Everything has aligned for the highly-anticipated showdown between Class 2A Division II state champ Muenster and Class 2A Division I state champ Mart.
The Hornets advanced to the regional championship with their 56-0 win over Evadale in the regional semifinal game in Athens on Friday, Nov. 30.
Muenster will face Mart at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.
The Hornets had a 35-0 lead at halftime and head coach Brady Carney said it was a complete performance by the entire team.
“I thought the other night overall it was a good game in all three phases,” Carney said. “I thought we played really well. I was really pleased overall with our effort and how we executed on both sides of the ball. From a defensive standpoint, we had to hold their running back in check and he didn’t play the second half. I’m not sure if he got hurt, but he barely had 50 yards rushing.”
Carney said there wasn’t much that needed to be said at halftime as he encouraged his team to keep doing what they were doing well.
“The main thing for us is coming out with that same fire and intensity,” Carney said. “The main thing is to not come out complacent. We stopped the run on defense and offensively, just about anything we tried we had success with whether it was the run or the pass. Parker [McGrew] threw the ball really well and our receivers caught the ball really well. I think we averaged nine yards a carry.”
The Hornets, who moved to 12-1 on the season, scored early in the third quarter and rode that momentum to another shutout half.
“We came out and scored on our third play,” Carney said. “After that, we went up 42-0 and you could tell Evadale let down a little bit. That’s when we let our JV players play into the fourth quarter. We showed our dominance early and I thought we cleaned up some things early.”
When asked what position groups did the best, Carney said it started at the line of scrimmage.
“I thought the offensive line did great,” Carney said. “When you average nine yards a carry, you’re blocking people. You have to look at your defensive line when you’re playing a run-first team too. You have to look up front. We have good special teams too. We didn’t give up a big kickoff. All those units played well.”
Carney said he was happy to finally face Mart, which downed Grapeland 64-22 to advance. The Panthers are also 12-1 this season.
“It’s nice and scary, because they’re really, really good,” Carney said. “It’s one of those things, like last year against Albany, it’s one of those games that people saw that’s this is where things have been headed. To finally be here and it be our only focus, then it’s finally a relief.”
Even though the Hornets pitched a shutout and had their offense hitting on all cylinders, Carney said it was important to keep developing as a team.
“This time of the year, you go back and watch film and hope you’re doing things that you’ve been preaching,” Carney said. “We need to continue what we’re doing. We can’t go backwards. WE have to play that way this week and even better to beat Mart.”