UNIVERSITY PARK — In an instant classic where every phenomenal play seemed to top the previous, the outcome of the DeSoto and Southlake Carroll state quarterfinal matchup was decided on the final snap from the 1-yard line.
The Eagles stopped Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill inches short of the goal line for a third consecutive play as time expired to preserve an emotional 49-45 victory over the defending state champs Saturday at SMU's Ford Stadium.
"We're family, we started this in summer workouts. We lifted the extra weights for this moment right here," said DeSoto linebacker Taylor Young, who was one of the Eagles' defenders who converged on Hill. "We loaded up in the middle, and in a timeout Coach [Claude Mathis] called me out so I had to do it, I had to finish it."
Carroll started the final drive at its 30 and marched to the 3 after a 22-yard strike from Hill to receiver Luke Timian with 12 seconds remaining. Hill gained 2 yards on first down before DeSoto dug in and stopped him short of the stripe on consecutive plays.
DeSoto (14-0) advances to the Class 5A Division I state semifinal, its deepest playoff run in school history, where it will play Allen at 6 p.m. Saturday back at SMU.
"This is going to go down in DeSoto history, me being a sophomore, I know I'm going to have a couple more years, but I think this is our year to win state," said 5-foot-10, 280-pound defensive tackle Bryce English.
Quarterback Desmon White threw for 360 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another 140 yards and a score to lead the Eagles, who trailed by as many as 18 in the first half, to 606 yards. After DeSoto scored first, Carroll (12-2) rattled off 24 points, but DeSoto scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the half to pull within 24-21 by the break.
DeSoto running back Dontre Wilson shook off a high-ankle sprain to gain 182 total yards and score once each on the ground and in the air.
"It was hard, I was in a lot of pain, but this is my team and I'm a senior, so that was it. For us to come out with this victory is a blessing," Wilson said.
Each team scored 21 points in the third quarter as the offenses took turns making spectacular plays, but DeSoto took the lead for good on a 13-yard strike from White to receiver Rickey Daniels with 7:47 remaining in the fourth.
Carroll's Hill finished with 342 yards passing and a touchdown and added 98 yards and five rushing touchdowns in his final high school game.
"They are a great team and came out and played hard," Hill said. "They have a phenomenal offense and made stops when they had to. You've got to tip your hat."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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