Waco La Vega Pirates (13-0) vs. China Spring Cougars (12-1)
Saturday, December 3 – 2:00 p.m.
Waco ISD Stadium – Waco, Texas
Last meeting – Oct. 14, 2016.
La Vega 17 – China Spring 10
Central Texas football fans have anticipated this matchup for months. Class 4A Division I District 13 members La Vega and China Spring meet for the Region III title this Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.
The Pirates have taken the last three contests from the Cougars including a 17-10 win in district action this year and a 20-7 victory in the region championship last season. With its 36-20 triumph over Somerset last week, defending state champion La Vega ran its winning streak to 29 games.
Special teams played a big role in La Vega’s regional semifinal win. John Richards returned the opening kickoff of the second half 84 yards for a score, and Sir Morgan Loudd rambled 92 yards for a touchdown after Somerset scored in the third quarter.
After going ahead 36-13 late in third quarter, the Pirates played conservatively to protect quarterback Jamal Williams from sustaining additional injury. Williams threw only five times in the game and none in the second half. He completed two attempts and threw an interception but also connected with Baylon Ware for a 49-yard touchdown, the game’s first score.
Cameron Henry served as La Vega’s workhorse, carrying 12 times for 110 yards and scoring on a 45-yard gallop. Kemoche Hobbs added an 8-yard touchdown run to pad the Pirate halftime lead to 21-7.
La Vega’s defense limited Somerset to seven rushing yards and 207 passing yards.
China Spring also coasted to the regional title rematch with a 52-21 win over district rival Liberty Hill. Big plays dominated the contest with quarterback Cutter Haigood sprinting 74 yards for a score on the game’s opening play. On the Cougars subsequent possession, Keaton Dudik blasted through the line for a 60-yard scoring run.
Dudik finished the contest with 213 yards on 10 carries and put China Spring in front 45-7 with a 79-yard touchdown gallop midway through the third quarter. Haigood gained 107 yards on seven carries, scoring three touchdowns, and passed for 165 yards and one touchdown, completing 10-of-12 attempts.
“I’m happy this is the way it all ends up,” China Spring head coach Mark Bell told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “I’m happy we get to battle to the bitter end.”