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China Spring breaks Boerne’s heart with late FG

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Cougars kick game-winning field goal to defeat Greyhounds with no time on the clock

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    Boerne's Koen Wolff and Charlie Stahl (31) work on bringing down a China Spring ball carrier in Friday’s state championship tilt at AT&T Stadium. Star photo by Russell Hawkins
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    Braden Baize hauls in a touchdown pass from brother Jaxon Baize early in Friday’s state championship game in Arlington at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Star photo by Adrian Guerra
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    Boerne’s Braden Bays chases China Spring QB Cash McCollum during Friday’s 4A DI state title game in Arlington. Star photo by Russell Hawkins
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    TJ Dement runs the ball into the end zone to help the Greyhounds take a 21-0 lead in Friday’s state championship contest at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Star photo by Russell Hawkins

ARLINGTON – The greatest football season in Boerne ISD history came to a close Friday night at AT&T Stadium and the crowing jewel of a state title eluded the Greyhounds by just a few seconds.

China Spring’s Thomas Barr booted a 20-yard field goal with no time on the clock in Friday’s 4A DI state championship contest to give the Cougars the 24-21 victory.

Boerne finishes the year at 15-1 after the 2022 Greyhounds rewrote just about every BISD football record with its incredible season.

China Spring was the defending 4A DII champs and moved up to DI, but proved they can win at any level after scoring 24 straight points on Friday.

Boerne High jumped out to a 21-0 lead but the Cougars clawed their way back into it and scored 24 straight points, including the game winner that broke Boerne’s heart.

BHS coach Che Hendrix said it was the best two teams in the state going at it.

“This is what a championship game is supposed to be like,” he said. “That’s the best team in the state and we’re the second-best team in the state.”

It sure looked like Boerne was going to be named the best team in the state at the end of the day with its fast start.

The Greyhound scored on their second drive of the game after Jaxon Baize hit Braden Baize for a 79-yard touchdown pass on a throw that deflected off two other players before it ended up in the hands of Braden Baize, who took it to the house from there. Joe Ballenger added the extra point and BHS was leading 7-0. The Baize-to-Baize connection worked again after Brendan Levada intercepted a Cash McCollum pass to give the Hounds the ball at the Cougars’ 43-yard line.

On the sixth play of the drive, Jaxon Baize threw to Braden Baize who made the circus catch between two China Spring defenders in the end zone for the 14-0 lead with 3:50 left in the first quarter.

Boerne added to its lead early in the second quarter to cap an 11-play, 76-yard drive. On 1st and goal at the 3-yard line, TJ Dement ran straight through the Cougars defense to make it 21-0 at the 9:37 mark of the second.

Ballenger kicked the PAT but it turns out that would be Boerne’s final point of the 2022 season, while the Cougars were just getting warmed up.

China Spring got on the board late in the second on an 11-yard pass from McCollum to Tristan Exline to trim the lead to 21-7 by the halftime break.

China Spring came close to scoring on its first drive of the second half but Braden Bays recovered a fumble at the 5-yard line to keep it 21-7, however, the Cougars did score on their next possession to make it a game.

McCollum tossed a 17-yard strike to Kyle Barton and the extra point made it 21-14 at the 5:19 mark of the third quarter.

The Cougars were rolling by then and seemed to have a lot of momentum. They scored on their next drive after Exline ripped off a 66-yard run and the contest was tied at 21-21 with 2:55 remaining in the third.

Boerne’s next drive ended with an interception, but the Greyhounds forced China Spring to punt and BHS set up shop at their own 17-yard line.

The Hounds put together a good-looking drive and moved the ball from their 17 to the Cougars’ 38. After two plays for no gain, BHS was facing a 3rd and 10 at the 38, but a 5-yard penalty backed them up to the China Spring 43. BHS lost 5 yards on its next play and faced a 4th and 20 with just over three minutes left in the game.

Boerne chewed almost six minutes off the clock on that 15-play drive but came up empty and had to punt it away.

“I thought we were headed in the right direction in the fourth quarter, we were trying to milk the clock, run the ball and keep it from them and kick a field goal or score a late touchdown to win,” Hendrix said. “Unfortunately, we got a penalty and got behind the chains and that was it.”

China Spring took over with 3:02 left and constructed a championship drive. The Cougars moved the ball from their own 38 to the Boerne 4-yard line. During the drive, the Greyhounds burned all three of its timeouts to try and save some time for itself but China Spring was able to milk the clock down to 2 seconds before calling its final timeout of the game.

From there, Barr kicked it through the uprights as time expired on the 20-yard game winner for the final of 24-21 to bring the curtain down on the 2022 Boerne season.