Navasota wins first-ever state championship
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Navasota running back Xavier Creeks missed the state championship game with a broken leg suffered in a car accident early Thursday morning but it could have been much worse.
Navasota coach Lee Fedora said Creeks drove his dad to work in College Station at 5 a.m. and fell asleep driving back to Navasota. The car went off the road and crashed into a concrete culvert.
“The phone rang and I answered the phone and they said 'Coach I've got some bad news' you know it's not a good call,” Fedora said. “All they said was Xavier was in a car accident, they don't know the details. All I could do was I sat down and prayed that everything was going to be alright. The doctors said his strength, to pull himself out of that car to get to where he could be found by somebody else. If he would have been crushed in the car and stayed in there, there was a good chance he would have passed.”
The team decided to honor Creeks when they found something unexpected in the bus when they arrived in Arlington.
“It shocked me because his bag was under our bus and it felt like he was up under there and ready to go,” said Solomon McGinty. “I looked into it and his jersey was in there and it hit me again. I was like hey, his jersey is here lets take it out on the field.”
The captains brought out Creeks' jersey out to midfield with them for the pregame hand shake and coin flip.
“It was a team idea,” senior Austin Collins said. “It was our shot to go to state. And for him, his heart was at the game, but he wasn't there.”
Derrion Randle and Howard Horn replaced Creeks on the field and did an admirable impersonation, combining for 143 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
Imhoff sneaks on the field
Senior linebacker Will Imhoff's season came to an end with an injury in the fourth game of the season. When the Rattlers reached the state final, Imhoff's injury allowed him heal enough to allow him to dress and run on the field with the team.
Doctors hadn't cleared him to play yet, but he managed to insert himself into the game and sneak out on the field in the final minutes. Imhoff never saw action because Navasota was flagged for an illegal substitution when he came out.
Coach Lee Fedora had hoped the Rattlers could get the ball back at the end of the game to let Imhoff take the field as part of the victory formation but Navasota never got the chance.