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Muenster Tops Tenaha 27-20

A Fierce Battle That Was Anybody's Ball Game Late

AT&T Stadium - The Muenster Hornets (15-0) and Tenaha Tigers (15-0) met up to decide the Class 2A DII State Championship.  Battle of undefeated teams. Tenaha will be appearing in their 5th all-time championship game and can come away with a winning record with a win.  Muenster will be making their first trip to the big game.    Muenster  wears the #3 on their helmets for the championship as well as for personal reasons. After having already won state championships in basketball and baseball in the past year, they want a third. In addition to the 3rd state title, they are doing it to honor #3, Cal York, who died in a car accident.

Not only were these two teams undefeated, they were #1 & #2 in both offense and defense.   Tenaha came into the game scoring 52.3 ppg while giving up 6.6 ppg.   Muenster scores 52.7 ppg while giving up 6.7 ppg.   Both defenses combined for 11 shutouts for the season.

Muenster started things off and drove 65 yards on 9 plays for a touchdown.  The drive ended with quarterback Parker McGrew (2,531 yards passing, 1,121 yards rushing 56 total touchdowns  6 100 yard rushing games on the season) hit 6'5" receiver Danny Luttmer for a 20 yard pass.    The Hornets then tried an onside kick that was recovered by Tenaha at their own 47.   The Tigers were able to even the score 10 plays later when quarterback C.J. Horn (2,795 yards passing 38 touchdowns on the season) hit receiver Trai Gardner (1,204 yards 18 touchdowns receiving) for a 16 yard scoring pass.   To reach the goal line, Tenaha made a 4th and 2 play at the Muenster 44 yard line.     The quarter ended with Muenster driving into Tenaha territory.

The Hornets were able to make the drive pay off with a 25 yard field goal by Trey McTaggart.    On Tenaha's first possession of the 2nd quarter, they were forced into a 3 and out.   Muenster took over with 7:10 left until halftime.  They fumbled though and the Tigers recovered at their 44 yard line with 3:40 left.   During the season, Tenaha finished with a +27 margin in turnovers while Muenster was a +24.   They were forced to punt and then Muenster punted to end the half with the Hornets leading 10-7.   For the half Tenaha linebacker Tavoris Giles (201 tackles during the season) led both teams with 7 tackles.    Both teams moved the ball well for a quarter and a half but the defenses stepped up a the end of the 2nd quarter.    At the half, Muenster had 159 total yards while Tenaha had 65.   The teams combined for 6 conversions on 12 tries on 3rd down and 1 for 1 on 4th down.

Tenaha got the ball first in the 2nd half.  On the 3rd play from scrimmage, Gardner took a quick pass 60 yards for a score.  The PAT was missed and Tenaha led 13-10.    Muenster responded with a strong passing game on its first possession and to get a touchdown to retake the lead 17-13.   Receiver Carson Trubenbach got the catch from 8 yards out.   The Tigers took over and drove into Hornets territory.   Tiger quarterback escaped several would be tacklers and threw the ball towards the goal line but it was picked off by Luttmer who returned it 44 yards to the Tenaha 37 yard line.   Two plays later, the Hornets scored but the touchdown was called back for a penalty.   Muenster had to settle on a 35 yard field goal to extend their lead to 20-13.    Muenster then did another pooch/onside kick and Tenaha caught it at their 45.  On the first play, Gardner took the direct snap and went 55 yards for the touchdown.  The extra point was good to tie the score up at 20.   The Hornets used a big kickoff return and got a few big runs by McGrew to move deep into Tiger territory.   McGrew ran it in from 9 yards out with 1 second left to make it 27-20 Muenster.

Tenaha moved the ball into Muenster territory before turning the ball over on downs.   The Hornets then took over at their own 43 with 8:27 remaining.  They were forced to punt and punted it down to the Tenaha 9 yard line with 5:05 left in the game.    The Tigers went 3 and out and punted.   The Hornets took over at the Tiger 48 with 3:40 remaining.   Behind some smart running by McGrew, Muenster was able to run the clock out.   Muenster quarterback McGrew was the offensive MVP (193 yards passing, 90 yards rushing 3 total touchdowns).  Luttmer was the defensive MVP with his big interception.   Luttmer also had 7 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown on offense.    The big stat in the game was that Tenaha was held to 115 yards rushing after averaging over 300 throughout the season.

Muenster won their first ever state championship game in their first ever appearance.   They had won the 2017 basketball and baseball state championships.   Tenaha falls to 2-3 in state championship games.   They last won the 2011 1A Division I title.

by Michael Wright

Offensive MVP:  Parker McGrew (Muenster)
Defensive MVP: Danny Luttmer (Muenster)

Attendance: 9,137

19First Downs9
157Rushing Yds115
193Passing Yds136
350Total Yds251

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