Tenaha Back in Class A Division II State Championship with 42-14 Rout of Falls City
CYPRESS -- They're back.
Tenaha's Tigers rolled to a 42-14 blowout of favored Falls City in Friday's Class A Division II state semifinal at Cypress' Berry Center, giving them a shot to be the only back-to-back state champions in the 2011-12 seasons in Texas high school 11-man football.
Tenaha (10-4) carries an eight-game winning streak into Thursday's noon state championship against Munday (14-0) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Tenaha beat Munday 52-28 in the 2011 Class A Division II state title game.
Sophomore Cobe Caraway carried 12 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Chavis Gregory ran 18 times for 75 yards and two scores. Junior quarterback J.R. Hill completed 6 of 11 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, and junior wideout Keontas Davis caught three passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers, who are the only remaining defending state champion, built a 14-0 halftime lead thanks to two huge offensive plays: Hill's 92-yard touchdown pass to Davis with 7:46 left in the first half, and Caraway's 82-yard touchdown run six minutes later.
Tenaha built its lead to 21-0 in the third on Hill's 54-yard touchdown strike to Gregory before Falls City got on the scoreboard on Jon Swierc's three-yard touchdown run. Gregory answered with a five-yard touchdown run less than three minutes into the fourth quarter for a 28-7 advantage.
Falls City's last gasp -- quarterback Cameron Soto's one-yard touchdown run -- cut Tenaha's lead to 28-14 with 8:40 to play, but the Tigers slammed the door with Caraway's 36-yard touchdown run with 6 1/2 minutes left and Gregory's eight-yard scoring run with 3:53 to play for the 28-point victory margin.
Tenaha gained 475 total yards, almost 200 more than the Beavers, who finish the season 11-3. Soto threw for 170 yards and two picks while running 20 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. The senior quarterback accounted for all but 16 of the Beavers' 280 yards.