ARLINGTON, Texas — Cedar Park
stuck to its game plan of pounding away at an out-weighed Lancaster defense and the strategy eventually produced a 17-7 Timberwolves victory in the Class 4A Division II state championship game.
In Friday's triple-header finale on Day 2 of Texas UIL state championship games at Cowboys Stadium, Cedar Park (14-2) scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
A 22-yard field goal by Zach Hancock
gave Cedar Park its first lead, 10-7.Mikal Wilson
scored the clinching touchdown on a 14-yard run with three minutes remaining. It capped the Timberwolves' second 14-play scoring drive of the night, this one burning seven minutes off the clock.
"Our O-line just overpowered them in the second half,'' said Cedar Park coach Joe Willis. "That allowed us to run the ball and win the game.''
Cedar Park quarterback
sustained an ankle injury earlier in the half but returned to lead the drive.
"Nate was hurting pretty bad but he toughed it out,'' Willis said.
Lancaster (14-2) went without a first down in the second half until the game's final three minutes. The Tigers' ground game produced only 47 yards on 23 attempts.
Lancaster coach Chris Gilbert said that while he was proud of his players efforts, he "wished they hadn't made so many mistakes.''
Coordinated shifting by Cedar Park defensive linemen led to a half-dozen Lancaster illegal procedure penalties. But the most costly miscue turned out to be a misguided punt snap that hit an up-back late in the third quarter. The Timberwolves took over at the Lancaster 6 and eventually kicked a go-ahead field goal.
Gilbert said he believed the bad punt snap was caused by a Cedar Park defensive lineman illegally slapping at the ball.
Lancaster opened the game with a 60-yard touchdown drive, capped by quarterback Demarcus Ayers
27-yard scoring scamper.
Cedar Park equalized with 15 seconds remaining in the opening half on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ethan Fry
. It came on fourth down. Cedar Park overcame two holding penalties on the 84-yard, 14-play drive.
Cameron Yoe 38, Dangerfield 20
A nervous start in the first game of the triple-header doomed Daingerfield's bid for a fourth state championship in five years.
The Yeomen of Cameron Yoe
(15-0) took advantage of turnovers by Daingerfield (12-4) on its first two possessions to gain control of the Class 2A Division I state championship game Friday afternoon.
Backed up deep in its end, Daingerfield's first offensive play resulted in an interception by Zach Riola
. Three plays later, the Yeomen took a 7-0 lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jason Kopriva
to Zach Felts
Pinned deep again on its second possession, Daingerfield punter Carlos Macias had trouble with a high snap and came up empty on a rushed effort to kick the football. Edgar Luna
fell on the ball for a Yoeman touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Daingerfield went on to turn the ball over three more times.
The advantage grew to 28-0 on a 31-yard scoring run by Keaton Denio
(22 rushes, 163 yards) and a second Kopriva touchdown pass, this one a 14-yarder to Colton Shuffield
The Tigers fought back to make it a two-score game, 35-20, with over eight minutes remaining on Edwin Mims
' 10-yard scoring pass to Tykeema Wilson
But Cameron Yoe's special teams, stellar all day, produced the clincher, a 42-yard field goal by Michael Evan
that caught a piece of the left upright but went through with three minutes remaining.
Navasota 39, Gilmer 3
caught two touchdown passes in the first half and broke an 82-yard run for another score in the third quarter to lead the Navasota
Rattlers to the Class 3A Division II state title.
Collins, a senior, sped 52-yards on a screen pass from Kadarius Baker
to give the Rattlers a 7-3 lead. The pair hooked up again in the final three minutes of the half on a 4-yard scoring pass that allowed Navasota (15-0) to take a 26-3 lead.
The clincher was Collins' long distance scoring run. It came three plays after a time-consuming Gilmer possession ended with a fumble at the Navasota goal line.
Gilmer (13-2) opened the scoring with a 29-yard field goal by Pablin Olivares
late in the first period and that's all the Buckeyes could manage against a very good Navasota defense that shut out five opponents this season and limited six more to less than 10 points.
If Navasota needed extra motivation, it got it by the loss of its 1,000-yard rusher. Xavier Creeks suffered a broken leg in a car accident the day before the game. Creek's No. 8 jersey was hung on the Navasota bench and at least one Rattler kissed Creek's helmet after scoring a touchdown.
"We know Xavier is watching and this was for him,'' said Navasota coach Lee Fedora.