ARLINGTON, Texas —
Four days of UIL state championship football and the best of the 12 games was saved for last.
a battle of two undefeated heavyweights with potential national
championship implications, it came down to Dematrius Davis Jr.
heave as time
expired that somehow found the upraised hands of Ajani Carter
45-yard touchdown to send North Shore (Houston, Texas)
to an improbable 41-36
victory over crestfallen Duncanville
in the Class 6A Division II title
game Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.
"They call it a Hail
Mary for a reason,'' said North Shore head coach Jon Kay. "We used our
last timeout with three seconds left, I took off my headset and watched
the last play like everybody else.''
Davis threw for 333 yards
and five touchdowns on the way to game offensive MVP honors. "I could
see AJ was open and I tried to put it where only he could catch it.''
Carter: "I'll never forget this. The play sort of went in slow motion.
Duncanville guys were around me in the back corner of the end zone. I
could see the ball coming, I got my hands up and I jumped. There was no
doubt in my mind it was a touchdown.''
North Shore (16-0), ranked
No. 2 in MaxPreps Xcellent 25, drove 77 yards in the final 57 seconds
to capture the schools' third state title. It finished off a game that featured eight lead changes, four in the final quarter. It will be remembered as one of the greatest 6A title games in Texas history.
Maybe not for Duncanville (14-1),
No. 3 nationally, which will anguish over not only the last play, but
perhaps scoring too quickly in taking a 36-35 lead on a Ja'quinden Jackson
5-yard keeper on first-and-goal with 1:02 remaining.
guys played hard,'' said Duncanville coach Reginald Samples. "I'm proud
of them. Things happen like that sometime at the end of a game.''
North Shore not only finished with a flurry, but started the game the same way.
took only 10 seconds for North Shore's defense to register the initial
points. Defensive lineman
forced a fumble on Duncanville's
first offensive play and Ashton Reynolds
trotted nine yards for a 7-0
Duncanville recovered with a pair of long drives to take a
10-7 lead on a Trysten Smith
23-yard touchdown run and the first of
three field goals by Victor Escalona.
Davis heated up the latter
stages of the first half, connecting on three touchdown throws including
an 80-yard hookup with Shadrach Banks
(9 catches, 179 yards) that put North Shore ahead,
22-17. Earlier in the half, Banks showed some fancy footwork on a
51-yard Davis pass.
A coverage mistake by the Duncanville
secondary led to Davis' final scoring pass of the half, a 33-yarder to
an uncovered John Gentry
for a 29-20 halftime advantage.
scoreless third quarter, there were four lead changes in the final
quarter. Smith (21 carries, 152 yards, three touchdowns) pushed
Duncanville ahead 30-29 on a 52-yard run. But North Shore, which had been shut down all of the second half, responded with a nifty 9-play, 85-yard drive capped with some trickery. Davis found tackle Revels on an 8-yard scoring pass to put North Shore back on top,
35-30 with 5:15 to play.
Jackson, who rushed for 226 yards on 18 carries, drove his
team 85 yards in the final five minutes for what looked to be a state
However, North Shore had other ideas.
Kay, the Mustangs coach, sounded unconcerned about where his team might fit into national rankings.
don't give a lot of attention to the national polls,'' said Kay.
"Public schools should play public and private should play private. The
only thing that matters to me is this gold medal around my neck from the
state of Texas.''
Highland Park (Dallas) 27, Shadow Creek (Pearland) 17
As the son of a college head coach, Chandler Morris
grew up around football.
learned served Morris well. The 6-foot, 170-pound junior threw for 262
yards and three touchdowns, guiding Highland Park to victory over Shadow Creek in the UIL Class 5A Division
I state championship game Saturday afternoon before 28,792 at AT&T
"We go out and throw on the turf when it is 110
degrees,'' said Morris, whose father is Arkansas head coach Chad Morris.
"We work hard together.'' Finnegan Corwin
, Morris' favorite target, had 12 catches for 142 yards and one touchdown with another overturned by replay. He also threw touchdown passes to Sam Morse
and Bennett Brown
The state title is the third in succession and sixth overall for the
program that leads the state in all-time victories (832). Highland Park
(16-0) stretched its winning streak to 31 dating back to the 2017
Two field goals by Wesley Winters
(36 and 22) gave Highland Park a 27-9 lead midway through the third quarter. CATCH UP ON FRIDAY'S TEXAS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Click here
Shadow Creek (15-1), remarkably a state finalist in its
first UIL season, lost running back Marquez Huland
to injury early, but
rallied to within 10 points on a record 99-yard touchdown scramble by Jamarian George
in the fourth quarter. An interception in the final
minutes by Whit Whitfield, Highland Park's fourth of the day, set off
the championship celebration for head coach Randy Allen and company.WATCH JORDAN WHITTINGTON'S RECORD PERFORMANCE FRIDAY: Click here
is amazing because of how difficult it is to go back,'' said Allen, who
retired briefly in the spring before reversing field. "Our players and
coaches met every challenge.''
Propelled by his 99-yard run, George ran for 153 positive yards, but was sacked nine times — four by Prince Dorbah
— he finished with 17 carries for 79 yards. Highland Park finished with 385 total yards to 241 for Shadow Creek.
finished 23-of-35 with one interceptions. His TD passes went for 8
yards to Brown, 3 yards to Morse and 24 yards to Corwin. George also
completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jared Jackson
Longview 35, Westbrook 34
Longview's long wait for a second state championship — 81 years to be exact — is finally over. And almost 50,000 gathered to see it.
fourth-quarter drives engineered by junior quarterback Haynes King, the
son of the head coach, produced the final nine points that carried
Longview to a thrilling victory over West Brook in the Class 6A
Division II state final before 48,421 fans.
Senior running back Jessie Anderson
crashed over from the two with 4:42 remaining for the winning points.
we get back to Gregg County, there's going to be a party like they've
never seen before,'' said Longview coach John King, "and I may be
leading the charge.''
Longview's only previous state title was won in 1937.Haynes King
saw his dad team's reach title games, only to fall short in 2008
and 2009. "He told me when he got his chance, he'd find a way to win
it,'' the coach said.
The quarterback, who passed for 423 yards
and two touchdowns on the way to offensive MVP honors, demonstrated a
deft touch on deep routes. His favorite target, senior Kamden Perry
finished with eight catches for 218 yards.
West Brook (13-3) led
throughout the second and third periods, but never by more than eight
points. Senior quarterback La'Ravien Eila threw for 144 yards, rushed
for 136 and accounted for three touchdowns.
Following Longview's late touchdown, West Brook's last chance ended in a fumble at midfield.