Stamford vs. Shiner: 1A-DI State Championship

ImageBefore leaving the locker room for the second half, Bulldog quarterback Bo Wimberly apologized to everyone in the room. “The first half is on me.” Wimberly announced, before pleading that his teammates give everything they have the rest of the way, promising he would as well.

Wimberly had a horrible first half. After having a great season I wondered if the pressure of playing in a state championship at Cowboy Stadium was getting to him. During the first half he constantly overthrew open receivers and, even worse, threw across his body for an interception in the end zone, ruining a great scoring chance. I felt sorry for the kid, on top of playing poorly he was very banged up, dislocating his left shoulder during the first half. Whether the pressure, his shoulder or just a poor day was to blame, this couldn’t be what he’d envisioned for the biggest game of the year.  When Shiner recovered the second half kickoff and quickly scored giving the Comanche’s a 28-7 lead it looked very bleak for the Bulldogs.

Then things turned. With no room for error, Wimberly and the Bulldog offense found their stride. On a quick drive of screens and Wimberley runs the Bulldogs cut the score to 28-14 halfway through the 3rd. Stamford’s defense made several stops including a key 4th and 3 on the first play of the 4th quarter. Wimberly again scrambled into the end zone from 35 yards to close the score to 28-21. Shiner attempts to grind out the clock, converting two fourth and shorts. The Bulldogs finally make a stop on Shiners 3rd fourth down attempt and the ‘Dogs take possession at their own 40 with 3:51 to go.

On the first play after the turnover, Wimberly hits Oklahoma State commit James Washington on a post to tie the game at 28. Stamford’s defense comes up big again, recovering a fumble on the very next Comanche offensive play and the Bulldogs quickly capitalize on another Wimberly scramble and just like that the Bulldogs are in the lead, 34-28.

A Washington interception followed by a great return for his third touchdown, put the final nail in Shiner’s coffin and the Stamford Bulldogs wrapped up their second straight title by a final score of 41-28.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a quarterback turn things around so dramatically as Wimberly did today. It would have been easy for him to go into the tank in such a setting and he showed tremendous poise in taking responsibility, rebounding and carrying his team to a win. Wimberly became the second straight Bulldog to win both the offensive and defensive player of the game for the straight championship. (Hagen Hutchinson did it in 2012)

Like the 2012 game, this was a great football game, between two tough teams. Congratulations to the Stamford Bulldogs on defending their championship. Looking at the scored the last three weeks, you see that they had to battle all the way. To win under these circumstances is impressive and this championship was well earned.

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