Travis head football coach Trey Sissom is more worried about the football game with pads on than the one without pads. But he’s happy to see his team go for a state title, even if it is 7–on-7.

Travis scored in the final minute to beat Foster 32-29 to win its semifinal at the 7-on-7 tournament at Foster High School on Saturday, qualifying for the second year in a row to the state tournament, and for the third time in the last four years.

Also qualifying to state from the Foster tournament is Katy, who beat Willowridge 41-25.

Travis quarterback Eric Rodriguez hit receiver Jarrell Farr in the game’s final minute for the winning score.

“We just finished up spring ball, so our chemistry is really good right now,” Rodriguez said. “Passing the ball is really easy right now.”

Foster had the lead midway in the second half, as quarterback Ryan Stubblefield connected with receiver Taribbean Ramirez for a touchdown to take a 27-21 lead.

The Tigers responded with a touchdown from Rodriguez to running back Kaelen Shankle. But the extra point play was intercepted by Foster defensive back Ethan Kappas and returned the other way for two points to keep the Falcons ahead for the moment, 29-27.

Travis also had strong play from its defense, as safety Mason Muchaw had some pass breakups and an interception in pool play, while linebackers Marcus Trevino and Jace Marsters also had strong efforts in breaking up passes.

“Our defense had three or four plays in pool play,” Sissom said. “It just shows how much of a team effort this was, and it takes everybody.”

Meanwhile, Foster entered the qualifying tournament with little to none of practice time, according to head coach Shaun McDowell. The Falcons are still in spring practice mode and didn’t have his players working on 7-on-7. But he was impressed with how his team reached the semifinals.

“I’m really proud of the effort the guys gave today,” McDowell said. “I know they’re disappointed in not winning, but how they competed is more important than winning, if we’re being honest.”

Both Travis and Foster went unbeaten in pool play to reach the semifinals, as the Tigers beat Clear Springs 36-26, Shadow Creek 43-36 and Lamar Consolidated 40-19. The Falcons beat Brenham 43-21 and Pearland 33-20 before beating Cypress Falls 32-14 to advance.

In pool play, George Ranch had a chance to reach the semifinals after getting a 21-12 win over Cypress Creek and a 25-13 win over Terry. But the Longhorns could not hold off a very tall and athletic Katy squad, and lost 39-13 to send the Tigers into the semis.

Terry also lost to Katy, 33-13 before getting a 33-12 win over Cy Creek in the Rangers’ run in the qualifying tournament.

Lamar Consolidated struggled in its pool, losing 26-13 to Shadow Creek and 33-14 to Clear Springs before falling to Travis.

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