There’s no way we can start this one off without talking about Walker Tippie’s dominance.
The do-it-all back for Richland Springs did it all. He ran for touchdowns, he threw for a touchdown, he even caught an interception. He was easily the MVP of the game, it doesn’t take a genius to tell you that.
However, Tippie was more than just a rusher. He blocked excellently, and served as a fantastic decoy for Richland Springs down the stretch. He had excellent blocking, yes, but he threw some blocks as well. He was the best player on the field tonight by a long shot.
Both of these teams aren’t going anywhere.
This is an excellent, young team that has a lot of juniors and sophomores on the roster. This loss isn’t the end of Balmorhea, it may give them the experience they need to get back here next year. Marco Martinez and Marcos Mendoza might end up being even better next year than they were this year.
For Richland Springs, Walker Tippie returns, and that much is a win. They’ll also return coach’s son Jordan Burkhart, Brandon Tharp, and big Cameron Parham. The two best teams of 2016 in 1A DII have a very real chance at being the best teams in the state in 2017 as well.
The experience of Richland Springs wasn’t a factor, and it still didn’t matter.
One of the biggest reasons many were picking Richland Springs to roll in this game was their title game experience. This is Balmorhea’s first year to make the finals, and it’s Richland Springs’ second year in a row playing for a title. Despite all that, it was the Coyotes who started slowly, racking up some offsides and false start penalties before turning on the jets.
In the end, those missteps didn’t matter at all. Richland Springs still rolled, taking advantage of every single time Balmorhea was just a step too slow.
In the end, it was the speed of the Coyotes that won them the game.
Richland Springs was simply faster. The Bears played great, but the speed of the Coyotes allowed them to punish the smallest mistakes and allowed them to correct their mistakes faster. It came down to speed, and the Coyotes simply had it tonight.
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