WACO - For the fourth consecutive season, Shiner St. Paul is the TAPPS Division IV state champion.
Shiner St. Paul's Zak Johnson runs with the ball in Friday's TAPPS Division IV state championship game against Muenster Sacred Heart at Waco ISD Stadium on Friday, December 3, 2021. all photos by Josh McSwain, special to the Advocate
[ click any photo to enlarge ]
The Cardinals dominated all three phases of the game and cruised to a 36-8 victory over Muenster Sacred Heart Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium.
As is the norm for the Cardinals (10-1), the offensive line opened multiple gaps for their two featured backs, seniors Zak Johnson and Noah Boedeker.
The Cardinals' methodical, chain-moving, ball-controlling offense opened the game with a six-minute drive, scoring on Johnson's 4-yard run.
"Winning a championship is pretty special," said Johnson, who carried 33 times for 200 yards and four touchdowns. "It's not something everyone gets to achieve. I'm just really glad, and I hope for the future classes to keep it going. I thought we played our hardest. We practiced hard all week and kept our focus."
Not to be outdone, the Cardinals defense caused havoc all evening, limiting Sacred Heart (9-5) to a 52 yards on the ground.
St. Paul's defensive front, along with its blitzing linebackers not only stifled the Sacred Heart running game, but it sacked quarterback Ryan Swirczynski three times.
The lone score for the Tigers came with 39 seconds remaining in the game, as St. Paul was rotating all of its players.
Shiner St. Paul's Noah Boedeker runs with the ball in Friday's TAPPS Division IV state championship game against Muenster Sacred Heart at Waco ISD Stadium.
Johnson scored twice in the second quarter on runs of 4 and 35 yards.
St. Paul had a comfortable 22-0 halftime lead.
Sacred Heart turned the ball over on downs to begin the second half and the Cardinals offense again put together a long, time-consuming drive, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Boedeker, who had 13 carries for 91 yards.
Johnson ended the scoring for St. Paul midway through the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run.
St. Paul limited its penalties and did not turn the ball over.
"It gets harder to win. It doesn't get easier," said St. Paul coach Jake Wachsmuth. "Every year is a new year. The stuff we did the year before no longer mattered. What matters is what we did this year. Traditions are nice, but it gets tough. I am proud of these kids."
St. Paul has nine seniors to replace next season.
"When this senior class were freshmen, we struggled to begin the year," Jake Wachsmuth said. "We really struggled and they did not give up. Boedeker had an injury last year and did not give up. You hope that the kids learn more from football than just the trophies. You hope that they learn how to persevere. I think our seniors did that."
MORE SHINER ST. PAUL VS. MUENSTER SACRED HEART GAME PHOTOS
source: Victoria Advocate Photo Gallery (with 83 photos!)
[ click on any photo to enlarge ]
Shiner St. Paul's Zak Johnson runs with the ball in Friday's TAPPS Division IV state championship game against Muenster Sacred Heart at Waco ISD Stadium.
Shiner St. Paul's Kade Leist (3) gives coach Jake Wachsmuth a Gatorade bath after Friday's TAPPS Division IV state championship game against Muenster Sacred Heart at Waco ISD Stadium.
Shiner St. Paul celebrates its TAPPS Division IV state championship victory against Muenster Sacred Heart at Waco ISD Stadium.
Shiner St. Paul's Zak Johnson (16) lifts up the TAPPS Division IV state championship trophy as Caden Malinovsky (9) and Noah Boedeker (11) hold up the banner after Friday's game against Muenster Sacred Heart at Waco ISD Stadium.
Kevin Alstrom is a sports contributor to the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-574-1206 or email@example.com
Josh McSwain is a photographer at Baylor University in Waco.
Contact him at (817) 818-8441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GAME STATISTICSsource: Victoria Advocate Game Statistics, December 3, 2021 Shiner St. Paul 36, Muenster Sacred Heart 8 TAPPS Division IV State Championship Game Friday, December 3, 2021, 7:00 p.m. Waco ISD Stadium, Waco SCORING SUMMARY 1 2 3 4 F St. Paul 6 16 8 6 -- 36 Muenster 0 0 0 8 -- 8 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter SP: Zak Johnson 4 run (2pt conversion failed) 5:50 Second Quarter SP: Johnson 4 run (Noah Boedeker 2pt conversion good) 8:11 SP Johnson 25 run (Johnson 2pt conversion good) 0:59 Third Quarter SP: Boedeker 3 run (Johnson 2pt conversion good) 0:28 Fourth Quarter SP: Johnson 5 run (kick failed) 7:24 M: Ryan Swirczybski 47 pass to Augstin Ganzon (2pt conversion good) 0:39 TEAM STATISTICS: Shiner St. Paul Muenster First downs 19 7 Yards rushing 47-286 26-52 Yards passing 36 128 Passes 1-3-0 8-16-0 Punts 49 28 Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0 Penalty-yards 4-25 6-35 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing St. Paul: Johnson 33-200-4, Boedeker 13-91-1. Muenster: Passing St. Paul: Jacob Wachsmuth 1-3-36-0-0; Muenster: Swirczynski 8-16-128-1-0. Receiving St. Paul: Muenster: Ganzon 2-58-1.