By Jim Irish
The Bastrop Tribe football team strove for excellence and achieved perfection.
The Warriors defeated Gloria Deo Academy, of Bulverde, 46-0 in the TAIAO Division II six-man state final at Allen Academy in Bryan on Saturday, completing a 13-0 season. The game was halted in the third quarter because of the 45-point mercy rule.
The unblemished record is the first in Tribe’s 15-year existence.
“It’s a testament to the guys,” Tribe coach Brent Golemon said. “They were able to pull it off. It’s a lot of pressure when you’ve got so much success before you.”
The TAIAO state title was Tribe’s fourth in the past five seasons.
"I think I was fairly rewarded in terms of great runs, the young men I got to be a part of their lives."
-- Tribe coach Brent Golemon about his six-year tenure
At the same time, the victory was bittersweet because Golemon tendered his resignation a
month ago. He said he will now focus his attention on his daughter’s volleyball and basketball programs with the homeschool Austin Royals. Golemon coached the Warriors varsity team for six seasons and finished with a 65-10 record, winning 86% of the contests.
“I think I was fairly rewarded in terms of the great runs, the young men I got to be a part of their lives,” said Golemon, a volunteer coach. “We always challenged ourselves.”
"I told the guys, 'It's ours to lose, not theirs to win."
-- Brent Golemon
Gloria Deo (8-4) never threatened Tribe, which lead 32-0 at halftime and scored two more touchdowns in the third to wrap it up.
“I told the guys (before the game), ‘It’s ours to lose, not theirs to win,’” Golemon said. “We were the bigger, faster, more experienced team in the championship.”
The game wasn’t without some wrinkles. Star running back Josh McAlister was ejected halfway through the second quarter after pushing a Gloria Deo player who tackled Chuy Gonzales out of bounds, Golemon said.
“McAlister was wrongfully ejected,” Golemon said. “One of their kids cheapshotted (Chuy) after he was on the sideline. Josh pushed the kid back. The officials claimed he swung a punch. On film, he just pushed him. The officials threw both of them out.”
At that point, McAlister had rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries and scored on runs of 4 and 29 yards.
Without McAlister, Tribe turned to Plan B. Quarterback Chandler Golemon, Brent’s son, completed 7-of-9 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Conner scored on a 68-yard pass on a post pattern. Tony Eastty caught a 4-yard pass for a touchdown.
Gonzales and Elijah Rendon scored on runs of 11 and 3 yards, respectively.
Matthew McKnab kicked all six extra two points.
Tribe had 301 total offensive yards compared to Gloria Deo’s 164. On defense, Chandler Golemon led with 10 tackles. McAlister, Conner, and Mikey Bowlin each made five tackles.
“Most teams can’t run against us,” Golemon said. “They had a good running back. He was tough to tackle. They abandoned (the run) pretty early.”
Jim Irish is a freelance writer living in Bastrop, Texas