PORTER - Arp came up just short in advancing to its first state football championship.
Boling scored a 19-18 win over Arp in a Class 3A Division II state semifinal game on a windy and chilly night at Texan Drive Stadium.
The Bulldogs (13-2) advance to the state championship game to face Gunter (15-0) at 5 p.m. Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Gunter scored a 44-34 win over Canadian on Friday night in Wichita Falls.
Arp ended its season at 12-3. It was the third time the Tigers had reached the state semifinals - 1977 and 2000 were the previous times.
Boling advances to the state championship for the first time since 1972 when the Bulldogs defeated Rockwall 20-0 for the Class 2A state title.
Kayce Medlock, an SMU commit, led the Tigers with 74 yards rushing on eight carries, which featured a 57-yard touchdown run. Medlock also connected with Jacoby Hawkins on a 55-yard touchdown on a reverse pass.
Quarterback Tyler Stewart rushed for 34 yards, including a 1-yard TD run. Stewart passed for 28 yards, going 4 for 10 with an interception.
Jacoby Hawkins led the Tigers in receiving with 83 yards.
Missed opportunities were the story for the Arp Tigers. A bad snap on fourth down resulted in a safety and the Tigers also fumbled on the Boling 13-yard line with 1:19 left in the first half. Also, the Tigers missed two extra point attempts and a two-point conversion try.
The Bulldogs were led by quarterback Vernon Jackson as he rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown. Elijah Gooden rushed for 45 yards. But the work horse for the Bulldogs was Ronald Krushall with 90 yards.
Boling led 9-6 at halftime.
Arp took a quick 6-0 lead when Medlock got loose on a 57-yard TD dash. The extra point try was blocked, but the Tigers were ahead with 9:33 on the clock in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs got on the board when a high snap went over the head of the punter. The Tigers kicked the ball out of the end zone and Boling had a safety to pull within 6-2 with 10:41 on the clock.
With seven minutes left in the second, Jackson ran 27 yards to the Arp 1. A play later, Jackson bulled his way into the end zone. Francisco Olvera's PAT put the Bulldogs up 9-6.
Arp converted three fourth-down plays to get to the Bulldog 13, but fumbled with a little over a minute before halftime.
In the third quarter, the Arp defense came up big on fourth-and-2 as the Tigers stopped the Bulldogs at the Arp 45.
The Tigers then marched down the field to take the lead as Skyler Hotaling had a 42 yard run to the Bulldog 13. Later, Demarvion Overshown moved the ball to the 1 on a 7-yard run. Two players later, Stewart scored on a QB sneak. The try for two failed, but Arp led 12-9 with 8:23 on the clock in the third.
Late in the third, Olvera's 28-yard field goal tied the game at 12-12.
Boling took over at its own 33 and marched to the go-ahead touchdown. Gooden found the end zone from 3-yards out. Olvera's PAT put the Bulldogs up 19-12 with 6:22 in the clock.
Arp bounced right back as Medlock connected with a wide-open Hawkins on a 55-yard halfback pass. Hawkins caught the ball at the Bulldogs' 15 and dashed into the end zone.
However, the extra point kick hit the right upright. Boling still led 19-18 with 4:51 to play.
Boling almost ran out the clock, but Jackson fumbled at the Arp 18 with 41 seconds showing.
After a Stewart run of 19 yards to the 37 there was an incomplete pass followed by a Jackson interception.