Brock’s rocket ascent into the top rungs of Texas high school football reached another tier with the Eagles’ pasting of Kemp in a Class 3A Division I state semifinal.
The Eagles advanced to their second state championship game in only their fourth UIL-sanctioned season with a 49-21 victory Thursday against the Yellowjackets at AT&T Stadium.
Brock (13-2) will be vying for a second Class 3A Division I title. The Eagles won it all in 2015.
Brock meets No. 6 Yoakum or Rockdale next week at AT&T Stadium.
That 2015 team and this team share assets in the form of senior running backs Dawson Littlepage and Tanner Patino, who combined for 189 yards and three touchdowns against Kemp while sitting out almost all of the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Littlepage also returned a fumble for a touchdown. Patino had an interception.
These guys do everything but drive the team bus.
“They’ve been there for us since they were sophomores,” Brock coach Chad Worrell said. “Both started on that state championship team.
“We’ve been counting on those guys for a long time. As you get deeper in the playoffs and your games get bigger, your seniors need to step up, and they’ve stepped up for us.”
The final book on Littlepage read 11 rushes for 99 yards. Patino had 90 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Tripp Jones had touchdown passes to Baylor Cupp of 67 and 31 yards.
Long a basketball town – the boys and girls basketball programs boast 11 state titles combined – Brock will remain a football town for at least another week.
The state semifinal victory over Kemp was – pardon the cliché – not even as close as the 28-point margin.
As evidence, Brock ran 63 plays to Kemp’s 41, and had a time-of-possession edge of 30:11 to 17:49.
The Yellowjackets’ touchdowns all came as Brock was starting up the buses, on three of Kemp’s last four possessions.
The Eagles went into the locker room at halftime comfortably ahead 35-0, scoring 14 points off three Yellowjackets turnovers.
Littlepage accounted for his team’s first and last points, a 2-yard TD run to cap Brock’s first drive and a fumble recovery returned 35 yards.
In between, Cupp hauled in a 67-yard TD pass from Jones and Patino finished off eight- and nine-play drives with scoring runs of 15 and 14 yards.
If the score wasn’t enough indication of Brock’s dominance, the difference in total yardage provided the closing argument.
Brock outgained Kemp 258 to 85.
Meanwhile, Kemp’s first-half possessions went punt-punt-interception-punt-fumble-interception.
“The defense played great,” Worrell said. “The turnovers were the difference in the first half.”
Said Littlepage, who didn’t play because of injury when Brock’s season derailed in the 2016 region final: “It couldn’t feel any better. This was my big goal to get back to state, and that’s what we’re doing.”