ABILENE — It's no secret that Throckmorton has built a football dynasty.
And it was no secret to Abbott that Greyhound receiver Gary Farquhar is a matchup nightmare.
On his 18th birthday Saturday night, Farquhar and his Throckmorton teammates had plenty to celebrate in the Six-Man Division I title game at Shotwell Stadium.
The Greyhounds captured their third state title with a decisive 72-30 victory over the Panthers, pulling away with 40 consecutive points over the middle two quarters.
While Farquhar did lots of damage with five catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns, a team effort was definitely needed to defend last year's championship.
Quarterback Bryson Oliver was named the Offensive MVP after passing for 257 yards and five touchdowns. Levi Taylor rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns in his last game.
"It's a tradition at Throckmorton. The kids we have just want it so bad — it just comes," Taylor said. "We practice hard with so much intensity every day, it never dies."
Abbott's state title hopes died a little with every deep ball Oliver threw. The Greyhounds (14-1) scored on seven of their nine completed passes, gaining 350 yards through the air.
"We knew the game plan of the two previous coaches coming in was to really get pressure on the quarterback, which when you do that, you lend yourself to the big plays," Throckmorton coach Mike Reed said. "We worked really hard to make practice more difficult for Bryson and our blockers. I though our pass protection was amazing giving him the time to look downfield."
Abbott needed 55 rushes to gain its 360 rushing yards, with Dillon Beims (178 yards, TD) and Tyler Russell (161 yards, 2 TDs) carrying most of the load.
But Throckmorton's defense made three defensive stops in the first half. With the Panthers down 32-24, Abbott turned it over on downs and Farquhar caught a gorgeous 47-yard touchdown pass from Oliver with 24 seconds left in the half.
Those quick strikes doomed the Panthers, who were making their first title game appearance. On one possession, Throckmorton responded to a fourth-and-29 with Trinity Haggard's 49-yard touchdown catch.
"Once you get a couple defensive stands or an onside kick recovery, in six-man it's a total switch in the game," Farquhar said. "It just feels great to be a back-to-back state champion. I couldn't ask for a better way (to go out)."
Farquhar, whose speed on the edge makes him tough to block, earned Defensive MVP honors with 14 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. Three of those stops ended Abbott drives.
Haggard finished with 16 total tackles and a fumble recovery, while Nathan Riley had 15 stops, including a huge tackle for a loss on Abbott's final offensive play.
"I think they won the guessing war and they stunted at opportune times," Abbott coach Terry Crawford said. "The difference in the ballgame was ironically what won us the semifinal game and that is the turnover battle. Tonight we lost it."
While Farquhar and Taylor are graduating, the Hounds look to be in good position with the future.
Gary's younger brother Hayden Farquhar caught two touchdown passes — 68 and 25 yards. Rawlin Morrell (33 rushing yards, TD pass), Haggard, Riley and Oliver will be looking to go out like this year's seniors did.
"I've been amazingly blessed with the kids I've had come through," Reed said after the medals had been draped around his smiling players' necks.
Abbott 16 8 6 0 — 30
THrockmorton 16 24 24 8 — 72
A — Dillon Beims 6 run (Darren Popp), 6:12
T — Gary Farquhar 46 pass from Bryson Oliver (Nathan Riley kick), 5:31
T — Gary Farquhar 61 pass from Oliver (Riley kick), 2:23
A — Tyler Russell 61 run (Popp kick), 2:08
T — Hayden Farquhar 68 pass from Rawlin Morrell (Riley kick), 4:03
A — Ryan Popp 19 pass from Branden Urbanovsky (D. Popp kick), 2:43
T — Levi Taylor 8 run (Riley kick), 2:27
T — Gary Farquhar 47 pass from Oliver (Riley kick), 0:24
T — Taylor 69 run (Riley kick), 8:02
T — Trinity Haggard 49 pass from Oliver (Riley kick), 5:27
T — Hayden Farquhar 25 pass from Taylor (Riley kick), 4:02
A — Russell 1 run (kick blocked) 0:08
T — Adam Hernandez 18 pass from Oliver (Riley kick), 7:35
First downs 19 11
Rushes-Yards 55-360 23-142
Passing 60 350
Comp-Att-Int 5-9-0 9-12-0
Punts 0-0 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 1-1
Penalties-Yards 6-36 3-15
RUSHING: (A) Dillon Beims 23-178; Tyler Russell 26-161; Tanner Pope 4-17; Kyle Kaska 1-10; Branden Urbanovsky 1-(-6); (T) Levi Taylor 10-114; Rawlin Morrell 7-33; Adam Hernandez 1-7; Trinity Haggard 1-2; Bryson Oliver 1-(-2); team 3-(-6).
PASSING: (A) Urbanovsky 3-5-0, 48; Beims 2-4-0, 12; (T) Bryson Oliver 7-10-0, 257; Morrell 1-1-0, 68; Taylor 1-1-0, 25.
RECEIVING: (A) Ryan Popp 1-19; Kenny Watson 1-15; Beims 1-14; Urbanovsky 2-12; (T) Gary Farquhar 5-190; Hayden Farquhar 2-93; Haggard 1-49; Hernandez 1-18.