All season long, the goal for the Texas Xtreme has been to “finish” and two weeks ago they did just that as they wrapped up a perfect 13-0 season with a 22-14 Texas United Football Association Super Bowl win over the Texas Red Raiders.
“We were very prepared for that game,” Xtreme head coach Ron Phillips told Developmental Football USA. “We did our due diligence and film review with the team and practice that week leading up to the game was very focused. You could see the focus with the players at each practice.”
Finishing was something the Xtreme had to keep in the front of their minds for four quarters in an extremely close, back-and-forth game, which was tied 8-8 at halftime.
In the second half, the Xtreme and Red Raiders exchanged scores to tie the game 14-14. Finally, at the very end, the Xtreme was able to score the go-ahead touchdown to win the game and finish off their perfect season.
Scoring the go-ahead touchdown was big for the Xtreme, but the game wasn’t over yet because there was still time on the clock, which meant the Red Raiders would have an opportunity to try to pull off a miracle play.
“One thing we noticed about the Red Raiders, in the final minutes of the game, one of my coaches came to me and said ‘They’re not prepared for this. They’re not built for this moment.’” Phillips said.
“Being prepared for a last-minute score with very little time on the clock – something we prepared for all season, no matter what the score was. That’s a lot of pressure, so we took advantage of those opportunities all season. They did not seem prepared for a last-second drive.”
“They had the time to get it done. They had the right play called in that situation and had a dropped pass in the back of the end zone on the last play of the game. They’ve got some great players on that team. We had the lapse in coverage, the guy was open, they had an opportunity to score and the guy wasn’t able to pull it in.”
(Photo Cred: Gabriel Chavez Photography)
“I think it was obvious from the beginning, throughout the season, that our offense flowed right behind our offensive line,” Phillips said. “Those guys up front, we have Derik Stotland, Justin Costin, Justin Medina, Larry Fowler and Robin Everet. Jeremiah Harden became a big part of that as well. We’ve got approximately nine offensive linemen that all contributed throughout the season and paved the way for our running game and helped us be a force all season, whether we wanted to pass the ball or run the ball.”
Wide receiver Deontae Cobbs was named MVP of the Super Bowl game.
“He has been a big force that you cannot overlook,” Phillips said. “I don’t think any team will ever win the Super Bowl without having one of the best quarterbacks in the league Zach Bosier’s ability to lead the guys and get the guys to buy in and follow him definitely has that on our football team.”
Defensively, defensive ends Joseph Miller and Joe Conard led a ferocious pass rush for the Xtreme.
Now marked as completed, the motto, ‘Finish,’ came about following last year’s 14-8 loss to the Texas Colts in the semifinals, after the Xtreme had started the season out 11-0.
Having this year’s trophy in hand marks the second undefeated championship season in the last four years for the Xtreme, which has gone 45-4 over that stretch, including an impressive 7-2 post-season record.
“The celebration was short-lived,” Phillips said. “The next morning, I was already going through our roster looking at who the potential returning people are and who we’ll have as a staff.
“Next year, everybody is going to be gunning for us. We’re going to be that game on the schedule everyone is prepared for, ready to beat. While it feels great to win the championship, to me, it’s another goal. When one season ends, another begins. I know the term defending champion is being thrown around. In 2018, everybody starts at 0-0 and it’s everybody’s goal to get to that last game of the season and our goal isn’t going to be any different than anybody else’s goal when they walk out on the field.”
Considered the top team in all of Texas in various polls, time will tell if the Xtreme decides to play in a national game or a bowl game between now and next season.
“We’re not sure where it leads from here,” Phillips said. “If we get a National Champonship invite, we’ll consider whatever is put on the table for us. That’s an ownership decision. As the head coach, it’s my job to coach the players on the team and prepare for any games put on our schedule for us, but that’s an owner’s decision.”
Having won 92 percent of their games over the last four seasons, the Xtreme’s track record of success is among the very best in the country at this level.
“I feel fortunate that our three owners are very dedicated to winning,” Phillips said. “They provide an environment for the guys, a team environment that makes these guys want to come be a part of the family and be at practice. The fact that we do everything in a very structured manner, from film study, to meetings, to practice, that’s what has made the team attractive to the guys in the Austin area and that’s why it keeps getting stronger and stronger every year.”