High School: 2011 UIL state football playoffs

Slideshow: Images from the state football finals

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
4:15
PM CT
Southlake Carroll and Aledo made sure a couple of state football championship trophies didn't have to travel far from Cowboys Stadium to their new homes.

Click here for a slideshow of photos capturing the action and scene from last weekend's action.

On the strength of its Class 5A Division I state championship and unbeaten season, Carroll climbed a spot to No. 6 in the latest ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings. Dallas Skyline, which lost to Carroll in the state semifinals, moved up five spots to No. 14 a week after its season ended.

Other Texas teams in the latest FAB 50 include Class 4A Division I state champion Lake Travis (No. 9), 5A Division II champion Spring Dekaney (No. 34), 5A Division II runner-up Cibolo Steele (44), 4A Division II champion Aledo (45) and Arlington Martin (50).

UIL state football championship game results

December, 18, 2011
12/18/11
4:36
PM CT

The 2011 football season is history, and here are the results of all the UIL state championship games. Congratulations to all the finalists.

Record-setting kicker a weapon for Argyle

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
5:19
PM CT
If Friday afternoon’s Class 3A Division II state championship game comes down to a field goal, the Argyle Eagles should be in great shape with record-setting sophomore kicker Cole Hedlund at the ready.

UIL PLAYOFFS
STAFF PICKS
Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

STATE BRACKETS
Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

REGION BRACKETS
5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

Argyle (14-1) faces Wimberley (14-0) in the Class 3A Division II state title game set for 4 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

With 23 field goals this season, Hedlund (5-9, 150) has broken the national record of 22 shared by three players, based on information obtained from the National High School Sports Record Book.

“It is nice to know that we have a weapon like Cole in our hip pocket when we need him,’’ Argyle coach Todd Rodgers said. “We’ll use him from up to the 45-to-48-yard range.’’

Hedlund, a right-footed soccer-style kicker, has only four misses this season, with two of those coming in one game. His record-tying 22nd field goal, a 29-yarder, came in the third quarter of last week’s 34-14 state semifinal victory over Monahans. He added a 36-yarder in the fourth quarter for the record.

The kicker has at least one field goal in all but two of Argyle’s 15 games. He has kicked three field goals in two games and has a long of 49 yards against Aubrey.

Hedlund, who also plays soccer, inherited kicking duties from older brother Chad, now at Wake Forest. Another former Argyle kicker, Ben Parks, is finishing his senior season at Baylor.

Rodgers said former Oklahoma and Washington Redskins kicker Scott Blanton lives in the area and works with Hedlund.

In the playoffs, Argyle avenged this season’s only defeat by taking out Prosper in the second round with the aid of three Hedlund field goals.

The Eagles also finished some leftover business from 2010 by rallying from a 21-3 deficit to knock out Carthage (35-34), the school that ousted Argyle in the same playoff round the previous season. Carthage entered the playoffs this season having won three straight Class 3A Division II state titles.

In the playoffs for the eighth straight season, Argyle has one previous state title game appearance, a 28-20 loss to Newton for the 2005 Class 2A Division I crown. In that same season, Wimberley won the Class 3A Division I state title, taking down Gainesville, 21-7.

Rodgers said Wimberley and his team share the philosophy of a varied offense and a simple defense.

“The difference is on offense Wimberley will be two-back and we are in one-back,’’ Rodgers said. “They are 60-40 run and we are 60-40 pass.’’

Argyle senior quarterback Austin Aune (6-3, 180) has thrown for 3,172 yards and 33 touchdowns. His primary receiver is sophomore Ian Sadler with 53 catches for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Wimberley senior quarterback Brady Lambert (6-0, 180) has thrown for 2,404 yards and 34 touchdowns. His top receiver is senior Brennen Blakemore (5-9, 175) with 49 catches for 1,112 yards and 13 touchdowns.

National records within grasp of Aledo's Gray

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
5:16
PM CT
Aledo is a win away from its third consecutive state championship, and star running back Johnathan Gray -- in his final high school game -- has a chance to break national records for career touchdowns and points.

UIL PLAYOFFS
STAFF PICKS
Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

STATE BRACKETS
Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

REGION BRACKETS
5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

Aledo (13-2) faces Manvel (15-0) in the Class 4A Division II state final set for noon Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Here's a look at a few of the records Gray is chasing:

*Gray, a 5-11, 202-pound senior, needs one touchdown to break the national career record he currently shares with Michael Hart, based on information from the National High School Sports Record Book. Gray tied Hart’s 204 touchdown total last week.

Hart, who went on to play at the University of Michigan and for the Indianapolis Colts, was a high school running back at Nedrow Onondaga, N.Y., from 2000-03.

*Hart’s national career point record is also in jeopardy. Gray, with 1,226 points, needs 21 to exceed Hart’s total of 1,246.

Gray is averaging 4.6 touchdowns and 27.6 points per game this season.

*In career rushing, Gray ranks fourth nationally for his career with 10,667 yards. He needs 228 yards to catch No. 3 Kevin Parks Jr., who ran for 10,895 yards for Mount Ulla West Rowan in North Carolina from 2006-09.

To catch Hart, who is No. 2 on the career rushing list, Gray would need 378 yards.

The long-standing career rushing record of Sugar Land’s Ken Hall appears to have withstood another challenger. Hall, known as the Sugar Land Express, ran for 11,232 yards from 1950-53.

Hall holds a 381-yard lead on Gray for the national and Texas single-season rushing mark.

*Gray is well within reach of the national single-season record for all-purpose touchdowns. Gray’s 69 are two shy of the national record set by T.A. McLendon of Albemarle, N.C., in 2001.

*In single-season points, Gray’s 414 total is 39 behind what national record-holder Brett Law of Sheridan, Ind., scored in 1988.

*Gray can add to his state records for rushing touchdowns in a season (64) and most career 100-yard games (50).

Gray, a University of Texas commit, is coming off a five-touchdown performance in a 68-28 state semifinal victory over Corsicana on Friday. He came out of the win with some bumps and bruises, but coach Tim Buchanan said he expects Gray to be fit to practice this week.

Gray recently was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year for the second time and was a repeat winner of the Tom Landry Award as the best high school player in North Texas.

Melissa's three-year journey ending at state

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
5:12
PM CT
The Melissa football team has had all of its wildest dreams come true -- again.

UIL PLAYOFFS
STAFF PICKS
Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

STATE BRACKETS
Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

REGION BRACKETS
5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

This summer, Melissa had the opportunity to play 7-on-7 football at Cowboys Stadium, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the players of the 2A school.

Lucky for them, they will have another shot in Arlington in the 2A Division I state finals at 8 p.m. Thursday against Hempstead.

For this Melissa squad, the journey to state has been three years in the making.

“They’ve played together for three years now,” coach Seth Stinton said. “Most of these kids were starters when they were sophomores. I think that’s kind of an added advantage for us -- how close they’ve become over the last few years and how close we’ve become this year. We’ve gone through a lot.”

What has come out of that hard work is Melissa’s longest playoff run in the school’s short eight-year history and its first trip to the championship game.

Stinton and his staff knew they had the makings of something special when quarterback Wes McQueen stepped into the starting role as a sophomore. He began with a bang and hasn’t slowed down through his junior and senior years, racking up over 3,000 yards passing for 36 touchdowns this season.

“His first year as a sophomore he did a pretty decent job and he had a great year,” Stinton said. “We knew he was pretty special at that time. Here he is in his senior year and we’re playing in the state championship game. We owe a lot to the way our offense works because of what Wesley is able to do.”

However, Melissa’s run to the state championship is also due to the development of the run game in the postseason, making the offense much more balanced than in the beginning of the year.

“The first part of the season we would throw it around a lot and run every once and a while, but here in the last couple of games it’s been the exact opposite," Stinton said. "We’ve actually had a better running attack.”

The change was never more evident than last Friday in Melissa’s semifinal game against Muleshoe. Melissa rode three rushers each for over 100 yards rushing for a total of 350 yards of the team’s 513-yard total.

McQueen has developed into a dual-threat rusher, leading the team last week, ahead of Kristov George and Marcus Ellis.

Regardless of how this journey ends, these players are a part of Melissa history.

“This community is excited,” Stinton said. “They’re really pumped for this opportunity we have and these kids have generated a lot of excitement in our community.”

Update: New video of controversial onside kick

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
3:41
PM CT


Here are four different looks at the controversial onside kick from the 5A Division I state semifinal between Dallas Skyline and Southlake Carroll. You make the call.

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