Empire on the Edge: Lake Travis and Cedar Park Meet in 4A Playoffs

                                        Lake Travis Cavaliers (11-2) vs. Cedar Park Timberwolves (13-0)

                                                           Class AAAA, Division I, Region IV Final

                                                 Saturday, 1:30 PM CST, Royal-Memorial Stadium

Lake Travis has won three consecutive state championships in Class 4A but this Saturday will face its greatest challenge to win another. Cedar Park, a team from its very own district, decisively beat the Cavs in their early November district match, 35-21, to win the District 25-4A championship.

Back in September GhostofBigRoy covered the rare and powerful clash between 2009's two Class AAAA state champions, Aledo vs. Lake Travis. The Cavaliers were riding a 48-game winning streak which included three state champions, two directed by QB Garrett Gilbert, and was ranked #1 in the state and #10 in the nation. Despite being without QB Michael Brewer due to injury, LT jumped to a 10-0 lead before Aledo countered with a TD late in the first half to make it 10-7. The game turned defensive and somewhat sloppy but Johnathan Gray finally bowled into the EZ with six minutes remaining to give Aledo a 14-10 victory and break Lake Travis' win streak.

Lake Travis would continue their winning ways and, with injured QB Michael Brewer's returning to form, looked to be headed downhill toward another state title. However, many considered Cedar Park to have one of the best offensive lines in the state regardless of class, and they were simply pulverizing everyone in their path. When they finally faced off with district title at stake in early November, Cedar Park pretty well crushed Lake Travis, jumping off to a 28-0 lead and holding on for the 35-21 triumph.

Lake Travis developed from Lakeway Resort, a development by the oil-rich Hunt family of Dallas, in the mid-1960s. Thus, it is a relatively new school and never had much success through its early history until they started winning in the late 1990s. Cedar Park is much newer, a result of the increasing population movement north of Austin, and will eventually go back up into 5A. As the crow flies, they're really not far apart geographically across the Colorado River, about 20 miles. In between them is Lago Vista, once a doorstep for everyone, but not this year. They're 12-0 and facing Rice Consolidated (8-3) for the Region IV final in Class AA in San Antonio Saturday at 4 PM in the Alamodome. That's a lot of talent in a relatively small area.

So, what interest does this have for Texas fans?

First, there are Texas commitments on either side of the ball: Lake Travis' OL Taylor Doyal (6-5, 270) and Cedar Park's LB Chet Moss (6-1, 219).

Plus, Horn fans would get to see some serious offensive and defensive line play from both teams, something that was missing from their Longhorn menu this season. I've seen Cedar Park earlier this year and they are awesome, one of the best I've ever seen - and I've really never seen a running team go hurry-up like they do, just a brutal, cruel way to dispatch the opposition. Get up, kid, I wanna knock you down again, very much in the Rocky I mode. And their defensive line is just as fine.

In Lake Travis you'll see some fine pass blocking and pretty much the offense Garrett Gilbert once owned. You might assess just how far he was this year from those glory state championship journeys of two-three years ago.

Finally, it is that time of year in the state when there's plenty of high class high school football action. If you're going to a game this weekend, let us know in the comments.

Tickets are $10 at the gate and $8 if you purchase them early from the individual schools.

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