SAN ANTONIO - In what had all the makings of a classic, Calallen's 2011 season ended Saturday in controversy.
With a tied score, 28-28, Manvel receiver Corey Seymour was tackled inside the 30-yard line as time expired. However, Calallen linebacker Tate Bammert was called for roughing the passer, allowing Manvel to successfully kick a field goal to win the game, 31-28.
"The way it ended, it should not have come down to the official’s call," Coach Phil Danaher said. "It was not intentional. It was not late. I just cannot believe this came down to a judgment call, instead of the kids playing it out on the field."
As a result, Manvel will advance to the State Championship against Aledo to take place at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Calallen's season ends with a 13-2 record. For the second consecutive season, the 'Cats captured District and Regional titles before falling one game shy of the State title game.
Early on, Manvel struck first with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Shane McCarley to Kalon Melancon. But Calallen's Marcus Price answered with a 100-yard kickoff return, to tie the game, 7-7.
Calallen would then take advantage of numerous penalties and a fumble recovery to go up, 21-7, with a pair of short yardage touchdowns from Cooper Storm. Manvel totaled nine penalties in the first half to none by Calallen.
Storm would finish the game with 45 yards on 17 carries, while Price would go 50 yards on nine touches. The 'Cats eneded with 200 yards rushing to Manvel's 135.
With starting quarterback Preston Dorsey out with a knee injury, the 'Cats stuck to a power running game, with Price, Storm, Robert Maldonado and Sheldon Metoyer carrying the load. Backup signal caller, Andrew McCurley, only attempted one pass in the first half.
McCurley finished the game 4-for-7 passing for 51 yards and one interception.
Manvel would proceed to tie the game with quarterback draws from McCarley and Julian Walker. But after Walker's score in the third, Price would answer again, this time with a 96-yard touchdown return, making things 28-21.
Calallen held the lead for most of the fourth, before McCarley and Melancon would hook up again to tie the game, 28-28, with 2:33 left in the fourth. Calallen held the ball until McCurley was intercepted with 45 seconds left.
The game appeared to be headed for overtime, before the crucial penalty and field goal sent Manvel to the title game.