Unbeaten Melissa High School, led by Kristov George and Wes McQueen, beat Hempstead, 28-15, to win the Class 2A Division I state football championship. George scored two touchdowns, rushed for 132 yards, and ignited the crowd at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with a big sack in the fourth quarter.
McQueen (12-28, 233 yards passing) gave Melissa a 7-0 lead on a 12-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Landon Wilson.
Hempstead’s Tribete Smith returned an interception 19 yards to cut Melissa’s lead to 7-6 with 2:07 remaining in the second quarter.
Tied 7-7 at halftime, Melissa scored three times in the third quarter. McQueen completed a 68-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Webb. McQueen and Melissa converted a third down and 15 yards to go play with a pass to Brad Bush for 31 yards. Melissa capped its scored by marching 79 yards on 13 plays and scoring on an 8-yard TD run by George.
Melissa’s defense (15-0) found a way to slow down Hempstead quarterback Obie Wilder, sacking him five times. The Cardinals defense kept the Bobcats from making a first down in the third quarter.
Wilder, who passed for one touchdown and 165 yards, led his Bobcats down field in the fourth quarter. Wilder gave the Bobcats a touchdown by hitting Trechel Momon to wrap up a 59-yard drive. Then, Hempstead sent chills through the Melissa fans by turning the next kickoff into a 2-point safety.
Hempstead had the momentum and its unbeaten season on the line. The Bobcats pushed ahead, moving the ball closer to the end zone with each play. The Bobcats had just picked up eight yards on first and 10 to put the ball in the Red Zone. Melissa’s defense needed a big play, and had to make a stand inside its own 20.
Then, on second and 2 for the Bobcats, Melissa’s George came up with his sack, and the Cardinals held on to extinguish Hempstead’s last big drive.
Hempstead finished at 14-1. The game marked the first time each school had reached the state finals.