Adherence to the run game paid big dividends for the Wimberley Texans Friday as they powered to a 42-17 win over the Sweeny Bulldogs at Cub Stadium.
Wimberley (11-1) advances to the 4A, Division II, Region IV final, where they face off against the Cuero Gobblers at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Bastrop Memorial Stadium.
The Texans placed its weight on the shoulders of running back Thomas Carruthers who rushed for 254 yards in the game and finished with five total touchdowns.
Doug Warren, Wimberley head coach, said he believed the Texan offense could successfully run the ball against Sweeny’s defense.
“No one had been able to all year long, but we thought we could (run the ball),” Warren said. “It’s a great team effort. Our offensive line was knocking people off of the ball.”
Carruthers said preparation leading into the game played a vital role in success of the run game. Film study, along with an overall team effort helped lead the Texan run game.
“Coach said we had to pound the rock and we had to mix it up and it worked,” Carruthers said. “Our line did a great job and we pounded it down their throat.”
The Texans took less than two minutes to bear the fruits of their strategy. A 54-yard touchdown run by Carruthers gave the Texans a 7-0 first quarter lead.
Wimberley turned to its prolific pass game to expand its lead. A 58-yard strike from quarterback JoJo Weeks to wide receiver Gavin Martinez put the Texans ahead 14-0.
Weeks went 17 of 20 for 259 yards and three touchdowns passing.
After Sweeny responded with a score early in the second frame, Wimberley answered with a short Carruthers touchdown, which increased the lead to 21-7.
Wimberley dealt a game-changing, momentum-shifting blow right as the first half buzzer sounded. With less than 10 seconds on the clock, Weeks tossed a short pass to wide receiver Wyatt Mann, who then lateraled the ball to wide receiver Cade Stoever.
Stoever then lateraled the ball to Carruthers, who sprinted his way in the end zone to put Wimberley ahead 28-7 at halftime. Warren said the play is something we’ve “worked on for a while,” and that the team executed it to perfection.
“Coach draws it up in practice to mess around,” Carruthers said. “He called it, we got excited and it worked.”
Wimberley kept Sweeny at arms length in the second half and outscored the Bulldogs 14-10 the rest of the way. At the center was a Texan defense that limited Sweeny to 250 total yards in the game. Warren said the key was eliminating Sweeny’s big play capability.
“We couldn’t let them get out because of their speed,” Warren said. “For the most part, we did a great job of bottling them up there and not letting them have the explosive play.”
Now the Texans ready for a rematch against the Gobblers, who last year ended the Texans’ season in the third round.
Carruthers said the team is excited for the chance to play Cuero again.
“They’re a great opponent, but I like our chances,” Warren said. “We’ll come up with a plan and see what we can do.”