They say history has a strange tendency to repeat itself.
As Atascocita walked-off the field for the final time in 2016, an unusual sense of déjà vu consumed the air in San Antonio.
It is no secret that the two best quarterbacks in Atascocita High School history are Greg Campbell and Daveon Boyd. Both elevated the Eagles’ program to new heights, made school history, and played integral roles in establishing Atascocita as not only a Houston powerhouse, but a force to be reckoned with throughout the state of Texas.
Among the abundance of similarities between the two, possibly the most astonishing, and merely coincidental, is how each quarterback went out. In 2013, Campbell’s Eagles fell in the area round, 41-16, to a Lake Travis team who advanced to a state semi-final. Three years later, the Cavs and Eagles met for the first time since 2013, in the state semi-finals. Like Campbell’s squad, Boyd’s led Eagles were eventually eliminated by Lake Travis.
The 63-21 defeat represented the end of a historic season for Atascocita, a season that included the school’s first ever state semi-final appearance, and the end of an era.
The Daveon Boyd Era
Although Daveon Boyd was slated to become Atascocita’s starter in 2014, an ACL injury early in the season saw Niyl Campbell, little brother of former Eagle quarterback Greg Campbell, take the reigns as the Eagles’ starting quarterback. Campbell led the Eagles to a 9-2 record in 2014 and although Boyd played a part in assisting Campbell develop as a quarterback, for the statistical purpose of this article, the referenced ‘Daveon Boyd Era’ spans two seasons (2015-16).
In his first game back from an ACL injury, Boyd threw for 211 yards and five touchdowns in a 79-0 drubbing of Clear Falls. The shut-out victory set a precedent for how Atascocita would play on both sides of the ball with Boyd at the helm. Under Boyd, the Eagles scored 40+ points in 14 of their 28 games.
Atascocita won a record 12 games in Boyd’s first full season as the starting quarterback, a feat that had not yet been accomplished in school history. The Eagles also found themselves in the regional finals for the first time in the school’s short-lived history, where they fell to the Sam Ehlinger led Austin Westlake Chaparrals.
Heading into the 2016 season, Atascocita Head Coach Craig Stump and his staff faced the daunting task of replacing 2015 leading rusher Patrick Taylor Jr. (now at Memphis) along with leading receivers Niyl Campbell and Coye Fairman.
One could say Stump and his coaches succeeded. The Eagles opened up the season with four straight wins, including a 37-7 drubbing of rival Kingwood.
Atascocita hit a bump in the road, however, with a 31-21 loss to the defending state champion North Shore Mustangs. Even at 4-1, the Eagles knew things had to change in order to contend for a state title of their own. Following the loss to North Shore, the Eagles outscored opponents 234-19 to close out the regular season.
Atascocita began its post-season run with a dominant 56-17 win over a Deer Park program facing a down year. The Eagles then eliminated Pearland by a score of 35-14, extending their win streak to six.
The Eagles traveled to NRG Stadium for a second consecutive week to square-off against one of Houston’s best teams in Lamar. A late pick-six by linebacker Alex Morris gave Atascocita a 28-27 win and set up a rematch with North Shore. The rematch would take place in the Region III finals and with a win, the Eagles would advance further than any team in school history.
Thousands of fans packed NRG Stadium to cheer on their Eagles as they attempted to take down the defending state champion. A late field goal by senior David Heaton III sent the game into overtime where Boyd scrambled into the end zone for the winning touchdown.
History was made. For the second consecutive year, the Eagles advanced further than any team in history as they found themselves one game away from their first state title in school history.
Unfortunately, the Eagles fell victim to Lake Travis’ unprecedented state title run, ending their season at 12-2, tying a program best record in 2015. Boyd finished his reign at Atascocita with a record of 23-4 (DNP vs. Dekaney), accumulating over 6,800 passing yards with 74 total passing touchdowns.
It is unclear who will be under center for Atascocita next year, but whoever it is, they will have big shoes to fill.