Four rounds of playoff action are in the books, and only three area teams remain in the hunt for state titles: Shiner, Falls City and Cuero. KSAT 12′s Big Game Coverage (BGC) was at football fields all over South Texas this weekend, and we’ll cover each of their three victories in depth.
First, as always, let’s kick off our weekly recap with Week 15′s Best of BGC!
The third week of playoff action featured all kinds of amazing plays from the greater San Antonio area. Check out the best of the best, including plays from Brennan, Alamo Heights and Shiner!
How did all of the results affect KSAT 12′s Top 12? Find out who’s in and who’s out of our rankings as we prepare for the State semifinals!
Unfortunately, this week marked the end of the season for another five of our area teams: the Alamo Heights Mules, the Poth Pirates, the Navarro Panthers, the Fredericksburg Battlin’ Billies and the No. 1 Brennan Bears.
The Bears fell short in Week 15′s Game of the Week.
LAKE TRAVIS 42, BRENNAN 17
Brennan (13-1) knew what kind of battle to expect against a perennial football power like Lake Travis (12-2). Unfortunately, due to a series of costly penalties and turnovers, the Bears couldn’t keep it close.
The Cavaliers won the opening coin toss, deferred to the second half, stopped Brennan’s first drive and marched right down the field for the opening touchdown of the game and a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. The Bears looked poised to answer back on the ensuing drive, but an illegal procedure erased an Ashton Dubose touchdown pass and Brennan’s drive ended in a missed field goal. Lake Travis promptly found the endzone on their next two possessions, highlighted a jaw-dropping 32-yard touchdown run from Derrick Johnson that gave the Cavaliers a commanding 21-0 lead. A long completion helped set up kicker Devin Thompson for a 30-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the first half to get Brennan on the board, but the Bears still entered halftime trailing 21-3.
Things didn’t get any easier in the second half. The Cavaliers defense got to Dubose for a strip sack and intercepted him on consecutive drives. They then turned both of those turnovers into points for a 35-3 lead entering the fourth quarter. To their credit, the Bears kept fighting throughout the game. Dubose first found Chase Campbell for a five-yard score, then connected with his brother Aaron Dubose on an impressive 58-yard touchdown pass. Ashton completed 10 passes for 228 yards and those two scores.
Ultimately, the Bears’ 14 fourth-quarter points proved to be cosmetic. Saturday was Lake Travis’ day. Now, Brennan heads back to the drawing board after a memorable season.
CUERO 35, NAVARRO 28
The first time these two teams met, Navarro prevailed on a late field goal in an instant classic. Week 15′s rematch proved to be just as memorable, and Cuero reclaimed bragging rights in a storied rivalry.
Both teams traded touchdowns in a back-and-forth first half and entered the break tied at 14. Navarro appeared to take control late in the third quarter on a brilliant delayed counter by running back Antwoin Mebane, who raced to the endzone untouched for a 23-yard touchdown and a 20-14 Panther lead. Mebane had a monster game, finishing with 23 carries for 251 yards and three TDs. But Cuero vaulted back in front by scoring the next 14 points. Quarterback Jerry Rossett found Zyler Jones for a 48-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the final play of the third quarter, and Tycen Williams raced to the endzone for a seven-yard score that put the Gobblers on top 28-20 late in the fourth. Ninety seconds later, Navarro’s Colton Chambers tied it up with a 40-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion.
Cuero got the ball back with 2:19 left in regulation. They needed a little less than two minutes to retake the lead. Rossett hit LeBron Johnson in stride on a 44-yard bomb with 23 ticks left in regulation, and the Gobblers went up 35-28. On Navarro’s final possession, Johnson ended up sealing the game with an interception. As a result, Cuero snaps a three-game losing streak to the Panthers and advances to the Class 4A Division II State semifinals for the first time since they won it all in 2018.
SHINER 55, REFUGIO 14
One look at the final score should give you an idea of what happened on the gridiron at Victoria Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.
The defending Class 2A Division I state champion Comanches owned the line of scrimmage and raced out to a 35-7 lead thanks to their star running backs Dalton and Doug Brooks. Dalton found the endzone six times, including a two-yard score where he hurdled a defender at the goal line, and Doug scored twice in the 41-point rout. All told, Shiner rushed for a whopping 587 yards and averaged more than 14 yards per carry.
Shiner has now scored 55 or more points in all four of their playoff games. Let that sink in for a moment.
FALLS CITY 34, BURTON 20
The Battlin’ Beavers are heading back to the Class 2A Division II State semifinal for the fourth straight year.
In their second straight season under head coach Mark Kirchhoff, Falls City rolled past Burton and put up 402 total yards of offense. The ground game continues to be the Beavers’ bread and butter, as they amassed 343 rushing yards. Senior Luke Shaffer led the way with 18 carries for nearly 150 yards and a trio of TDs. Meanwhile, the defense held the Panthers in check, limiting them to just 77 yards in the first half.
Next up, yet another crack at Mart in the State semifinals. The Panthers have ended the Beavers’ season in each of the past three years. Falls City will look to flip that script in 2021.
Throughout the entire season, when you looked at the box score from Alamo Heights football games, three names usually stood out: Quarterback James Sobey, running back George Flesher and wide receiver Rett Andersen. Flesher and Andersen combined to account for more than half of the Mules’ offensive production in 2021.
Teams knew where the ball was going. They still couldn’t stop it.
That same tune rang true in Friday night’s fourth-round matchup between Alamo Heights and Liberty Hill. Andersen was a beast again, hauling in 11 of Sobey’s 19 completions for 182 yards and four touchdowns. He was the only Mules receiver to find the endzone, and he did it in a variety of ways: first on a 30-yard bomb, then on a leaping 18-yard grab over a defender with one foot in bounds along the boundary. In covering Alamo Heights this season, it became routine to see Andersen making an incredible catch in their highlight reel, and the playoffs were no different.
The Mules’ memorable run did come to an end in San Marcos in a 43-40 shootout loss. Sobey and Flesher are two representatives of a senior class that bids farewell and leaves a lasting legacy. But Andersen is a junior. If it’s even possible, he’ll have an even bigger target on his back next season. This year, that didn’t slow him down much at all. Personally, I can’t wait to see what he does in 2022.
BGC NEWSLETTER CHANGING INTO A WEEKLY FORMAT!
With football season winding down, the BGC Newsletter will be taking a bit of a step back! Of course, we’ll still recap all of the action from the final two rounds of the playoffs on the next two Mondays, but as we head into the holiday break and turn the page to basketball, swimming, wrestling and more, please stay tuned for some new announcements on how KSAT 12′s Big Game Coverage as a whole is changing heading into 2022.
And don’t forget to watch Instant Replay next Sunday at 11 p.m. for all of the highlights from the fifth round!
Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter
If you have any questions about this newsletter or story ideas for the season ahead, feel free to reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.