Home Features 2015 Playoffs West Advances with Overtime Win Over Troy

West Advances with Overtime Win Over Troy


Mason Tobola took a deep breath, checked the signals with his holder and deep snapper, and encouraged his line to hold fast. With everything in place, the senior quarterback/kicker calmly booted the extra point, giving West a 35-34 overtime victory against Troy in Class 3A Division I bi-district action at Waco ISD Stadium.

“I knew it was on me to kick it up a little bit quicker,” said Tobola, who had two fourth-quarter field goal attempts blocked. “I’m very grateful to my line for blocking on that PAT.”

Tobola set up the winning extra point for West (10-1) with a 10-yard touchdown run after Troy (8-3) had taken a 34-28 lead to start the overtime period. Troy needed only one play to get on the board as Elijah Saldana, who completed only two passes the entire game, connected with Travis Tomlin for a 25-yard score. But West blocked the PAT at the line, setting up Tobola’s winning kick.

“It was a tough game, and we knew coming in it would be,” West head coach David Woodard said. “We knew it would be a 48-minute game, but it took a little bit longer.”

Trailing 28-14 at the half, West kicked its offense into overdrive after the break. The Trojans received the second-half kickoff and promptly journeyed 73 yards in 10 plays, cutting the margin to a single score.

On third-and-17, Tobola’s pass split two defenders, and Bailey Horn snared the throw for a 26-yard scoring catch. Horn grabbed seven passes for 93 yards in the game including a 3-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Tobola finished the contest with 173 passing yards, completing 16-of-28 attempts.

On Troy’s ensuing possession, West’s defense held the Trojans on downs and gave the ball back to the offense at the Troy 44. West needed seven plays to tie the score.

“At the half, we made a few small adjustments but mainly we challenged our kids to play harder,” Woodard said. “We felt we had them in right position, and they made some key stops and got us back into it.”

Tristan Gonzalez made is only catch of the night, a 28-yarder on third-and-17, setting up first-and-goal at 6. Two plays later, Tobola bulled his way into the end zone, tying the game 28-28 with 2:14 remaining the third quarter. The signal caller paced West’s running game with 109 yards on 17 carries.

West opened the game’s scoring with a defensive touchdown. After a sack and a penalty put Troy into a third-and-22 situation at its own 23, the snap sailed over Saldana’s head.

Saldana attempted to fall on the ball at the 3. But it squirted into the end zone, and Mo Matus fell on the pigskin for a touchdown.

Troy answered the gift quickly, however. The Trojans marched 69 yards in nine plays with Garett Qualey taking it over from the 3.

Despite a poor kickoff return that placed West at its own 4, The Trojans managed to retake the lead on its next possession. West required 11 plays to reach the end zone as Tobola hit Horn from 3 yards out for the score with 3:16 left in the first quarter.

Troy dominated the remainder of the first half. The Trojans tied the game on a 46-yard scoring drive with Saldana sneaking in from the 1.

Troy’s defense held West on downs on the next two series, and both stops led to touchdowns. Qualey first broke loose on the right side for a 43-yard scamper and then went to the left side for a 17-yard score.

The senior running back led Troy’s offense with 131 yards on 28 carries. However, Qualey gained 113 of them in the first half, and West limited the runner to 18 yards on 13 carries in the second.

The victory provided West its first playoff win since 2007. Next Friday, the Trojans face Kirbyville in the Class 3A Division I area round at 7:30 p.m. in Huntsville.

“It’s no secret we haven’t been really good the last few years,” Woodard said. “To take a step forward last year and get a playoff win this year, it’s so huge for our kids, our school, and our community.”

Scoring summary
West – 14-0-14-0-7 — 35
Troy – 7-21-0-0-6 — 34

W – Mo Matus fumble recovery in end zone (Mason Tobola kick), 10:16 1Q
T – Garett Qualey 3 run (Anthony Avila kick), 7:10 1Q
W – Bailey Horn 3 pass from Tobola (Tobola kick), 3:16 1Q
T – Elijah Saldana – 1 run (Avila kick), 11:12 2Q
T – Qualey 43 run (Avila kick), 6:05 2Q
T – Qualey 17 run (Avila kick), 2:42 2Q
W – Horn 26 pass from Tobola (Tobola kick), 8:04 3Q
W – Tobola 4 run (Tobola kick), 2:14 3Q
T – Travis Tomlin 25 pass from Saldana (kick failed), 1OT
W – Tobola 10 run (Tobola kick), 1OT

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