The road to AT&T Stadium is complete!
Sixteen weeks of high school football action will culminate with the UIL State Championship Games in Jerry World starting on Wednesday. This year, three teams will represent the greater San Antonio area with a chance to define their legacies on the biggest stage: Boerne, Wimberley and Poth. The Greyhounds and Pirates are each looking for their first state titles, while the Texans are eyeing their third.
How’d we reach this point? Let’s recap an incredible Friday of state semifinal action. First, don’t forget to check out all the highlights!
BOERNE 35, TYLER CHAPEL HILL 0
For the first time in program history, Boerne will play for a UIL State title!
Taking on Tyler Chapel Hill in a raucous Alamodome, the Greyhounds struck first midway through the opening frame. Running back T.J. Dement weaved his way to the end zone for a four-yard touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. Early in the second quarter, Boerne faced a 4th-and-6 at the 37-yard line and elected to go for it. Quarterback Jaxon Baize found older brother Braden Baize for a crucial first down. Three plays later, the Greyhounds set up a screen pass for Houston Hendrix, and he raced in untouched for a 20-yard touchdown and a 14-0 advantage. The Bulldogs did threaten to score late in the half, but Hendrix came up with a huge interception to end their best opportunity and send Boerne into halftime with their 14-0 lead intact.
Any concerns of a close game evaporated early in the third quarter. The Greyhound defense forced a turnover on downs on Tyler Chapel Hill’s first possession, and Dement ripped off a remarkable 82-yard touchdown run on the first play of the ensuing drive for a 21-0 advantage. That proved to be the knockout punch. Dement added another five-yard score later in the frame and Jaxon connected with Braden again for a 30-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter en route to a dominant victory. The Greyhounds racked up 434 yards of total offense while the defense forced five turnovers -- three interceptions, two fumbles -- and held Tyler Chapel Hill to 215 total yards. Dement finished the night with 23 carries for 180 yards and three scores.
Boerne has been making history all season long. They will bring their undefeated 15-0 record to AT&T Stadium with a chance to complete the first undefeated football season in city history. Kickoff in Jerry World for their Class 4A Division I State title game against China Spring (14-1) is set for 3 p.m. on Friday, December 16.
WIMBERLEY 42, CUERO 36
What. A. Game.
After a thrilling back-and-forth affair, the Texans are heading back to AT&T Stadium for the first time since 2019.
Wimberley (15-0) opened the scoring early in the first quarter on a 59-yard quarterback-keeper from Cody Stoever, but Cuero (13-2) responded with 14 straight points. First, quarterback Mason Notaro scored from two yards out to tie it up at 7-all, then dynamic running back Tyscen Williams powered his way over the goal line for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Gobblers their first lead 14-7. Stoever answered right back early in the second quarter with a 12-yard score, but a missed extra point meant that the Texans still trailed 14-13. The Gobblers proceeded to march right down the field and score again. This time, Notaro connected with Daylon Gibbs for an incredible, diving, 18-yard touchdown grab for a 20-13 advantage, but the ensuing extra point was blocked and returned for two Wimberley points, so the Texas gained possession trailing 20-15. A Gage Tumlinson field goal cut the deficit down to two, but Cuero had it rolling. Notaro found Gibbs again, this time for a remarkable 20-yard toe-drag TD, and the Gobblers headed into halftime with a 27-18 lead.
Will Carbonara hit a 25-yard field goal to cap a four-and-a-half minute drive that opened the second half, but Wimberley promptly wrestled away control of the game from Cuero. On their first possession, Stoever rolled out and hit Hansen Collie for a 12-yard score that made it a 30-25 game. Then, after forcing a Gobbler three-and-out, senior running back Johnny Ball changed the game with a stunning 64-yard touchdown burst that put Wimberley back on top 31-30. The Texan defense proceeded to force a pair of takeaways on consecutive drives, and early in the fourth quarter, Ball broke loose on another big run. As he was going to the ground, he lost the ball, but Cayden Heatly was right there to scoop and score another TD. That capped a run of 24 straight points, as Wimberley took a commanding 42-30 lead.
Cuero wasn’t done battling. Williams broke the drought with a 17-yard touchdown run to make it a one-possession game with less than six minutes to play. The Gobblers’ defense got a stop, and Cuero regained possession with one last chance to pull out a victory. Notaro moved the Gobblers into the red zone, but the drive ultimately stalled, and on 4th-and-18, his pass to the sideline fell incomplete. Two kneel-downs in front of a raucous Wimberley crowd later, and the Texans stormed the field to celebrate a well-deserved return to Jerry World.
Wimberley hasn’t won a state football title since 2011. Could this be the year they claim their third championship? The Texans will take the field at AT&T Stadium for the Class 4A Division II State title game against Carthage (15-0) at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 16.
POTH 51, BIG SANDY HARMONY 28
For the first time since 1968, Poth will play for a state football title!
The Pirates seized control of the game late in the first quarter. Quarterback Zane Raabe opened the scoring with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Bunn for a 7-0 lead. After Harmony tied it up on the ensuing drive, Poth responded by scoring 21 straight points en route to a 31-14 halftime lead. Gabriel Silansky ripped off a 63-yard run and Bunn scored from two yards out to reinstate a seven-point advantage. Then, after an Eagles three-and-out, Raabe found Silansky for a 37-yard score to make it 21-7. Yet another stop eventually led to another Bunn rushing touchdown, and Poth was well on their way to a blowout victory.
Bunn accounted for five total touchdowns in the victory, while Raabe posted three. This is the fourth time in their five playoff games that the Pirates have scored more than 40 points. The only outlier was last week’s 12-6 victory over Tidehaven. Ultimately, the final margins don’t matter: five playoff wins means Poth will play for a UIL State title. They will have their work cut out for them against top-ranked Gunter (15-0) in the Class 3A Division II State title game. Kickoff at AT&T Stadium is set for 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 15.
UIL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE
- CLASS 3A DIVISION II - Poth (14-1) vs. Gunter (15-0) - Thursday, 3 p.m.
- CLASS 4A DIVISION II - Wimberley (15-0) vs. Carthage (15-0) - Friday, 11 a.m.
- CLASS 4A DIVISION I - Boerne (15-0) vs. China Spring (14-1) - Friday, 3 p.m.
We’ll see you on Thursday afternoon for the start of the State title games in Arlington!
Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter