Idalou 20 Lexington 3
Lexington scored the first three points of the Class 2A-Division II state championship game, Idalou scored the last 20 to take the title. The Wildcats won their first football championship and finished the season 12-3. Lexington absorbed their first loss of the season to finish with a 14-1 record which ties for the best ever in school history.
Lexington owned the ball the first half. The Eagles had the ball in their possession 17:33 of the first half Idalou possessed the ball 6:37. Lexington won the toss and deferred to the second half. Idalou went three and out on their first possession. Lexington then took the ball and marched down the field to 20-yard line. The drive stalled at that point. Antonio Martinez toed a 37-yard field goal to put Lexington up 3-0 in the most important game of their lives. Lexington had run 10 plays and used 5:22 off the first period clock.
Lexington’s stout defense held Idalou to another three and out forcing another punt that rolled dead at the Eagle 31-yard line. This possession was the turning point of the game. Lexington reeled off 13-plays moving the ball down to the 26-yard line. Martinez was called on to kick another field goal. Martinez was accurate to give Lexington a 6-0 lead. But….. Idalou was flagged for roughing the kicker. Lexington took the penalty, taking three points off the scoreboard. The next three plays gained only four yards and Lexington lined up for another field goal. The ball did not get on the kicking tee and Idalou took over at their 11-yard line.
Feeling like they had dodged a bullet, the revitalized Wildcats went the 89-yards in just five plays to take the lead for good. Two two-yard runs were followed by 25-yard pass play to get the first down. The next play was another pass play on a tight-end throwback that went to the Eagle 14-yard line. The fifth play was a 14-yard run by the Wildcats’ Garrett Sosa for the game’s first touchdown. The PAT kick was wide left, leaving the score 6-3 at halftime.
Lexington, by virtue of deferring, took the ball to start the second half. The Idalou defense forced a three and out for the Eagle offense. For the next few possessions the two dynamic defenses took over the game. Both teams forced three and outs with punts ending the possession.
After Idalou’s second possession the punt was fair caught by Jason Washington at the Eagle nine-yard line. The Eagles tried to run a reverse, but mishandled the ball, dropping it in the end zone. Idalou’s Bryce Schilling fell on the ball for the Wildcats’ second touchdown. Once again the PAT kick was wide left. Idalou led 12-3 with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
Momentum was beginning to shift to the Wildcats as the game progressed. Xavier Ward returned the kick off 29-yards to the Eagle 39. Idalou was tagged with a facemask penalty to move the ball 15-yards further down the field to the Idalou 46. Ward rushed for two-yards on the first play and was dropped for a two-yard loss on second down. Kogan Garrett rushed for six on third. Chace Sherrill punted 26-yards to the 14-yard line.
Idalou rushed for seven-yards on first down. Five more yards on second down gave Idalou a first down. And then….. the backbreaker. Quarterback Alec Estes faked the run and hit tight end Brent Turner on a seam route up the middle. 74-yards later, Turner stopped running after scoring the third touchdown for the Wildcats. After an off-sides penalty against Lexington on the PAT kick that failed, Estes hit Turner in the flat for the two extra points and a 20-3 lead with 1:41 left in third quarter.
After the score Lexington had some good offensive plays. Garrett hit Kaelan Blok for 11-yards. That was followed by a completion to Ward for 26 steps. The Eagles were coming back. An incompletion, a loss of one on a screen pass, and a sack of Garrett brought the promising drive to a halt.
Following Chace Sherrill’s 26-yard punt out of bounds at the 18, Idalou put together a little ‘keep away drive’. The Wildcats ran eight plays that consumed 6:13 of the clock in the fourth quarter. Lexington had them stopped but were called for an off-sides on third and three. The penalty allowed the drive to continue for three more downs before the Wildcats punted with 5:40 left in the game.
Lexington took the ball at their own 21-yard line. Kogan Garrett passed to Logan Meuth for 14-yards on first down. Garrett was sacked on first down. The next three plays were incomplete passes and Idalou took over with that championship feeling beginning to flow.
Garrett tried to move the offense forward. He was being harassed but he got the Eagles two first downs. The best play was a 26-yard completion to Blok. The Eagles had run out of time in the last game of the season.
The Eagles defense led by All- Staters Chance Sherrill and Anthony Robbins held Idalou to 251 total yards. 120 of those came on two plays to tight end Brent Turner. The other 39 snaps, Idalou gained 131 yards. Brandon Meyer, Donn Miller, Tyler Moerbe, Rheim Petterson, Antonio Martinez, Xavier Ward, Dylan Iselt, and Chace Sherrill played hard and overachieved the entire season.
The injury Josh Murray received in the Refugio game limited his playing time in this game and took away from the Eagle offense and defense.
Garrett did a great job of passing, completing 19 of 36 passes for 183 yards despite being harassed repeatedly and being sacked seven times.
Idalou had a better football team this night. The teams could play again in three weeks and the outcome could be entirely different, as the teams were that close.
Coach Jason Holcomb said, “We moved the ball into the red zone twice in the first half and got only three points. If we had scored on both to make the score 10-0 or 14-0 it could have been an entirely different outcome.”