UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas -- DeSoto (Texas)
and Carroll (Southlake) combined for 94
points and 1,152 total yards in a wild Texas shootout of a playoff
game, yet the outcome hinged on a goal-line stand.
linebacker Taylor Young
and the DeSoto defense stopped Carroll
quarterback Kenny Hill
on two consecutive running plays from the
1-yard-line, the final attempt as time expired, preserving a 49-45
victory in a Class 5A Division I state quarterfinal Saturday afternoon
at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
Down by 18 points in the first
half, DeSoto (14-0) came roaring back to eliminate Carroll (12-2), the
2011 Class 5A Division I state champion.
DeSoto, the top-ranked
Texas team in the Xcellent 25
at No. 3, advances to meet Allen (13-1) in
a state semifinal next week. Allen defeated Skyline (Dallas) 37-17 in
its quarterfinal on Saturday.
"At the time out before the last
play, coach [Claude] Mathis pulled me aside and said it was up to me to
make a play,'' said Young. "Bryce English
, our nose guard, kept their
guard off me and I was able to get a clean shot at Hill, who is a great
player. This is all so surreal.''
Mathis said there was no doubt
in his mind that the Carroll brain trust would keep the ball in the
hands of Hill. After all, he had already rushed for five of the Dragons'
"Who else would get the ball?'' said Mathis. "We
knew we were one stop away and my guys gave me everything they had.
Taylor Young played a great game today.''
Carroll's last drive
began at its 29 with 2:05 remaining. Trailing by four, a field goal
would do them no good. Cool under pressure, Hill patiently worked his
team down the field with a mix of short passes and keepers.
The Dragons reached the DeSoto 3 on Hill's 22-yard pass to Luke Timian
with 12 seconds remaining.
On the DeSoto sideline, quarterback Desmon White
, the offensive star of the game, was too nervous to watch.
"I had to look way,'' said White, who threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 139 yards and another score.
The Dragons, winners of five state titles in the last 11 seasons, are known for heroics in similar situations.
had three time outs remaining and used the first when Hill gained two
yards on the right side to the DeSoto 1 on first down.
clock at eight seconds, Hill went left on second down and was stopped
for no gain. Now the clock showed three seconds, time for just one more
With the fate of both teams riding, Hill took the snap and
bulled up the middle. DeSoto's defense stood firm. Hill was turned a
little to the right by contact. The ball in Hill's right hand hit the
ground shy of the goal line. It took a moment for the officials to rule
forward progress, but when they did, it was celebration time for DeSoto.
trailing for most of the game, DeSoto went in front for good on White's
13-yard touchdown pass to Rickey Daniels
with 7:15 remaining.
opportunity to answer fizzled when English stripped the ball out of the
arms of running back A.J. Ezzard. DeSoto's Nick Orr
DeSoto couldn't quite put the game away. After one first down, White
was stopped an inch short on fourth down at the Carroll 29, setting up
the wild finish.
It was White's opinion that the key offensive
play of the game was his 76-yard touchdown pass to Dontre Wilson
final minute of the third quarter. The connection closed the Carroll
lead to 45-42.
On the previous possession, White unwisely threw
as he was going down, the result an interception by Tanner Jacobson
rare mistake by White set up an easy Carroll touchdown for a 45-35
"I told Desmon not to worry about it,'' said Mathis. "We were still going to win the game.''
an Oregon recruit, missed much of the first half with a leg injury. He
rushed for 74 yards and had 116 receiving yards. Trailing 24-6 in the
middle of the second quarter, DeSoto mounted touchdown drives of 74 and
56 yards with Wilson on the sideline.
Hill, in the final game of
his brilliant high school career, threw for 339 yards and one touchdown
and rushed 40 times for 99 yards. The Texas A&M commit finished with
3,369 passing yards this season and 1,421 rushing yards.
Carroll's 24-21 halftime lead wavered from 10 to three points in a third quarter that saw both teams hold serve with 21 points.
Mathis said Allen will be the latest in a string of playoff challenges for DeSoto.
"Why not one more,'' Mathis said. "It should be another classic high school game."