After winning the state title in their TAPPS division last year, St. Paul set the goal of getting back to the championship game in the new season with a new team.
The Shiner St. Paul football team, along with trainers, managers, ball boys,coaches and Rev. Bryan Heyer , gather around the TAPPS Division IV State Championship trophy Friday afternoon at Midway ISD Panther Stadium in Hewitt. St. Paul defeated Arlington Grace Prep. 49-34, to win its second consecutive state title in football.
[ click photo to enlarge ]
all photos by Mark Lube
St. Paul still had lots of juniors and seniors; they also had inexperience and unanswered questions as to where each player would contribute.
The Cardinals answered the questions and got lots of experience as well as dealing with adversity and taking some licks as they brought home their second straight championship this season.
A brief recap of every St. Paul game from the 2016 season:
Yorktown 16, St. Paul 6
08/29/2016 - (non-district) - game storyThe Cardinals opened at Class 2ADI Yorktown and came up a little short, 16-6.St. Paul 59, Bryan St. Joseph 14
St. Paul opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 52-yard touchdown run by quarterback Austin Barton but where held in check and out of the end zone for the rest of the game.
09/02/2016 - (non-district) - game storyIt didnít take the Cardinals long to bounce back from the Yorktown loss as they routed BSJ 59-14 in the home opener.St. Paul 35, Flatonia 14
Conor Kresta ran for 214 yards and three touchdowns while TreíZell Jenkins-Perry, Ryan Malivnosky and Joseph Natal all had a productive running game with scoring contributions. Barton had a touchdown pass and Natal also ran an interception back for a score.
09/09/2016 - (non-district) - game storyThe Cardinals excelled in the passing game as they got their first road win with a 35-14 victory over Flatonia.Austin Hyde Park 42, St. Paul 20
Barton was 5-of-6 for 131 yards and two touchdowns to Ryan Bell. Barton rushed for 84 yards and two scores while Kresta added 70 yards and one touchdown.
09/16/2016 - (non-district) - game storyHyde Park got the best of the Cardinals in the first-ever meeting of the schools with a 42-20 victory as the Panthers used big plays in the passing game and took advantage of three St. Paul fumbles. Kresta had 163 yards on the ground and scored three touchdowns.St. Paul 49, Brentwood Christian 6
09/23/2016 - (district) - game storyA good week of practice paid off for St. Paul as they beat Austin Brentwood Christian 49-6 in the district opener.Boerne Geneva 39, St. Paul 20
Kresta had 122 yards on the ground and two touchdowns; Barton had 51 yards on four carries and scored once while throwing for a touchdown to Natal, who had a rushing touchdown as well.
Jenkins-Perry had a 38-yard run and River Haynes had an 82-yard pick six.
10/01/2016 - (district) - game storyFive turnovers resulted in St. Paul falling in a Saturday road game at Boerne Geneva 39-20.St. Paul 12, Schertz John Paul II 8
The Cardinals got some great offense from Jenkins-Perry as he ran for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Barton ran for 97 yards and a score while completing 9-of-22 passes for 145 yards with one interception.
10/07/2016 - (district) - game storySt. Paul got back to winning ways in a tough way as they prevailed 12-8 over John Paul II.St. Paul 63, San Antonio St. Gerard 0
The Cardinals trailed at halftime 8-6 on a blocked-PAT return from the Guardians but overcame with the game winner in the third quarter.
Barton had 91 rushing yards and a touchdown; Jenkins-Perry had 40 yards and Natal added 27 yards and the crucial third-quarter touchdown.
(district) - 10/14/2016 - game storyThe Cardinals had a dominating win 63-0 over the Royals. Jenkins-Perry, Barton, Kresta, and bench players Reid Yackel and Carson Reese all had rushing touchdowns.St. Paul 42, Sacred Heart 21
Barton had touchdown passes of 32 yards and 29 to Jacob Darilek and Bell, respectively. Eudosio Garza returned an interception 35 yards for a score.
10/21/2016 - (district) - game storyThe Cardinals kept the win streak going with a 42-21 win over rival Hallettsville Sacred Heart.St. Paul 45, San Marcos Baptist Academy 0
The Indians rallied from a 21-7 deficit for a 21-21 tie before the Cardinals scored 21 straight.
Barton had a huge game on the ground with 225 yards and two touchdowns; Kresta added 119 yards and one touchdown. Barton threw for 74 yards and a score. St. Paulís defensive added another score on the fumble return by Cole Brown.
11/04/2016 - (district) - game storyFollowing the open week, St. Paul got its second shutout in three games by beating SMBA 45-0.St. Paul 62, Marble Falls Faith Academy 7
Kresta and Barton combined for 188 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Barton threw for 30 yards and a 11-yard touchdown pass to Bell. Jenkins-Perry and Natal also had rushing touchdowns.
11/11/2016 - (TAPPS IV bi district) - game storyThe Cardinals made quick work of Marble Falls Faith in the first round with 62-7 rout at home.St. Paul 48, Beaumont Legacy 18
All 62 points were scored in the first half. Kresta scored on a fumble recover and had three rushing touchdowns on 151 yards. Barton had 96 yards and two touchdowns. Jenkins- Perry and Natal added one score each.
11/18/2016 - (TAPPS IV area) - game storyIn the first of two straight playoff games in The Woodlands, St. Paul defeated Beaumont Legacy 48-18. Kresta ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns and threw for a 37-yard touchdown to Bell. Barton ran for 94 yards and two scores while Natal returned a fumble for a touchdown.St. Paul 41, Bryan Brazos Christian 38
11/25/2016 - (TAPPS IV state semifinal) - game storyKresta had another 200-yard game with 284 against BBC and scored the game winner with just seconds remaining.St. Paul 49, Arlington Grace Prep 34
He had a total of five touchdowns while Barton ran for 91 yards and one score.
12/02/2016 - (TAPPS IV state game) - game storyThe two offenses had difficulty stopping each other ó Grace Prep marched down the field in a hurry with its spread attack while St. Paul smashed the ball on the ground and even had a drive take as long as 16 or 17 plays.
Eventually, St. Paul came up with a couple of turnovers and stops in the second half, and that proved to be the turning point as the Cardinals won 49-34.
Kresta saved his best for last as he ran 41 times for 322 yards and five touchdowns. Natal had 50 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
St. Paulís defense again turned a takeway into points as Natal returned a fumble 54 yards to clinch the game late in the fourth quarter
|Mark Lube is the sports editor for the Shiner Gazette. Contact him at 361-594-3346 or email@example.com|