Dee Paul + Munday Pull Away From Tenaha in Second Half to Capture State Title
ARLINGTON -- Call it even.
Twelve months after Reginald Davis led Tenaha to a state-championship victory over Munday, the Moguls and their standout quarterback Dee Paul returned the favor.
Paul rushed for 263 yards and three touchdowns, lifting Munday to a 42-14 victory over Tenaha on Thursday afternoon in front of 7,439 fans at Cowboys Stadium in the Class A Division II state final.
It was a measure of revenge for Munday (15-0), which fell to Tenaha 52-28 in last year's state title game. Tenaha, which began defense of its championship by losing four of its first six games, ended the season at 10-5.
Paul, who was voted the game's Offensive MVP, scored on runs of 57, 55 and 60 yards.
Munday scored 28 unanswered points to break open a game that was tied, 14-14, at halftime. The Moguls scored 22 points in a span of 6:26 to take control.
"That was the whole game," Tenaha coach Terry Ward said. "That was definitely the whole game right there. We thought we had a good chance going into the third quarter. But that's breaks. Things happen."
Roddrick Taylor, who finished with 88 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, gave Munday a 20-14 lead with an 18-yard run two plays after Garrett Weaver's 42-yard punt return to the Tenaha 31.
The play of the game occurred on Tenaha's ensuing possession when Munday junior defensive end L.J. Collier tipped and intercepted a J.R. Hill pass and raced 35 yards for the touchdown and a 28-14 lead with 4:42 remaining in the third.
"We had some success with that play this year, and this time (Collier) just made a great play," Ward said. "I was hoping he would come inside and he didn't, and he stayed outside and he made a great play."
Collier, the game's Defensive MVP, finished with six tackles (three for loss) with a sack, a forced fumble and the pick-six.
"They moved him around and our kids just couldn't handle it," Ward said. "We battled and played hard, but that joker's good. He was gonna get blocked every play, and he still made good plays."
Tenaha drove to Munday's 33 on the next drive, but Hill was intercepted again, this time by Taylor at the 7-yard line. And Paul put the game out of reach with a 55-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter.
Paul's final touchdown run of the game was his most impressive, a 60-yarder that included a reverse of field. It pushed the Moguls' lead to 28 points with 5:49 remaining. Paul holds FBS offers from Oklahoma State and Texas Tech among others.
Tenaha was led by junior running back Chavis Gregory, who rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on 24 attempts. Hill was 8 of 19 for 98 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. D'Andre Thomas had six catches for 72 yards and the TD.
It didn't take Paul and Munday long to arrive to the party. After a quick Tenaha three-and-out, Paul raced 57 yards to the end zone on the Moguls' second play from scrimmage. Taylor added the two-point conversion and Munday led 8-0 with 9:34 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Tenaha got on the board midway through the second quarter, travelling 62 yards on eight plays. Gregory's 1-yard touchdown run and Javier Uribe's PAT brought Tenaha to within a point, 8-7, with 4:15 to go in the half.
The Tigers then attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by Munday at its own 47. A 23-yard run by fullback Tyrone Dockins set up Taylor's 19-yard touchdown, which put the Moguls up 14-7 with 2:20 remaining in the second quarter.
Tenaha responded right away, using three Hill completions to move it 47 yards in just 1:35. Hill's 12-yard strike to Thomas in the back, right corner of the end zone evened the score, 14-14, with 45 seconds until halftime.
"We went in at halftime and it was tied up, and we had them against the ropes," Tenaha senior offensive lineman and linebacker DeAaron Roland said. "They weren't prepared for it. We just had to throw the knockout punch, but they dodged it. It just ended that way."
Roland, who capped his high school career with four tackles, will be the only Tenaha starter lost to graduation.
"I was wanting it for DeAaron and those other seniors that I've got. … We'd definitely not be here without No. 54 DeAaron Roland," Ward said. "He came to my office when it was early and we were struggling, and I told him he had to be a leader and he definitely did that. He's tried to be a leader, he's tried to be a teammate. He's top two in his class on grades. He's gonna make something of himself. I would've loved for him to go out with a gold medal, but just the resolve he had of leading his team back here, man, he's a champion."
Class A Division II
Munday 42, Tenaha 14
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington
Tenaha 0 14 0 0 -- 14
Munday 8 6 14 14 -- 42
MUN--Dee Paul 57 run (Roddrick Taylor run), 9:34.
TEN--Chavis Gregory 1 run (Javier Uribe kick), 4:15.
MUN--Taylor 19 run (pass failed), 2:20.
TEN--D'Andre Thomas 12 pass from J.R. Hill (Uribe kick), :45.
MUN--Taylor 18 run (run failed), 5:31.
MUN--L.J. Collier 35 interception return (Taylor run), 4:42.
MUN--Paul 55 run (Tyrone Dockins run), 11:05.
MUN--Paul 60 run (run failed), 5:49.
First Downs 16 19
Rushes-Yards 39-123 43-469
Passing Yards 98 14
Comp.-Att.-Int. 8-20-2 1-8-1
Punts-Avg. 3-42.0 2-40.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 4-20 9-80
RUSHING--Tenaha, Chavis Gregory 24-116, Cobe Caraway 4-14, J.R. Hill 11-(-7). Munday, Dee Paul 16-263, Roddrick Taylor 12-88, Alfonso Nunez 5-49, Tyrone Dockins 6-44, Garrett Weaver 1-28, Jarrett Masias 2-(-1), L.J. Collier 1-(-2).
PASSING--Tenaha, Hill 8-19-2--98, Gregory 0-1-0--0. Munday, Paul 1-7-0--14, Dockins 0-1-1--0.
RECEIVING--Tenaha, D'Andre Thomas 6-72, Keontas Davis 1-18, Gregory 1-8. Munday, Dockins 1-14.