MONT BELVIEU — There weren’t many style points to be awarded in the regular season finale for Barbers Hill. But those had already been earned with the District 12-5A II championship the week before. And there are many more to earn as the playoffs get underway.
The Eagles dominated the battle of field position and cruised to a 34-7 win over Santa Fe to improve to 9-1 overall and 7-0 in district. Christian Kaopua scored two touchdowns on the ground and one in the air to Cameron Cauley to lead. The defense also did its part with Josh King-Bradley turning in two sacks.
The Eagles host Houston Sterling Friday night in a bi-district playoff opener.
“We wanted to try and build some momentum but it’s a little hard because we had some short fields,” Barbers Hill head coach Tom Westerberg said. “It’s just not a good flow-type of a game. Scoring ended up being what it was, but we will take it and move on to the next one.”
Barbers Hill surged to a 21-0 lead in the first half. The Eagles took the ball at the 49 after a short punt and scored when Kaopua found a wide-open Cameron Cauley over the middle for a 36-yard scoring strike.
The defense and special teams figured prominently on the next two scores. John Bishop intercepted Trever Trexler and returned it to the Santa Fe 17. Kaegan Gibbs finished the short drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.
The Indians turned it over in the red zone on their next drive. Then Kaopua scored his second rushing touchdown on a 10-yard run for a 21-0 lead.
Barbers Hill put the game out of reach in the second half. Kaopua scored on a 17-yard run late in the third quarter to extend the lead 27-0. Alvaro Garcia had nailed his three extra points and gave way to Paige Sanders. Sanders transferred her talents from the women’s soccer team to the gridiron and drilled the extra point for a 28-0 lead.
The Eagles flexed their depth in the fourth quarter. Connor Dunham led the offense down the field and scored from 10-yards out for a 34-0 lead after a missed extra point.
Mikale Bowlds gave Santa Fe a late lift as it adverted the shutout on his 3-yard run with nine seconds left.
One of the positives for Barbers Hill was it escaped from the game relatively unscathed.
“We had a couple of kids we held out tonight that will be back full speed next week,” Westerberg said. “I think we stayed injury free, get ready to roll next week.”
Kaopua completed 7 of 12 passes for 82 yards and ran for 23. Garrett Hagler led the team in rushing with 43 and caught two passes for 27 yards.
The Eagles will host the loser of Houston Sterling and Fort Bend Willowridge. The two teams played Saturday night.