Thrilling is an understatement when you talk about the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) Small School football championship. The No. 1 seed in the south, Episcopal School of Dallas, vs. the No. 1 seed in the north, All Saints Episcopal School, faced off in Dragon Stadium in Round Rock, Texas Saturday November 7th.
Coming into the game, the Saints were projected to beat the ESD Eagles by a touchdown, but the Eagles had plans to keep the game close. All Saints, led by quarterback and co-captain, Luke Anthony 16’, were determined to get a ring coming up short in last year’s playoffs against Kincaid. The Eagles won the small school championship last year and were hoping to defend their title at the top.
The game started at noon on Saturday and the weather played a huge factor in the game. Rainy and cold, both teams had to fight the elements and each other to get the first place trophy. Rain or shine, one team was going to be on top with the title of “SPC Small School Champion”.
All Saints’ struck first with a Carter Krzeminski 17’ field goal and then a 12-yard touchdown run by co-captain, Turner Corbett 16’. Up 10-0, ESD’s Nakeie Montgomery ran the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown to cut the Saints’ lead to 3. All Saints’ got the ball back and drove down to the ESD 12-yard line and Krzeminski kicked a 29-yard field goal to give All Saints a 13-7 lead.
Then ESD’s Davis Beicler brought back another All Saints’ kickoff to give ESD a 14-13 lead with 2:29 before halftime. ESD forced All Saints’ to punt after a 3 and out series. With nine seconds left in the half, ESD quarterback, Seth Washington, threw the ball into the back of the end zone and was caught by Beichler to give the Eagles a 21-13 lead going into halftime.
“We’re down by a score,” said Beck to his team during halftime, “there’s a full half of football to play and we’re going to come out on top!”
All Saints’ came out and forced a punt by ESD then drove the ball down the field and gave the ball to Corbett for a 7-yard TD rush. With the 2-point conversion catch by Corbett, the game was tied at 21 all. The ball was given back to ESD at their own 28-yard line and the first play of the drive was a short pass to Montgomery and he raced past the All Saints’ defense to score a 72-yard touchdown and give ESD the lead once again.
All Saints’ got the ball back and Krzeminski kicked his 3rd field goal of the game to make it 24-28. ESD answered with their own field goal, splitting the difference by a touchdown once again.
This is when the game got a little crazy. With 30 seconds left and no timeouts for the Saints, on second down at the 38-yard line, Anthony threw a ball to receiver, Brenden Harmon 18’, who made the catch over the ESD defender for a late touchdown to bring the Saints within a point. Krzeminski’s extra point was up and good with 6 seconds left in regulation. A squib kick and a short run by Montgomery ran the time out and we headed to overtime.
With each team getting a possession at the 25-yard line, the Saints elected to have the ball first. After a Corbett 1-yard run and an Anthony 14-yard completion, Anthony found Zadok Scott 17’ in the end zone for a touchdown. ESD got the ball and needed to score to send the game into another overtime possession, but with a run and 3 incompletions, ESD failed to score and All Saints’ won the Championship.
Anthony ended the game with 338 total yards and 2 TDs, and Corbett with 136 total yards and 2 touchdowns. All Saints’, as a team, racked up a total of 427 yards, 23 first downs, and 4 touchdowns in the championship game.
The trophies were presented to both teams and Beck huddled his team together and was at a loss for words. A few seconds of waiting for the winning speech, the only words yelled by Beck were, “Yes Sir!” After a prayer, the team were given chances to take pictures with the trophy and were congratulated by many fans. After, the team headed back into the locker room and got back on a bus to celebrate their victory and come home.
The bus ride was full of cheering, yelling, and hugging between the athletes and coaches. When asked what was going through the mind of senior Quincy Jones when he made two crucial interceptions, he simply said, “I did it for the team, we just wanted to win.”
All Saints’ seniors will go out with championship rings in 3 of their 4 high school seasons and memories of their final high school football game as a good one. Congratulations to both teams that made it to the final game, and to the Saints for winning.