Article by Garrett Ross
Arlington, Texas- In front of a crowd of 4,482, the Borden County Coyotes and the Jonesboro Eagles met for the second consecutive season to determine who would be crowned Class 1A D1 State Champions. The Eagles kept the game tight during the first half, but the Coyotes proved to be just to much for Jonesboro in the second half. Borden County was able to defeat Jonesboro 60-22 and bring the trophy back to Gail, Texas once again.
Borden County Head Coach Trey Richey had high praises for Jonesboro’s Head Coach Eddie Gallegos saying “Guys like you and Mike Reed, I put on a high pedestal, y’all do things right and always play smooth, it’s a testament to what you’ve done.”
Coach Gallegos Eagles were very smooth during the first half indeed, controlling the time of possession 14:31-5:25 and heading into halftime down 24-22. The Eagles caught a break early on, when Borden County’s Trace Richey lost the ball out of the back of the end zone reaching for the goal line.
Jonesboro took the first lead of the game 8-0, after driving the length of the field on an eleven play drive that ate up 6:14 seconds. Ethan Lilljedahl was able to find Trevor Sellers open for a 12 yard touchdown pass with :41 left in the first quarter.
The Coyotes only needed :11 and one play to answer the Jonesboro score. Nick Proulx broke through the Eagles defense and was off to the races 64 yards and just like that the game was tied at 8. Proulx would just be getting started however, the senior would score and on runs of 55 and 42 yards before halftime.
Coach Gallegos was well aware of how difficult it would be for his defense to coach contain Proulx saying before the game “That number 25 can flat out fly.” Coach Richey explained “Proulx didn’t play last season for the Coyotes, so nobody saw him, but he was the lead leg on our sprint relay team, so we knew he had a little bit of speed.”
Jonesboro was to reclaim the lead after Wyatt Young scampered for a 70 yard touchdown run, but the Eagles missed the PAT bringing the score to 14-8. Ethan Lilljedahl hit Trevor Sellers once more for a Jonesboro touchdown, but that was the last score they could manage before the half.
The Borden County defense stepped up big time in the third quarter and justice was served in the form of Ben Justice forcing the Eagles ball carriers to fumble three times, for a total of 56 return yards.
The Coyotes were able to shutout Jonesboro in the second half 36-0 and put up 60 total points, while running just 35 total plays.
Borden County kicker Easton Edwards was able to connect on a 32 yard field goal with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter and that would be the final score by either team. The field goal was just the third field goal ever in a sixman football State Championship game and first since another Borden County kicker, Flynn Chapman hit a 26 yarder against Highland in 2009.