State champion: Strawn defeats Balmorhea to capture Class 1A, Division II title
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Strawn Greyhounds are bringing another state football championship back to West Texas.
Wednesday afternoon, Dewaine Lee's Greyhounds beat the Balmorhea Bears, 78-42, inside AT&T Stadium in the Class 1A, Division II six-man state title game.
The win marks the Greyhounds' third state title in program history (2003, 2008, 2017).
The Greyhounds also made history in a dominating effort, with senior K-Lani Nava becoming not only the first female kicker at UIL state, but also being the first female to score at the UIL state football championships.
WATCH: K-Lani Nava talks about making UIL State Football history
“It feels pretty great,” Nava said after the game. “I mean I didn't think about it during the game -- this whole I game I didn't think about being the first girl or if I miss, I'm done. I just thought about the kick."
Strawn and Balmorhea each traded touchdowns early in the game, leading to a narrow 38-22 Greyhound lead at halftime. That's when the team from Strawn opened things up, taking a 62-28 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter off of Julian Fraga long TD run.
"The biggest thing, is I think they kept their focus," said head coach Dewaine Lee after the win. "Absolutely the hardest working bunch I've ever had and the most dedicated bunch -- ever since I've been coaching 25 years."
Balmorhea prevented the 45-point mercy rule, with a few scores of its own, cutting the lead to 62-42 in the 4th quarter, before Zavion Winegart's impressive score, and a Carlos Villanueva onside kick return TD, that would be the game-sealing score.
Strawn ends the year a perfect 15-0, having won all but two games by the 45-point mercy rule.
"Nobody believed in us, and this group, we talked about it since day one that we are going to win the state championship," Lee said.
“I'm going to remember that I played with the people that I'm mostly close with,” added Nava. “They're my family no matter what. I've been with most of them since pre-k -- we've had new people come in and they've just been a part of my family this whole time."