ARLINGTON, Texas — China Spring is the Class 4A Division II state champion.
In their first state title appearance since China Spring head coach Brian Bell roamed the sidelines as a backup quarterback, the Cougars took advantage of some key mistakes to take down Gilmer, 31-7, Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Cougars got out to a slow start, allowing an opening Gilmer drive which lasted more than half of the first quarter. However, the Buckeyes missed a chip-shot field goal off the left upright, which kept the score tied at 0-0.
China Spring would bleed the rest of the clock that quarter on their ensuing drive. Both teams then exchanged second-half touchdowns.
Just before halftime, the Cougars made a play that completely changed the momentum of the game. On the final play of the second quarter, China Spring blocked a Gilmer field goal and Gabe Watkins returned it for a touchdown to give the Cougars a 14-7 halftime lead.
The Cougars would build on that lead, eventually finishing the game on top, 31-7.
This is China Spring's first state title since 1978.