Friars deliver programs' first state football title in 13 years

Friars deliver programs' first state football title in 13 years

A defense known for making big plays at the most opportune times decided to make its biggest stop during the biggest moment of the state's biggest game.

With 31 seconds left in Saturday's TAPPS Division I State Championship game, and Bishop Lynch clinging to a four-point lead, the defense produced a clutch goal-line stand to hold off rival Bishop Dunne for a 21-17 win at Midway ISD's Panther Stadium.

It is the first state football championship for the Friars since 2003 and delivered by head coach Chuck Faucette in just his first season at the helm of the program.

"It's unbelievable, what a great bunch of kids," Faucette said after the game. "They bought into what we were doing and they wrote a perfect ending to a great story. It's a wonderful feeling."

That story ended with five consecutive wins after heading into the regular season finale with a 4-5 record, with four losses by seven points or fewer (including a 28-21 loss at Dunne).

The final drive by Dunne consisted of 22 plays, chewed up almost eight minutes off the clock and started back inside Dunne's 10. The Falcons got as close as the Bishop Lynch 9, but the Friar defense held its ground and ensured the state trophy returned home where it belongs.

The Friars (9-5) opened the game with a loud bang, marching down the field for a quick score by Jarek Broussard and then doubling the lead to 14-0 with Grayson Murphy's 48-yard interception return — all within the first five minutes of play.

Dunne responded with three scores to take a 17-14 lead but the Friars grabbed the lead back for good just before halftime on Jaire Moore's 1-yard run.

The defenses took over in a scoreless second half, which worked beautifully for the Friars on a night when their offense was held to just 148 total yards and outgained by 160.

But, when it was all said and done, the only numbers in this game that mattered were the ones on the scoreboard, which favored the Friars.

During the postgame celebration, Faucette gathered his team for one final message, one that will resonate through the halls for years to come.

"I told you we'd get to this point and you guys believed," he said. "Now they can never take this moment from you … as long as you live, you'll be state champions!"