Rigdon leads Benjamin to back-to-back state titles

Photo by Blake Purcell

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ARLINGTON – Grayson Rigdon had never lost a high school game entering the Class 1A Division II state championship contest on Wednesday. He still hasn’t lost a game during his high school career after leading Benjamin to an 82-34 victory over Oglesby.

The win secured back-to-back state championships for Benjamin (15-0). The victory is the third consecutive state title for Rigdon, who moved to play for the Mustangs after leading Strawn to a title in 2021.

Rigdon’s fourth touchdown of the contest set the career record for touchdowns in state championship games. His seven touchdowns on Wednesday gave him 17 for his career in state championship games. He earned his third consecutive offensive Most Valuable Player selection and is a finalist for Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year.

The game began as a showdown between Rigdon and Kyler Fossett of Oglesby (13-1). The standouts exchanged rushing touchdowns in the first four possessions of the game. The Tigers tied the game at 28 with 8:42 remaining in the first half.

Benjamin seized control of the game with the help of two turnovers by Oglesby. A Rigdon touchdown following an interception and a 68-yard fumble return by Weston Weatherford gave the Mustangs a 50-28 lead with 47 seconds remaining in the first half.

Rigdon’s highlight reel catch sent the Mustangs to the locker room with a 68-34 lead. Keegan Hayes bobbled the snap before throwing a jump ball toward Rigdon, who caught the ball at the 20-yard line before it was knocked free by a Tigers defender. Rigdon corralled the ball out of the air and raced to the end zone.

The Mustangs scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter to seal the 45-point rule victory. Rigdon finished the contest with 263 yards and six touchdowns rushing while adding 60 yards and a touchdown on his lone reception. He completed all seven pass attempts for 116 yards and three touchdowns. Keegan Hayes was named Defensive MVP for Benjamin after registering 14 tackles.

The title was the fourth for Benjamin coach Nathan Hayes, who became the sixth coach in six-man history to win four state championships. Hayes won back-to-back state titles with Crowell in 2013-2014.

Oglesby was not intimidated by the bright lights of AT&T Stadium on the school’s first trip to a state championship game. Fossett led the Tigers with 243 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

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