ARLINGTON — Dually undefeated Muenster and Tenaha High Schools met for what proved to be a physical match offensively and defensively on both sidelines and provide an answer to the question: Which would be crowned No. 1 in the 2A Division II?
Muenster, the answer to the quandary, was the city to raise the trophy and proclaim itself one of the twin kings — and the only to win the first title in its school history — of 2A football mountain after edging Tenaha 27-20 during Thursday morning’s state championship at AT&T Stadium.
“It was those critical times that we didn’t make plays,” said Tenaha Head Coach Craig Horn reflecting on the game.
The Tenaha defense held Muenster to just 33 plays for 159 total yards while Muenster held the Tigers to 17 plays for only 65 yards. The scoring, though, opened after Muenster’s long four-minute drive that ended in a 20-yard touchdown reception caught by Danny Luttmer.
Tenaha immediately answered Muenster’s scoring drive with one of their own with a CJ Horn 16-yard pass that fell into the hands of all-purpose athlete Trai Gardner. Midway through the second quarter, Trey McTaggart’s field goal gave Muenster a 10-7 lead and positive momentum going into halftime.
Despite Tenaha taking the 13-10 lead early in the third after a Horn-to-Gardner 60-yard touchdown connection, Muenster dominated the remainder, as well as the rest of the game, allowing Tenaha only one more scoring drive – a 55-yard Gardner run with 11 seconds left in the third quarter. Between Tenaha’s scores, Muenster mustered a long drive and capped it with a Parker McGrew 8-yard pass to a striding Carson Trubenbach and followed up the big offensive play with an even bigger defensive play — a Luttmer interception.
Luttmer, a sophomore and the championship game’s Defensive MVP, gained 99 yards and scored a touchdown on seven receptions. McGrew, the Hornets’ junior Offensive MVP, ran for 107 yards and a touchdown and threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes during the title game.
Tenaha held Muenster to a field goal but was unable to capitalize on the next drive. With one second left in the third quarter, Parker McGrew scored the last touchdown of the game with a 9-yard run and gave the Hornets a 27-20 lead.
Muenster Head Coach Brady Carney credited his defensive line for doing a “tremendous job” holding up Gardner – a player he called Division I caliber — and Horn the entire game. He also mentioned the flurry of titles the Hornes have won in the last 36 months in baseball, basketball, and football.
“We’ve got talented kids,” Carney said during the press conference, pausing to wipe away a tear when talking about the talent, heart, and drive of his athletes. “They know how to work hard… There’s never been a day in my years in Muenster that I didn’t walk away feeling like they gave me everything they had.”
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