Iraan Advances to 2A DII State Title Bout
By: Leman Saunders
Iraan’s offense busted loose for some big plays, while their defense held up their side of the ball to defeat Wellington 42-21 in the 2A Division II title game Friday night at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. Five of the Braves’ six touchdowns were on plays covering more than 40 yards, including a 78 yard Kick Off return by Kyle O’Bannon to start the 2nd half.
Wellington just didn’t seem to have an answer for Iraan’s option run attack all night, the Braves toted the rock just 24 times, but gained 274 yards to the tune of 11.4 yards a carry. Daryel Lozoya found pay dirt 3 times racking up a team high 184 yards rushing on just 13 carries, while Kyle O’Bannon added a touchdown run of 66 yards and finished the night with 83 yards on 6 carries.
Iraan’s big victory came to the delight of many of the fans in attendance that were out in full force from all over the area braving the cold night air in support of Iraan. Between 80 and 100 schools had cheerleaders present adding over 1,000 fans to the Iraan side of the stadium, along with several area mascots in full regalia, to show support and cheer on the Braves after last week’s fatal cheerleader bus crash that took the life of one of their beloved cheer sponsors and seriously injured the other sponsor as well as several cheerleaders while riding back from their Quarter-Final win over Munday. Support also came in from their opponent Wellington as their band played Amazing Grace in Iraan’s honor at halftime and then the Wellington Cheer Squad present the Iraan Cheerleaders with a $3,000 check, money they had raised in one week to help support their opponent in their time of need. The overflow of support for Iraan, and even more so Wellington’s kindness and show of support more than anything, showed more than any words can describe what true sportsmanship is and part of what makes Texas High School Football so special to us all.
#2 Iraan has been the favorite in many of their games so far, but now will be a true Cinderella team next week as they will be facing off with #1 ranked Bremond at 10am Thursday morning at Jerry’s World (AT&T Staduim) in Arlington. In their Semi-Final match Bremond was down 25-22 to Burton with 5 minutes left in the 3rdquarter only to mounted a big offensive attack and win 50-31. Like Iraan, Bremond also features a great running game behind QB Roshuud Paul and RB Kaidyn Peralez who together combined for 492 yards and 6 TDs against Burton. Needless to say with these two teams the game will feature a lot of rushing yards and a very fast moving game clock. It is safe to say the only people rooting for Bremond will be from Bremond while Iraan will be bringing with them to Arlington the love and support of the rest of the state, and dare I say the nation as well…so how can you pick against the Braves! I say Iraan controls the clock and keeps Bremond’s offense off the field just enough to pull off the upset as they win their first state title since 1996 and the hearts of all Texans in the process!
Iraan 28 Bremond 21