Knights in shining armor
ZEPHYR, TX — The season began on a hot, sultry August Saturday at Dallas Covenant’s home field — an onside kick away from the traffic construction nightmare known as Loop 635 in North Dallas. But as road graders scraped and drivers honked, Dallas Covenant was tuning up its six-man football squad with a full-pads scrimmage against 2012 playoff teams Trinidad and Strawn. And that scrimmage paved the way for the Knights to a 13-1 season and a 70-40 win over undefeated Boerne Geneva in the state championship game in Zephyr on December 8th, 2012.
“We knew if we wanted to play with the big boys we needed to start playing the big boys early,” said Knights coach Brice Helton. “We also knew we had a bunch of young guys that needed to grow up early.”
The Knights played their way to the state championship game in three straight years and fell short every time. This offseason, they graduated six seniors from those championship runs.
This season started off the wrong way, too. Covenant lost to Abbott (who now plays for a state title this weekend) at Six-Man Super Saturday in Hico to start the 2012 campaign.
But following that deflating loss, the Knights went on their own version of a “Shock the State” tour by taking down perennial powerhouse Valley and 2011 Division 1 UIL Champ Throckmorton — winning a 80-76 come-from-behind thriller on the Greyhounds’ home turf. Covenant never looked back from there and rolled all the way to a TAPPS Division I crown with the 30-point victory over the Eagles. Colby Boozer rushed for 213 yards and five TDs to lead Covenant's power running game. Senior Ben Koop added 137 yards and three TDs for the Knights.
“This year our team really bought into the philosophy of sacrificing everything for their teammates and caring more about each other than personal credit or honors," Helton said. “It truly was a team experience.”
The Knights also took special team inspiration into that first huddle against Boerne Geneva. On the Tuesday prior to the game, the mother of one of the players died after a brutal two-year battle with cancer, and Andrew McClain wore the No. 3 jersey, which was retired after the 2010 season to honor Carson Leslie, a teammate who died of brain cancer.
The victory they won that day was one fit for a king — er, a knight. And when Dallas Covenant finally raised the championship trophy upward on the wind-swept field at Zephyr, royal hands were on the gleaming gold football that will now finally — finally — come to rest at Dallas Covenant.
1: Dallas Covenant celebrates its TAPPS Division I Six-Man State championship in Zephyr. The Knights beat Boerne Geneva 70-40 to claim their first-ever state title. (Photo Credit Laura Mountjoy)
2. Junior Clark Martin and his Covenant Knights beat perennial six man powers Water Valley and Throckmorton on their way to the state championship. Covenant beat undefeated Boerne Geneva 70-40 to win the TAPPS I Six Man championship. (Photo Credit: Kelley Maxwell)
3. For Dallas Covenant, the road to the TAPPS Division I Six Man State championship did not come easy. But after three straight trips to the championship game, the Knights rolled into Zephyr and beat Boerne Geneva 70-40 for the state crown on Dec. 8th. (Photo Credit: Laura Mountjoy)
4. Dallas Covenant Coach Brice Helton is beaming after his Knights claim the TAPPS Division I Six Man championship over Boerne Geneva. (Photo Credit: Laura Mountjoy)
5. Senior running back Ben Koop ended his career with Dallas Covenant with 137 yards, 3 TDs and a state championship trophy versus Boerne Geneva. (Photo Credit: Kelley Maxwell)
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