WACO â€” Daingerfield is returning to the state title game for the fourth time in five years.
Trailing by eight at halftime, Daingerfieldâ€™s defense stepped up in a big way in the second half to give the Tigers a chance at their seventh title in school history.
After yielding 215 yards of offense in the opening half, Daingerfield held the Wall Hawks to 86 second-half yards and forced two key turnovers to give the Tigers a 29-22 win in the Class 2A Division I state semifinal at Waco ISD Stadium in Waco.
Edwin Mims rushed for 142 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers. Cordarius Anderson added 74 yards on the ground and a 24-yard touchdown run. Jonathan Barber and Corey Smith each recovered a fumble for Daingerfield (12-3).
Facing a fourth-and-1 at the Hawk 13, Mims capped Daingerfieldâ€™s opening drive with a 13-yard run after blasting a 42-yard run to set up the Tigers.
Wall responded quickly with a seven-play, 85-yard march with a failed two-point conversion to pull within 7-6 with 6:17 left in the opening quarter.
Daingerfield extended its lead with Mimsâ€™ second touchdown of the night, capping an 11-play, 68-yard march with a 4-yard run. Anderson added 45 yards on that drive to give Daingerfield a 14-6 lead after one quarter.
Wall quarterback Luke Dacy took the second play in the second quarter 1 yard to paydirt and a Grant Eubankâ€™s two-point conversion knotted the contest at 14 with 29 seconds expired in the second quarter.
Wall put a stop to the back-and-forth scoring on the next possession, holding Daingerfield to a quick three-and-out. Clint Masters gave the Hawks what would be their first and only lead on a 13-yard run followed by a two-point conversion with 7:30 left until the break after moving the ball 63 yards on seven plays.
Barber jumped on a loose ball on the first play from scrimmage to open the second half, setting up Daingerfield at the Hawk 24-yard line.
One play later, Anderson took it to the house and, after a Mims two-point conversion run, Daingerfield tied it up with only 18 ticks gone into the third.
Wall got off four plays before Smith scooped up another loose ball after the Daingerfield defense demolished Dacy at the Tiger 46.
One play later, Mims was in the end zone again for the third and final time after a 56-yard run to give Daingerfield what would be the 29-22 final score.
Daingerfield chewed up more than seven minutes off the clock to close out the third quarter before Wall took over at its own 37.
Wall converted a third down and two fourth downs on the ensuing possession but the Daingerfield defense took it away at the Tiger 13, stopping Dacy on a fourth-and-two run to take over.
Masters finished with 122 yards for Wall, which ended its season at 12-2. Grant Eubank added 87 yards for the Hawks.
East Bernard 52, Elysian Fields 8
WACO â€” East Bernard had the perfect record and momentum from defeating then No. 1 Refugio on its side, and the Brahmas werenâ€™t about to be stopped, out-gaining Elysian Fields 405-183 on their way to a 52-8 win on Friday night in the Class 2A state semifinals at Baylor Universityâ€™s Floyd Casey Stadium.
Cedric Perkins ran 10 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns and TCU commit Ty Slanina had 108 all-purpose yards and a pair of scoring runs for East Bernard. Garrett Polak had a touchdown reception and run in the first half, and Elysian Fields (11-4) couldnâ€™t recover from it.
The Brahmas needed only seven plays to open the second-half scoring, with Joc Richardsonâ€™s 15-yard run setting up Perkinsâ€™ 4-yard touchdown run, and Perkins found a crease later in the quarter for a 48-yard score for a 52-0 lead.
East Bernard continued its march toward next weekâ€™s Class 2A Division II state championship game at 8 p.m. on Thursday night at Cowboys Stadium against Corsicana Mildred.
The Yellowjackets got on the scoreboard with a nine-play scoring drive, which began after Nathan Hallâ€™s 38-yard kick return. Trevor Spear found Lonzo Macon for a 23-yard pass and Colby Simmons had a 1-yard touchdown run prior to Spear stretching the ball in front of the pylon to prevent the shutout bid.
Elysian Fields won the opening coin toss but found out quickly how tough it was going to be to score.
Spear ran 12 yards on third down to move the chains, but a bad snap lost 14 yards and Spear forced the issue. He was intercepted by Victor Pettit, who returned the football 25 yards to the Yellowjackets 15 and Slanina covered the final 15 yards for an early touchdown.
Slaninaâ€™s 6-yard scoring run was just the beginning for the Brahmas (14-0).
Elysian Fields couldnâ€™t get anything going offensively, with Spear losing eight yards and the football to give East Bernard more solid field position at the 25. Bruce Woods sacked Grant Aschenbeck and T.J. Clark stopped Slanina short of a first down to force the Brahmas to settle for Derrick Ruckaâ€™s 30-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.
East Bernard needed only one play to score after forcing a punt, with Aschenbeck finding Polak for a 57-yard touchdown pass for a 17-0 advantage with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter.
The Yellowjackets couldnâ€™t convert on fourth down at the end of the quarter and East Bernard covered 65 yards on 10 straight running plays, with Polak reaching the end zone once again on a 5-yard touchdown run.
A pair of holding penalties didnâ€™t help Elysian Fieldsâ€™ cause, as one caused the Yellowjackets to wind up falling short on fourth-and-1. The other was on defense and allowed Perkins to run 15 yards and set up Slaninaâ€™s second touchdown of the night from 10 yards out for a 31-0 lead midway through the first half.
The Brahmas added another five-play scoring drive, with Slanina throwing an 11-yard pass to Trevor Long and a 32-yarder to Nick Mica to set up Richardsonâ€™s 7-yard scoring run for a 38-0 halftime lead.
East Bernard had 244 first-half yards on 26 plays to 82 for the Yellowjackets on 32 plays, as Spearâ€™s 52 yards on 11 carries were the only significant offense Elysian Fields could muster against the hard-nosed Brahma defense.
Stephenville 70, El Campo 35
ARLINGTON â€” Tyler Jones accounted for nine touchdowns â€” five passing and four rushing â€” and Stephenville set a record for points in a championship game, beating El Campo 70-35 for the Class 3A Division I title Friday night.
Jones had 432 yards passing and 124 on the ground, and Brice Gunter had nine catches for 158 yards and three touchdowns as Stephenville broke the previous 11-man scoring record of 69 held by Sulphur Springs (2008) and Aledo (2010).
Stephenville (13-1) won the title in its first season in Class 3A after winning four championships in 4A in the 1990s, all under Baylor coach Art Briles. El Campo also dropped down from 4A this year.
Quarterback Bryce Brandl led the El Campo (14-1) with 149 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the second title game in the schoolâ€™s 101-year history. El Campo also lost in 1967.
Brandl, who also had 131 yards passing, scored on a 44-yard run to pull El Campo within 42-35 late in the third quarter, but Stephenville answered with four more scores. Jones had touchdown runs of 32 and 28 yards and threw a 63-yard scoring pass to Jarrett Stidham.
Stephenville, which averaged 53.3 points in its first four playoff wins, scored more points in the first half than El Campo had allowed in a game all season and didnâ€™t punt.
Jones accounted for all 80 yards on the gameâ€™s opening drive, capped by a 10-yard pass to Stidham just 1:28 into the game.
Stephenville scored on its first four possessions, taking a 28-7 lead on a 21-yard run by Jones early in the second quarter.
El Campo battled back with two touchdowns before the half, getting within 28-21 on Montray Johnsonâ€™s 2-yard TD run with 3:47 left in the second quarter.
Stephenvilleâ€™s Witt Westbrook had 70 yards rushing and 71 receiving.
â€” Associated Press