Mansfield’s magical season, in which the Tigers were two wins away from the school’s first state championship, came to an end Saturday.
The Tigers lost 49-21 to Austin Lake Travis in the Class 6A Division II state semifinals at Waco ISD Stadium.
Lake Travis, No. 5 the final regular-season Associated Press state poll, will meet No. 2 Katy in a battle of 15-0 teams for the 6A Division II state championship at 8 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston. Katy beat Cibolo Steele 38-0 in its semifinal.
Mansfield took an early 7-0 lead against Lake Travis after a six-play scoring drive. Kennedy Brooks scored on a 9-yard run with 8:41 in the first quarter.
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From there, Lake Travis took control.
“We had a little momentum there, just couldn’t keep it, but they’re a good team, got to give them a lot of credit and they deserved it,” Mansfield coach Jeff Hulme said.
Lake Travis countered with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive, with quarterback Charlie Brewer scoring on a 1-yard keeper to tie the game 7-7 with 6:06 left in the quarter.
After a Mansfield fumble, the Cavaliers took advantage three minutes later when Brewer hit Maleek Barkley for a 52-yard touchdown pass and a 14-7 lead.
The Cavaliers scored again on their final two possessions of the first half — Barkley on a 73-yard run and an 11-yard pass from Charlie Brewer to Cade Brewer for a 28-7 lead with 49 seconds left in the first half.
Saiid Adebo intercepted a pass that put Mansfield (12-3) in good field position, but the Tigers couldn’t convert on fourth-and-3 at the Lake Travis 25 with five minutes left in the second quarter.
“We didn’t come out in the first half like we wanted to,” Brooks said. “We got it back in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to pull it through.”
Brooks scored on a 4-yard run in the third quarter and Elijah Carr-Walker scored from the 1 late in the fourth.
Brooks finished with 32 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns. The junior ends the season with 3,541 yards and 43 touchdowns, which included 14 consecutive 100-yard rushing games and at least one touchdown in every game this season.
“We’re the only team at Mansfield ever to go the fifth round and now we know what we’re capable of, now we’ve got to set a new goal, come back next year and try to go to state,” Brooks said.
Hulme said: “We got great support and it’s been a fun year. You just get this close and you don’t want it to end.”