Cedric Ware scores 8TDs as Westbrook wins their first ever state championship
Wednesday, 15th December 2021 - 11:59AM

Garrett Ross

If the Westbrook Wildcats were nervous about their first appearance in the UIL State Championship on Wednesday against May, they didn’t show it. Coming into the game, Westbrook knew they needed a big performance from their star Cedric Ware and he didn’t disappoint, as he led the Wildcats to a 72-66 victory over the Tigers to claim the 1A DI State Championship.

The junior finished the day with an impressive performance on both sides of the ball, which earned both the offensive and defensive MVP awards. Ware finished the day with 25 carries for 304 yards and 7 touchdowns, while throwing for one more touchdown.

The Wildcats (11-4) jumped out on May (14-1) early and established their presence in the trenches, as they blew up multiple plays by May in the backfield throughout the first half. At halftime, Ware had found the end zone on four different occasions (3 rushing, 1 passing).

Westbrook head coach Homer Matlock was about Ware’s production in the first half.

“He has really good blocking. He’s running behind some guys who are working their tails off,” said Medlock. “He’s doing a good job of identifying the holes and making the most of it.”

Tied at 38 with 4:44 remaining before the half, Westbrook was looking to recapture the lead once more, but penalties proved to be an issue for the Wildcats. After a chop block took away a first-and-goal from the 2 yard line, Westbrook found themselves facing a 1st-and-30 with just over two minutes before the half. Facing 4th-and-16, the Wildcats blew an opportunity with a failed pass attempt.

Now that the momentum was in their favor, May had an opportunity to take the lead before halftime with one minute and 2 timeouts to work with. The Tigers turned a busted snap into a 41-yard bomb to Kaysen King to reclaim the lead 44-38 with :16 remaining.

Westbrook needed just one play to counter, as Shammah Stark hit Aiden Sullivan on a 60-yard strike with :04 remaining to give the Wildcats a 46-44 lead heading into halftime.

Trailing 22-16 at the end of the first quarter, May would take their first lead of the game on the opening play of the second quarter. Avery Wilford caught a pass out of the right side of the backfield and walked a tightrope on the sideline to the end zone. After the PAT, May led Westbrook 24-22.

Following a 4-yard kickoff, Westbrook rode the legs of Ware to set up a pass from Ware to junior Hadley White to regain the lead 30-24. May didn’t let the Westbrook momentum last long, as Wilford broke off a 31 yard sweep left to the house to tie the game at 30. A blocked PAT kept the game deadlocked with 5:58 before halftime.

After converting on 3rd-and-13, May punched it into the end zone on a 2 yard run from Hawk to reclaim the lead 52-46.On the following possession, Ware made one man miss and scampered 56 yards to the house, but May blocked the PAT to keep the game tied at 52.

Wilford helped May reclaim the lead on his third touchdown of the day, as he broke free along the sideline with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter.
Ware takes a bad handoff up the middle for his sixth touchdown on the to tie the game at 60 all with 5:59 remaining in the quarter.

Westbrook would elect to go for an onside kick and it paid off as the Wildcats recovered the ball after four wild bounces. Ware once more weaved his way through May’s defense to give the Wildcats a 66-60 lead.

Down by six, May found themselves in an unfavorable 4th-and-22 situation, where they were forced to use their first timeout of the half to gather their composure. The Tigers couldn’t get anything established on a fake punt attempt, as the Westbrook defense forced a crucial turnover on downs.

Westbrook wasted no time putting the ball in Ware’s hands to capitalize on the big defensive stand. After dragging the entire May defense into the end zone for his eighth touchdown of the day, the officials elected to review the score.

The call on the field was ruled a touchdown, which was overturned following the review. Ware would officially get his eighth touchdown of the game, as he punched it in from 1 yard out on 4th-and-goal giving the Wildcats a 72-60 lead.

Following a score by May, Westbrook began to eat up the clock on their following possession with a 72-66 lead. The Wildcats turned to Ware once more to help increase their lead. On 4th-and-goal from the 9 yard line, Westbrook elected to pass and the May defense knocked the ball away to take over on downs.

The Westbrook defense was determined to keep the lead intact, as they forced May into a 4th-and-2 situation with just over three minutes remaining in the game. May would draw Westbrook offsides to get a fresh set of downs, but the Wildcats wouldn’t fold, as they forced an incompletion on fourth down to secure the victory.

The win for Westbrook made the Wildcats the first four-loss UIL Texas high school football state champion since 2014 Cameron Yoe (12-4).
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