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Brownsboro head coach John Settle looks on late in the game.

IRVING — As the pain of their first loss in well over a month turned to tears in many of his players faces, Brownsboro head coach John Settle was there, once again, to put things into perspective following Friday night’s 35-14 loss to the Celina Bobcats in the Region II-AAA championship at Texas Stadium.

“When you get through feeling bad about this loss,” Settle after the game, “you need to remember how much you accomplished.”

The Bears’ season ended on a chilly Friday night under the lights of one of the most recognizable sporting venues on the planet and against one of the most storied football programs in Texas high school football history.

Not to mention their season, which ended at 10-4, marked one of the most successful ever by a Henderson County team. The Bears are one of only three moderns teams to play four rounds deep into the playoffs, with Trinidad (1998) and Eustace (1987) being the others. Trinidad remains the only county football team to claim a state championship.

The road that led to the Bears playing football into December was an impressive one. The season started with several key players being benched for disciplinary reasons, and the Bears lost two of their first three games.

“We had some adversity,” senior lineman Lonnie Edwards said. “But we got our guys back and we knew we could go far. It’s been a great year.”

One could argue that great season began to gain steam when the Bears opened eyes by knocking off Van — a favorite to win District 14-AAA.

After winning the district title, the Bears launched into the playoffs by dominating Kaufman, Atlanta and Pilot Point, the latter of which has also been one of the more dominant programs in the state.

And then came Friday night against Celina, owner of seven state championships and the longest streak of consecutive wins in state history (63). The Bears found themselves with a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Bobcats rattled off 35 straight points to win the Region II championship. It was Celina’s 30th consecutive win.

“It’s been a great experience,” Settle said. “This is a grand stage. Everyone’s been excited. I just wish it had a different outcome.”

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