Championship Game Stories

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Championship Game Stories

Postby granger » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:32 am

BY LEMAN SAUNDERS

My initial thoughts after the games Wednesday was that both were more competitive than the scores indicated and the losing teams did a great job, but the winning teams just did certain things a little bit better and in some cases caught the lucky breaks.

DI - Borden County 60 Jonesboro 22
Jonesboro was very close to taking a lead into halftime on Borden County, something that no team has done all season, but on their last drive late in the 2nd quarter, the Eagles turned the ball over fumbling at the one, with Borden County recovering. And with that, the Coyotes held onto a slim 24-22 halftime lead.

The time of possession in the first half spoke volumes, as Jonesboro was in possession 17:30 and Borden County 2:30. Coyote running back Nick Proulx had an amazing half, rushing for 201 yards and three touchdowns on six carries.

Borden County’s defensive adjustments in the second half worked well and the fact they were able to strip the ball out of Jonesboro’s player’s hands helped them explode past the Eagles on the scoreboard in the third quarter.

If you count the last possession of the first half, Jonesboro turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions and going up against a team like Borden County you just can’t do that. The Coyote’s outscored Jonesboro 36-0 in the third, with the biggest play coming from Ben Justice, who stripped an Eagle runner of the ball, maintained possession and ran 40 yards, breaking tackles and dodging would be tacklers for a defensive touchdown. To cap off the quarter, Easton Edwards made a 32-yard field goal for the Coyotes, extending their lead to 60-22.

There would be no scoring in the final quarter and the game ended with Borden County in possession and giving some of their young underclassmen a chance to play in Jerry’s World.

The offensive and defensive lines for Borden County were just too much for Jonesboro to combat against. The Coyote’s boast one of the biggest lines in six-man football and it showed. After the game, in his press conference, head coach Trey Richey made mention of his big guys up front, saying they are one of the best lines he has ever seen in six-man. It is hard to argue against him.

Nick Proulx would be the games offensive MVP, rushing for 251 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries.

Ben Justice would be the defensive MVP recording 12 tackles, a sack and he recovered an incredible three fumbles, one he returned 40-yard for a touchdown.

Jonesboro’s standout player was Wyatt Young, who rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, all hard-fought yards. He also recorded 15 tackles on defense and had 82 kick return yards, as well as 13 receiving yards, for 271 all-purpose yards.

Edward’s field goal is only the third successful field goal made in a six-man state championship game. Whitharral’s Scott Gage made a 42-yarder in 1981 and Borden County’s own Flynn Chapman made a 26-yarder in 2009.

DII – Strawn 78 Balmorhea 42
In the division two game, Balmorhea jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead with a 63-yard touchdown run by Kyle Garcia. However, Strawn responded just as quickly to tie the game at 8-all just over two minutes into the game.

Strawn’s Tanner Hodgkins would score late in the first quarter on a short run, to give the Greyhounds their first lead of the game, 16-8, and from that point on the never looked back.

Strawn did not seem to miss a beat all game. You could tell Balmorhea had not played a team with as much speed in the secondary as Strawn. The Bears would create running holes for Kyle Garcia and Marcos Mendoza, only for them to close as fast as they opened, stifling the big play ability of the Bears backfield. The Strawn line did a good job stunting at times and shaking off blocks as well.

In the first half, Tanner Hodgkins was the man of the hour for the Greyhounds offensively, rushing for 121 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries. Kyle Garcia ground out 193 yards and three touchdowns of his own for the Bears on 14 carries in the first half, with the score 38-22 in favor of the Greyhounds.

In the second half, Strawn seemed to get off big play after big play and control Balmorhea’s offensive attack, much in the same way they did in the first half. They continued using their speed to seal gaps and running lanes and cut down long pass plays.

The Bear’s passing game opened up some space in the second half, as Marco Martinez threw for 84 of his 119 yards in final two quarters and Garcia added 55 yards passing of his own, including big receptions by the Bear’s big linemen Avery Mendoza, Matthew Carrosco and Marco Ramos. However, their drives lasted too long and they simply ran out of time.

The Greyhounds on the other hand, seemed to have short, fast scoring drives that deflated whatever momentum Balmorhea gained. Carlos Villanueva and Julin Fraga shined offensively in the second half for the Greyhounds. Fraga had big kick returns and 63-yard rushing, with a touchdown. Villanueva returned on onside kick back for a touchdown, rushed for a touchdown and threw for a touchdown in the second half.

Villanueva finished the game with 104 yards, two touchdowns rushing on eight carries and going 3-for-3 through the air, for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Zavion Winegreat, Gavin Duncan, and Hodgkins each caught a touchdown pass for the Greyhounds, with Junior Cevantes throwing for the other score.
Strawn kicker K-Lani Nava made history as the first girl to play in a state game and first girl to score in a state game. She was 9-of-10 on her PAT kicks for the Greyhounds. The one she missed was blocked.

Tanner Hodgkins was named offensive MVP scoring four touchdowns, gaining 127 yards rushing, with three touchdowns and 46 yards receiving and another score.

JW Montgomery was named the defensive MVP as he made 14 tackles and was great in pass coverage as well.

In the loss, Kyle Garcia led all rushers with 276 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries. He also was 3-for-4 passing for 55-yards and no interceptions. Marco Martinez was 7-for-14 passing for 119 yards and a touchdown. Marcos Mendoza was held to 28-yards rushing, but caught three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. He led the Bears on defense with six tackles. Avery Mendoza was the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 72 yards.

Balmorhea never gave up! They fought hard all night. Kyle Garcia earned every yard he gained. The big guys on the line for Balmorhea made some great catches in the second half while they were trying to mount a comeback.

Strawn was very impressive in the win and with a solid chunk of their team returning, they should easily be everyone’s pick to make it back to AT&T Stadium in 2018.
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Re: Championship Game Stories

Postby granger » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:34 am

My quick thoughts on the games:

BC-Jonesboro: You cannot survive fumbles on four-straight possessions. The one going into the half changed everything.

Balmorhea-Strawn: The bottom line was the Bears NEVER stopped Strawn. Not once. I don't care how much time was on the clock, and their offense was awesome, but defensive they couldn't stop the Greyhounds. Strawn just had too much depth.
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Re: Championship Game Stories

Postby oldergoat » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:08 pm

I think that Garden City was on top at the end of the 1st half in the Quarter Final game. Score was 16-14 at half time. Also I think that was the first game this year that went past half time.
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Re: Championship Game Stories

Postby Leman Saunders » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:12 am

I think that Garden City was on top at the end of the 1st half in the Quarter Final game. Score was 16-14 at half time. Also I think that was the first game this year that went past half time.


No Borden Co was ahead at halftime 24-16.

Garden City scored and made a PAT to take a brief lead at the beginning of the second quarter 16-14.

http://www.gosanangelo.com/story/sports ... 915623001/
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Re: Championship Game Stories

Postby 51eleven » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:21 pm

The most amazing thing to me about Strawn this year was their efficiency on both offense and defense. The collaborative effort and execution. I read in the paper about the state game that they ran 29 less plays than Bamoreah and thought Huh? How did they win by 36? Then I thought back to all the 4 and out's over the season, and many shorter than that on interceptions and fumble recoveries. On offense, one game late in the season their first 5 drives were all 1 play each. For TD's. In the state game 25 of 29 offensive plays were rushes. 6 rushing TD's. A TD every 4 rushes. Passing? 4/4, 3 TD's. The swarmingest defense I've ever seen, nobody ever slowing down heading to the ball until the whistle blew. Before the game somebody on here said they were friend's with both Coaches Lee and Jones, he was taking Strawn by 6 because they would block the fool out of you. That's hitting the nail on the head. And to quote Coach Lee, that defense in the second half was "priceless" (Thanks Coach Cervantes). Maybe not great stat's, Balmoreah outgained Strawn by almost 100 yards (95), but a Big W.
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