In only its fourth season of varsity football, College Station wrapped up its first state championship.
On Saturday at AT&T Stadium, the Cougars (14-2) knocked off Aledo 20-19 in the Class 5A, Division II final. Aledo, a defending state champ, had entered its second straight 5A, Division II final with a 30-game winning streak.
The Bearcats (15-1) had averaged 45.7 points per game this season before Saturday, but they trailed 13-7 at halftime and were scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Despite their offensive struggles, the Bearcats took a 19-13 lead in the third quarter when sophomore running back Jase McClellan scored his second touchdown of the quarter. After breaking off a 76-yard TD run in the opening minute of the second half, McClellan added a 2-yard scoring run with 1 minute, 49 seconds to go in the third quarter.
The Cougars got the winning TD right before the close of the third period after Jalin Campbell’s 78-yard kickoff return set them up at the Aledo 18. DaDa Anderson’s 6-yard run with nine seconds to play in the quarter tied the game at 19, and Alan Guerrieri’s extra point gave College Station the lead.
CLASS 5A, DIVISION I
Highland Park 53, Manvel 49: Highland Park scored 21 of the game’s final 28 points to win a second straight state championship in a high-scoring contest that rewrote offensive records associated with a state title game.
Scots quarterback John Stephen Jones, the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, threw for a state-record 564 yards, helping Highland Park (15-1) rally from a 49-39 deficit in the final three minutes. Jones threw for four touchdowns, ran for a fifth and set records for pass completions (37) and attempts (58).
Jones’ final touchdown pass was a 16-yarder to Cade Saustad with 34 seconds to play. The game’s outcome wasn’t settled, though, until the Scots tackled Manvel receiver Jalen Preston, a Texas A&M pledge, at their 1-yard line after he grabbed a 30-yard pass on the final play.
Saustad recovered an onside kick to set up the winning drive, and he and fellow wideout Paxton Alexander combined for 338 yards and three touchdowns on 19 receptions. The Scots totaled 35 first downs.
Highland Park, the winningest team in state history with 816 victories, won its fifth state title.
Manvel quarterback Kason Martin, a North Texas pledge, threw for 483 yards and five touchdowns. Preston totaled three touchdown catches, including a state-record 95-yarder.
Manvel (14-1) also scored on a record 97-yard kickoff return by Kam Scott.
UIL FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
• Wednesday’s finals
Six-man, Division I: Borden County 60, Jonesboro 22
Six-man, Division II: Strawn 78, Balmorhea 42
Class 2A, Division I: Mart 34, Refugio 21
• Thursday’s finals
Class 2A, Division II: Muenster 27, Tenaha 20
Class 3A, Division I: Rockdale 45, Brock 29
Class 3A, Division II: Newton 40, Gunter 16
• Friday’s finals
Class 4A, Division I: Carthage 49, Kennedale 14
Class 4A, Division II: Texarkana Pleasant Grove 41, West Orange-Stark 21
Class 5A, Division I: Highland Park 53, Manvel 49
• Saturday’s finals
Class 5A, Division II: College Station 20, Aledo 19
Class 6A, Division I: Allen 35, Lake Travis 33
Class 6A, Division II: Cypress Fairbanks (14-0) vs. Waco Midway (15-0), late