Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Friday's semifinal playoff roundup: Argyle downs Monahans, 34-14; Melissa advances
ABILENE — Monahans coach Mickey Owens talked about it earlier in the week.
His normally disciplined team needed sloppy play from Argyle for the Loboes to have a shot in Friday’s Class 3A Division II state semifinal game at Wylie’s Bulldog Stadium.
And for a half on Friday, Owens watched as his dream was seemingly coming true.
But after the Eagles (14-1) went into the half in a tied ballgame, they adjusted, cleaned up some sloppy first-half play and shut out Monahans (12-3) in the second half en route to a 34-14 win. Argyle will meet Wimberley (14-0) 4 p.m. Friday at at Cowboys Stadium for the Class 3A Division II state championship.
“We beat ourselves in the first half,” said Argyle quarterback Austin Aune, who is committed to TCU. “We kept them in the game. They had great heart, as advertised, and they kept with us in the first half. At halftime, we came together and we executed in the second half. That’s how we should’ve played the whole game.”
The Eagles outscored Monahans 20-0 after the halftime break thanks to some big plays by Aune and sophomore wide receiver Ian Sadler, an opportune running game and two field goals from sophomore Cole Hedlund, who set the national preps record for field goals in a season when he kicked his 22nd and 23rd field goals.
Monahans started the game with the football but was forced to a three-and-out and gave Argyle the ball at the 50-yard line.
Six plays later the Eagles were in the end zone. After another three-and-out, the mistakes started plaguing Argyle.
Reese Thompson’s 51-yard punt return for a touchdown was negated because of a block in the back penalty behind the play. Then, Argyle lost a fumble and Monahans capitalized with a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 instead of Argyle taking a quick 14-0 lead.
“The kids were furious with themselves,” Argyle coach Todd Rodgers said. “They just had a lot of mental mistakes, but we were calm [at halftime]. We knew we made the mistakes and had some untimely penalties. The kids were just trying to do too much sometimes.”
That reared its ugly head again just before halftime when Argyle’s defense forced another three-and-out with the game tied at 14-14.
An Argyle timeout meant Monahans had to punt from its 28-yard line, and this time Sadler took the punt at Argyle’s 31-yard line, weaved through Monahans’ coverage and scored from 69 yards out, but the return was called back because of a personal foul on Argyle.
“There was a lot of frustration and almost panic in the first half,” Aune said. “The coaches and I got everyone together and we regrouped and told everyone we were better than them and they hung around because we were beating ourselves. We eliminated those mistakes in the second half, and it showed.”
Nursing a 10-point lead with nearly the entire fourth quarter to play, the Eagles faced a key situation with a third-and-12 from their own 47-yard line, but Aune and Sadler came up big.
On a busted play, Aune found Sadler about 15 yards downfield as Sadler went almost horizontal to the ground to catch the ball, kept his feet and scampered 52 yards down to the Monahans 1-yard line before Chadd Bossow punched it in a play later to give Argyle the 31-14 lead.
“I got hit so I didn’t even see what happened,” Aune said. “He just makes plays. That’s what he does. It was huge momentum for us. He did what he’s supposed to do — make plays. He’s done it all year. He’s a man-child for us, pretty much.”
Aune finished the night 20-of-29 for 284 yards and two touchdowns after starting the game a perfect 9-for-9 for 116 yards and a score.
Sadler finished with 12 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown, while senior running back Tyler Eveleth finished with 111 yards on 16 carries.
Argyle’s defense held Monahans to 216 total yards, including just 32 in the third quarter, as inside linebacker Carston Bossow said his unit was ready to make amends for the first half.
“It was definitely a sloppy half,” Bossow said. “We went in the locker room and composed ourselves. We said this was our year and our time. We weren’t going to let mistakes end our season.”
Now, Argyle is one of two teams in their classification who can end the season on a good note on Friday night on the biggest stage of all.
“Being a senior and going to state is every kid’s dream growing up,” Aune said. “It’s not over. We still have four quarters to play. Until we hold that state trophy up in the air, I won’t be satisfied.”
Melissa 49, Muleshoe 36
SWEETWATER, Texas — Three backs rushed for 100 yards Friday night as Melissa defeated Muleshoe, 49-36, and advanced to the Class 2A state championship game next weekend at Cowboys Stadium.
The Cardinals were unstoppable on the ground, rushing for 350 yards. Quarterback Wes McQueen led the way with 145 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown, which came in Melissa’s 14-point third quarter. Marcus Ellis added 100 yards and Kristov George racked up 103 plus a touchdown.
McQueen was also impressive through the air, completing 12 of 22 passes for 163 yards and five touchdowns.
Muleshoe made it interesting toward the end when punter Landon Wilson saw the snap go over his head. Wilson retrieved the ball and punted it from his 3 to the 10-yard line, where Iassac Baca scooped it up and ran it in for the score to pull the Mules within 13.
Kicker Juan Guerrero was unable to convert the onside attempt, and Melissa ran out the clock for the final minute.
Quarterback Beau Avila led the offense for Muleshoe with 296 yards passing and one touchdown. Avila threw two costly interceptions that halted Muleshoe drives in Melissa territory.
Waco Midway 51, Tyler John Tyler 20
CORSICANA — Tyler John Tyler never had an answer for the Waco Midway defense or running game.
The Midway trio of B.J. Kelly, DeChaar Greer and Kramer Robertson combined to rush for 307 yards and five scores as Midway dominated Tyler John Tyler in a Class 4A Division I state semifinals matchup at Corsicana ISD Stadium.
Waco Midway will face Lake Travis next Friday night at Cowboys Stadium.