Lake Country Christian couldn’t hold on to a 14-0 first-quarter lead as Shiner St. Paul came back to win the TAPPS Division IV state championship 29-21 on Saturday at Waco Midway’s Panther Stadium.
The Eagles, who were making their first state-title-game appearance, had control of the opening period with they scored on two rushing touchdowns by Hayden Whites and Koby Haynes.
Whites, the team’s leading rusher, scored from the 5 with 7:41 in the quarter. Haynes’ 59-yard TD run with 1:59 left gave Lake Country a two-touchdown lead.
But St. Paul, which captured its fifth state title in nine years, got two rushing TDs from Joseph Natal (12, 1) and a 34-yard field goal from Sam Benes as time expired to take a 15-14 lead into the break.
Kai Giese added two TDs for the Cardinals. His 5-yard run with 9:07 in the third made it 22-15 and a 10-yard TD catch from Dalton Jahn extended the lead to 29-14 with 11:52 to play.
Haynes scored on a 64-yard TD run with 10:35 left to cut it to 29-21.
The Cardinals win their seventh state title overall while head coach Jake Wachsmuth moves into fourth place all-time with five state championships (three tied with seven).