Lone Star Gridiron

DeSoto Takes Late Lead to Advance to State

Eagles Make Their First State Championship Appearance

The DeSoto Eagles came from behind to beat the Klein Collins Tigers 42-31 in the Class 6A Division I Semifinals. The Tigers led 28-14 but the Eagles defense returned two fumbles for touchdowns in the final quarter to get the win.

Klein Collins started off the scoring in the 1st quarter when quarterback Bryson Powers ran it in after a 6 play 71 yard drive. After the teams traded 3 & outs, DeSoto went on a 12 play 73 yard drive and Kelan Walker took it in from 1 yard out to tie the score at 7-7 with 2:29 left. Collins responded with a 7 play, 62 yard drive that ended with Powers running it in from 17 yards out on a 3rd and 7 play. That made the score 14-7 with 7 seconds left.

The teams traded punts to start the 2nd quarter. DeSoto then evened the score at 14 with 5:52 remaining in the half when running back Richie Washington took it in from 1 yard out. Collins answered with a long 65 yard drive when quarterback Brett Bridges ran it with with 49 seconds left to make the score 21-14. DeSoto fumbled on their first play from scrimmage and Collins recovered at the DeSoto 19 with 39 seconds left. The Tigers scored with 7 seconds left when Bridges completed a 8 yard pass to Jaylon Johnson. Collins led 28-14 at the half.

DeSoto cut their deficit in half with 5:49 left in the 3rd when their quarterback Shawn Robinson ran around right end for 43 yards to make the score 28-21. After a Collins punt, DeSoto got the ball but a Robinson pass was intercepted by defensive back Tate Thomlinson who returned it to the DeSoto 8. Powers scored on the first play but it was called back because of a penalty. The Tigers could not overcome that penalty and settled for a short field goal to take the lead 31-21.

The Eagles went on an 84 yard drive at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th converting on 2 4th down plays along the way. Running back Xzavier Telsee took it in to make the score 31-28 with 9:44 left in the game. On the Tigers next possession, a fumble was recovered by Ashton Brooks and returned 42 yards for a touchdown. DeSoto took the lead 35-31 with 7:46 remaining. The Tigers had the ball stripped by Isaiah Stewart who returned that for a 42 yard touchdown also. With 7:23 left, DeSoto led 42-31. Collins drove down the field but had the ball intercepted inside the DeSoto 10 yard line with less than 6 minutes left. DeSoto was able to eat up a lot of the clock from there and won the game. The Eagles will be advancing to their first championship game next week against Cibolo Steele.

by Michael Wright

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