White Oak + Canton Punch Tickets to Championship Bracket at the Division II 7-on-7 Football State Tournament
LEANDER -- East Texas sent seven teams to the Division II 7-on-7 state tournament, and thanks to White Oak and Canton, more than half of them will play in Friday's championship bracket.
Chapel Hill an Gilmer each went 3-0 to win their pools Thursday afternoon, but White Oak and Canton also assembled solid performances. The Roughnecks and Eagles each went 2-1 to secure championship bracket berths for Friday morning.
White Oak started the day with a 46-33 victory against McGregor behind Dylan Gale's seven touchdown passes. Gale threw three apiece to Josh Benson and Gabe Michael, who sealed the win with a 33-yard touchdown reception in the waning minutes.
Hayden Nichols also caught a touchdown pass for White Oak, which 13-12 in the first half before Benson's diving touchdown grab and Riley Lakin's PAT gave the Roughnecks a 19-13 halftime edge.
White Oak followed that with a 47-28 win against Crane. The Roughnecks' pool-play loss came to Fort Worth All Saints, which recorded a 41-20 win against the 'Necks.
Canton had a similar performance in its pool, winning two games to start the day before a third-game loss.
Canton beat Alpine 41-31 before knocking off Glen Rose 27-13. Quarterback Chandler Eiland and the Eagles almost won their pool, falling just short against defending Class 2A Division II 11-man state champion East Bernard, 21-20, in what wound up being the pool's de facto championship game.
Canton plays Chapel Hill at 9 a.m. Friday in a first-round game in the Division II championship bracket. White Oak faces Gilmer at the same time.