ARLINGTON, Texas –
During its run to four straight state titles, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
became known for potent offense. On Friday night, its defense delivered a record-setting fifth straight title.
Smothering, dominating, intimidating defense. That's what earned Lake Travis, the No. 15 team in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Rankings presented by the Army National Guard, a 22-7 victory over Midway (Waco, Texas)
in the Class 4A Division I final at Cowboys Stadium.
Lake Travis (16-0) is the first school of any size to win five straight University Interscholastic League football titles. Only Celina (titles from 1998 to 2001) and Sealy (1994-97) have won four straight.
"We've been talking about the drive for five all season long," Lake Travis coach Hank Carter said.
It's now complete, but it wasn't easy. Lake Travis' lead was only 13-7 early in the fourth quarter before a muffed punt by Midway (13-3) led to a field goal. Colin Lagasse
scored on a 1-yard run with 4:40 left to clinch the victory in front of a crowd of 32,314.
"This crowd is unreal," Carter said. "It's the largest we've ever played in front of."
In front of the large crowd, the defense couldn't have played bigger. Lake Travis picked off three passes, recovered a fumble and held Midway to only 177 yards of total offense. Midway's only touchdown came on Orion Stewart's 90-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
Lake Travis also had trouble getting in the end zone. Lake Travis quarterback Baker Mayfield
completed 25 of 40 passes for 294 yards and a touchdown, and the Cavaliers had 388 yards of offense.
Most of that came in the first half, however, when Lake Travis moved the ball well but got in the end zone only once – on Mayfield's 17-yard pass to Griffin Gilbert
. Midway's defense kept it in the game, but the Panthers couldn't produce enough offense to pull the upset.
Lake Travis is now the state's most successful football program, but the dynasty has humble roots. In 2002, Lake Travis went 0-10. Given how far Lake Travis has come, making history with a victory that wasn't pretty won't bother the Cavaliers a bit.
"It may have been a little ugly," Carter said, "but that's the way it's supposed to be with two great teams."Class 3A Division IIWimberley 21, Argyle 14
Tough defense, a pair of big plays on offense and a key turnover helped Wimberley earn a second state football title.
Wimberley (15-0) got nearly half of its 319 yards of offense on two plays: a 66-yard pass from Brady Lambert
to Dennis Smith
in the third quarter and a 76-yard run by Trinity Wilson in the fourth quarter. Wilson's run gave Wimberley a 21-14 lead with 9:53 left, and it came just 44 seconds after Argyle (14-2) had cut the lead to 14-11 on an 8-yard run by quarterback Austin Aune
and a two-point conversion.
It was the only touchdown Argyle, which had been averaging 41.8 points per game in the playoffs, could get against Wimberley. But it was a yard away on its first drive of the second half before one of the biggest plays of the game.
On first-and-goal, Wimberley defensive lineman Blake Guidry
popped the ball loose from Argyle running back Chadd Bossow as he was lunging toward the goalline. The ball deflected off Bossow's foot and bounced through the end zone, giving Wimberley possession.
Wimberley won the 3A Division I title in 2005.Class 2A Division IIRefugio 36, Cisco 35
Refugio opened up a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter, but then the team that steamrolled its opponents all season almost ran out of steam against Cisco.
Refugio (15-0) led 36-19 after an 8-yard touchdown run by Shiloh Whetsel
with 8:34 left in the third quarter. But Mason Reed
returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards and Cisco (14-1) cut the lead to 36-33 with 4:10 left on a 2-yard run by Hayden Lewis
After a safety cut the lead to a single point, Cisco drove to the Refugio 43-yard line with a minute left. But on fourth-and-3, Lewis was stopped a yard short by Refugio linebacker Jake Heryford
Refugio quarterback Travis Quintanilla
completed 20 of 25 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns. The bulk of Cisco's offense came on the ground, led by Lewis, who had 21 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Refugio finished the season with a state-record 891 points, an average of 55.7 per game. Refugio came up just short of the national single-season scoring mark of 903 set by Albemarle, N.C., in 2001.