Navasota snaps Argyle’s 31-game win streak in overtime thriller

ARLINGTON, Texas — The showdown between two unbeaten Texas football heavyweights lived up to the hype as Navasota beat Argyle 42-35 in double overtime for the 4A Division I title.

In one of the most thrilling games in UIL championship history, the Rattlers’ high-flying offense outlasted the Eagles’ punishing ground attack, whose 31-game winning streak came to an end. 

Navasota quarterback Shelton Eppler passed for 493 yards and threw all four touchdowns to receiver Tren’Davian Dickson, including a circus catch in the third quarter.

"Coach is an offensive mastermind," Dickson said. 

And the Rattlers proved he was this season. Eppler broke the state single-season record for passing touchdowns with 71, kicker Michael Martinez became the state single-season leader in extra points with 112, and Dickson extended his national single-season touchdown reception record to 39. 

"They don’t care about the records, they wanted the ‘W,’" head coach Lee Fedora said. "They’ll be able to get on that bus ride home and think about it because that’s something that’s going to be out there for a long time."

But none of those records were on their minds when they trailed 28-21 late in the fourth quarter. Eppler came up big again, leading the offense into the end zone with less than a minute remaining tie the score.

Navasota had no trouble putting away opponents during the regular season, but the Rattlers were always ready if a game ever needed overtime. 

"Every Thursday during our practice we went into an overtime against our scout team," Fedora said. "We wanted our team to be ready for that first time going into overtime that it wasn’t a surprise. I think 15 weeks of doing that got these kids prepared to pull out the win.

"I told our kids we’ve got to play 48 minutes, but be ready if we have to play extra minutes. We knew it was going to be a dogfight all the way until the end."

Follow me on Twitter @LouisOjedaJr.