As we got ready for our third and final quarter-finals match up the temperature began dropping in Arlington. The DeSoto Eagles faced off against the No. 1 team in Texas, the Duncanville Panthers. The winner of this match-up will move on to the semi-finals vs Southlake Carroll.
Duncanville would start the game off on offense, but tonight the defenses would shine first. Both teams would fail to score on their first drives. The Panthers would strike quickly on their second drive though. A big catch and run from Roderick Daniels Jr would set them up in scoring position. A few plays later Grayson James would complete a beautiful pass to Lontrell Turner.
Desoto would form a scoring drive of their own however. Passing and rushing their way into the red zone, the Eagles would cap off the with a 13-yard touchdown. Chris Henley Jr. would score his first touchdown of the night. The game wouldn’t be tied for long. Daniels would break loose for a 71-yard reception, bringing Duncanville inside the 10-yard line. Malachi Medlock would push himself in to retake the lead.
The Panthers would carry their 14-7 lead into the second quarter, and were looking to add to it. After forcing the Eagles to punt, Grayson James connected with Chris Hicks on a 41-yard reception. DeSoto’s Ashton Levells would come up big making an interception in the endzone. Duncanville’s defense would respond right back though.
With the ball at their own 25-yard line, the Eagles were faced with tons of heat from Duncanville. Tyler Quinn and Omar Abor were in the backfield all day causing pressure. Samari Collier would have to exit the game due to injury from those sacks. The Eagles would punt the ball, and Duncanville would turn on the jets. On the very next play Grayson James would thread a needle to Chris Hicks for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Eight minutes remained in the half, and it felt like the Panthers had finally woken up.
We would see back to back to back failed 4th down conversions, giving the Panthers the ball with three minutes left in the half. Just enough time to work some offensive magic. Roderick Daniels Jr would add to his big day with a 41-yard touchdown out of the wildcat formation. With 2:52 left in the first half, Duncanville would take a 28-7 lead. Ashton Levells would end the half with his second interception of the game.
Even though DeSoto started the second half with the ball, they would go three and out on the first drive. In under two-minutes the Panthers marched down the field for another touchdown. Roderick Daniels Jr would spark another huge play, bringing the Panthers back into the red zone. A few plays later Malachi Medlock would punch in his second touchdown of the night for Duncanville.
DeSoto would try its best to get back into the game with their back-up QB Matthew Allen. He would be able to scramble for 19-yards, then connect with Jamarion Ravenell to set the Eagles up at the two-yard line. Dammy Emego would cut into the Panthers lead with a 1-yard touchdown run. 5:13 remained in the 3rd quarter.
With 11 minutes to go, the Eagles just wouldn’t go away. After forcing a punt to open the 4th quarter, the Eagles finally got the spark they needed. Adonis Scott would return the Panthers punt back to the house for a touchdown. Sadly for Eagles fans it would all be for nothing.
Duncanville would put the nail in the coffin with a huge touchdown catch and run from Chris Hicks. If that wasn’t the nail, Jordan Crook 26-yard pick-six would be, putting the final score at 56-28. While by this point most of the DeSoto fans had left the stadium, Duncanville fans were still chanting “D’VILLE” in the stands. Gotta love Texas high school football.
Grayson James would throw for over 400-yards passing thanks to Roderick Daniels huge day too. The Duncanville defense proved once again to be one of the best units in the country applying pressure all night long. Jordan Crook had a team high seven tackles, three sacks, and a pick six on the night. In total they were able to sack the quarterback over six times on the night.
Next week we move onto the semi-final rounds of the UIL Texas State Championships. Duncanville High School will take on the Southlake Carroll Dragons at Globe Life Park @ 3PM. Whoever wins will get to face the winner of the North Shore High School and Austin Westlake match up for the state title.