AUSTIN, Texas- Lake Travis came in and handled business in the second half after a first half that looked like it would be bad news for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers escaped Darrell K Royal Stadium with a narrow 47-39 win over the Judson Rockets Saturday afternoon.
It was a game that started quickly, with the Cavaliers leading 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. That lead was quickly extended when quarterback Matthew Baldwin hit receiver Garrett Wilson for a 15-yard touchdown pass, his second of what would be four total touchdowns.
Once the Rockets got the ball back, the jets turned on and the offense had liftoff.
Houston-commit Julon Williams started it with a 72-yard scoring run to lessen the deficit 14-10. On the next drive, Baldwin handed it of to Kyle Wakefield, who fumbled the ball while hit. The ball fell into the end zone and Baldwin jumped on it, giving Judson two points. Most quarterbacks may have tried to get out, but Baldwin says the move was calculated.
“The defense made a great play, they dipped it out and I thought it was good to give them two points instead of seven, so I just got on it,”Baldwin said.
Judson then scored on the next two drives before capping off a 23-point second quarter. The Rockets had a halftime lead of 26-17. The defense was putting a stop to the Cavalier offense and things weren’t looking good for Lake Travis.
“We didn’t play our best half of football in the first half,” Wison said after the win. “We left a lot of points on the board, turned the ball over and didn’t help out or defense. But we knew if we did what Lake Travis usually does, we’d win the game and we did that.”
The offense came out and put up another touchdown with a 73-yard Baldwin pass to Wilson to cut into the Judson lead 26-25 with 7:34 left in the third. Judson added another seven to the lead on its next drive, while the Cavalier offense prepared to attack.
It marched down the field in 10 plays to score to make the score 33-31, then the magic happened. Coach Hank Carter and his staff decided it was probably time for some trickery, considering who they were playing.
“We also made a decision as a staff that ok, we are going to have to play a little bit unconventionally moving forward,” Carter said. “We talked about it all week and our kids bought in and understood that here’s how we’re going to try to play the game. But if we have to try to trade scores, we’re going to try to gain a possession.”
The Cavaliers did so with an onside kick. The kicking team didn’t do anything too special, at first it looked like a normal kick. But kicker Cameron Dicker dribbled it down the middle of the field and Lake Travis recovered it at the 49-yard line.
Lake Travis drove 75 yards in 11 plays to take the lead 39-33, and would never look back. The defense hadn’t been great all night, but forced a Judson punt on the next drive. Then, on fourth down, the Judson team was missing its eleventh player, a freshman.
The player got out on the field, but the snap was rushed. Sincere McCormick missed it and was downed at the five, giving Lake Travis an opportunity to make it a two-score game with less than four minutes in the game.
After extending its lead 47-33, Judson still had a little bit left. It drove down field and scored, but the extra point was blocked. It got the miraculous onside kick and the Lake Travis defense found itself in a hole once more, against a great quarterback.
“We had timely defense, most of the night we were not very good,” Carter said after the game. “Julon Williams, all of their kids are incredible. We’ve been in awe of them for a long time, watching they way they play. They play the right way, they’re talented and again it’s just tough when you have two great teams having to face each other.”
Judson was unable to do anything on that drive, as Julon Williams was sacked on fourth and long, ending the Rockets season.
Lake Travis will travel to Los Fresnos next Saturday at 1 p.m.
- Garrett Wilson had a career night. Seven catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns. He also picked up another 25 yards and a score on the ground.
“Garrett is one of the most incredible athletes and young men I’ve ever been around,” Carter said. “He’s a basketball kid, which sometimes you don’t associate that with toughness, but he’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever been around. Played through cramping tonight, a thumb injury earlier in the year and just keeps coming.”
“It’s fun, I’m blessed to have a guy like that,” quarterback Matthew Baldwin said of his receiver. “There’s not that many guys like that in the country. So it’s hard to find him when he’s not open, get him the ball and he’ll make plays.”
“He needs to forgo his senior year and go right to the league,” Judson coach Sean McAuliffe said of Wilson. “The thing about him is he’s fun to watch, maybe not so much when you’re playing against him.”
- Baldwin wasn’t bad either. He threw four scores with 295 yards.
- After taking a 26-17 lead, Judson scored 13 points and allowed 30.
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