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In a final day of play fraught with blistering heat and intense games, Lake Travis emerged over a semifinal field of themselves Waxahachie, A&M Consolidated, Clear Brook.
It wasn’t an easy path to the finals, as the Cavaliers needed a Hail Mary from Matthew Baldwin to Garrett Wilson to seal the deal.
After getting past Consolidated, Lake Travis, who finished No. 10 in the Super 25 football rankings, would square off with Waxahachie to end the day.
The Indians were no easy out. Quarterback Bryse Salik lead the Indians past Clear Brook in the semifinals by a score of 46-26. The game between Waxahachie and Lake Travis quickly became a war of attrition with cramps and the heat beginning to take their toll.
After a controversial call erased a Lake Travis interception, Waxahachie had the ball with less than two minutes remaining with the score at 34-27. The Indians scored as time ran out, and were faced with a dilemma – go for one and get overtime, or go for two and the win.
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Salik and the Indians opted for the latter but didn’t convert, and Lake Travis hoisted their second title in eight months, winning 34-33.
Kyle Wakefield, who went down with cramps in the second half but was instrumental in the flats from his wide receiver position all day long for the Cavaliers, said this tournament was a test and that they came out strong. “It was pretty tough, you don’t win many games on a Hail Mary pass and still win a state championship. We didn’t look back, we looked forward, and we went out there and won it all.”
The day wasn’t just won by the offense, and Matthew Baldwin, Lake Travis’s new starting quarterback, recognized that.
“Our defense had been playing great all day. I didn’t doubt them for a second,” he said. “They came out with a couple picks, and that’s a really good team we just played. Props to them, but our defense came up huge.”
Garrett Wilson, who caught Baldwin’s pass to send the Cavaliers to state, was similarly enthusiastic.
“Now we know what we’re made of, and this isn’t just 7 on 7, this is going to carry on into the fall. That mental toughness…It’s a new team, but we’re expecting great results again.”
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