Thanks to a spectacular second-half comeback, the Kinkaid Falcons defeated Tulsa Holland Hall 27-24 to win the Southwest Preparatory Conference Football Championship, marking the 25th SPC title for the Falcons.
While Kinkaid trailed 17-0 at halftime, the Falcons returned to take command, sparked by a 75-yard touchdown pass from Ford Childress to Macan Wilson. “We just challenged our guys at halftime. We knew if we executed, we were going to win this game,” said Falcons head coach Stephen Hill. “Ford came out and really took over the game. He just did a phenomenal job and was not going to be denied.” Childress also connected on touchdown passes to Glen Allen Wind and William Reede.
One week earlier, Kinkaid defeated St. John’s 34-23 in the 60th meeting between these tradition-rich rivals. The matchup, played before 15,000 fans at Rice Stadium, took on added significance with the winner advancing to the SPC championship game. “This is always a special match up, but it was even more meaningful this season,” said Hill.
It was certainly a special night for Childress, who along with connecting on a pair of touchdown throws, was honored at halftime as the Ford Tough Texas Private School Player of the Week. “He’s one of the best quarterbacks I’ve seen on the high school level,” said Hill.
Falcons running back Sam Eggleston scored four touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards. “Sam is a workhorse,” said Hill. “He also plays defense and special teams, and made some unbelievable tackles in the win.” Defensively, the Falcons were led by linebacker Jay Mullen, as Kinkaid held the powerful running attack of St. John’s to its lowest yardage of the season.
“If you had told me that in my first year here we’d win the SPC Championship with a 10-1 record, I might not have believed you. But these guys are extremely smart and physical. We have a great group of coaches as well.”
At Bellaire High School, the Cardinals defeated the Westside Wolves for the first time in school history. The 24-13 win raised Bellaire’s District 20-5A record to 5-1 with one game to go in the regular season.
“Even though Westside is having a down year, it was big for us to establish that we could compete with the better teams in our district,” said Cardinals coach Trey Herrmann. “The big four in district have long been Lamar, Madison, Westside and Chavez, and we’re doing a nice job against those teams this season.”
Along with the Westside win, the Cardinals also defeated Chavez before losing a close 13-7 decision to eventual district champion Lamar. The Cardinals also secured their first playoff berth in six years. “We’ve improved every game, and the kids have played especially hard,” said Herrmann. “Linebacker Michael Holland has had a great season, leading the team in tackles and second in sacks, while our junior quarterback Denzel Johnson has done a nice job on offense.”
It was the best football season in recent history for the St. Thomas Eagles, who owned a 6-4 record entering the final game of the regular season. The six victories exceeded the Eagles’ win total for the previous two seasons combined, and St. Thomas earned its first playoff berth in several seasons. “It’s obviously a great achievement for a young group of players,” said St. Thomas athletic director Mike Netzel.
Offensively, the Eagles have been strong in many areas, Netzel said, including the play of sophomore quarterback Justin Sebo and running back Derek Martin. Martin rushed for over 100 yards in seven of the Eagles’ first 10 games. In addition, Netzel said, the Eagles’ receiving corps of Will Gutkowski, Cavan Biggio, Christopher Zook and Taylor Craig has been outstanding, while offensive linemen Nick Rossi and Peter Foreman have been major contributors. Kicker Beau Brady made 12 of 14 field goal attempts, even connecting on a 50-yarder.
On defense, Netzel said, it’s also been a team effort, with players such as Cameron Blackwood, Josh Ibarra, Ross Sumbera, Eric Martin, Jack Reidy, Danny Amsler, Dickson Garnett and Jonathan Cohen all making an impact. Another big thing, said Netzel, has been the arrival of defensive coach Tim Fitzpatrick.
“This is our third year under head coach Donald Hollas, and the kids have really flipped a switch,” said Netzel. “Their expectations are higher, and with only 11 seniors on the roster, the future looks pretty bright.”
Editor’s Note: Congratulations to the Emery/Weiner Jaguars for a perfect 12-0 season in six-man football, the first undefeated season in school history. The team is expected to finish the season ranked in Sixmanfootball.com’s Top 25. There are more than 250 public and private six-man teams in Texas. We will have more coverage of the Jaguar’s historic season in next month’s SportzBuzz.