Argyle intercepted four first-half passes leading to 21 points as they ousted Graham 38-14 in a battle of two of the top three ranked teams in a Class 3A Division II state semifinal at Northwest ISD Stadium.
With the victory, Argyle (15-0) advances to the state championship game at 4 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where they will face Fairfield (15-0). Graham, which was making its third trip to the state semifinals, finished its season at 14-1.
Argyle, which led 21-0 at halftime on the strength of its defense, picked up the offensive slack in the second half. The Eagles finished the game with 316 yards behind running back Nick Ralston, who had 21 carries for 163 yards rushing and three scores.
The Eagles’ defense allowed just 217 yards, 80 of those on the final drive with the game in hand. The shutout in the first half lowered the Eagles’ average points given up in the first half to just 2.73.
Argyle pulled in five interceptions for the game. Graham senior quarterback Ben Davis , completed 15 of 31 passes for 127 yards. He scored the Steers’ first touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
The Eagles’ opening drive of the game covered 59 yards, with Ralston going in from 10 yards out. That was set up by an interception by Dalton Ledford.
After that series, Argyle’s next six drives netted just 80 yards as the Eagles finished the first half with 139 yards. Graham ,finished the half with 119 yards of offense, 99 yards of those through the air.
Argyle increased its lead to 14-0 when Hunter Treadwell intercepted a pass and returned it 38 yards for the score with 10:18 to go in the half. One series later the Eagles made it 21-0 after an interception by Colton Hinnrichs. Connor Wilson capped the six-play, 27-yard drive by going in from 2 yards out.
Argyle made it 28-0 on its first drive of the second half on Ralston‘s 2-yard run. He added a 15-yard run on the third series of the quarter to make it 35-0. The other points came on Cole Hedlund’s 36-yard field goal.