K-Lani Nava makes history, wins state title with Strawn

Strawn senior kicker K-Lani Nava made 9 of 10 on extra points and helped the Greyhounds win the state title over Balmorhea while also becoming the first female player in UIL state championship history.
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Strawn senior kicker K-Lani Nava made 9 of 10 on extra points and helped the Greyhounds win the state title over Balmorhea while also becoming the first female player in UIL state championship history.
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High School Football

Strawn ends historic season with 6-man state football title

December 20, 2017 06:04 PM

ARLINGTON

Strawn capped off an historic season with a dominating 78-42 win over Balmorhea to claim the Class 1A Six-Man Division II state championship Wednesday at AT&T Stadium.

The Greyhounds went 15-0 en route to the title — the second in school history — by compiling 488 yards of total offense. Strawn’s top-ranked defense held Balmorhea, the state’s top-ranked offense, to 394 yards and a season-low in points.

Strawn kicker K-Lani Nava not only made school history, but also state history as the senior became the first female to play and score in a championship football game. Nava converted 9 of 10 extra point attempts for the Greyhounds.

“It’s amazing,” Nava said. “It’s the best way to end my career, my senior year, everything ... it’s the best feeling ever.”

Nava downplayed the personal historic moment.

“It feels pretty great. I didn’t really think about it too much today because I didn’t it want it too much in my head and freak out,” she said. “I just acted like every other girl played on this field like me.”

Strawn used a stout defense and a four-touchdown effort from Tanner Hodgkins as the Greyhounds downed Balmorhea 78-42 to win the Class A Division II state title. Kicker K-Lani Nava also made history by becoming the first female to play in a UIL st

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She also said she wasn’t intimidated by the giant stage at AT&T Stadium.

“My thoughts were ... it was just another field,” she said. “It’s any other field that anyone would play on. I didn’t think about the whole state thing, it was like the first game of the season for me.”

Balmorhea (13-1) scored the game’s first points on Kyle Garcia’s 63-yard run, his first of five rushing touchdowns on 331 total yards. Strawn answered with 22 straight points and never trailed again. Strawn’s Tanner Hodgkins had four total touchdowns in the game, including two in the first quarter for a 22-8 lead.

Hodgkins’ third touchdown, a 49-yard run in the second quarter, gave the Greyhounds a 30-14 lead. The junior running back ran for 127 yards and three scores while also catching two passes for 46 yards and a touchdown to win Offensive MVP honors.

After a 38-22 halftime lead, Strawn outscored Balmorhea 24-6 in the third quarter to pull away. Carlos Villanueva combined for 180 yards and three touchdowns for the Greyhounds.

K-Lani Nava is the five-foot two and a half inch kicker for Strawn High School. Strawn plays for a state title at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday. Both she and her coach, Dewaine Lee, say "it's just a regular game".

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Senior K-Lani Nava makes the extra point. She's believed to be the first female player in UIL state championship history.

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