This past weekend was my first experience covering the Texas UIL State Championships. I had attended the two 6A title games in Houston last year, but I was sitting with Eric Nahlin in the stands rather than up in the booth.
This year, Justin Wells and I made the trek to AT&T Stadium to see the best of the state face off. There were a few blowouts, a few great games, and a lot of D1 talent on the field. Here’s the best of what I saw this past weekend.
Lake Travis QB Charlie Brewer
The Texas AP Player of the Year delivered with a huge performance against The Woodlands. Lake Travis was the much more talented team, and Brewer made sure the Highlanders’ pass defense had a rough night. Brewer went 17-of-37 for 361 yards with 4 TDs and 1 INT, adding 73 yards on the ground. The Cavaliers never had an issue with TWHS and cruised to their 6th state championship.
Lake Travis WR Garrett Wilson
When I was told Wilson could be the best athlete to ever come through Lake Travis, I rolled my eyes. Then I watched him in person, and thought they could be right. Then I watched his Hudl, and thought they are probably correct. The two-sport sophomore was a key component to the Cavaliers 6A DI state title run, where some pundits said it was Lake Travis’ greatest team ever. He tallied 699 yards on 53 catches for 12 touchdowns and holds offers from Bowling Green and SMU. For good measure, he added 13 points in his first hoops game of 2016 in a win over Copperas Cove.
Desoto QB Shawn Robinson
Desoto earned its first ever state championship with a lot of talent, but they won this game with the performance TCU commit Shawn Robinson turned in. He did it all against Cibolo Steele, passing for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-24 passing, and rushing for 197 yards on 18 rushes. Robinson was noticeably battling an injury toward the end of the game and still gave it his all, making play after play to defeat the San Antonio area powerhouse.
Desoto OL Edward Ingram, Xavier Newman, Hyrin White
When you have three P5 players on your line, it makes a difference. These guys did on the evening, paving the way for the Eagles to rush for 303 yards on nearly seven yards per attempt. Win the trenches, you usually win the game. That was the case here.
Cibolo Steele QB Xavier Martin
Texas Tech commit and Steele QB Xavier Martin did his best to match the game Robinson did. Steele remained in the title game thanks mostly to the play of its star signal-caller. His numbers are nice; 20-of-35 for 256 yards with 2 TDs, along with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Martin did make one incredible play in the third quarter, throwing on the money off his back foot 50 yards down the field for the score. Tech’s got a solid QB heading to Lubbock, and Martin enters a competitive quarterback room.
Highland Park QB John Stephen Jones
Could it get any cooler for Jerry’s grandson? In his hometown, in his grandfather’s stadium with his grandfather watching, John Stephen Jones put on a performance that propelled Highland Park to its fourth state title. Jones didn’t have a big night through the air going 9-of-23 for 96 yards and an interception, but his running game helped bring the Scots to victory. His two rushing touchdowns were the only offensive scoring HP could provide, but the Scot defense locked down Temple on their way to victory.
Highland Park CB Alex Walzel
One of the reasons Highland Park was able to pull out the victory over Temple was because the Scot secondary limited the high powered Temple offense. The Wildcats could never get a big play down the field, with a large reason being the play of DB Alex Walzel. Walzel had an interception late in the first half that was huge for momentum. Keeping the Wildcat offense in front of them was a big reason Highland Park won, and Walzel was a big reason why the Wildcats never could get past the Scots.
Aledo RB Jase McClellan
I touched on him in the Scoop, but McClellan’s run against Calallen was one of the best in a game filled with rushing. He finished with 98 yards rushing, not more important than his 59-yard scoring jaunt. He’s only a freshman, but we’ll be hearing a lot about him in the next couple of years.
Aledo DT James Williams
The defensive MVP of the 5A D2 game, Williams was also the emotional leader of the Bearcat defense. Williams is a 5-foot-9, 291-pound junior, but he plays a lot bigger than that.
Carthage RB Keaontay Ingram
Another player I touched on in the Scoop, Ingram willed his team to victory with his 28-carry, 182-yard performance, including being the workhorse toward the end of the game, including the championship sealing touchdown with just less than four minutes left. He was able to deliver as Carthage, with a little help from a fantastic defensive performance, was able to power through Abilene Wylie on the ground with 201 rushing yards. He’s on Texas’ radar, too.
West Orange-Stark QB Jack Dallas
West Orange-Stark finished another fantastic run to win back-to-back state championships, and much of that was due to its quarterback, Jack Dallas. Dallas commands the offense well and will do it at the next level at his hometown Lamar University. The two-time state champion quarterback delivered two consecutive years for two rings on his hand. He also excels on the baseball diamond.
Yoakum LB/RB Henry Enoch
Joshua and Jordan Moore get a lot of attention, but that doesn’t mean they do all of the work. Measuring at 6-foot-0, 215 pounds, senior Henry Enoch plays big. He runs hard against guys bigger than him at the line of scrimmage, then runs over guys smaller than him at the second level. At linebacker, he fills quickly and hits hard, playing with max effort. He definitely has college game, but doesn’t have any college offers. That should change soon.
Mineola QB Jeremiah Crawford
Yoakum struggled to get past the Mineola defense, but they really struggled with the Yellowjackets’ offense led by Jeremiah Crawford. Crawford stands at 5-foot-8, but was the big question the Bulldogs were unable to answer. Crawford rushed for 276 yards and 4 TDs on 27 carries, and added 17 yards on two passing attempts. He finished his ETX career with 10,755 total yards (7,283 on the ground), and 145 total TDs. He leaves Mineola a legend.
Gunter was able to take the 3A D2 state championship thanks to its stifling, disciplined defense. They were able to stop Boling and its main offensive threat, Vernon Jackson (6-foot-4, 250-pound junior with TCU offer), for nearly the entire game. The Gunter offense delivered as well, but the defense made sure this one was never close.
Refugio kicker Diego Gonzales
So 18 yards isn’t far at all for a field goal. In fact, it is about as short as they come. When they count for the state championship, they carry a lot more weight. Credit Diego Gonzales for putting the game-winner through the uprights with less than 10 seconds remaining to earn the victory for Refugio over Crawford. Refugio RB Jaylon Mascorro delivered a good game with 99 yards on 22 carries, but Gonzales won the day.
Bremond QB Roshauud Paul
Mr. Texas Football. Three-time state champion. Undefeated. Roshauud Paul could not be denied in high school, and he was not denied against Iraan. Paul had six total touchdowns on the evening, including five on the ground. He had over 380 yards of offense, and solidified himself as one of the best HS players before he heads to A&M.
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