SAN MARCOS- "It's not so cold when you're winning is it?!," Lake Travis coach Chad Morris said to his team after their 27-13 4A Division I Region IV final victory over Alamo Heights (10-4) on a night when the temperature dipped well into the twenties.
After a surprising 14-10 halftime score between two teams known for offense, futility ruled the third quarter, especially for Heights. Three and outs coupled with several hiccups for Lake Travis, including a fumble, an interception, and a roughing the passer on third down gave Heights new life, but the Mules simply could not capitalize.
Much of this futility can be attributed to the defensive line of Lake Travis, which constantly had pressure on Mule quarterback Cullen Mills in the second half.
"It's not that we didn't blitz as much in the first half," linebacker Quinlan Crow said. "It's the fact that we executed and came out with more aggression."
"I think that when we put them in a must pass situation it really played into our hands," Morris said.
Once the pressure was off the Cavs, their offense did what it has done all season: score quickly. With 5:19 left in the fourth Michael Brewer found Griffin Gilbert on a beautiful 28 yard strike, but only led 20-10 after the extra point bounced off the left upright.
After holding Heights to a field goal for their next drive, the Mules set up for the onside kick. Lake Travis recovered and just fifteen seconds after the field goal by Alamo Heights' Kristian Stern that brought the game to within a touchdown, Andy Erickson finally broke loose and stormed forty-three yards for a touchdown to ice the game.
"(The kids) know how to win," Morris added. "The tighter the pressure, the better they play, and that's been our trademark over the last couple of years."
Lake Travis will move on to the semifinal round where they will meet the winner of Saturday's Friendswood vs. Dawson contest.