Lake Travis' Offense Pours It On #20 Judson In Second Half For a Shot At Last Year's Defending Champ
SAN ANTONIO, TX — A 24 point first half turned into a second half shootout as Lake Travis wins their 13th game of the season against the Judson Rockets. Judson had the momentum early, but second half adjustments from the Cavaliers proved too much for them.
Judson’s first possession started close to their end zone at the 13 after a short return form Aristide Brown. They gave the first two plays to junior running back De’Anthony Lewis who picked up two yards on each carry. On 3rd and 6, they fed him again, and he only made it to the 20 before Lake Travis’ defense dragged him down.
Thanks to the three and out, Texas commit and 4-star quarterback Hudson Card jogged onto the field with great field field position at the Judson 40. The gunslinger took a shot deep to his go-to wide receiver Kyle Eaves on a post route at the 5, but Rocket defensive back Myzel Miller made a great play on the ball to break it up.
On second down, Card went right back to Eaves on a wide receiver screen, and the senior ran to the 30, picking up a first down. Two plays later, Card hit junior Jackson Scruggs on a play action pass over the middle to the 14 for another first down.
From there, the Judson defense clamped down on Lake Travis. They stopped a Weston Stephens run and Eaves jet sweep for a combined 4 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the 10, Card looked to the middle and threw it to a crossing Eaves in the back of the end zone. Card misread Judson’s zone defense, though, and linebacker Donnie Moody jumped up and swatted it down from his spot about 13 yards in front of Eaves.
Junior kicker Hays McCannon ran onto the field and nailed the 27-yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead with 7:40 to play in the first quarter.
After their initial possession, Judson started playing with some energy and fire that got their fans riled up.
Starting in poor field position again, at the 15, they started getting senior quarterback Mike Chandler II involved. Chandler stood tall in the pocket, pump-faked, then threw a hook to his receiver for a nine yard gain on first down. He immediately followed it up with a with a 14 yard scamper to the 38 to move the chains.
A screen to Lewis picked up one, and they gave him the ball on the next play for a 6 yard run. Lewis took the 3rd and 3 handoff across midfield to the LT 45. Two plays later on 2nd and 8, Chandler lofted it deep near the front right pylon to his 6’2” wide receiver, senior Amarea Bailey-Davis.
As the ball hung in the air, LT’s man corner slipped and fell and left Bailey-Davis unguarded. The safety was a step too late and delivered a hit as Bailey-Davis caught it, but the receiver shrugged him off at the 2 and scored. It was 7-3 Judson with 4:18 in the first quarter.
The defense gave them even more momentum when LT’s Grayson Sandlin was popped after hauling in a short pass in the right flat on the Cavalier’s first play. The ball flew out out of his hands, and the Rockets fell on it.
The following drive was full of Judson highlights. On their first play from the LT 39, Lewis took a handoff left and hurdled a Cavalier defender on his way to the 26. From there, Chandler kept a read option to the 20, and did the same thing two plays later to the 12.
Chandler darted through the middle of the LT defense 10 yards two plays later to go up 14-3 with 1:03 still to fo in the first.
The two teams traded a punt each of the next two possessions. Both defenses were filled with athletes at every level. LT running back Weston Stephens was was well contained and was held to 2-3 yards on most of his first half carries. Card also had a hard time getting completions to anyone that was not named Kyle Eaves.
Eaves was their only threat in the passing game, but even with no one else sharing the load he was still unguardable for the most part.
As for Lake Travis’ defense, they started keying in on the Chandler/Lewis read options and took that away wanting Chandler to throw more.
After the two punts, LT had the ball at their 33. Stephens picked up 8 on first down, and a hook to Eaves moved the chains on the next play. LT would lose a combined 1 yard on the next to plays to bring up 3rd and 11 from the 45. Standing tall in the pocket, Card threw a pass over the middle to Sandlin. The pass was too high for his 6’4” receiver and fell right into the hands of Myzel Miller who was playing center field.
Miller fell down where he caught it at the Judson 34. Despite the turnover and obvious momentum, Judson punted the ball back to LT after getting to the 29. Once they were inside the 30, they went backwards with a Chandler run for -3 and a false start. They punted from the 34 on 4th and 15.
Lake Travis finally found the end zone on the next possession. Started at the 20 after the touchback, Stephens and Card split three carries and got to the 30 for a first down. Two plays later, Card threw it to Stephens about 15-20 yards downfield near the left sideline. A Judson defender took an chance on the ball and missed, allowing Stephens to catch the ball, turn downfield and run 70 yards untouched for six.
The score made it 14-10 Judson with 2:25 remaining in the half. Lake Travis almost scored again with time expiring. Chandler was drilled in the pocket by LT’s Trey Sofia, and LT recovered the ensuing fumble at the LT 48.
Card lofted a Hail Mary a couple plays later that was caught at the 2 by Sandlin, but he was tackled as soon as he caught it to end the half.
Above: The second half was all Weston Stephens. He had 190 yards on 20 carries in the two quarters (LIVE! Photo/Joe Z Hyde)
The last two quarters were all about adjustments. Lake Travis made them early and Judson failed to respond until it was too late. After a 7 carry, 27 yard first half showing, Stephens exploded for 190 yards on 20 carries in third and fourth quarters.
Lake Travis’ first possession could not have gone any better. Starting at their own 10 after a penalty on the kick return, they fed Stephens four straight handoffs. Now with a first down all the way up at the 44, Card faked a handoff to Stephens, got the linebackers and safeties to bite, and lofted it over their heads to Eaves over the middle. He jogged into the end zone with no one within 10 yards of him. Eaves finished the game with 12 catches for 167 yards.
17-10 Lake Travis just 1:41 into the second half.
A Lewis unsportsmanlike penalty after getting stuffed on first down made it 2nd and 13 from the Judson 12. The Rockets could not overcome the long set of chains and punted it to LT.
This time they started with decent field position close to their 40, and Stephens kept wearing Judson down. His two and three yard gains in the first half were now getting 8-15. Two carries into the drive and LT was at the J 38.
Card moved the chains again on an 11 yard scramble to the 27 followed it up with a dart to Eaves while he was rolling to the right. Eaves had crossed the field and caught the ball at the E in “ROADRUNNER” that was painted in the end zone. 24-14 LT with 7:22 in the third.
Lake Travis had all the momentum at this point, and Judson had no answers. They started at their 25, and Chandler followed his pulling left tackle, 6’4” 280 pound Kamron Scott, to the right side for 13 yard on 2nd and 10. They got 3 yards on the next two play, and Chandler was wrapped up again by Sofia for a 2 yard sack on third down.
Above: Mike Chandler runs for a touchdown against Lake Travis (LIVE! Photo/Joe Z Hyde)
Lake Travis then took the ball at their 33 and went the 67 yards in four plays. Stephens had 58 of them on three carries, including the 44 yard uncontested touchdown run up the middle to make it 31-14 with 3:43 in the third.
It was at this point that the Judson offense finally woke up. They went 75 yards in just under two minutes thanks in large part to a 45 yard go route to Bailey-Davis along the right sideline. Lewis capped it with a 9 yard run a couple plays later to cut the deficit to 10.
The touchdown was fine and all, but it would do no good if Judson couldn’t get a stop. The LT offense marched onto the field after recovering an onside kick at the Judson 48. They went pretty basic with their play calling and handed off to Stephens up the middle. Stephens barely had to do anything to score the touchdown. He just ran right up the field. 38-21 with 1:36 in the third.
Judson’s offense continued their success from the prior drive. Chandler broke containment in LT territory and dove to the right pylon for a 34 yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to match LT’s.
But that was their problem, they were matching Lake Travis. They did not make a dent in the lead.
Both teams scored again on the next two possession. Lake Travis on a 4 yard Card run to end a 75 yard, 1:48 drive. Sandlin caught a 44 yard dime from Card that put them inside the 10.
Judson answered with a, 83 yard drive of their own, but it took 4:22 off the melting fourth quarter clock. It was a 4 yard Chandler run that made it 45-35 with 5:39 to play.
Lake Travis effectively ended the game on the next possession. They started on their 35 and kept giving the ball to Stephens. He had made a fantastic one hand catch out of the backfield on a swing pass for 14 yards that kept the chains moving and the clock rolling.
Judson’s defense made a stop inside the red zone, and McCannon made his second field goal of the day from 32 yards.
Still a two possession game with 2:14 left, Judson’s margin for error was nonexistent. They got a good return to the 37, but on 2nd and 10, disaster struck. Chandler escaped the tightening pocket and rolled to his left. As he approached the line of scrimmage, he lofted a short pass to a receiver that had turned around to block thinking Chandler was going to take off.
Sophomore defensive back DJ Johnson, who was being blocked and had his eyes on Chandler made the easy interception at the Judson 40.
The Cavaliers took a couple knees while Judson sat helpless with no time outs remaining.
Final Score: #11 Lake Travis 48, #20 Judson 35.
The win moves Lake Travis to 13-1 on the season and Judson to 12-2.
Lake Travis will have to face the 6A DI reigning state champion Galena Park North Short Mustangs next week for a chance to go to AT&T Stadium for the championship.
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