If Friday afternoon’s Class 3A Division II state championship game comes down to a field goal, the Argyle Eagles should be in great shape with record-setting sophomore kicker Cole Hedlund at the ready.
Argyle (14-1) faces Wimberley (14-0) in the Class 3A Division II state title game set for 4 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
With 23 field goals this season, Hedlund (5-9, 150) has broken the national record of 22 shared by three players, based on information obtained from the National High School Sports Record Book.
“It is nice to know that we have a weapon like Cole in our hip pocket when we need him,’’ Argyle coach Todd Rodgers said. “We’ll use him from up to the 45-to-48-yard range.’’
Hedlund, a right-footed soccer-style kicker, has only four misses this season, with two of those coming in one game. His record-tying 22nd field goal, a 29-yarder, came in the third quarter of last week’s 34-14 state semifinal victory over Monahans. He added a 36-yarder in the fourth quarter for the record.
The kicker has at least one field goal in all but two of Argyle’s 15 games. He has kicked three field goals in two games and has a long of 49 yards against Aubrey.
Hedlund, who also plays soccer, inherited kicking duties from older brother Chad, now at Wake Forest. Another former Argyle kicker, Ben Parks, is finishing his senior season at Baylor.
Rodgers said former Oklahoma and Washington Redskins kicker Scott Blanton lives in the area and works with Hedlund.
In the playoffs, Argyle avenged this season’s only defeat by taking out Prosper in the second round with the aid of three Hedlund field goals.
The Eagles also finished some leftover business from 2010 by rallying from a 21-3 deficit to knock out Carthage (35-34), the school that ousted Argyle in the same playoff round the previous season. Carthage entered the playoffs this season having won three straight Class 3A Division II state titles.
In the playoffs for the eighth straight season, Argyle has one previous state title game appearance, a 28-20 loss to Newton for the 2005 Class 2A Division I crown. In that same season, Wimberley won the Class 3A Division I state title, taking down Gainesville, 21-7.
Rodgers said Wimberley and his team share the philosophy of a varied offense and a simple defense.
“The difference is on offense Wimberley will be two-back and we are in one-back,’’ Rodgers said. “They are 60-40 run and we are 60-40 pass.’’
Argyle senior quarterback Austin Aune (6-3, 180) has thrown for 3,172 yards and 33 touchdowns. His primary receiver is sophomore Ian Sadler with 53 catches for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Wimberley senior quarterback Brady Lambert (6-0, 180) has thrown for 2,404 yards and 34 touchdowns. His top receiver is senior Brennen Blakemore (5-9, 175) with 49 catches for 1,112 yards and 13 touchdowns.