December 16, 2020
Class 2A Division II State Championship
AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Few outside of Windthorst gave the Trojans much of a chance against three-time defending state champion Mart heading into the Class 2A-Division II state title game.
However, Chris Tackett’s squad was not phased, and they came to AT&T Stadium with a chip on their shoulders as they looked to prove the doubters wrong and bring Windthorst their third state title in school history.
After opening the game with a punt on their opening series, Windthorst’s defense forced a punt on Mart’s opening drive and the Trojans got a big break on the Mart punt as a bad snap went over the punter’s head and the ball was recovered on the Mart 27, setting the Trojans up with a short field. Five plays later, Windthorst would capitalize as Cy Belcher scored from a yard out giving WHS a 7-0 lead with just under two minutes left in the first quarter.
On its next drive, Mart would march seven plays and 67 yards down to the Windthorst five, but on 1st and goal the Panthers fumbled with Windthorst’s Tryston Harding. Mart’s defense would force a Windthorst three and out and the Panthers would get the ball at the Windthorst 28-yard line after a short punt and a kick catch interference penalty. Mart would then tie the game on a 26-yard touchdown run from Roddrell Freeman just two plays later.
Windthorst would quickly answer thanks to a 38-yard kickoff return from Kyle Wolf to the Mart 42. Then Cy Belcher hooked up with Wolf for a 12-yard touchdown pass to cap a nine-play drive to give the Trojans a 14-7 lead.
Mart would need just three plays to knot the game back up with 1:23 left in the half as Freeman would rip off a 65-yard touchdown run, showcasing Mart’s quick strike ability.
The Panthers would open the third quarter with a tone setting drive, going 12 plays and 53 yards to take nearly seven minutes off the clock with Freeman scoring on a one-yard run to put the Panthers up 21-14.
Mart’s defense would force a Windthorst punt on their next series and the Panthers would again go on a methodical march, holding the ball for nearly 10 minutes, grinding out a 17-play 53 yard drive to the Windthorst 16-yard line but the Trojans defense would bow up inside the red zone and force Mart to turn the ball over on downs at the 25-yard line.
Windthorst would take over with 4:11 left in the game and put together a championship drive going 75-yards in 13 plays to score a touchdown with under a minute left as Cy Belcher would score from a yard out with just 26 seconds left on the clock. Highlighting the drive for Windthorst was a pair of clutch fourth down conversion passes from Belcher to Wolf.
After the touchdown, Windthorst brought out the kicking team to tie the game up, but the kick was no good and it appeared Mart would escape with the win and state title. Mart, however, was offsides and gave WHS another chance. This time the Trojans elected to go for the win and the title and Tackett’s staff dialed up the winning play - a direct snap to RB Ethan Belcher, who walked into the endzone behind two crushing blocks to give Windthorst a 22-21 lead and the state championship.
This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.