Eagles Advance to State Championship


Nick Ciggelakis

Lake Ridge running back Duke Carter runs for big yardage against Aledo during D5A semifinal action in Birdville, Dec. 11, 2015. Lake Ridge won, 42-21, to advance to the state finals.

Zachary Bell and Sydney Johnson

The Lake Ridge Eagles celebrated a championship birth Friday by defeating the Aledo Bearcats in the state 5A Division I semifinals at the Birdville Fine Arts Complex.

The 42-21 win makes Lake Ridge (15-0) the first Mansfield ISD high school ever to advance to the state final, and possibly the first to finish undefeated. The Eagles travel to Houston Thursday after practice and will take on Richmond George Ranch (15-0) at NRG Stadium Dec. 18, kickoff is at 8 p.m.

In the game quarterback Jett Duffey, running back Duke Carter, and fullback Gerard McClain were all injured in the game against Aledo. All three are major components to the Eagles offensive attack, however the offense should remain largely unchanged.

Lake Ridge’s offense put up 42 points, a season high given up the Aledo defense. Quarterback Jett Duffey, a Texas Tech commit, and Landry Award winner had two passing touchdowns, and 162 rushing yards. Running back Duke Carter, a Louisiana Monroe commit, had 125 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns.

The Lake Ridge defense had its best defensive performance since the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles defense shut down an Aledo offense that averaged more than 50 points per game. The Lake Ridge defense completely shut down the Aledo rushing attack, and made a usually impressive offensive line look uncomfortable all night.

Championship tickets can be purchased at Lake Ridge High School through Thursday by 4:40 p.m., and at the MISD athletic office. Prices are $14 for adults, $10 for students, or $15 at NRG Stadium. Tickets are also available on Ticketmaster.com. Parking will be $12 at the stadium.

Lake Ridge supporters are encouraging Eagles fans to wear black clothing to “blackout” NRG Stadium on game day.