BEDFORD — A sign behind Alvarado’s sideline stated “IT’S OUR TIME,” perhaps referring to the Indians’ loss in this round last season.
One series into the game, it became a form of prophecy.
Led by running back Wayne Onderdonck and a powerful ground game, the Indians scored on their first possession and raced ahead by two touchdowns in the opening half. That set up a dominant 34-13 victory against defending state champion Henderson in the Class 3A Division I semifinals Friday night at Pennington Field.
Alvarado (14-0), which lost to the Lions in the semifinals last season, advances to meet top-ranked Chapel Hill (14-0) in the championship game Friday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Henderson, which fell a round short of a rematch with the Highway 64 rival Bulldogs, completed the season 11-3.
Onderdonck, a senior who entered with almost 3,000 yards rushing on the season, finished the night with 33 carries for 165 yards and scored two touchdowns. He scored on a 3-yard run in the second quarter and a 62-yard shuttle pass to increase the advantage to 34-6 in the third.
The Indians harassed Lions quarterback Del Barnes all night, hitting him about seven times in the backfield, sacking him four times and forcing four turnovers by the reigning state finals MVP. It was somewhat like Henderson’s district loss to Gilmer, during which Barnes turned the ball over seven times in another uncharacteristic performance.
Alvarado went ahead 27-6 in the third quarter following one of the turnovers. The fumble and ensuing touchdown followed Lions receiver Jamie Anthony dropping a 42-yard pass from Barnes in the end zone that would’ve pulled the Lions to within one score.
Both teams’ tempers flared up with just over a minute left in the game. The Lions scored and failed on an onside kick, which resulted in a skirmish at midfield with punches thrown and player ejections.
Just like last season, the Indians went into the break with a two-score lead. Onderdonck powered his way to 136 yards on 24 carries in the half, scoring from 3 yards out with 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Alvarado converted six third downs in the half, the first being a highlight-reel worthy, 37-yard run by Onderdonck that set the Indians up at the Lions’ 8. That led to a 4-yard touchdown from quarterback Kenny West to receiver Jacob Jones that made the score 7-0 with 8:27 left in the first quarter.
Alvarado intercepted Henderson’s first offensive play of the game — a flea-flicker pass by Barnes — to get the ball back. A 38-yard pass from West to Tyler Bates on the third play of the drive moved the ball to the Lions’ 25.
Needing eight more plays to get the final 25 yards, the Indians increased their advantage to 13-0 on a 2-yard, swinging gate pass from Bates to Austin Ellinger with 3:27 left in the first.
Henderson’s lone score of the half capped a 12-play, 64-yard drive on which Jamaal Kind reached the end zone from 1-yard out.
Alvarado 34, Henderson 13
Class 3A Division I Semifinal
At Pennington Field, Bedford
Alvarado 13 7 14 0 -- 34
Henderson 0 6 0 7 -- 13
ALV — Jacob Jones 4 pass from Kenny West (Gabriel Favela-Sarbia kick), 8:27
ALV — Austin Ellinger 2 pass from Tyler Bates (kick failed), 3:27
HEN — Jamaal Kind 1 run (kick blocked), 11:27
ALV — Wayne Onderdonck 3 run (Favela-Serbia kick), :10
ALV — West 1 run (Favela-Serbia kick), 2:17
ALV — Onderdonck 62 pass from West (Favela-Serbia kick), 1:06
HEN — LaMarcus Brown 4 run (William Mann kick), 1:33
First Downs 23 13
Rushes-Yards 49-257 23-146
Comp.-Att.-Int. 7-16-0 10-21-2
Passing Yards 162 143
Punts-Avg. 4-30.0 2-33.5
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 8-75 3-20
RUSHING — Alvarado, Wayne Onderdonck 33-165, Kenny West 7-55, Tyler Bates 2-29, Lee Hardy 5-9, Hayden Walraven 2-(-1). Henderson, Jay O’Neal 14-113, LaMarcus Brown 4-26, Jamaal Kind 3-7, Patrick Brown 2-0.
PASSING — Alvarado, West 7-16-0-162. Henderson, Barnes 9-19-2—128, J’Korrie Centers 1-1-0—15, Jeffrey Holt 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING — Alvarado, Austin Ellinger 3-22, Onderdonck 1-62, Bates 1-38, Jake Geeo 1-36, Jacon Jones 1-4. Henderson, L. Brown 4-42, O’Neal 3-44, P. Brown 2-34, Jamie Anthony 1-23.