The Bastrop Tribe Warriors are in position to win their fifth TAIAO state championship in six years.
After dismantling the Bryan Christian Homeschool Mustangs with a score of 46-0, the Tribe Warriors are set to take on Bulverde Gloria Deo. A win would lock up an undefeated season for Bastrop, further solidifying the program’s status as a six-man football dynasty.
Head coach Brent Colemon spoke about how his team had such a dominant performance over a solid Mustangs team.
“We had a really good week of practice, the best we had all year,” Golemon said. “We didn’t think they could ever stop us. And pretty much tonight, we were the only ones who stopped us.”
Golemon added that the Mustangs were without star running back Seth Jackson due to injury, which would’ve made matters more difficult for Bastrop’s defense, he said. Nonetheless, the Tribe Warriors completely overmatched the Mustangs from start to finish.
Running back Josh Mcalister got the party started for Bastrop, zooming past the defense for a 56-yard rushing score to give them an 8-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, with the Tribe Warriors within striking distance, quarterback Chandler Golemom threw an interception that was returned to around midfield. The Mustangs, however, failed to capitalize on the turnover. Defensive end Mikey Bowlin made an impressive shoe-string tackle on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Tribe Warriors’ offense.
Shortly after the turnover-on-downs, Mcalister sped down the right sideline for his second touchdown of the game, this time from 30 yards out.
Bastrop’s defense continued to make game-changing plays. On a fourth-and-short, Elijah Rendon stuffed a Mustangs ball carrier with a hard hit up the middle. Fellow players and coaches were animated on the sideline.
On the ensuing possession, Bastrop relentlessly attacked the right side of Bryan Christian’s defense, which was a theme throughout the game. Mcalister eventually capped off the drive with another 30-yard rushing score, extending their lead to 24-0.
Towards the end of the first half, The Tribe Warriors defense made a few more stops, leading to a couple short yardage touchdowns by Mcalister. Kicker Matthew McKnabb converted all but one of his 2-point attempts, and the score was 38-0 at the break.
It didn’t take much time in the second half for The Tribe Warriors to “45” the Mustangs. On the opening possession of the third quarter, Mcalister found the endzone for the sixth time on a 42-yard sprint. The game was officially over due to a six-man football mercy rule, and the celebration was on for Bastrop.
Mcalister, as he has been all season, was unstoppable. He rushed for 222 yards and six touchdowns on 17 carries. The junior sensation attributed his monster performance to the hard work he put in during the offseason.
“In the offseason, I worked out so much, like four hours a day, non-stop,” Mcalister said. “And my team did great at blocking. That’s really what it was. Great blocking.”
After finishing as runners-up last season, Golemon said staying focused and not taking their opponent lightly will be the key to another state championship.
“We’ll treat them like we treat everyone else,” Golemon said. “I always tell all my guys, everyone wants to knock us off… That’s a lot bigger trophy on your mantle if you can knock us off.”
The state title game against Bulverde kicks off at 6 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 3, at Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas.