Matt Diggs' Top 5
5. Gilmer 42 Dallas Roosevelt 36: One of the most intense games of the year was one of the biggest games as 12-0 Gilmer hooked up with 11-1 Roosevelt in the Class 3A Division 1 Region 2 Finals. After falling behind 7-0 at the end of the first quarter the Roosevelt offense got going in a big way with 29 second quater points to jump out to a 29-22 halftime lead. The incomprable Vincent McNeil, Jr threw two TD passes in the first half and he ran for another. While Gilmer sophomore QB Darian Godfrey was not to be overshadowed as after accounting for three first half TD's he threw and ran for a score in the third quarter to give GHS a 36-29 score heading into the fourth quarter. Roosevelt would tie things up in the fourth quarter with a 7 yard run by Kevin Booker. However Gilmer would keep their record perfect on Justin Johnson's 3 yard run late. The high scoring affair featured several huge offensive games as Roosevelt was led by McNeil who threw for 251 yards and 2 TD's and he ran for 157 yards and a score. Gilmer QB Darian Godfrey led the Buckeys with 187 passing yards and 2 TD's and 54 rushing yards and 3 TD's. Johnson was the top ground gainer with 222 yards rushing and a touchdown.
4. Plano East 38 Lake Highlands 37 2OT: In what many thought would be an easy game for unbeaten Plano East, Lake Highlands obviously had other ideas as the Wildcats led PESH 24-14 with just five minutes left in the game. PESH QB Riko Smalls led the Panthers fourth quarter rally as after driving the Panthers to a field goal to cut the lead to seven he threw a 55 yard touchdown pass to Zach Patteson. LHHS had a chance to win in regulation but Scott Renkes missed a 41 yard field goal. The two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime to make the score 31-31. Lake Highlands took a 37-31 lead Antoine Harrison caught a 27 yard touchdown pass from Jacob Andrews, however the all important PAT was blocked and that left the door open for Plano East. The Panthers capitalized as Kevin Smith caught a 2 yard touchdown pass from Small and Chad Powell added the PAT to give Plano East the win.
3. Abilene 22 Southlake Carroll 21: After losing to Southlake Carroll 52-0 two years ago in the Regional Semi-Finals not many gave Abilene much of a chance in the week leading up to the game and after SLC jumped out to a 14-3 lead behind 2 Riley Dodge touchdown passes things didn't look good. Abilene would get back in the game as Kortney McDow would haul in a 44 yard touchdown pass from Spens Lackey to cut the Dragons lead to 14-9. More importantly a red hot Riley Dodge would leave the game with a shoulder injury and that seemed to give the Eagles even momentum. SLC backup QB Kyle Padron would give the Dragons a 21-9 lead early in the third quarter but Abilene wouldn't go away as Brandon Hill kicked two field goals to cut the lead to 21-15 after three quarters. Abilene would take the lead as Lackey scored on a one yard run and Hill's PAT made it 22-21. Padron would lead the Dragons back down the field and it appeared the Dragons would once again escape from another close call, but a fumble with less than a minute left inside the AHS 20 sealed the Dragons fate and Abilene got some measure of revenge with a 22-21 win over Southlake Carroll after two prior losses to the Dragons.
2. Southlake Carroll 49 Rockwall 42: Coming off their first loss in 3 years the week prior, Southlake Carroll had to comeback with just 3 days to prepare for a Rockwall squad with a week off on a Thursday night. SLC was not able to get out of first gear as Rockwall jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind two Braden Smith touchdown passes. The Dragons looked to get their legs under them Riley Dodge threw an 11 yard touchdown pass to Chris Brainard but on the ensuing kickoff Rockwall extended the lead to 21-7 on Grant Gunderson's 88 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Dodge would throw three more touchdown passes in the first half to make it 28-28 at the half. Dodge picked up where left off to start the second half with a 47 yard touchdown pass to Brainard. After Smith tied it at 35 a 59 yard touchdown pass Dodge and SLC got going as he hooked up with back to back touchdown passes to Blake Cantu to give the Dragons a 49-35 lead. Rockwall would have one final response but it was too little too late as SLC gutted out a thrilling win. Riley Dodge was remarkable for the Dragons throwing for 394 yards and 7 touchdowns, as his favorite target was Blake Cantu who had 223 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. Smith led Rockwall with 298 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, while RB Robert Carter had 90 yards and 2 scores on the ground.
1. Lewisville Hebron 50 DeSoto 44 4OT: Lewisville Hebron got their biggest win in Class 5A with a thrilling Area Playoff win over DeSoto on a brutally cold and rainy day. Hebron took a 14-0 lead at halftime as the Hawks got two touchdown passes from Tanner Marsh and the defense totally shut down the vaunted DeSoto ground game. DeSoto would respond with 22 straight second half points as Cyrus Gray scored on three touchdown runs and the Eagles got a safety. Hebron would tie it up late in regulation as Marsh threw a 60 yard touchdown pass to David Crawford and the Hawks would score on a trick play on the two point conversion to send the game to overtime. After three overtimes nothing was decided as the two teams were tied at 44. Hebron would take a 50-44 lead as Absalom Jones scored from 4 yards out and the Hawks defense found a way to stop Cyrus Gray who had run for 179 yards and 6 touchdowns to escape with a thrilling 50-44 quadruple overtime win. Hebron QB Tanner Marsh was the leading man for the Hawks throwing for 345 yards and 5 touchdowns and he added a touchdown run to lead Hebron to the win.
Matt Stepp's Top 5
5. Mesquite Poteet 18 Midlothian 14: The season opener on a Thursday night came down to the wire as Midlothian despite an incredibly sloppy effort led 14-12. Caleb MacEachren led the Panthers offense with 167 yards rushing and a touchdown including a second quarter touchdown that gave the Panthers a 14-12 lead. Poteet QB Andrew Maddox who scored on a 79 yard run on the first play from scrimmage added a 4 yard touchdown run for the Pirates scoring in the first half. The second half was filled with penalties and mistakes, but it appeared the Panthers were on their way to salting the game away with less than five minutes to go. A botched option pitch was recovered by Poteet DL Fred Thomas to give the Pirates new life and on 4th and goal from the one yard line with only one second left Maddox scored his third touchdown of the game to give Poteet the win. Maddox led Poteet with 167 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.
4. Everman 21 Wichita Falls Rider 19: A game that was not aesthetically pleasing still came down to the wire in the Class 4A Division 2 Region 1 Final. Rider jumped out to a 13-0 lead after three quarters as Joey Neale kicked two first half field goals and Eric Ward hauled in a 26 yard touchdown pass from Shavodrick Beaver. The 13-0 lead left Rider with an empty feeling as the lead could easily have been 21-0 but the Everman defense made plays in the red zone. The Bulldogs appeared to dead to rights as they faced a fourth and 19 at the Rider 30 but QB Sedrick Harris hit a key 24 yard pass to Chris Franklin to give Everman new life and on the first play of the fourth quarter Ryan Smith scored on a two yard run to make it 13-7. Everman would then get a key turnover as Devin Woods pounced on a fumble and the Bulldogs would take a 14-13 lead as Clarence Jennings scored on a one yard run and EHS led 14-13. Rider moved the ball into Everman territory but with three minutes left Joey Neale missed a long field goal and Everman would move the ball inside the Rider red zone looking to salt the game away with little more than a minute left and Rider without any timeouts. Rider then pulled a stroke of genius out as they appeared to let Clarence Jennings score on a 15 yard run to make it 21-13 but giving Rider one more shot. Beaver would give the Raiders life throwing a 32 yard touchdown pass to Eric Ward to make it 21-19 with under 30 seconds remaining. Beaver however was stopped on the two point conversion at the one yard line and Everman would escape with the 21-19 win as Jennings led the Bulldogs with 212 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns.
3. South Garland 38 Garland Naaman Forest 35 OT: In a back and forth affair where neither team led by more than seven points, South Garland got the game winning field goal from Jamie Salazar from 22 yards out in overtime to escape with a 38-35 win over a Naaman Forest squad that proved it was for real. The Rangers were led by Jonathon Miller who ran up, around and through the South Garland defense for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns. It appeared Naaman Forest would be on their way to a stunning win as John Harris scored on a 55 yard touchdown pass from Jordan Lewis on a perfectly executed double pass. Nick Florence who accounted for four touchdowns led the Colonels back down the field to tie it up at 35 with a 16 yard touchdown pass to Darnell Smith setting up the game winning field goal in overtime. Steven Osborne was the top receiver for SGHS with 78 yards receiving and a touchdown catch.
Everman 31 Stephenville 28 OT: Rarely does a game live up to the hype but in a battle of two top 10 9-0 teams this one lived up to the billing and then some. Despite both teams missing their top defensive players (Stephenville DB Cody Davis left in the first quarter and Everman LB Darius Busby was still battling a toe injury) the score was only 7-7 at halftime. Everman took a 14-7 lead early in the third quarter as Sedrick Harris threw a 14 yard touchdown pass to Lee Langston, but the Yellow Jackets took a 21-14 lead as Kody Spano had two touchdown runs. Everman tied it up at 21 as Michael Carter caught a 30 yard touchdown pass on a tipped ball, ironically that catch was Carter's only reception of 2007. Stephenville took a 28-21 lead in the fourth quarter as Spano had his third touchdown run this time from 13 yards out. Everman's vaunted ground game had been held in check for the most part so the Bulldogs late in the game went to the air and they drove 80 yards all through the air to tie it up with less than two minutes to go as Harris hit Deantre Harlan on a 20 yard touchdown pass. The Everman defense held Stephenville on the final drive of regulation and they forced the ‘Jackets out on downs in overtime and after Harris hit Chris Franklin for 21 yards to move it inside the five, junior kicker Andrew Camacho nailed the 20 yard field goal and Everman took home the 8-4A title with a 31-28 win.
Farmersville 27 Tatum 24 OT: In a game for all the marbles, it took overtime to crown the Class 2A Division 1 State Champion as Farmersville knocked off two time defending state champion Tatum in a game for the ages. The heavy underdog Farmers showed they were in the game to stay as on their first offensive possession RB Tahj Redwine scored on a 62 yard run to give FHS a 7-0 lead. Redwine scored on a six yard run early in the second to give Farmersville a 14-0 lead. Tatum would respond as RB Bryce Beall who ran for 222 yards scored on runs of 3 and 17 yards to tie it up at 14 heading into the fourth quarter. Redwine who had 196 yards rushing, early in the fourth gave Farmersville the lead back at 21-14 when he notched his third touchdown of the game. Tatum would tie it up midway through the fourth on a 21 yard touchdown run by Cashas Pollard. Farmersville looked to be driving for the game winning score but a key drop by TE Quincy Roberts in Tatum territory ended the Farmers threat. The game went into overtime and Tatum struck first as Jose Trejo kicked a 30 yard field goal to make it 24-21. With Tatum crowding the line of scrimmage watching for the threat of Redwine the ground oriented Farmers executed a perfect play action pass and the aforementioned Roberts who had the key drop in the fourth redeemed himself with a sensational diving catch in the end zone to win the game and the state title for the Farmers in a classic 27-24.