Warriors score fourth straight title
By Jim Irish/Contributing writer
Posted December 1, 2020
Behind the unrelenting running of Samuel Osborn, Bastrop Tribe Consolidated captured its fourth consecutive TAIAO state six-man football championship over Austin Royals 60-23 in heavy rain at Blum High School on Saturday.
The Warriors’ last three state titles have been in Division I of the Texas Association of Independent Athletic Organizations. Their first title was in Division II.
“It’s a tough burden to carry sometimes,” Tribe coach Brent Golemon said about the state title streak. “Everyone thinks it’s a forgone conclusion, but every year is a different year. We talked about this week being the hunter, not the hunted. Don’t think about the past. Go out and get what’s yours this year.”
Osborn, a 5-foot-8, 155-pound senior, gained 352 yards on 37 carries. He scored on runs of 46, 8, and 1 yard in the first half and 12, 33, and 60 yards in the second.
For the season, Osborn gained 2,910 yards and scored 58 rushing touchdowns. He also scored on four kickoff returns.“He runs hard,” Golemon said. “I thought he was very disciplined. The conditions weren’t optimal. He stayed within the game plan.”
Because of the heavy rain, Tribe ran “between the tackles,” Golemon said. “Had it been dry, we would have used more people to throw them off.”
Tribe (11-1) had defeated the Royals (7-5) in a competitive encounter 86-71 in the regular season on Oct. 16 at home. Following the title, the Warriors improved to No. 14 among all six-man teams in the state.
The first half of the title game was more of the same. After Tribe scored on its first possession, the Royals scored on a 20-yard pass to Grayson Page.
The Warriors moved ahead on Osborn’s second touchdown, but the Royals went up 15-14 on a touchdown reception by Noah Cano.
Tribe took the lead at halftime 22-15 on Osborn’s third touchdown.
The Royals marched to the Tribe 7-yard line before being stopped on fourth down near the end of the half.
“We had a good game plan, which we executed right before the half, but you have to score when you get a chance,” Royals coach Tracey Day said in an email. “Bastrop’s defensive stop right before the half hurt.”
The second half belonged all to Tribe as it outscored the Royals 38-8.
“We made some adjustments,” Golemon said about halftime. “Kudos to them for catching us off guard on a couple of plays.They mixed up their pass routes. We had to key in on that.”
In addition to Osborn’s three touchdowns in the second half, Travis Guy recovered a fumble for a touchdown. Wyatt Knippa hauled in an 8-yard score on a pass from Chandler Golemon.
Tre Martin scored the Royals’ touchdown in the second half on a 60-yard run.
Linebacker Lake Mills led the Tribe defense with 14 tackles. Guy and Osborn each had 10 tackles. Sophomore Hansen Collie added nine tackles.
Osborn hadn’t played defense before the title game.
“He was very aggressive defensively,” Golemon said. “He made some key defensive stops. It’s more tiring to have to play both sides of the ball in a game like that.”
Collie will be the only returning member of the defense next season. The rushing attack will be divided between Rio Mata and Anthony Salas because no one athlete is able to replace Osborn alone, Golemon said.
Kicker Nathaniel Heilig, who converted 62 of 69 extra points and 5 of 7 field goals this season, will also graduate. Heilig routinely banged kickoffs out of the end zone.