Lake Travis sidesteps Denton Ryan for title

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Denton Ryan's defensive front shut down every team it played this season.

Austin Lake Travis decided to avoid it all together.

Using an offensive game plan that attacked Ryan's perimeter and secondary, Lake Travis moved the ball with ease en route to a 27-7 win over Ryan on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in the Class 4A Division I state title game.

Lake Travis (14-2) captured its fourth straight state title with the win.

"We didn't play very well today but I think they had a lot to do with it," said Ryan head coach Joey Florence. "They're four-time champions for a reason. They played a great game. They took the fight to us."

In the first quarter, Lake Travis peppered Ryan's defensive perimeter with quick passes to the flat that didn't give Ryan's pass rush time to get to quarterback Michael Brewer.

Gradually, Lake Travis began extending the ball down the field for big plays in the passing game.

By the time Ryan (15-1) found its game on defense, Lake Travis rolled up a 17-0 halftime lead after touchdown runs of 26 and 5 by Brewer.

"They made those quick passes and those slants," said Ryan defensive end Ty Hook. "That's what Wylie started using when they started moving the ball on us. They used the same kind of stuff. That was our weak point."

Meanwhile, Ryan's offense got nothing going. It killed itself with false start penalties, and problems on first down put Ryan in third-and-long situations throughout the game.

Ryan had no first downs, just 49 total yards and 41 yards in penalties at halftime.

"We didn't play well early," Florence said. "I don't know what caused that but we didn't play well early. Their defense is pretty good and they played well."

Ryan had a chance to make it a game early in the second half. Kaylon Alexander ran for 72-yard touchdown on fourth-and-inches on Ryan's first drive of the third quarter to cut Lake Travis' lead to 17-7.

The Raiders recovered the ensuing onside kick and got a 14-yard run from Alexander to put them at the Lake Travis 24-yard line.

But another false start penalty pushed Ryan back and a fumbled snap on third down forced a 41-yard field-goal attempt that sailed left.

Lake Travis answered with a field goal on its next drive and after a stalled Ryan drive, Lake Travis took an insurmountable 27-7 midway through the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Colin Lagasse.

"We didn't get it done," Florence said. "We missed the field goal. We fumbled the snap on third down. You just can't do that. You're not going to beat people like that and do stuff like that. We made a lot of mistakes today. You can't do that if you're going to win."