) all season. The problem for Jennings – and others – on the historic conversation was Carter's conservative offense.
"Vanilla to say the least," he said. "They basically just handed the ball off and went straight ahead. It was smart. They didn't make many mistakes. They basically put it all on the shoulders of that awesome defense and it worked.
"But if you're going to be called the greatest team ever, you have to be great on both sides of the ball." 1988 Dallas Carter Schedule/ResultsDate – Opponent, Result
Overall Record: 14-0-1
Sept. 2 – Tyler, W 21-7
Sept. 10 – Killeen, W 25-24
Sept. 16 – Fort Worth Wyatt, W 31-0
Sept. 30 – Dallas South Oak Cliff, W 34-7
Oct. 8 – Grand Prairie, W 27-0
Oct. 14 – De Soto, W 7-0
Oct. 21 – Duncanville, T 24-24
Oct. 28 – South Grand Prairie, W 10-0
Nov. 5 – Dallas Kimball, W 21-0
Nov. 11 – Plano East, W 21-7
Nov. 18 – Dallas Samuell, W 28-0 (Class 4A area playoff)
Nov. 26 – Lufkin, W 31-7 (Class 4A regional playoff)
Dec. 3 – Marshall, W 22-18 (Class 4A quarterfinal)
Dec. 10 – Odessa Permian, W 14-9 (Class 4A semifinal)
Dec. 17 – Converse Judson, W 31-14 (Class 4A state championship game)