BUFFALO -- Fort Worth Nolan Catholic used three quick scores in the second quarter Saturday to beat Houston St. Pius X 28-14 in the TAPPS 5A Division I quarterfinals.
With one quarter gone, St. Pius X was leading 7-0 and looking like the more explosive team. On the first play of the second quarter, the Vikings' Luke Alves scored from 16 yards out.
A blocked punt and an interception gave the Vikings (10-2) two more short fields, of which they converted both into touchdowns just three plays after getting the ball.
"We were very opportunistic," Nolan coach Joe Prud'homme said. "We felt fortunate to get those, obviously. That was really the difference in the ballgame, that little part. To get a margin we can deal with, that was huge."
Nolan leaned heavily on misdirection and sleight of hand to keep the faster St. Pius X defense off-guard. Alves led the team with 19 rushes for 106 yards and three touchdowns, but six ball carriers earned at least one rush in the methodical wishbone.
Prud'homme said the strategy was built to take advantage of St. Pius X's aggressiveness.
"We were much smaller than them on defense -- their defense is huge," Prud'homme said. "We had to get out to the edges a little bit where we could be a little bit more successful."
Armed with a two-score lead, the Vikings all but shut down their passing game, and put the game in the hands of their defense, which forced three interceptions and stopped Panthers drives four times in St. Pius territory.
St. Pius was without starting quarterback Kohl Stewart, a Texas A&M recruit who was injured in the final game of the regular season.
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