Christoval flies past Snook to reach state quarterfinals
FREDERICKSBURG — For the first time in 28 years, the Christoval Cougars are headed to the state quarterfinals.
It was never in doubt as No. 7-ranked Christoval put Snook away early on the way to a 56-6 win in their Class 2A Division II regional semifinal playoff football game Friday at Battlin' Billie Stadium.
Fourth-year starting quarterback Brayden Wilcox was spectacular as he ran for four touchdowns, threw a TD pass and returned an interception for a score — all in the first half to give Christoval a 42-6 lead at the break.
With its 12th straight win, Christoval (12-1) moves on to face No. 9 Falls City next week. This is the team's farthest playoff run since the Cougars were playing six-man football and reached the state semifinals in 1992.
"Our coaches for a long time have been working toward a legacy for our team, and that's something we finally accomplished," Christoval lineman Westen McAllister said. "As a senior with my other seniors, making this long run is awesome. It feels great. It's awesome for the community. Our cross country teams just went to state, and now the football team in inching closer and closer."
Snook, a traditional basketball powerhouse with 10 state titles, ended its best football season ever with a 7-5 record.
The Bluejays were making some school history of their own with their farthest playoff run in football since the program was revived 10 years ago.
Christoval raced out to a 14-0 lead less than four minutes into the game to quickly take command.
Wilcox had a 13-yard TD run on the game's opening drive, and he threw a beautiful 47-yard TD pass down the sideline to Kyle Loehman a couple minutes later.
"There's a reason they're 12-1 and No. 7 in the state," Snook head coach Boone Patterson said. "They're a very good team. Their line is very good, and their quarterback is fast. We knew he was going to be hard to handle, and he got away from us early."
Wilcox finished with 145 rushing yards and four TDs on only nine carries. He also threw for 128 yards and a TD on just seven pass attempts.
His 48-yard interception return on the first play of the second quarter gave Christoval a 28-0 lead.
He then broke loose for TD runs of 49 and 21 yards.
"Brayden makes things go back there," said Christoval head coach Casey Otho, who has guided his team to a 30-7 record over the last three seasons. "His execution and football IQ opens up the field for all the skill kids and all our other weapons, and so people can't just focus on him anymore. And that's what helps open up things for him, because we do have all those weapons."
Josh Fava added 105 rushing yards and two TDs on 19 carries. He also had an interception and a fumble recovery on defense.
Christoval's offense, which has scored 55 or more points in four straight games, deservedly gets a lot of attention.
Yet the defense has allowed just 15 points per game this year. The Cougars held Snook to 168 yards of offense and one TD, while forcing three turnovers.
"Our defensive coordinator, Coach (Jonathan) Downey, he's something else," McAllister said. "He puts on a lot of stuff for us, and it's all simple for us, and we all get it done. We hold good teams down. Snook's a good team, in my opinion and in a lot of other people's opinion, too. To hold them to six points in a regional playoff game, that's outstanding."
Christoval hasn't lost since a season-opening 36-21 setback at Wink. The Cougars could see their biggest challenge since then next week.
"(This win) feels great, but I know this feeling's only going to last a day," Wilcox said. "We've got to get back next week and get ready for the next game coming up, because from now on we're playing the best team we've ever played every game.
"It's great to be this far in. Our team's got so much chemistry and so much love for the game. We're all ready to play. We don't want to stop playing, so it's a good attitude that we have."
Christoval 56, Snook 6
Snook 0 6 0 0 — 6
Christoval 20 22 14 0 — 56
C - Brayden Wilcox 13 run (Beau Jolly pass from Wilcox), 9:44 remaining
C - Kyle Loehman 47 pass from Wilcox (pass failed), 8:06
C - Wilcox 9 TD run (pass failed), :38
C - Wilcox 48 interception return (Josh Fava run), 11:50
S - Garrett Lero 2 run (kick failed), 8:01
C - Wilcox 49 run (pass failed), 7:05
C - Wilcox 21 run (Fava run), :48
C - Fava 1 run (Jolly pass from Wilcox), 11:01
C - Fava 6 run (kick failed), :50
First downs 13 18
Rushing yards 30-84 36-287
Passing 84 128
Comp-att-int 7-18-1 5-7-1
Punts-avg 2-27.5 0-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 7-80 8-73
RUSHING — Snook: Garrett Lero 18-60, David Davila 4-1, Dalvon Workman 3-18, Deshun Hamilton 1-3, Jaxson Brisco 2-3, Konnor Eldridge 1-(-1), TEAM 1-0; Christoval: Brayden Wilcox 9-145, Josh Fava 19-105, Beau Jolly 2-20, Matthew Haralson 2-35, Ketcher Joiner 1-(-3), TEAM 3-(-15).
PASSING — Snook: Garrett Lero 7-18-1 for 84 yards; Christoval: Brayden Wilcox 5-7-1 for 128.
RECEIVING — Snook: Deshun Hamilton 1-1, Jermaine Kearney 5-70, David Davila 1-13; Christoval: Kyle Loehman 1-47, Riley Workman 1-47, Beau Jolly 2-36, Apiatan Salinas 1-(-2).
RECORDS — Christoval is 12-1, Snook is 7-5.