Two wins away.
With Brennan, Smithson Valley and Shiner all bowing out, four teams from the greater San Antonio area are now two wins away from securing a UIL State title. Boerne is currently enjoying a level of success their program has never experienced before, while Poth is one win away from their first berth in the state championship game since the tail end of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Presidency. On the other side of that coin, Wimberley and Cuero have both been there and done that. Each have multiple state titles on their respective resumes and want to add another.
Before we recap the results from this past week, let’s highlight the biggest moments from the week that was in the Best of BGC.
On Instant Replay, we selected the best of the best, including highlights from Boerne, Cuero and Smithson Valley!
Be sure to check out all of the highlights from Week 15 as well:
Every Class 5A and 6A team from our area has been eliminated from the playoffs, so this week’s 5A/6A rankings are final. Meanwhile, the top four teams from the sub-5A rankings all picked up victories! Was there any movement heading into the State semifinals?
AUSTIN WESTLAKE 47, BRENNAN 7
Westlake is simply too good.
Brennan (12-2) became the Chaparrals’ latest victim on Saturday in the Alamodome. The Bears gained some early momentum with an early interception by Ryan Love, but quarterback Ashton Dubose was picked off in the end zone on the ensuing drive. From that point forward, Westlake took care of business. Quarterback Brett Skinner scored the first touchdown of the game late in the first quarter and followed that up with a 49-yard touchdown pass to Bradley Mays in the second quarter that gave Westlake a commanding 24-0 halftime lead.
Dubose completed 23 of his 33 passes for 219 yards and a score in the defeat, but three interceptions were too much to overcome. Avron Carter caught the lone touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to snap the shutout, but the game was already too far out of reach. Westlake has now won a whopping 54 straight games. They are a machine.
The final scoreline is tough to look at, but Brennan has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. The Bears rebounded from a difficult season-opening loss to Steele with 12 straight wins and an undefeated record in District 29-6A. That streak included a taste of revenge against Lake Travis in the third round, and a trip to the State Quarterfinals for the second straight season. The seniors on this Brennan squad have brought the program to new heights, and that’s certainly something to be proud.
COLLEGE STATION 26, SMITHSON VALLEY 21
One of the deepest runs in Smithson Valley history came to an end on The Pfield in Pflugerville this Saturday. It took some miraculous plays from the defending Class 5A Division I State runners-up to knock them out.
After watching College Station race out to a 10-0 advantage, the Rangers (12-2) clawed their way back into the game. Brayden Bafidis weaved his way to the end zone on a brilliant five-yard reverse late in the first quarter, then Doug Lantz powers his way over the goal line for a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter that gave Smithson Valley their first lead 14-10. It was short-lived. Arrington Maiden fired a laser to Jackson Verdugo, and he made the grab along the sideline for a 74-yard touchdown that vaulted College Station back in front 17-14 with 1:09 left in the half. Then, after Smithson Valley was forced to punt, College Station marched down the field in mere seconds and Maiden found Xavier Vela for a back-breaking touchdown that gave the Cougars a 23-14 lead at halftime.
Trailing by 12 in the fourth quarter, Smithson Valley cut into the deficit with David De Hoyos’ six-yard touchdown run and trailed 26-21 with 5:34 left to play. College State appeared set to close this game out until a special teams miscue gave the Rangers the ball back at the Cougar four-yard line with 44 seconds left in regulation. Smithson Valley moved to the one yard line and had a chance to win with two seconds left, but De Hoyos was stuffed at the goal line, ending the Rangers’ memorable season.
BOERNE 49, CALALLEN 19
The Greyhounds continue their playoff dominance. This time, they handed another undefeated team their first loss in impressive fashion.
Boerne improved to 14-0 for the first time in program history with a resounding victory over Calallen in the Class 4A Division I State Quarterfinals. Bruce McCoy set the tone by returning the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and 7-0 lead. After the Wildcats found the end zone a minute later, the Greyhounds took control with back-to-back long touchdown passes from quarterback Jaxon Baize to Braden Baize that gave Boerne a 21-12 lead after one quarter of play. Jaxon threw another touchdown pass to Brooks Perez in the second quarter for a 28-12 advantage, and Koen Wolff capped a 21-0 run with a 69-yard pick six that effectively put the game on ice by halftime.
Jaxon completed 13 passes for 233 yards and three scores, while running back T.J. Dement carried the ball 15 times for 146 yards and a TD. Boerne has now scored 42 or more points in all four of their playoff games. They haven’t been in a ‘close game’ since Week 4 against Antonian. Not too shabby, huh?
Next up, the Greyhounds face Tyler Chapel Hill in the State Semifinals in the Alamodome on Friday at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are 12-2 overall this season and have found a way to win close playoff games in consecutive weeks against Lumberton (35-23) and Kilgore (24-21). Boerne is already making history. Can they take their historic season a step further and play in the title game for the first time?
POTH 12, TIDEHAVEN 6
Y’know the old saying, ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish?’ Sometimes, how you start ends up deciding everything, and that was certainly the case in the Class 3A Division II State Quarterfinal matchup between Poth (13-1) and Tidehaven at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos on Friday night.
On the Pirates’ first offensive possession, Poth quarterback Zane Raabe ripped off a 51-yard run that effectively flipped the field and gave the Pirates a first down at the Tidehaven 30-yard line. Matthew Dunn capped the drive with a one-yard score on fourth-and-goal, and Poth took an all-important 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Late in the second quarter, Poth’s defense forced a Tidehaven safety, and it appeared that the Pirates were in control of the game. Not quite yet: a 56-yard touchdown pass flipped momentum and made it a 9-6 game at halftime.
Believe it or not, that remained the score for the majority of the first quarter, until Seth Drzymala booted a 25-yard field goal to give Poth a full possession lead 12-6 heading into the fourth. That’s when the Pirates defense slammed the door shut, recording two interceptions and forcing a missed field goal in the final frame to secure a surprisingly low-scoring victory.
Now, Poth prepares to face Big Sandy Harmony in the Class 3A Division II State Semifinals at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium in Cypress on Friday at 7 p.m. The Eagles are 9-5 and have scored 25 points or more in all four of their playoff games. Harmony has never qualified for the State title game, while the Pirates are looking for their first appearance since they were classified as a Conference 1A school in 1968. Either way, someone will make program history this Friday night.
WIMBERLEY VS. CUERO
Two heavyweight programs go head-to-head with a berth in the UIL Class 4A Division II State Championship Game on the line Friday afternoon in the Alamodome, as undefeated Wimberley takes on Cuero. These two squads are eerily similar.
The Texans (14-0) cruised to yet another commanding playoff victory 49-30 over Lago Vista on Friday night. The star of the show was running back Johnny Ball, who rushed 22 times for a whopping 303 yard and five touchdowns. Dual-threat quarterback Cody Stoever completed eight passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, and he also carried the ball 14 times for 106 yards and another score. That means between the two of them, Wimberley racked up 409 rushing yards.
The Gobblers (13-1) survived an epic triple-overtime clash with Silsbee to win 58-56 and advance to the State Semifinals. Quarterback Mason Notaro only needed 11 completions to throw for 248 yards and a touchdown. He added 80 yards rushing and three scores on the ground, but running back Tyscen Williams led the ground game with 19 carries for 165 yards and four TDs. Williams was effective in the passing game as well, catching three passes for 71 yards and a score. Wide receiver Nathan Luschen led a productive corps with five catches for 134 yards.
Dynamic quarterbacks, tough-nosed running backs and hard-hitting defenses have helped Wimberley and Cuero remain two of the top programs in the state of Texas over the past few seasons. The Texans most recently appeared in the state championship game back in 2019 and finished as runners up, but they’ve taken home the ultimate prize twice before in 2011 and 2005. The Gobblers won it all back in 2018 with current Longhorn Jordan Whittington leading the way, the most recent of their 4 state titles in 11 appearances in the big game.
Only one of these two teams can advance this year. Kickoff in the Alamodome is set for 3 p.m.
REFUGIO 27, SHINER 21
It wasn’t the ending they were hoping for, but Shiner should be exceptionally proud of their state title defense. The two-time champs’ playoff run came to an end at the hands of their District 15-2A Division I rivals Refugio on Friday night in San Marcos.
The Comanches took a narrow 14-13 lead into halftime thanks to a touchdown pass from Ryan Peterson to Kyle Muehlstein, then increased that margin to 21-13 on Trace Bishop’s nine-yard TD run in the third quarter. The Bobcats simply made more plays in the fourth quarter. Jordan King scored on an 18-yard scamper that cut the deficit to two points, and then on fourth-and-12, Kelan Brown found Isaiah Avery for a stunning 87-yard touchdown pass that proved to be the game-winner.
The loss snapped a streak of 15 straight playoff wins. Shiner’s last loss prior to Friday night came against... Refugio in the 2019 Regional Semifinals. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the Comanches have given their community so many unforgettable memories over the past three seasons. If this year was any indication, Shiner isn’t going anywhere. Good luck to Refugio in the Class 2A Division I State Semifinals against Timpson. Kickoff at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday.
We’ll see you on Friday night for the start of the State Semifinals!
Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter