Our Warrior football team captured the Texas State Championship by defeating a strong team from West Texas on Friday afternoon in Waco ISD Stadium. The game between CCS and the Lions of Lubbock Trinity High School turned into an exhaustive defensive battle on an unusually balmy December day, with temperatures in the low 80’s and plenty of humidity. Both coaches agreed that the weather and a strong opponent took an unexpected toll on their players.
The Warriors churned out just under 350 yards of offense on a great Lubbock defense, but fortunately for Lubbock, untimely Warrior turnovers kept our points to a minimum. Warrior Head Coach Kris Hogan expressed this in a post-game interview with members of the press, “I felt like we dominated the game, but when you have a couple of 70 and 80-yard drives that end with any kind of turnover, it basically offsets those drives because you come away empty-handed in terms of scoring points.” Yet for all of the challenges the Warriors had to overcome to score, the challenge for the Lions offense was even greater…it was the #1 ranked Cypress Christian defense, which was dominating. Lubbock head coach Kevin Spiller commented, “That’s the best defense we have faced and it’s not even close. They’re physical, fast and smart. Just very difficult to deal with.”
Cypress opened the scoring by capping a nice 10-play 75-yard drive with a one yard touchdown run by senior running back Cody Andrus. Andrus finished the game with 173 yards on 32 carries and a TD. The Warriors took a 6-0 lead into halftime, as the defensive battle ensued.
After forcing a Lubbock punt after a quick three and out to begin the third quarter, the Lions received a huge gift of field position, setting up their only score of the game. The Warriors muffed the punt and the Lions recovered on the Warrior 17 yard line. Five plays later Ramon-Edwards, the Lions best offensive weapon, punched in a two-yard score to put Trinity in front 7-6 early in the third quarter. (The talented Edwards received a full scholarship offer from Texas Tech Saturday morning following the game!)
The Warriors immediately regained the lead with a beautiful 12-play 89-yard drive, capped by a seven yard run by junior quarterback Max Landrum. Landrum had 119 yards on 18 carries and one TD. The drive was highlighted by the dominance of the Cypress offensive line. The men up front; Jacob Moran, Jake Swan, Parker Wright, Zeke Hogan and Jacob Rauch simply overwhelmed the Lubbock defenders, continually smashing the line of scrimmage forward, leading the siege of a battering Warrior run game. Coach Hogan noted, “Our O-Line hit the field angry after the turnover and just took over the game on that particular drive. They were locked and loaded!
The Warriors would never relinquish the lead, as Lubbock could never manage another real scoring threat, and a late safety was icing on the cake for the Warriors.
“I’m so proud of our guys. Because of the circumstances of the game they had to play their hearts out for four quarters. It shows what great character and determination they have as a team. It’s always difficult to beat a good team in a championship game, but to overcome that kind of turnover deficit, just shows how resilient these young men are. I couldn’t be more proud of a team, not only for how they compete, but by how well they represent our great school with class and a strong reflection of our Christian faith and our Lord Jesus Christ.” One Lubbock coach echoed that sentiment a couple of days after the game, passing on to coach Hogan, “Our kids said you guys (CCS) were the most respectful team they had ever played.”
“I was humbled by his statement.” said Hogan, “but with the parents we have here and the experience I have with these young men, I’m not surprised.”
Having been in two state championship games in as many years, the Warrior football program is building a brand that is being recognized all over the state in newspapers and websites dedicated to covering high school sports.
It’s a great time to be a WARRIOR!