PHOTOS: Shiner St. Paul wins second football title in three years
Shiner St. Paul brought home its second title in five years with a 56-43 victory over Frisco Legacy to secure the TAPPS Division III championship. The Cardinals have been to the title game three straight years, winning two of them. This is their fifth overall title (TCIL title in 1987, TAPPS in 1992, 1997, 2010 and 2012.)
VIDEOS: Highlights from Shiner St. Paul's victory
Highlights from Shiner St. Paul's win over Frisco Legacy Christian in the TAPPS Division III Championship on Friday.
Key Play: Martin Kennedy's blocked punt
The Cardinals were ahead by 14 points when the St. Paul defense forced a punt on the first drive of the second half. Kennedy blocked Cameron Thrash's punt on the Eagle 23 and the Cardinals took over on the 18. The block led to seven points and Frisco Legacy Christian never trailed.
Turning point: Marco Ynclan's interception
On the second Eagles drive, Ynclan came down with a interception of an Adam Beck pass intended for Nathan Wood. The interception gave the Cardinals the ball on the Legacy Christian 43. Three plays later, Adam Hollenbach scored from 23 yards out to put St. Paul ahead 48-21.
Key Stats: 8 carries-132 yards on touchdown runs
Hollenbach scored eight touchdowns with those runs accumulating 132 yards. On those runs alone he out gained Eagles running back Ovie Urevbu who rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries.
MVP: Hollenbach with 307 yards and eight touchdowns on 43 carries.
WACO - Two years ago while his teammates celebrated a state championship, Adam Hollenbach joined them with a wrapped right elbow.
Hollenbach, then a sophomore, dislocated the elbow on the first play of the fourth quarter and left the game.
On Friday, he made up for lost time and left the Frisco Legacy Christian Eagles defensive players feeling as if they bumped their funny bones.
Hollenbach ran for 307 yards and scored all eight St. Paul (10-3) touchdowns in a 56-43 win over Frisco Legacy (11-3) in the TAPPS Divisioin III Championship Game at Floyd Casey Stadium.
"The team stepped up then and today I just had to do it," Hollenbach.
Hollenbach earned his second 300-yard rushing game in the last three weeks. He finishes the season with 2,227 yards and 42 touchdowns rushing.
"It makes me feel like we did our job," said senior offensive lineman Laddie Patek. "That's what it's supposed to be like."
The win gives St. Paul it's fifth state football championship and the senior class its second state championship in three seasons.
The 12 seniors on the roster end their careers with a 46-9 record, including three consecuive trips to a TAPPS state championship game.
Combined, Hollenbach's touchdown runs accumulated 132 yards.
"We just won the game," said St. Paul head coach Jake Wachsmuth. "We just plugged away, and plugged away."
Hollenbach said the team was determined to win the state title this season after losing to rival Hallettsville Sacred Heart in the TAPPS Division IV State Championship Game more than a year ago.
For senior quarterback Dakota Kresta, the win makes all the hard work and sacrifices well worth lifting the state championship trophy and having medals put around his neck.
"You get those days where it's hot, you're running sprints and you say 'I don't want to do this,'" Kresta said. "This is what it's for. I realize now all those long days at practice are to make champions."
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Hollenbach back made up for lost time from the beginning.
He scored all five first-half touchdowns for St. Paul and surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark with 8:33 remaining in the second quarter.
Hollenbach's 68-yard score on the 12th St. Paul offensive play of the game got the Cardinals on the board and a seven-yard score 38 seconds into the second quarter put the Cardinals up for good.
His third TD of the game, from 68-yards put Hollenbach over the century mark for the third time this post season. Hollenbach averaged 237 yards per game in the playoffs.
"Losing last year did not go well with us and this year we were determined," Hollenbach said.
Although the Cardinal defense gave up 378 total yards and 43 points, they came up with a key stop and it proved to be the only one St. Paul would need.
On the first Legacy Christian drive of the second half, senior running back and inside linebacker Martin Kennedy blocked a punt and gave the Cardinals the ball on the Eagles 18.
Hollenbach scored from 12 yards out three plays later to put St. Paul ahead 41-21 with 9:35 left in the third quarter.
"We told the kids at halftime that we had to come up with a stop," Wachsmuth said. "We did, we blocked a punt, we got another stop."
"Those were humongeous plays for us at key points," Hollenbach said. "Marco Ynclan was key because it was the second drive of the second half and we picked it up and scored again. Martin's blocked punt set up another score."
Kresta completed 4 of 6 passes for 112 yards and rushed six times for 28 yards. Kennedy had 69 yards on eight carries.
"I love my school, I love my team more than anything. I wouldn't want to win state with any team other than this one," Kresta said fighting back tears.