WACO — For a very brief moment, the potential for a high-scoring thriller appeared to be present.
Waco La Vega leapt in front of Argyle 10-0 after a blocked punt safety and a quick subsequent touchdown drive immediately put the Eagles in a hole.
Faith was quickly restored, though, as senior quarterback Bo Hogeboom rifled a 75-yard touchdown pass to receiver Cole Kirkpatrick, placing the deficit at merely 10-6. The fun had begun at McLane Stadium in Waco Friday night.
But the Pirates (13-1) put an end to the party — in a hurry.
La Vega scored 21 unanswered to stretch their lead to 31-6 with under five minutes left in the second quarter, axing Argyle’s hopes for a region title. The Eagles lost to the Pirates 44-20 in the 4A Division I Region 2 chamionship game, ending their season at 13-1 for the second straight year.
“The game by no stretch of the imagination started the way we wanted it to,” Argyle coach Todd Rodgers said. “We had a big emotional let down [early] and just could never get anything positive to happen.”
Hogeboom ended the game with 218 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions on 15 of 34 passing. His favorite target was once again Kirkpatrick who brought down six receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Cade Merka also had a touchdown reception right before half to make it 31-13 going to the break.
While the aerial attack struggled, the run game was even more tepid, averaging 2.7 yards per carry.
La Vega’s dominant front seven forced Argyle into obvious passing situations and the Pirates athleticism dominated on the outside.
On the other side of the ball, La Vega eviscerated the Eagles on the ground, averaging over seven yards per carry for 391 rushing yards in the game.
“They’re very good and they have good coaches and a good program, so it’s a daunting task and you can’t make many mistakes because they can capitalize on them,” Rodgers said. “We couldn’t put enough points on the board offensively and couldn’t get a stop defensively to win.”
Afterward, tears washed away the facepaint of several players, including Argyle’s 15 seniors. Hogeboom, Merka and Alex Gonzales, among others, embraced and took one final moment on the field together
Not once did they think about the 49-4 record of their program in their four years. The Eagles have built a reputation of winning games in the past decade and they may have fallen short of their ultimate goal, but Rodgers is quick to remind everyone of the season and careers they’ve had.
“It’s a great football season,” Rodgers said. “There are many teams across Texas that would love to be 13-1. Unfortunately the season didn’t end the way we wanted and right now they feel miserable. We’ll reflect on Monday to let the pain go away and reflect on all the positives.
“It’s no different than any other thing in the world. You have to [embrace] the positives and let the negative go.”
Waco La Vega 44, Argyle 20
Waco La Vega
WL — 0 safety, punt blocked out of end zone
WL — Jordan Rogers 1 run (Jordan Rogers run)
AY — Cole Kirkpatrick 75 pass from Bo Hogeboom (kick failed)
WL — Jordan Rogers 9 run (Ian Chavez kick)
WL — Landry Kinne 45 run (Ian Chavez kick)
WL — Jordan Rogers 1 run (Ian Chavez kick)
AY — Cade Merka 5 pass from Bo Hogeboom (Caden Dodson kick)
WL — Elisha Cummings 8 run (Ian Chavez kick)
WL — Jar’quae Walton 6 run (kick failed)
AY — Cole Kirkpatrick 21 pass from Bo Hogeboom (Caden Dodson kick)
Rushing — AY: CJ Rogers 5-27, Luke Farris 8-18, Bo Hogeboom 7-11, Knox Scoggins 1-1, WL: Jar’quae Walton 24-198, Landry Kinne 8-81, Elisha Cummings 12-74, Jeremiah Fisher 3-23, Jordan Rogers 5-15, Demicco Chambliss 1-4, Blaine Nickell 1-0, Troy Miles 1--4.
Passing — AY: Bo Hogeboom 15-34-3-218, WL: Landry Kinne 6-12-0-101.
Receiving — AY: Cole Kirkpatrick 6-141, Alex Gonzales 4-51, Cade Merka 4-24, Luke Farris 1-2, WL: Malachi Wright 5-94, Sol’dreveon Degrate 1-7.