Lampasas vs. Gonzales Football Area Round Playoffs

The Lampasas Badgers take the field against Gonzales during the second round of the Division I-4A playoffs Friday at The Pfield in Pflugerville.

Troy Rogers has a lot to be thankful for.

Along with all the usual reasons for being humbled around the holidays, Lampasas’ head coach is appreciative of everything his team accomplished so far this season.

The Badgers have lost just once all year and take a 10-game winning streak into today’s Region IV-4A, Division I semifinal against Needville. They enter the contest ranked sixth in the state after residing in the poll for almost their entire schedule.

Additionally, Lampasas avenged a pair of playoff losses to La Vernia and easily defeated perennial powerhouse Liberty Hill 52-10 en route to capturing the program’s first district title since 2011.

While Rogers is thankful for all the Badgers already accomplished, he is truly grateful for how they achieved their success.

“Everything is due to the kids,” Rogers said. “They truly put in the work and bought into our philosophy.

“We talk about being a family, and they really are. They play hard for each other, and whenever you have a team that does that, it is something special.”

At noon inside San Antonio’s Alamodome, Lampasas (11-1) will attempt to extend its historic season.

With a victory, the Badgers will reach the regional final, marking the team’s deepest playoff run since 1993, but it will not be easy.

After slipping past Canyon Lake 40-33 in the bi-district round, the Bluejays exploded against Boerne, winning 62-24 as running back Ashton Stredick rushed for 419 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. The senior averaged 12.3 yards per game, while teammate Walker Warncke carried the ball a dozen times for 185 yards and two touchdowns along with catching a pair of passes for 29 yards and a score.

Although it was an impressive outing, Lampasas is coming off an equally strong showing.

The Badgers cruised to a 56-6 victory against Gonzales thanks in part to a 28-point second quarter, and while Needville (10-2) dominated on the ground, Lampasas thrived in the sky.

Junior quarterback Ace Whitehead was almost flawless, connecting on 18 of 22 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns, tossing a pair of touchdowns to both Jaylon Porter and Michael Murray Jr. while finding Cameron Everts eight times for 86 yards.

Like Rogers, however, Whitehead is finding more to appreciate than statistics.

“This feels really good,” he said. “The community support has been awesome, so to continue to get to play, especially for the seniors, feels really good.

“But we are far from done.”

Rogers echoes the sentiments.

“The good thing is we are still getting better,” he said. “You never want to peak too early, and I feel we are still improving.

“That is really exciting.”

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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