ARLINGTON -- It was a heart breaking night for Eastern Hills, Mesquite, and Mansfield. Tie-breakers came in play in both pools C and D. It was an ecstatic night for Arlington Bowie and Arlington Lamar. Both had to overcome controversy to qualify for the state championship.
In Pool C, Eastern Hills had started the day with a convincing 56-19 destruction of Frisco Centennial. Centennial, a pretty good team, won its last two games to rebound and force a three way tie. Eastern Hills got noticeably tired as the tournament went on. Its second game was wrought with mistakes in defeating Lincoln 25-14, and the final game, against 7 on 7 experienced Lake Dallas was a 33-8 destruction by Lake Dallas. Even more heart breaking for Eastern Hills was that they could have lost the game by 23 and still advanced to the playoffs as long as Frisco Centennial had won - yet they lost by 25 points. The interpretation of the rules did not build in a contingency plan for an individual forfeit, so Arlington Bowie staff did the right thing and removed all games involving Lincoln from the tie-breaker.
This gave Lake Dallas two games of 33 points for 66 points, meanwhile Eastern Hills had 56 and 8 for 64 points. Frisco Centennial, the after thought in the tie, had 34 and 19 for 53 points. Their fate was already sealed, as their 53 points were less than the 56 that Eastern Hills had already put up on them.
In the other tie-breaker controversy, Colleyville Heritage, Arlington Bowie and Mansfield all went 2-1. The first tie-breaker is head to head and the second tie-breaker is total points. With points, Colleyville Heritage won the pool; however, they were ineligible to advance past pool play. The Arlington Bowie staff ruled the spirit of the rules said that any tiebreaker must be done with eligible teams to advance. With only two eligible teams to advance, the first tie-breaker is head to head, which Arlington Bowie won in their 20-14 victory over Mansfield. If the second highest points interpretation was used, Mansfield would have advanced as they had more points than Mansfield. I feel Arlington Bowie's staff made the right call, even though I see why it looks suspect. Bowie's advancement paved the way to winning their own tournament without Christian Matthews and Roddy Maginot.
In the semifinals, it was heart-break for Mesquite. In a back and forth game, Mesquite was up 32-30 with the ball with under 5 minutes to play. Kelly Page looked as great as ever for Mesquite, but on that drive and with dropped passes, Mesquite couldn't put the game away. The drive before that, Arlington Lamar changed their basic strategy. Normally, Arlington Lamar plays a frustrating type of 7 on 7. One anonymous head football coach at the tournament called it "crap." They like to set picks through the routes and dink and dunk their way down the field. Late in the game, they started putting the ball in the air and let their athletes make plays on the ball. Mesquite stopped them the first time, but with just a couple minutes on the clock, Lamar only needed one completion, and they got that. As the clock sounded one minute, Lamar was 2nd and goal from the 10. Two straight jump balls in the end zone were knocked down. with about 10 seconds left in the game, and the Vikings scrambling, the sophomore QB for threw a perfect pass where only the receiver could reach it, and with arms outstretched about ten feet in the air, and the horn sounding, the Vikings came down with the ball and the victory. Lamar won the semifinal game 36-32 on the last play of the game.
The high octane offense for Bowie and Lake Dallas traded punches early in the game. A couple of interceptions by Lake Dallas proved to be too much. Bowie turned an interception into a touchdown and a late interception sealed the fate of the Falcons. Arlington Bowie qualified with a 42-33 victory over Lake Dallas.
In the finals, the teams were friendly with each other until the horn started. An early interception returned for a touchdown set the tone for Bowie, and at halftime, Arlington Bowie was up on Lamar 20-6. As Lamar was competing at the Grapevine tournament this weekend, they forfeited the second half leaving Arlington Bowie the winners of their own tournament.
Despite the disappointment for Mansfield, Eastern Hills and Mesquite, all three teams established their 7 on 7 presence. All teams will be in future tournaments and look for them to possibly qualify at future tournaments.