ARLINGTON -- Connor Huffman threw for a career-best 307 yards to lead the Arlington Colts to a 27-20 victory over Abilene Cooper in a Class 5A Division II area-round game Friday at Mavericks Stadium.
The senior shrugged off gusty winds to complete five passes of 40 or more yards and added 89 yards and a score on the ground in a near-flawless performance.
Huffman's favorite target was Isaiah Baker, who caught five passes for 179 yards.
"Connor Huffman is a very good football player, and he has grown so much over this year," Arlington coach Scott Peach said. "When you're a senior and you wait your turn like he did to be the quarterback at Arlington High School, he was patient and once he got his turn he's just continued to get better. What a performance, just phenomenal."
The Arlington offense gained 543 total yards but squandered several scoring opportunities in the first half by missing two field-goal attempts and losing two fumbles.
Colts running back Brandon Washington rushed for a game-high 113 yards and scored on a 1-yard plunge for Arlington's first score.
Billy Ingle's 23-yard scamper with 9:11 left in the game gave the Colts a 20-13 lead, but Cooper answered with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Lorenzo Joe to KaShawn Brown.
Huffman threw a 19-yard strike to Dontha Robinson with 3:51 remaining to give Arlington the lead for good on the ensuing possession.
The Colts' defense, led by linebacker Sammy Douglas, stopped Cooper (9-3) on downs to end the game on the next drive.
"It's awesome, we haven't [won a close game like that] all year," Huffman said. "It's something that we've talked about doing; we just hadn't done it yet. So today we basically just looked at each other and said we're just going to let our actions speak for themselves and that's what we did."
The Colts (10-2) advance to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2009. They await the winner of today's Cedar Hill-Denton Ryan game.
"It feels so good to go to the third round," Douglas said. "I keep telling the reporters that we have a good team, that we're going to get after it. We didn't quit, we're in it to win a state championship, and it's on to the next round."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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