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LSG’s 2011 Games Of The Year #10

2011 Texas High School Football Games of the Year

Texas High School Football

Once again, we went through more than 200 finalists when choosing our top 25 and once again, it was tough to decide. You'll remember from our show that breaks down some of the "Games that Didn't Make the Cut," that there were many great games that didn't make it into this Top 25.

LSG 2011 Texas high school football game of the year #10

#10 (Tyler John Tyler -- 42, Dallas Highland Park -- 39)

With a spot in the Class 4A Division I Region II final up for grabs, both teams fought hard to the finish, but it would be the Lions who clawed their way to victory in this thriller in Waco.  Dallas Highland Park had not yet tasted defeat, coming in with an impressive 12-0 record. However, Tyler John Tyler (9-3) pulled out all the stops to change that.

John Tyler’s offense would punch it in the end zone on each of its first five possessions. The two teams would alternate touchdowns until Nick Rose’s 42-yard field goal attempt was good just before the half to give the Scots a 24-21 going into the locker rooms.

John Tyler was not going to give up.  The Lions came out of the gates quickly, using two long runs (a 66 yard rush from Greg Ward, a 39 yard  rush from Justice Liggins) to score twice and take an 11 point lead early in the 3rd quarter.  Highland Park would answer with a TD of their own, as well as the 2-point conversion to pull within a field goal going into the 4th.

What unfolded next was a fourth quarter fit for the silver screen.  The first touchdown pass of the night would come from John Tyler’s Greg Ward in a 17 yard heave to Reggie Gipson, just barely avoiding the sack.  Trailing 42-32 with 7:34 to go in the ball game, Highland Park needed to score fast.  Brady Burgin, the Scots starting QB, scrambled left in an attempt to convert on a 3rd down attempt.  Burgin fell short of the first down and was also badly hurt on the play. In comes senior back up quarterback Scott Ellerman, with only 10 passing attempts of record prior to this game.

Que the magic of Friday Night Lights.  After converting the 4th down and short attempt to extend the drive, Ellerman would toss a short ball out to the flats where wide receiver Hunter Halpin would acrobatically dance around defenders on the sideline and turn it into a 57-yard TD.  The Scots defense would have to finally stop the Lion offense in order to have a shot at the game. A strip sack of Greg Ward and recovery by the HP defense did just that.

Scott Ellerman was then 38 yards from being a Highland Park legend.  A long pass to a lineman on a trick play and an ensuing rush put the Scots on the 18, looking poised to win the game in regulation.  However, an offensive penalty and a 17-yard sack pushed the Scots back on the 34 on fourth down.  With 46 seconds to go, HP would line up for a 51-yard field goal attempt into the wind to send the game into overtime.  The holder, Hunter Halpin, pulled up the snap and scrambled frantically towards the sideline to the right, but had no receivers open.  In a last desperation move, he chunked up the ball for grabs.  The ball fell to the turf at Waco ISD Stadium, ending the movie magic and marking the fourth consecutive season the Scots have failed to advance to the fourth round of the Texas High School Football Playoffs.

It is a Highland Park viewpoint, but the video below is a great highlight film with an “NFL films-feel” that does this epic game justice.


by Taylor Brasher
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