The third and final day of the 2018 Adidas Texas 7-on-7 State Championships ended with a large sense of irony – in more ways than one – as College Station beat crosstown rival A&M Consolidated 20-19 in a defensive struggle to earn the 2018 Division I 7-on-7 state title. In a tournament that was known for its parity (neither team that played for the title won their pool on Friday), it was one town that proved to rise above the rest as College Station’s two teams were left standing. It is also likely be the last time the teams play for a while as they will not play in the regular season for the first time since College Station began varsity football in 2013.
To read more about the Cougars' nail-biting title win, check out Ryan MacDonald’s game story below:
Lubbock Coronado bounced back from a rough 0-3 day on Friday to go on an impressive five-game run Friday to take home the consolation title, beating Hutto 34-29. Hutto, for the second straight year, bounced back from a disappointing opening day at the tournament to end on a good note in consolation bracket play. Coronado earned some pride back for West Texas as that area endured some struggles over the weekend with Abilene, Abilene Cooper, El Paso Franklin and El Paso Parkland going a combined 2-15, with both of the wins being earned by Parkland. Lubbock Coronado head coach Seth Parr has to be happy with his team’s performance on Saturday as they are replacing a record setting signal caller and several other key weapons.
Things didn’t get much better for the three entries from the Rio Grande Valley either as McAllen Rowe, Edcouch-Elsa and Mercedes went a combined 0-12, although all three teams did prove to be tough outs in their only game of the day on Saturday. The Laredo area had a solid showing from both United and Alexander who went 2-3 on the day. Both had several close calls on Friday in pool play and lost tight matches in the consolation round of 16 after winning their opening games.
Mesquite Horn was last team standing from the DFW area as the Jaguars advanced all the way to the semifinals and held a nine-point lead at 35-26 late in the second half against A&M Consolidated, but the Tigers rallied for a 40-35 victory. The Jaguars needed some heroics early in the day, holding off a late rally from Crowley to beat the Eagles 38-30 to open play and then scored a touchdown on the game’s final play to take down Friendswood 27-25 in the quarterfinals.
Manvel was the final entry left from Greater Houston and the Mavericks made quite a run to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion College Station 34-32. Manvel was down 21-12 early against CSHS but rallied to take two late leads in the second half before a late College Station interception sealed the all-College Station finale. Manvel fans should be very excited about their team’s performance as the Mavericks came into this tournament with very little fanfare and surprised many by making a deep run.
It was a tough go for the most part on Saturday for the four private school programs in the tournament as Dallas Bishop Dunne finished up at 0-4 after losing their opening game on Saturday. Plano Prestonwood – after a strong 3-0 day Friday – was upset by Fort Bend Ridge Point 19-18 to start the championship bracket on Saturday. After going 0-3 on Friday, Houston St. Piux X did finally earn a win, knocking off Cedar Park Vista Ridge 41-26 before falling to Hutto. Fort Worth Nolan had the best run of the private schools as the TAPPS 7-on-7 champions went 3-2 on the weekend, stunning favored Rockwall 38-20 to start the day Saturday before falling to Lovejoy 46-33 in the round of 16.
After having the Division I champion in two of the past three years, the Austin area didn’t have a team advance past the Round of 16 as Georgetown fell to Friendswood 35-28 to end the area’s hopes of a repeat. Defending tournament champion Lake Travis finished the tournament 2-2 as the Cavs dropped their final game of pool play Friday to Spring Westfield and then were stunned by a young but talented Richmond Foster squad 34-27 in overtime to open the day on Saturday.
Overall, the three day event was another massive success. The crowds were outstanding once again and the Veterans Park facility and all involved with putting on the event ran another smooth operation with very few hiccups. The Texas State 7-on-7 board meets every winter to set the schedule for the following year and make any adjustments needed to the State Qualifying Tournament format. It will be a major surprise if the tournament is any place but College Station in 2019 as all but one of the 21 State Tournament events have been held there. Keep an eye on the Division III format as the State 7-on-7 board got a lot of positive feedback, and with two additional fields going up at Veterans Park in 2019, an expansion of the Division III field from 16 teams to 32 teams could be on the horizon.
2018 Division I Consolation Bracket
2018 Division I Championship Bracket