Both teams were looking for their first state title in football. Both teams were 15-0 and ended the regular season ranked in The Associated Press Class 3A top 10.
It was a back-and-forth game, but running back Ian Sadler proved to be too much. No. 1 Argyle benefited from a late stop to hold on for a 38-33 victory against No. 6 Fairfield in the 3A Division II championship game Friday in front of 22,071 at AT&T Stadium.
Sadler, a Texas Tech commitment and the game’s offensive MVP, was all over the field for Argyle (16-0), scoring four touchdowns, three on the ground and one on a 65-yard punt return. He picked up 109 rushing yards, 73 receiving and 102 as a kick returner.
Argyle darted to a 17-3 lead on a 13-yard run by Sadler, a 7-yard run by Connor Wilson and a 44-yard field goal by Cole Hedlund.
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But Fairfield (15-1) stormed back with 21 unanswered points to lead 24-17 at the half, sparked by Larry Rose’s 31-yard scoring run. Rose led Fairfield with 260 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Sadler brought Argyle back after the half with a 4-yard TD run and the punt return for a score to give the Eagles a 31-24 lead, but it was short-lived.
Following a safety, Rose broke free for a 54-yard scoring run to give Fairfield a 33-31 lead with 11:01 left in the game.
Argyle answered for the final time, capping an eight-play, 80-yard drive with Sadler’s 3-yard TD run with 6:54 left.
The teams traded punts before Fairfield made its final push when Rose broke free for a 64-yard gain to the Argyle 17, but four plays later, Fairfield faced a fourth-and-4 from the 11.
Argyle defensive lineman Micah Capra and defensive MVP Colton Hinnrichs stopped Rose for a 2-yard gain to take over on downs and run out the clock.