ARLINGTON - It was two different games within one in the 3A Division I State Championship, as Tuscola Jim Ned erased a 21-point deficit to win 29-28 on a 2-point try in the first overtime frame.
Much like his cousins the 2A Division I game, it was the Jonathon Brooks show as he started the scoring on a 56-yard touchdown run on the way to nearly 200 yards in the first half. Brooks added a second touchdown midway through the second quarter to give Hallettsville the 21-0 lead and all the momentum.
Jim Ned's defense then flipped the switch and made it tough sledding for the Hallettsville offense. At the same time, Jim Ned's offense found its rhythm and put some points on the board on a 35-yard touchdown throw from Tate Yardley to Zach Henderson on a 1st and goal from the 35.
A mostly sleepy third quarter then saw Yardley connect with Henderson again for a 35-yard touchdown to make it a one-score game.
Jim Ned's defense only allowed 103 yards in the third and fourth quarters and 128 in the second half overall. After riding Xavier Wishert on nine straight runs, Yardley connected with Braden Lewis for the game-tying touchdown.
The teams played to a tie at the end of regulation, and in the first overtime frame, Hallettsville went to Brooks, who punched it in for the score and the lead.
For Jim Ned, it was Wishert on the run to make it a one-score game, and after an official timeout, Jim Ned lined up for the win.
For the second night in a row, a team goes for 2 for the win and gets it!
Jim Ned pulls off the 21 point comeback and wins the 3A State Championship in an OT THRILLER!#TXHSFB | #UILonFSSW | #UILState pic.twitter.com/Ye4bUTllEJ
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) December 18, 2020
Yardley tossed the free play over Brooks' head into the hands of Henderson for the win and to Jim Ned its first-ever state title.
In keeping with the theme of State this week, the 3A Division I championship features two teams vying for their respective programs first-ever title. Combined, this marks the third total appearance for Jim Ned and Hallettsville.