Dallas Academy Football Team New State Champions

The Dallas Academy varsity football team defeated Lucas Christian on Saturday to become the new Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship Division One State Champions. The Dallas Academy Bulldogs pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in the history of six-man state championships to clinch the win with a score of 58-57. The team also made school history by bringing home the first ever state championship title in any sport.

The Dallas Academy Bulldogs have had an exceptional season this year. The team made school history by advancing both to the state semifinals and to the championship game. The Bulldogs entered the state championship game against Lucas Christian on Saturday as the underdogs. Both teams started the game off strong and ended the first quarter with a tied score of 8-8. Lucas Christian fought hard to gain momentum and by the end of the third quarter Lucas Christian was ahead 49-34. Lucas Christian’s momentum continued into the fourth quarter when they scored eight more points during the first play. With 6:50 left on the clock, the Bulldogs were down by 23 points. The Bulldogs refused to give up and began to rally back. In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs got a safety for two points and possession of the ball which led to a touchdown bringing the score up to 57-44. With 3:30 left, the Bulldogs added another touchdown to the board. With a 1:30 left on the clock and Lucas Christian ahead 57-50, the Bulldogs recovered an onside kick to take possession of the ball. Three plays later and forty seconds left in the game, the Bulldogs had a fourth down and seven from the Lucas twenty-one yard line. Dallas Academy junior Caleb Thompson of Lake Highlands avoided the Lucas rush and shoveled the ball to senior Jonathan Williams of east Dallas, who broke two tackles, raced down the sideline, and dove into the end zone to score. After the touchdown with a score of 57-56, Dallas Academy opted to kick for a two point conversion. Junior Cody Perella of University Park made the successful kick and the Bulldogs took the lead with twenty-nine second left in the game. Dallas Academy was able to hold on to the 58-57 lead to become the 2012 TCAF state champions.

Dallas Academy’s offense was led by Caleb Thompson, who rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass, and threw the game winning touchdown pass. Cody Perella threw for 91 yards and a touchdown, and was four of five on extra points. Jonathan Williams, who didn’t enter the game until nearly halftime, rushed for 216 yards and three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass. Senior Kent Fulkerson of Lake Highlands had two receptions for the team. Dallas Academy’s defense was led by senior Andrey Ziegler of Lakewood who had thirteen tackles and a sack. Kent Fulkerson had eight tackles and one tackle for a loss. Cody Perella had seven tackles and knocked away the Lucas Christian pass as time expired to seal the win. Senior Wilbur Alas of east Dallas had six tackles and a sack. Freshman Josh Hoskins of south Dallas had three tackles. Andrey Ziegler was named to the All-State Tournament Team and Caleb Thompson was named All-State Game MVP.

Coach Jeremy Civello was beaming with pride for the both the players and for the amazing accomplishment of winning the state title. Dallas Academy Headmaster Jim Richardson commented that “these young men have demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and an unwavering work ethic all season long. I speak for the entire Dallas Academy community by expressing my most heartfelt congratulations to the team. They have made school history and made us all proud.”