It was a magical first season of 11-man football for the Willow Park Trinity Christian Eagles. However, the magic ran out in the second half of their 35-27 loss to Colleyville Covenant Christian in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Division III state semifinals Saturday at Burleson's Elk Stadium.
The Eagles (10-3) led 27-7 at the half, but Covenant (12-1) countered with four second-half scores to overcome the upset.
The Eagles, after years of success at the six-man level, moved up to 11-man ball this season. They were also playing their first season in TAPPS.
Trinity finished second in District 1 behind Lubbock Christian. The Eagles outscored their opponents by an average of 39-19.
Bearcats in rematch with Pioneers in state quarters
Aledo Bearcats (13-0) vs. Saginaw Boswell Pioneers (9-4)
Class 5A Division II state quarterfinals
9 p.m. Friday, AT&T Stadium.
▪ Last week: Aledo 56, Abilene Cooper 35. Boswell 20, Lubbock Cooper 10.
▪ Last season: Aledo 13-2, Class 5A Division I state semifinals. Boswell 10-2, 5A Division I area finals.
▪ All-time series: Aledo leads 6-0 and has outscored Pioneers by an average of 57-16, all meetings since 2008.
▪ Last meeting: Aledo 49, Boswell 24 on Nov. 4 in final game of regular season to clinch 6-5A championship.
▪ Returning starters: Aledo 8 offense/5 defense, Boswell 5 offense/7 defense.
▪ Aledo notable: Where does one start when talking about the powerful Aledo offense? They have one of the best quarterbacks around in senior Dillon Davis (64 percent completions, 3,408 yards, 41 TD 7 int.). They have one running back already over 1,000 yards, freshman Jase McClellan (144 carries, 1,122 yards, 16 TD) and two more who could join him this week, senior Michael Jordan (96-987, 14 TD) and junior Donnie Evans (117-920, 21 TD). They have one receiver who's already topped 1,000 yards, senior Logan Bridges (48 catches, 1,106 yards, 15 TD), with two more who are within reach, senior Preston Jefferis (34-801, 9 TD) and junior Hunter Rosson (45-777, 10 TD). The Bearcats average 59.9 points, 305 yards rushing and 269 yards passing. On defense, the Bearcats have forced 28 fumbles this season and recovered 15. They also have 17 interceptions, led by sophomore Brannon Webb with five, while sophomore Wyatt Harris and senior Rhett Harris have three each. Meanwhile, they've only turned the ball over 14 times (8 interceptions, 6 fumbles).
▪ Boswell notable: Freshman quarterback Brayden Thomas (53 percent completions, 1,807 yards, 22 TD, 11 int.) has settled into a comfortable groove as the Pioneers have rebounded from a 1-2 start to the season. Granted, they had two favorable draws in the first two rounds of the postseason with Denison (5-6) and Fort Worth Dunbar (5-7), but there is no questioning their come-from-behind win over Cooper (9-3). Senior Damon Williams (292 carries, 1,905 yards, 14 TD) is one of the best running backs in the state. The Pioneers average 200 yards on the ground and 166 through the air. Also, after having early season fumbling problems, the Pioneers have settled down with 28 fumbles and 17 lost compared to 24 forced fumbles and 17 recovered.
It's Brock-Wall in playoffs again
Brock Eagles (13-0) vs. Wall Hawks (10-3)
Class 3A Division I state quarterfinals
7:30 p.m. Friday, Shotwell Stadium, Abilene.
▪ Last week: Brock 48, Muleshoe 19. Wall 55, Littlefield 7.
▪ Last season: Brock 16-0, Class 3A Division I state champions. Wall 12-1, 3A Division I regional semifinals.
▪ Returning starters: Brock 5 offense/7 defense, Wall 5 offense/6 defense.
▪ All-time series: Brock leads 2-0.
▪ Last meeting: Brock 45, Wall 14, 2015 regional semifinals, second straight season they met in third round.
▪ Brock notable: The Eagles stretched their win streak to 29 games, but not without a slight challenge from Muleshoe. Brock led 20-13 in the third quarter before pulling away. Senior running back Tyler Gray (186 carries, 1,876 yards, 32 TD) leads an offense that is scoring 52 points per game. The win over Muleshoe was the 10th time they've topped 45 points. He has a nice complement of runners around him, including junior Matt Gray, who rushed for 113 yards and three TD against Muleshoe. Muleshoe was only the third team to score in double digits against the stout Eagles defense, which has six shutouts. The teams have one common opponent. Brock defeated Midland Christian 57-41 and Wall fell 41-36. Brock is 47-3 since the program first hit the field in 2013.
▪ Wall notable: The Hawks will be perhaps the toughest test of the season for the Brock defense. Wall is averaging 47 points and has outscored its three postseason opponents 174-60. Like Brock, the Hawks run the ball first and foremost, led by senior Thomas Halfmann (79 carries, 1,200 yards, 14 TD). Wall is 83-12 since the 2010 season.