ARLINGTON, Texas— The first day of the UIL State Championships provided fans with a rematch of last year’s state championship game in Class 1A Division 1 between the Borden County Coyotes and Jonesboro Eagles.
The Coyotes came away with the win a year ago and despite Jonesboro making a strong first half push, the Eagles weren’t able to sustain it as Borden County ran away with a 60-22 win to claim its second straight state title.
“We came out in the first half and we weren’t really focusing,” Borden County running back Nick Proulx said after the game. “We went in to the locker room, got our minds straight and came out and played our game.”
Proulx finished with 251 yards on 11 carries and 4 touchdowns while also accounting for 4 tackles on defense. He was named the Offensive MVP of the game.
Jonesboro started with the ball but went three and out. When Borden County looked to respond, Proulx fumbled the ball at the one yard line and it went out of the end zone for a touchback.
The Eagles then proceeded to go on an eight minute drive that covered 60 total yards capped off by a 12 yard pass from Ethan Liljedahl to Trevor Sellers to give Jonesboro an 8 point lead after the kick. The Coyotes wasted no time responding as Proulx took the pitch for a 64 yard touchdown run to tie it at 8.
As time expired in the first quarter, Wyatt Young took the ball 70 yards to give the Eagles a 14-8 lead after a missed kick.
On the first play of the second quarter, Nick Proulx struck again with a 55 yard run to put Borden County on top 16-14 after the 2 point kick was successful. Jonesboro came to play though as again, Liljedahl hit Trevor Sellers in the endzone to make it 22-16 Jonesboro.
But yet again, Borden County went to work on a one play drive as Proulx took it 42 yards for the touchdown for a 24-22 Borden County lead. Just as The Eagles looked to retake the lead, Ethan Liljedahl fumbled at the one yard line where Borden County recovered. They would not be able to get in the end zone however, and the half ended 24-22.
Borden County came out firing in the second half as they quickly drove down the field to score on a 10 yard pass from Morgan Wilson to JW Nix. Then, the defense took over.
After an Eagles fumble, Nick Proulx would score again on a 2 yard run to make it 40-22 Coyotes. Jonesboro looked to get a rally going but they fumbled at the goal line again The Coyotes would quickly drive down the field capped of by a 16-yard run from Payton Merket to make it 48-22 halfway through the third quarter.
As Jonesboro tried to get rolling, Ben Justice stripped the ball from Wyatt Young and took it 39 yards for the touchdown to make it a 56-22 game. They would have another chance in the red zone but were forced to kick a 32 yard field goal by Easton Edwards to make it 60-22 at the end of the third quarter. Both defenses held strong in the fourth quarter and the game would end with that final score.
“I learned a lot this season about teamwork,” Defensive MVP Ben Justice spoke about coming back next season. “It’s never just one person. I thinks all incoming seniors are going to be great leaders and put everybody on a pedestal, and we want to come back next year.”
Justice, who is also a UIL Computer Science State Champion, finished with eight tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack as well as forcing and recovering a fumble that he took back for a touchdown.
Jonesboro ends their season with a record of 13-2 while Borden County finishes 15-0 and are the 1A Division 1 State Champions for the second straight year.
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