AP NEWS

Buttons roll to another TAPPS three-peat

February 23, 2019

Central Catholic used a big second half to break open a close contest and rolled Dallas Bishop Lynch 4-0 on Friday to win the TAPPS Division I state championship at Waco ISD Stadium.

The Buttons (15-4-1) secured their third straight state crown and eighth overall. Four of the titles have come under coach Edward Cartee. The victory marked the second time the Buttons have recorded a state-championship three-peat.

With two-time Express-News player of the year Chuy Cortes and Super Team defender Todd Ray paving the way, Central Catholic won three in a row from 2007-09.

The Buttons also captured the top prize in 1987, 2014, 2017 and 2018.

A year ago, the Buttons and Bishop Lynch squared off in the state semifinals on the same field, with Central Catholic prevailing 1-0.

The Buttons, No. 48 in the latest Top Drawer Fab 50 national rankings, didn’t have to sweat out the outcome this time.

Once No. 1 in the nation after winning the prestigious North Texas Elite Showcase before falling out of the rankings after losses to LEE, Johnson and Houston St. Thomas and a draw vs. Clemens, Central Catholic displayed the form that earned it the lofty recognition.

The Buttons scored three second-half goals to run away from Bishop Lynch.

TMI 3, Carrollton Prince of Peace 2: Joseph Kuri, Diego Ampudia and Patricio Parra each scored goals as the Panthers won the Division II championship.

It was the Panthers’ second state title in three seasons and seventh overall. They won in 2017, and with former player of the year Piper Lee leading the way, they grabbed the ultimate prize during TAPPS’ fall season in ’95 and ’96 and the ’94 and ’95 winter campaigns. They also prevailed in 1989.

TMI (20-2-1), which a year ago had its bid for a second straight title dashed with a 1-0 loss to Houston Lutheran South in the state semifinals, led 2-1 at halftime.

Kuri and Ampudia recorded the tallies, with Kuri’s score giving TMI a 1-0 advantage. Prince of Peace tied it at 1 with a score in the 32nd minute.

Ampudia found the back of the net with 2½ minutes left in the first half to put TMI ahead for good. Simon Bruhn and Anthony Fletcher had assists for TMI.

Parra scored in the second half to extend the Panthers’ advantage to 3-1 before Carrollton Prince of Peace’s Luke Allen tallied the second of his two goals to conclude the scoring.

Prince of Peace, seeking its eighth state crown and first since 2012, couldn’t come up with a tying goal as TMI’s defense, paced by goalkeeper Harshal Patel’s two saves, held firm.

tthomas@express-news.net

Twitter: @en_terrence