Roshauud Paul pulled off a little magic late in the first half last week, reaching into his usual bag of tricks to close the game.
Down by nine points and the clock winding down in the second quarter, the senior quarterback at Bremond tossed a 32-yard touchdown to Michael Pruitt with 20 seconds remaining. Though Bremond trailed (18-15) at the half, they had momentum.
Bremond went on to a big second half in its 50-31 win over Burton, which was an old foe as the old district rivals are close in geography. Bremond now looks to be on a shortlist of schools in Texas history to pull off a three-peat. This will also be the final game in Paul’s storied high school career at the little school in the Brazos Valley.
Iraan awaits Bremond this Thursday at 10 a.m. for the Class 2A Division II state championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Both teams are 15-0 — the only state championship in any classification that features two undefeated teams.
Paul rushed for 277 yards and four touchdowns, including 99 yards in the first half, against Burton. Paul has 2,661 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns on the season.
The Tigers aren’t a one-trick running pony, though. Junior running back Kaidyn Peralez ran for 215 yards on Friday and has run for 1,226 yards with 16 touchdowns this season.
Paul has spread his 2,103 passing yards and 23 passing touchdowns to several wide receivers, including Peralez, Pruitt, Jared Stellbauer, Josh White and younger brother, sophomore Rykenderia Paul.
Bremond has won 46 straight games and back-to-back state championships. The Tigers are sixth all-time with 46 consecutive wins, and a victory on Thursday would put them one behind the 48 of Lake Travis. Should the Tigers win Thursday and the first three games next season, they would move up to third on the list:
68 — Celina (1998-02)
57 — Allen (2012-15)
49 — Southlake Carroll (2004-07)
49 — Abilene (1954-57)
48 — Lake Travis (2007-10)
46 — Bremond (2014-2016)*
44 — Cuero (1973-75)
* Current streak
The streak started with a 40-8 win over nearby neighbor Hearne to start the 2014 season. The Tigers outscored their opponents 45-16 a game that season, capped by a 28-21 win over Albany for the state title at AT&T Stadium.
The 2015 campaign began with a 66-14 win over Hearne and the Tigers never scored fewer than 40 points until their 35-20 win in the state championship. This time they defeated Albany at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Next up is an Iraan Braves squad that has been ranked No. 2 all season and foaming at the mouth to scalp the Bremond Tigers. Iraan dispatched Albany, 33-14, in the regional round and posted impressive wins over Munday and Wellington to get to state.
After Iraan’s 6-6 season in 2012 that ended with a second round loss to Albany (49-25), the Braves have only lost in the playoffs each of the next three years, twice to Albany. Now that they’ve gotten past Albany and to the state finals, the Braves are locked in on Bremond, who has stolen the limelight most of the season.
The state championship weekend kicks off with this huge matchup of unbeatens. It should be a great one, as history will either be continued for Bremond or started for Iraan.
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