Records fall in bunches as University downs St. Thomas More in Division II title game shootout

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NEW ORLEANS – The Division II state championship saw eight composite records broken and the University Lab Cubs outlast the St. Thomas More Cougars 55-46 to win their second consecutive state title on Friday afternoon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Mike Hollins had 27 carries for 237 yards and four touchdowns, which was one of several impact offensive performances. He also added 47 receiving yards and a touchdown while earning Most Outstanding Player.

University went to the half with a 21-13 lead and gained a little separation after scoring a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half. The Cubs took just four plays to go 80 yards and covered 1:06. From there, the only thing that could stop both teams from getting in the end zone was the clock hitting zero.

Cougars quarterback Caleb Holstein set a record for most completions (38) and most attempts (58). He threw for 410 yards and five touchdowns. He also found 10 different receivers. Grant Arceneaux hauled in a state championship record 14 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.

“It wasn’t the way we wanted to draw it up, but our guys really battled through,” said Coach Chad Mahaffey. “It’s tough to run that many snaps back and forth, but I’m very proud of our guys. Tonight was a good challenge for us to execute.”

St. Thomas More had two opportunities to level the score in the second half. The Cougars executed a 12-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a Holstein touchdown pass but the two-point conversion was no good.

After the Cubs scored, STM quickly responded early in the fourth quarter with a Holstein touchdown pass to Deion Senegal. Again, the Cubs defense stood their ground to keep themselves ahead of the Cougars. Despite the back-and-forth affair, the Cubs never trailed and were only tied once when the score was 7-7.

“Those plays are critical,” said Mahaffey. “You have to get back and play the next play. The challenge defensively is they just scored so you can’t get your head down. We had some tough plays to try to stop. They had creative play calling but our guys were able to get it done.”

The other records that were set during the game included most combined pass attempts (91), most combined first downs (61), most combined total yards (1,210), most combined total plays (159(, and most combined penalties (28).

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