Westlake polished off a 10-0 season — its first perfect regular season since 2000 — and claimed the District 25-6A championship outright with a 6-0 record by rolling past host Vista Ridge 55-14 Friday night.
“Well, this (a district championship) is our goal,” said Chaparrals coach Todd Dodge. “We have two team goals every year, and one’s to win a district championship. They’re hard to come by in this league, you know. And a 10-0 regular season, it’s hard to come by.
“I think, going into this last week in the Austin area, there were only two teams that had that opportunity. I’m just so proud of these kids.”
Westlake was downright explosive. The Chaps scored four rushing touchdowns in the first half — three of 40 yards or longer. Nakia Watson broke four tackles en route to a 79-yard rushing score, quarterback Taylor Andersen ripped off a 44-yarder and Jake Ramos took a screen pass the distance from 65 yards.
Any chance Vista Ridge (4-6, 2-4) had of challenging Westlake evaporated quickly with a series of injuries to key players. The Rangers lost quarterback Jake Taute after their opening drive and lost running back/wide receiver Jamil Pittman late in the first quarter.
Pittman scored Vista Ridge’s only points of the first half on a 20-yard run. Drew Cantu performed admirably in Taute’s absence, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Westlake scored four touchdowns in the second quarter alone and held Vista Ridge to under 50 yards rushing in the first half. Watson rushed for 122 yards on six carries before his night ended at the half. After the Chaps’ first drive of the second half ended in a touchdown, Andersen’s night ended as well. The junior threw for 226 yards and accounted for four touchdowns.
“The thing I’m really pleased with is that over the last three weeks, we’ve gotten better,” said Dodge, whose team will open play next week in the Class 6A, Division II playoffs. “Sometimes, that’s hard to do when the scores get a little lopsided around halftime, and your ones have to be pulled out before they get the work they need.
“I feel like we’re a better team right now than we were when that Lake Travis game was over about four weeks ago.”
Akins 24, Manor 17: Akins waited until nearly the last possible second to qualify for the Class 6A, Division I football playoffs.
Facing Manor to close out the District 14-6A schedule, the Eagles shocked the Mustangs by scoring the game-winning touchdown with 18 seconds to play.
With the victory — their second in their past three games — the Eagles (3-7, 2-3) earned a playoff berth. Manor (5-5, 2-3) had clinched a spot in the 6A, Division II postseason in advance of Friday’s game.
With 1:30 to go in the contest at Mustang Stadium, Rowan Sterling intercepted his second pass of the game for Akins at the Manor 22. A personal-foul penalty against the Mustangs moved the ball closer to the goal line, and two plays later, Eagles quarterback Nick Cagle found Antonio Lopez open across the middle for a 9-yard touchdown pass.
Manor had tied the game 17-17 earlier in the fourth quarter on Nathaniel Jackson’s 4-yard pass to Ochuan Mathis.
The Mustangs started well, blocking an Akins punt after the Eagles’ first possession went three-and-out. Manor scored on its second offensive play on a 34-yard touchdown run by Travion Walker.
Cagle led the Eagles on a scoring drive the next time they had the ball, completing all four of his passes for 56 yards, capped by an 18-yard fade to Jeyson Martinez.
It was part of a 17-point run by Akins, which will face Cedar Ridge, the District 13-6A champion, in a bi-district playoff. Dube’ Ruvalcaba kicked a 32-yard field goal in the second quarter, and Cagle threw an 11-yard TD pass to Malcolm Rogers for a 17-7 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, a big hit on Cagle caused a fumble, giving Manor the ball at the 10-yard line. Five plays later, the Mustangs kicked a short field goal to make it a seven-point game.
Manor will take on Stony Point in a 6A, Division II playoff opener.
— Keff Ciardello, AA-S correspondent
Lake Travis 40, Vandegrift 28: The Cavaliers (8-2, 5-1 District 25-6A) jumped to a 21-0 lead and sacked Vandegrift’s Justin Moore seven times to close out the regular season with a victory at Monroe Stadium.
The Cavaliers sprinted to the big lead on Matthew Baldwin’s right arm. The quarterback hit Kyle Wakefield and Garrett Wilson for first-quarter touchdowns, and Wakefield added a touchdown pass to Hudson Card to shove the Vipers (6-4, 4-2) into a hole from which they could not escape.
“You can’t start out 21-0 down against the current state champions,” said Vandegrift coach Drew Sanders, whose team will face San Antonio Johnson next week in the Class 6A, Division II playoffs. “That’s just too much to overcome.”
The Vipers clawed their way back into the game, cutting the deficit to 21-13 early in the third quarter, but they couldn’t draw closer as Lake Travis’ pass rush consistently got to Moore. Reid Bacon and Kade Langston registered a pair of sacks each, and Sebastian Monroe, Maui Trevino and Wakefield got into the act, too. Bacon’s final sack trapped Moore in the end zone for a safety.
“I’m really happy with our pass rush,” said Lake Travis coach Hank Carter, whose team will face San Antonio Madison in a Class 6A, Division I bi-district playoff. “We were getting to the quarterback with just our four main rushers.”
“All week we focused on going to the ball,” Monroe said. “It translated into the game. We needed to have a game to show that we can be a dominant defensive line.”
After Alex Stadthaus’ second field goal of the game brought Vandegrift within 21-13, the Cavaliers responded quickly. Baldwin capped a three-play, 75-yard drive with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Card. When Isaiah Smallwood cut Lake Travis’ lead to 31-21 early in the fourth quarter, Baldwin added a 66-yard touchdown run to give the Cavaliers a 38-21 lead.
Baldwin completed 19 of 24 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a career-best 133 yards on nine carries with a touchdown. He left the game late in the fourth quarter after injuring his left ankle while running for a short gain. Card had four catches for 126 yards and two scores for the Cavaliers.
Moore completed 22 of 34 passes for 235 yards. Smallwood rushed for 109 yards on 32 carries and two scores.
— Jay Plotkin, AA-S correspondent
Hendrickson 38, Pflugerville 6: With a victory over the Panthers seemingly in hand at The Pfield, Hawks senior defensive back Tobias Harris refused to let up.
His block of a field-goal attempt early in the third quarter kept a shutout going into the fourth, and it underlined the difference between last season and this one for Hendrickson.
“We really take pride in (protecting) the goal line,” Harris said. “Even though we were up a good amount, we just take pride there. We’re not trying to let any points up, even if it’s 45-0 or 0-45.
“When the field-goal (attempt) came, I was just like, ‘I’m going all out for my brothers.’ ”
After backing into the playoffs at 3-6 a year ago, the Hawks (7-3, 5-1) stamped their place as the second-place team in a rugged District 13-6A and will play against Bowie in a bi-district matchup at Burger Stadium. Hendrickson has won four games in a row.
“I don’t even think we’ve reached our peak yet,” Harris said. “We haven’t even shown greatness yet. I think it’s going to be shown a little bit next week.”
Junior quarterback Blaine Barker threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes on fade routes to Jacob Lee and Terrance Walker. Running back D.J. Jackson broke off a 43-yard touchdown run, and kicker Michael Skiles drilled a 25-yard field goal as time expired to make the score 24-0 at halftime.
On the opposite sideline, the career of longtime Pflugerville coach George Herrmann came to an unceremonious end. Herrmann told his team Thursday that he is retiring after 21 seasons at the school.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” he said. “I would have liked to go out with a win, but Hendrickson has a really good team and they’ll do well in the playoffs.”
Herrmann’s 2017 team started 2-3 — with a lone district win over McNeil on Sept. 29 — before closing the season with five straight defeats.
Pflugerville at least avoided a shutout, even after Harris denied the Panthers their first good scoring opportunity. Quarterback Damon Tamez hooked up with wide receiver Casey Washington for a 15-yard TD strike with 11:15 to play in the game.
Tamez threw for 146 of his 170 yards in the second half, and Washington finished with game highs of 12 catches and 133 yards.
— Chris Bils, AA-S correspondent
Dripping Springs 35, Marble Falls 14: The state-ranked Tigers scored on their first three series and topped the host Mustangs to complete the first 10-0 season in school history.
In winning its second consecutive District 26-5A title, Dripping Springs scored touchdowns in each quarter. Three Tigers quarterbacks combined to throw only 11 passes, with starter Trevor Greenman completing 6 of 8 for 158 yards and a touchdown. Senior Zach Murray topped the Tigers rushers with 66 yards on nine carries while Greenman gained 59 yards on four carries.
Marble Falls (3-7, 1-6) was paced by quarterback Andrew Stripling, who was 16-of-32 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Dillon Mayberry added 85 yards on 14 carries for the Mustangs.
The Tigers, who will face LBJ next week in a bi-district playoff, scored on the game’s opening drive after Marble Falls fumbled the kickoff. Jacob Cox capped the drive with a 4-yard run. Greenman scored the second touchdown on the ground for Dripping Springs and later connected with John Hoyle for a 2-yard TD pass. Offensive tackle Dylan Smith scored the Tigers’ other touchdown on a 3-yard lineman-eligible plunge.
The Mustangs nearly had a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter, but it was negated by a penalty and they took over at their own 31. Marble Falls turned the interception into a score, however, capping the 69-yard drive with a 4-yard pass from Stripling to Nick Veloz. The Tigers led 28-7 at halftime.
— Ken Whalen, AA-S correspondent
Cedar Park 36, Elgin 20: The Timberwolves (9-1, 8-0) won their 26th consecutive district contest and ninth straight game overall after losing their season opener.
Quarterback Ryan Fiala, who replaced Mak Sexton after Sexton broke his femur two weeks ago, completed 21 of 39 passes for 236 yards for the District 19-5A champions. He threw touchdown passes of 11 yards to Carson Neel and 1 yard to Brant McDonald.
The Timberwolves, the district’s No. 1 seed in the 5A, Division I playoffs, rushed for 207 yards.
Cedar Park’s Luke Policke gained 65 yards on 11 carries and scored the game’s first touchdown from four yards out in the first quarter. Will Lipscomb slashed for 75 yards on 10 carries. Josh Walker scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter for the Timberwolves.
Elgin (3-5, 3-7) was limited to nine yards rushing on 21 attempts.
Quarterback Ben Langford completed 17 of 32 passes for 288 yards for the Wildcats, who will sit out postseason play. De’Clayvin Simmons piled up 12 receptions for 231 yards for Elgin, and his diving 23-yard touchdown catch at the pylon in the fourth quarter was his 12th of the season.
Langford also tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Gonzales in the second quarter.
— Jim Irish, AA-S correspondent
Hutto 48, Cedar Creek 6: On senior night, the Hippos (9-1, 7-1 District 19-5A) rode the right arm of junior Chase Griffin to an easy victory over the visiting Eagles (1-9, 1-7).
Griffin completed all but one of his 21 passes for 380 yards and seven touchdowns for the Hippos, who play at Bryan next Friday in the 5A, Division II playoffs.
“After last week’s loss (35-25 to Cedar Park), we wanted to take care of business early and establish control of the game,” said Hutto coach Steve Van Meter.
The Hippos did just that as they scored a pair of touchdowns on just four snaps in the first 1:37 of the game.
Shortly after Griffin’s opening scoring pass, the Hippos’ Brock Bujnoch intercepted Jackson Bishop’s first pass and returned it 33 yards to the Eagle 10 to set up Griffin’s second TD toss. In all, Griffin threw for six scores in the opening half as Hutto wasted no time in taking a 41-0 lead.
Griffin’s gaudy stats pushed his season total to 34 touchdown passes against a lone interception. He has thrown for 3,308 yards this fall.
On Friday, Griffin connected with DJ Baptist for three scoring passes of 38, 22 and 47 yards.
Caleb Forrest had a pair of scoring catches among his game-high six receptions.
Baptist and Forrest each topped the century mark for receiving yards. Baptist tallied a game-high 114 yards, and Forrest finished with 111.
After surrendering 35 points in a loss to state-ranked Cedar Park last week, the Hutto defense rebounded, limiting Cedar Creek to 40 total yards, including minus-39 in 35 rushing attempts.
— Mark Champ, AA-S correspondent
Round Rock 45, McNeil 28: Running back Marquis Brown racked up three touchdowns in the first half, and the Dragons (2-8, 2-4 District 13-6A) never trailed against the Mavericks (1-9, 1-5).
McNeil made a run in the fourth quarter, pulling within 39-28 before Round Rock’s Malik Pena rounded out the scoring on a 96-yard kickoff return. The win marked Round Rock’s eighth straight over McNeil. Neither team qualified for the Class 6A playoffs.
With his team trailing 7-0 after the first quarter, Mavericks quarterback Zach Kampfer threw a 47-yard rope to Jordan Kerley on a third-and-7 play to tie the score 11 minutes before the half. A pair of short TD runs by Brown gave the Dragons a 19-7 edge at the break.
On the opening play of the third quarter, Kampfer hit Malik Gordon in stride for a 66-yard scoring strike to pull McNeil within one score. But Round Rock quarterback Ryan O’Keefe scored on keepers from 17 and 7 yards out, sandwiched around a successful onside kick, to put the Dragons up 32-14 in the third quarter.
— Bob Brinkman, AA-S correspondent
Del Valle 42, Anderson 17: Del Valle (5-5, 1-4) used a ground-and-pound game to handle the Trojans (1-9, 1-4) at Nelson Field, but it wasn’t enough for the Cardinals to make the postseason. Akins’ dramatic 24-17 victory over Manor brought the Eagles the final playoff berth out of District 14-6A.
The Cardinals ran for 414 yards behind Chris Martinez (156 yards), Alfred Grear (140) and Tommie Rivers (85 yards, four touchdowns). That allowed the Cardinals to control the pace of play and keep Anderson from ever finding any consistency on offense.
Del Valle scored every time it had the ball in the first half to build a 28-7 lead. Rivers finished off the first three drives with TD runs of 21, 17 and 11 yards. Anderson struck back with a score with 50 seconds to go in the first half, but that was countered just 30 seconds later. After recovering an onside kick attempt, one big run by Grear set up a rare pass. Vincent Campos hit La’thaniel Washington with a fade to the corner of the end zone to push the lead back to three scores.
Anderson pulled within 28-17 in the third quarter, but two late scores put the game away.
— Mark Swanson, AA-S correspondent
Leander 52, Lehman 14: Coming off a tough, physical loss to Westlake a week ago, the Lions regrouped in a big way at Bible Jr. Memorial Stadium to record their first win of the season in the 2017 finale.
The Lions (1-9, 1-5 District 25-6A) trailed 7-0 early, led 17-7 at halftime and padded their cushion in the second half against the Lobos (1-9, 0-6).
Junior quarterback Rashad Carter tossed a 49-yard touchdown pass to Ishmael Sanchez on Leander’s second offensive play that made it 7-7 and put Lehman on its heels for the rest of the game. Carter guided the Lions on scoring drives on each of their first three possessions.
Leander grabbed its first lead at 10-7 on Eli Gehman’s 23-yard field goal in the second quarter. Xavier Dotson scored on a 9-yard run with 3:37 to go before intermission.
The Lions unloaded a season’s worth of frustration in the second half. They blew the game wide open in the third quarter, scoring touchdowns on all three possessions and chewing up clock via the ground game.
Brennen Hansen’s 3-yard touchdown run made it 24-7, but the best was yet to come for Leander, which recorded a season-high point total.
Addison Larue, more of a power runner than a slasher, turned the corner and sprinted down the sideline in front of the Leander bench to a 56-yard scoring run, barreling over defenders to cross the goal line.
Kaleb Priestly, who scored a late touchdown, led Lehman with 86 yards rushing.
— John Harris, AA-S correspondent
McCallum 61, Reagan 0: The Knights won the District 25-5A championship and completed a perfect regular season for the first time since 1966.
“It’s a big deal, we have been eye-balling it for a while,” coach Charles Taylor said. “There’s only been one other team in the history of McCallum to do it. We went 10-2 last year so they are in rare air there. And 20-2 in two years is pretty good.”
The Knights (10-0, 6-0) amassed 427 rushing yards and gashed the Raiders (2-8, 2-4) all night with big plays. McCallum had three touchdown drives in the first quarter of three plays or less.
After Max Perez’s 1-yard run put the Knights on the board, they got the ball in Raiders territory and scored in two plays when Alexander Julian ran in from nine yards out.
Julian had nine carries for 87 yards while Perez had five for 113 yards. Each had two rushing touchdowns.
On the first play of their next drive, Perez took the draw and the sea parted. Perez showed some burst when he got to the secondary, racing to the end zone from 77 yards out.
A costly mistake late in the second quarter killed Reagan’s best drive of the game. The Raiders moved the ball into McCallum territory after runs of 14 and 20 yards by quarterback Uriel Montelongo. They then fumbled a handoff exchange, and it was picked up by Jackson Masters and returned for a 66-yard touchdown.
Perez made a cameo for one series in the second half and completed his only pass for a 36-yard touchdown to Deron Gage.
Cole Davis then took over and had touchdown runs of 31 and 73 late in the contest.
“We were just wanting to get some work in and not get anybody hurt,” said Taylor, whose team will be part of the 5A, Division II playoffs. “We will wait and see who we got.”
McCallum will face Medina Valley or Boerne Champion next week in a bi-district playoff.
— Travis Atkins, AA-S correspondent
LBJ 55, Crockett 15: The Jaguars (7-3, 4-2 District 25-5A) took advantage of two Crockett turnovers in the second period to break open the game and coast past the Cougars (3-7, 3-3) at Burger Stadium.
The Jaguars will meet unbeaten Dripping Springs in the opening round of the 5A, Division I playoffs next week. The Cougars, meanwhile, qualified for the 5A, Division II postseason.
Trailing 28-7 with five minutes to play in the half, Crockett quarterback Ryan Waugh faced a third and 28 from his own 16. His pass was picked off by Jaguar Treylan Thomas. Aaron Green then hit Ed Thompson in the end zone for the score.
On the ensuing possession, a pass from Waugh found its way into the hands of Ja’len Cleveland, who returned it 33 yards for the score.
LBJ quarterback Aaron Green completed 10 of 13 passes in the first half for 195 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Deon Collins, who gained 101 yards on three receptions. Meanwhile, D’Vanta Gay gained 81 yards on the ground to lead the Jags.
Crockett opened the game with a 74-yard drive, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown run by Mekhi Ball, but the Cougars were unable to score again until the end of the game, when Daveayon Jones broke off a 21-yard run.
Waugh was 10-of-18 passing on the night for 99 yards.
— Allen Biehl, AA-S correspondent
Liberty Hill 49, Gatesville 42: Hunter Oncken burst through the middle and raced 67 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 2:59 left in the fourth quarter as the visiting Panthers (7-2, 4-1) beat the Hornets (7-3, 2-3).
The Panthers claimed second place in District 13-4A, Division I behind Waco La Vega and will play Boerne in the first round of the playoffs. Gatesville will face Canyon Lake in the bi-district round.
Liberty Hill rushed for 570 yards – including Kyle Harrison’s enormous night of 299 yards running and five touchdowns – yet barely held Gatesville’s passing attack in the fourth quarter. Oncken finished with 155 yards on the ground.
Hornets QB Jett Truss passed for 353 yards and four touchdowns and ran for two more scores. Derrick Bayer snagged 12 balls for 271 yards and four TDs.
Gatesville erased a 21-point first-half deficit and tied the game at 28 when Truss connected with Bayer for a 50-yard score with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was wild as Liberty Hill regained the three times only to see Gatesville draw even. Oncken’s decisive romp, and a Panthers defensive stop, provided the finishing touches.
— Chad Conine, Waco Tribune-Herald
Wimberley 50, Hondo 0: The Texans (9-1, 4-0) displayed a beautifully balanced offense while their defense created three turnovers and registered a shutout at Hondo that wrapped up the District 13-4A, Division II championship.
Quarterback JoJo Weeks completed 20 of 25 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns before taking a seat in the second half and letting Cooper McCollum mop up.
Thomas Carruthers rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries to lead a rushing attack that piled up 250 yards on 30 carries.
Cade Stoever was the top receiver with 90 yards and a TD on seven catches, and Stoever also was dangerous on the ground, running for 72 yards, a TD and a two-point conversion.
In all, seven Wimberley players ran the ball and eight had receptions.
Defensively, Matt Mitchell recovered two fumbles for the Texans, and McCollum, the backup QB, picked off a pass.
Waco La Vegas 63, Burnet 3: Jamal Williams threw for four touchdowns in the first half, and the Pirates (10-0, 5-0 District 13-4A, Division I) closed out their third consecutive unbeaten regular season by belting the visiting Bulldogs (4-6, 0-5).
The Pirates needed three plays or less on six of eight scoring drivers in the first half before emptying the bench after intermission. They set the tone on the first play from scrimmage when Kemoche Hobbs rumbled 44 yards for a touchdown 16 seconds into the game.
La Vega will open its playoff run against Fredericksburg at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Pfield in Pflugerville.
— Jason Orts, Waco Tribune-Herald
Canyon Lake 28, Taylor 14: The Hawks (8-2, 4-0) used a punishing 401-yard rushing attack and played keep-away with the ball to beat the Ducks (6-4, 3-2) in Taylor and win District 14-4A, Division II.
Both teams have qualified for the postseason.
Much of the scoring action happened in the fourth quarter. Trailing 14-7, Taylor tied the game on star running back Delane Hornsby’s 28-yard run. Canyon Lake’s crunching ground game ruled the rest of the quarter, eventually results in two short scoring runs and the two-touchdown victory.
Tristan Chacon paced the Hawks with 177 yards on 20 carries, including a 60-yard jaunt that set up a touchdown. Micah St. John had 78 yards and two TD runs, and Jacob Ruff added 69 yards.
Hornsby kept Taylor close with 100 yards rushing on 14 carries and 73 yards receiving on four catches. Travis Gardner gave the Ducks a 100-yard receiver, also on four catches from Ryan Gardner, who completed 12 of 20 for 217 yards.
Gonzales 42, Smithville 12: In a game each team needed to win in order to secure a playoff berth, the host Apaches (6-4, 3-2 District 10-4A) manhandled the Tigers (7-3, 2-3). Smithville’s seven victories added up to its best season since 2011, the Tigers still fell short of the postseason.
The Apaches held the normally high-powered Tigers offense to 269 yards and almost doubled their time of possession.
Gonzales recovered a muff on the opening kickoff and went 37 yards in 10 plays, capped by Garrett Rickman’s 3-yard run. That set the tone. Rickman started the game by hitting 9 of his first 11 tosses and didn’t throw a pass in the second half. The Tigers were able to muster only 79 yards total offense in the half, which they ended trailing 21-0.
It didn’t get any better in the third quarter as the Apaches scored on 26- and 10-yard runs for a 35-0 advantage.
— Robbie Brown, AA-S correspondent
China Spring 41, Lampasas 20: The Cougars (7-3, 3-2 District 13-4A Division II) showed impeccable offensive balance, running for 261 yards and passing for 257 in a 518-yard night to beat the visiting Badgers (2-8, 1-4).
Eric Hart was the China Springs work horse with 230 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 30 carries. Cougars quarterback Cayden Johnson threw three long scoring passes.
Lampasas, which trailed 14-0 at the half, came alive in the third quarter, scoring on freshman QB Ace Whitehead’s 10-yard run and Cameron Everts’ 23-yard catch from Whitehead. But Johnson countered with 43- and 52-yard TD passes that gave China Springs a 28-14 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
Whitehead completed 14 of 26 passes for 151 yards, and Sean Williams gave the Badgers a strong rushing game with 139 yards on 27 carries.
Salado 41, Waco Connally 7: The Eagles (9-1, 4-1) started strong and never looked back, grabbing the top seed from District 9-4A, Division II and eliminating the Cadets (3-7, 2-3) from playoff consideration.
Columbus 40, Giddings 27: Hayden Leopold scored on a 6-yard run in overtime, and the Cardinals (3-6, 3-2 District 10-4A, Division II) had a scoop-and-score fumble recovery on the Buffaloes possession to win a game that got frantic in the fourth quarter.
Giddings (5-5, 4-1) is still playoff-bound and will face Fairfield next week.
Trailing 20-6 early in the third quarter, Travis James of Giddings broke free on a 40-yard touchdown run to make it a one-score game, and that’s how the period ended.
In the wild fourth, the Buffaloes’ Rustin Grimm threw a 7-yard TD pass to Jaylon Joiner to tie the game at 20-all with just over seven minutes remaining. The Cardinals regained the lead, but Grimm drew Giddings even again at 27-27 with a 27-yard pass to Travis James with two minutes to play.
Thorndale 48, Thrall 18: The Bulldogs (4-6, 3-2) unleashed a devastating ground game, running for 359 yards and seven touchdowns to join the visiting Tigers (8-2, 4-1) in the Class 2A, Division I playoffs.
Luke Leschber, Thorndale’s standout tailback, ran 23 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns. He opened the scoring with a 38-yard run in the first quarter and added a 3-yarder in the second period as the Bulldogs powered to a 34-6 halftime advantage.
Thorndale’s Scott Guzman also had a big night with three TD runs and 93 yards on 14 carries.
Thrall’s Nick Salazar threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Joe Sandifer in the third quarter and a 46-yarder to Kelton Hooker in the fourth. Mathew Jarosek rushed for 76 yards and a score on just seven carries for the Tigers.
Lago Vista 42, Luling 14: The host Vikings (7-3, 5-0) used their strong run game to topple the Eagles (4-5, 2-3) and wrap up the District 13-3A, Division I title. Lago Vista will play a playoff opponent to be determined next week. Universal City Randolph beat Ingram Moore to eliminate Luling from postseason consideration.
Rockdale 77, Jarrell 0: Torry Locklin threw five touchdown passes, three in the first quarter, and the host Tigers (7-3, 5-1 District 10-3A, Division II) built a 35-0 lead after the opening 12 minutes to crush the Cougars (0-10, 0-6). Jarrell managed just 85 yards of total offense.
Regents 26, Hyde Park 7: The host Knights relied on the old-school formula of rushing and defense to stifle the arch-rival Panthers and polish off a 10-0 regular season, with the TAPPS Division II, District 3 title to boot.
Andrew Adams ran for 113 yards and one touchdown, and Regents (10-0, 6-0) rolled up 230 yards rushing on 42 carries. Zach Smith contributed 63 yards and a TD on 12 carries, and quarterback Wilson Long, who was just 11 of 25 for 118 yards in the air, added 46 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Knights defense nearly pitched a shutout and held the Panthers traditionally strong rushing game to 133 yards on 34 carries. Hyde Park was limited to 157 total yards.
The Regents defense opened the scoring with a first-quarter safety. Adams’ 8-yard scoring run and Smith’s 19-yarder extended the lead to 16-0 at the half.
Zach Robert caught a 4-yard TD pass from Long with nine seconds left in the third quarter to make it 23-0. Robert added a 30-yard field goal with 2:48 left in the game, before Hyde Park averted a shutout on Ben Ballard’s 21-yard pass to Cullen Burns with only 25 seconds remaining.