Recapping Texas High School Football State Championship Week

Denton Guyer quarterback Jackson Arnold (11) avoids Austin Westlake defensive back Will Courtney (16) during the first quarter of their football state championship game. | Image from Steve Hamm Dallas Morning News

Twelve games from Wednesday-Saturday of last week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington decided the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL) 2021 high school football state champions. This article will be a recap of the 4A-6A state championship games.

On Saturday, three North Texas teams had chances to bring home titles, but only one succeeded. South Oak Cliff defeated Liberty Hill 23-14 in the 5A-Division II championship to clinch the school’s first-ever title.

The championship for South Oak Cliff (15-1) is the first for a Dallas ISD school since 1958 when Booker T. Washington won. Carter High School won a state championship in 1988 but later had the title stripped after an alleged illegal grade change.

Liberty Hill (13-3) sought the school’s third title in program history after winning back-to-back championships in 2006-07.

The 6A-Division I championship followed and saw Galena Park-North Shore defeat Duncanville 17-10. Duncanville (13-2) had a chance to avenge two previous losses to Galena Park-North Shore in state title games in 2018 and 2019. Instead, North Shore (15-1) claimed the program’s fifth championship, all since 2003. Duncanville was looking for the program’s second title; their first and only championship came in 1998.

The 6A-Division II championship capped Saturday night’s action and saw Austin-Westlake defeat Denton-Guyer 40-21. Westlake (16-0) has now won three consecutive state titles, beating Guyer in 2019 and Southlake Carroll in 2020. Overall, it is the school’s fourth championship in program history.

It was the final game for Westlake’s head coach Todd Dodge, who won 239 games as a head coach and seven state championships; four titles at Southlake Carroll and three at Westlake.

Westlake was led by the nation’s No.1 quarterback in the 2022 class, according to 247Sports. Cade Klubnik, signed to Clemson, passed for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Westlake’s Jaden Greathouse had a huge day demonstrating his skills receiving for 236 of Klubnik’s passing yards and three of his four touchdowns.

Guyer (14-2) sought to win the school’s third championship and first championship since winning back-to-back titles in 2012-13. The team fared much better than in their 2019 matchup in the championship game against Westlake. In that 2019 meeting, Guyer was shut out, losing 24-0.

The team was forced to turn to then-freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold due to an injury to starting quarterback Eli Stowers on the team’s opening drive. The freshman Arnold was not ready for the big stage, and the team could not muster a single point on offense.

In this year’s meeting, Arnold, now a four-star recruit according to 247Sports, looked incredibly more capable. Arnold passed for 182 yards and a touchdown while also adding two touchdowns and 49 yards on the ground.

Guyer held a one-point lead at halftime, but Westlake’s offense exploded for 27 points in the second half, while Guyer only managed to add seven points after halftime.

Friday’s action started with the 4A-Division I championship game between Austin LBJ and Stephenville. Stephenville (16-0) claimed the school’s fourth title, racing out to a 24-0 lead by the second quarter and holding on for a 38-21 victory.

Austin LBJ (15-1) was seeking the school’s first state championship and the first title for an Austin ISD school since 1970.

That was followed by the 4A-Division II championship between China Spring and Gilmer. China Spring (16-0) won 31-7 to clinch the school’s second title, the first coming in 1978.

Gilmer (14-2) was making its eighth all-time appearance in a title game and looking to win its fourth championship. Gilmer had a chance to take the lead into halftime with a field goal attempt, but the kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown by China Spring to snag the game’s momentum and propel themselves to a big second half.

The most exciting game of all the competitions came in Friday’s nightcap, the 5A-Division I championship between Katy-Paetow and College Station. Paetow (15-1) won 27-24 in an overtime thriller to secure its first championship in the four years of existence for its varsity football program. Paetow’s Jacob Brown was named the game’s MVP after rushing for 112 yards and scoring the game-winning one-yard touchdown run.

College Station (15-1) set a school record for wins in a season and sought its second championship. Their first title came in the 2007 season.

Other Championship Results for the 1A-3A divisions will be listed below:

3A-Division I: Lorena 35, Brock 18

3A-Division II: Franklin 49, Gunter 35

2A-Division I: Shiner 47, Hawley 12

2A-Division II: Stratford 39, Falls City 27

1A-Division I: Westbrook 72, May 66

1A-Division II: Strawn 73-Motley County 28

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